For performers, clear vision is about more than wishful thinking.

A need to see the music and more

Sara Louise Craven, lead vocalist of the rock band Kings Of Wishful Thinking, came to Allegro Optical not so much out of a need to see the music as it was out of a desire to see more.

Cables, mic stands, microphones, foot pedals, speakers, lighting, instruments, drum sets, percussion, and more can make stages dangerously congested. When one’s eyesight is compromised, performing on stage can be perilous. Especially as no two venues and no two gigs are the same.

A high myope Sarah Louise was concerned about her eyes and vision. Sarah Louise previously wore contact lenses, but after developing a corneal ulcer 2-3 years ago, she now prefers to wear glasses.

Sarah Louise’s vision is further hampered by Meibomian gland dysfunction (MGD) in addition to corneal scarring and generalised visual field loss caused by the ulcer.

MGD is normally not a serious condition, but it can cause discomfort and sometimes blurred vision. If not addressed, the glands may cease to function permanently. MGD might result in dry eyes. It is typical to experience MGD, dry eye, and blepharitis all at the same time.

An in-depth eye exam

When Sarah Louise began her journey with Allegro Optical, she met with Elizabeth Holmes, an optometrist who specialises in working with performers. Elizabeth has first-hand knowledge of the visual needs of performing artists due to her own experience as a pianist, clarinettist, and band member.

After a series of tests, Elizabeth concluded that Sarah Louise’s peripheral vision was impaired by generalised field defects and significant scarring from the ulcer. Elizabeth collaborated with dispensing optician Sheryl Doe to develop a lens solution that would  improve the clarity of Sarah Louise’s vision, while also enhancing her peripheral vision, both of which are crucial in potentially hazardous situations like performing on stage.

Image is everything

To provide Sarah Louise with the widest field of vision possible, Sheryl recommended using 1.67 high index digital high-definition lenses. High-definition lenses can expand the field of view by up to 20%. The wider view of the stage is essential since there are so many potential tripping hazards and experiencing a fall would be devastating both in terms of safety and for the performance.                            

These advanced technology lenses offer a number of benefits over conventionally surfaced lenses. Unlike conventional lenses, HD lenses are manufactured using digital computer technology.

See the best, look good

Sarah opted for a pair of frames from the OKKI Atelier premium collection, which was created by the finest artisans in Cadore, Italy (also known as the Italian Eyewear District). OKKI Atelier is an eyewear line that features frames crafted using high-end Italian fashion textiles. Each pair is handcrafted in a strictly limited edition of 100 and sold only via the world’s finest opticians. Each set of eyewear is vibrantly coloured and one of a kind. Many OKKI fans all across the globe actively seek out official distributors.

When Sarah Louise collected her glasses, her vision greatly improved, and her visual acuity was even better than that she recorded during her eye exam. When we caught up with Sarah Louise a few weeks later, we asked her how she was getting on with her glasses. She said; I’ve struggled with wearing glasses since I got my first pair 17 years ago, I hated wearing them and found any excuse not to bother with them. It ultimately got to a point that wearing contact lenses wasn’t really much of an option anymore after they made my eyes feel sore, dry and I found I couldn’t really see as well out of them. Since having my new glasses, my confidence in wearing them has grown- they go with everything, they look great, and I get a lot of compliments from people. It’s great actually being able to see my band set list properly, I can see the audience and everything is so much clearer, I love them!”

What draws musicians to Allegro Optical?

We are an independent family-owned and run business with a worldwide reputation for professional quality and a creative approach to serving the demands of our customers.

Allegro Optical is renowned as the “Musicians Opticians” and attracts clientele from all around Europe and beyond. Allegro Optical was the first and only opticians to be registered with the British Association for Performing Arts Medicine (BAPAM) as a result of our breakthrough work with musicians, conductors, and performers.

Because no two artists are the same, why should their vision correction be the same? The lenses we create for musicians are tailored to their specific requirements. We understand their predicament because we are musicians as well.

Allegro Optical has helped so many artists that we have received several national and regional accolades. Among these honours is the 2019 National ‘Best New Arts & Entertainment Business of the Year.’ In the same year, Allegro Optical was named ‘Dispensing Optician of the Year,’  an achievement repeated in 2021

Many national magazines have highlighted the firm, including The Times 4BarsRest, The British Bandsman, and Music Teacher Magazine.

Are you a musician who is having trouble with your vision? Is making music no longer a pleasurable experience? If so, please contact us at Greenfield 01457 353100, Marsden 01484 768888, or Meltham 01484 907090.

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