Now Dave’s not “Brassed Off” Seeing The Music

Dave’s brassed off no longer

Based in Saddleworth, Dave Shipp runs a busy Insurance Broker business, so it’s not surprising that he uses computers a great deal. However he recently begun to find the clarity of his computer screen problematic. This was a bit of a surprise for Dave, who up until now had had seemingly perfect vision. Dave came to Allegro Optical on the recommendation of his wife Helen, who we had recently helped by dispensing both varifocal spectacles and multifocal disposable contact lenses. Both solutions helped correct Helen’s vision at all distances, so she suggested that he pay us a visit. Dave had managed really well without the need for spectacles until now, mainly because of his unusual prescription. Dave has natural mono-vision, providing him with both clear distance and near vision. In short, Dave is short sighted in one eye and long sighted in the other. This simply means that one eye is focussed at a different working distance to the other. The short sighted eye allows Dave to read, while the long sighted eye gives good clarity in the distance. While this seems like an ideal solution, it is the mid distance which is compromised as the eyes age. 

A love of Music

When not busy with his work Dave indulges his love of music. An accomplished Conductor and Cornet Player, Dave is the Music Director of Diggle ‘B’ Brass BandWith his natural mono-vision he was able to see clearly both close up and in the far distance, but he began to notice that the clarity of the music on the conductor’s stand wasn’t as clear as it had been either. When Dave came to Allegro Optical we had two problems to solve. One being to improve his situation at work, the other addressing his needs as a musician. All Dave’s vision problems were symptoms of presbyopia. This is a condition that progressively reduces the ability to focus clearly on close objects. But in Dave’s case, due to his natural mono-vision,  it affected his middle distance. In addition to seeing his computer screen clearly, he needed help with the dashboard and displays in his car. For this reason we dispensed multifocal progressive lenses. This allows Dave to get on with his day, focusing on the many different distances required while at work and commuting.

Time to #SeeTheMusic

However as a musician he had other very specific optical needs. Dave needs to be able to see a full conductor score on his stand at a distance of between 73cm and 79cm, he also needs a good view of all the bands people he is conducting. Varifocals are not ideal in this environment due to their narrow visual field. To address this issue we designed dispensed Dave with a completely bespoke lens. An adapted form of a bifocal, to give the widest possible field, but with no line to avoid any image jump. We went to visit Dave when he was conducting and measured all his working distances and working area. From this we could gauge his needs in-situ and create a perfect solution just for him.

What a result!

When asked about both of  his new glasses Dave said “It’s amazing, the glasses bring everything into focus just where I need it. Both the score and the players are really sharp……In a good way! Mono-vision occurs naturally in a small percentage of the population. In the vast majority of cases, one eye – the dominant eye – is focused for clear distance vision while your other (non-dominant) eye is focused for closer work like reading. Mono vision is now offered by many laser clinics as a solution to presbyopia, but as we have found with several clients over the last twelve months, it can seriously affect the music clarity on the stand.

Why do musicians come to Allegro Optical?

An independent family run business we are gaining an international reputation for professional excellence and an inventive approach to meeting customer needs. Now known internationally as the ‘Musicians Opticians’ we are attracting many clients from across Europe and further a field. Our groundbreaking work with performers, players and conductors has resulted in Allegro Optical becoming the first and only opticians to gain registration with the British Association for Performing Arts Medicine (BAPAM). We treat each client as an individual and it is true that no two musicians are the same. So why should their vision correction be? We enjoy creating unique lenses to meet a musician’s particular needs. As musicians ourselves we can ask the right questions and interpret the answers accordingly.

Award-winning eye-care

So successful has Allegro Optical been in helping performers that this year alone we have scooped no less than five national and regional awards. These awards include the National ‘Best New Arts & Entertainment Business of the Year‘ at a gala event in London. Managing Director Sheryl Doe was awarded the 2019 ‘Dispensing Optician of the Year‘. During March Allegro Optical was awarded the  ‘Scale-Up Business of the Year‘ at the regional finals of the Federation of Small Business awards in York and went on to receive the FSB Chairman’s award at the national finals in May. Finally winning the FBU Yorkshire family business of the year. The company has been featured in many national publications including The Times 4BarsRest, The British Bandsman and Music Teacher Magazine. Are you are a musician who is struggling with their vision? Is making music is no longer the enjoyable experience it once was? If so call us at either Greenfield on 01457 353100 or Meltham on 01484 907090.

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