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An introduction to Glaucoma by Optometrist Amy Ogden

Amy Ogden Optometrist

What is glaucoma?

Amy Ogden, Optometrist at Allegro Optical Opticians in Saddleworth and Holmfirth, explaines why she likes the 3D OCT scanner so much Glaucoma is the name used for the group of eye conditions which cause damage to the optic nerve. This damage can ultimately cause sight loss. Our optic nerve is the wire that connects the brain and the eye together. It sends visual information from one to the other. There is a misconception that glaucoma is one disease, when actually there are many different types. I will touch upon a few below. 

Types of glaucoma 

Primary open angle glaucoma (POAG) 

This is the most common type of glaucoma, characterised by elevated intraocular pressure and an open anterior chamber angle with no other underlying pathology. Some of the risk factors for this include; increasing age, higher intraocular pressures (checked with the puff of air test), being of Afro-Caribbean descent, being short sighted and having a family history of POAG.  Open angle glaucoma   In early stages, most people with POAG don’t have any symptoms. They are only diagnosed as part of their routine sight test, which is why it is important to keep up to date with regular sight checks. Those in late stages of POAG may notice a restricted visual field and blurred vision.

Normal Tension Glaucoma 

This is a type of POAG, however in this type of glaucoma, there are no raised intraocular pressures (IOP). Although there are no raised IOPS, there is still damage to the optic nerve, retinal nerve fibre layer thinning and visual field loss ( we can use the OCT machine and the visual field screener, along with ophthalmoscopy to help identify this). Some of the risk factors for this type of glaucoma include; those with the higher-normal level IOPS; those patients with history of stroke or diabetes (any ischemic vascular disease) and those with Raynaud syndrome – this is commonly linked to migraine.

Congenital Glaucoma

This is high IOP within the first year of life. Blindness occurs in 5/50 of all cases and reduced vision in 20/50 of all cases, it is rare, and only occurs in 1/10,000 births.

Juvenile Glaucoma

This is a very rare type of glaucoma in those individuals aged between 3 and 40. It is genetic and early onset in nature. It is not very responsive to medication and often requires surgical intervention, as it has a very rapid progression

Acute Angle Closure Glaucoma ( AACG)

Closed angle glaucoma, this happens when there is a sudden rise of intraocular pressure, which can cause damage to the optic nerve.  This is usually caused by the pupil blocking the drainage channel of the eye ( in most cases), and in the case of Primary AACG, eyes which suffer from this type of condition are anatomically different from those which don’t, putting them at a much higher risk. They tend to be shorter, have thicker lenses – which are positioned further forward in the eye, and the cornea ( the window which covers the coloured section of the eye), tends to be flatter.  Closed angle glaucoma   Some other risk factors for this type of glaucoma include; being long sighted, having a family history of this type of glaucoma, increase in age, being female, being of Asian or Inuit descent. Secondary AACG is when trauma or eye disease can cause the pressure in the eye to raise.

Secondary glaucoma

This occurs secondary due to an underlying healthy or eye condition. Types of secondary glaucoma can include –

Pigment dispersion syndrome and pseudoexfoliation

this is where the pigment from the back of the iris, is rubbed off by the front of the lens. This pigment then deposits itself in the drainage channel, eventually blocking the outflow of the fluid in the eye ( aqueous humour ), this leads to high pressure. In pseudoexfoliation, the drainage channel is blocked with a dust like substance. The dust comes from the surface of the lens capsule which is rubbed off by the continuous movement of the iris, when the pupil changes size.

Iatrogenic glaucoma

Iatrogenic means caused by a medical professional, for example during surgery, or due to steroid use.

Uveitic  Glaucoma

Uveitis is when the pigmented tissues of the eye ( the Uvea) become inflamed. It usually affects those from ages 20-59. There are different types of uveitis Anterior, Posterior and Intermediate all categorised based on which part of the uveal tract is being affected.  The way in which uveitis can cause glaucoma is numerous; the inflammatory byproducts of fluid and protein may leak into the drainage channel and block fluid outflow; Uveitis can cause secondary angle closure glaucoma due to the inflammation in the front part of the eye; Uveitis is often treated with steroids. It is this steroid use which can lead to high IOPS and damage to the optic nerve. 

Cataract

When cataracts become very advanced, they can swell and block the outflow of fluid through the eye, and cause a secondary angle closure effect. 

Trauma

Being hit in the eye may cause high pressure though inflammation ( uveitis ), Bleeding ( haemorrhage blocking the drainage channel), dislodging of the lens in the eye. Chemical burns can cause inflammation  uveitis)  Blunt force trauma can cause the drainage angle to be pushed backwards, and over a number of years, there is a pressure build up/ development of high pressure. 

Drug related 

Steroids cause the pressure in the eye to raise, and although they can be injected, inhaled, taken orally, used topically on the skin or eye, the most common way to cause IOP raise is by application locally to the eye. This is when a steroid is applied onto or around the eye, either by injection, or eye drop.  This is why those people who are using eye treatment containing a steroid, should have their eye pressures checked on a regular basis.

Neovascular  glaucoma

 this can occur when due to certain eye conditions ( such as diabetic retinopathy ), new blood vessels are created. These are small and leaky. They can grow into the surface of the eye, but also into the drainage channel, and block it, causing a raise in IOPS There are several other reasons for secondary glaucoma, but these are just a few examples.

Are there any signs of glaucoma?

For NTG and PAOG usually no, not in the early stages. AACG does cause symptoms and can be extremely uncomfortable. I have listed some of the glaucoma warning symptoms below
  • Gradual blurred vision, starting in the periphery ( outer edges)
  • Seeing halos around bright lights
  • Severe pain in the eye and frontal headache, a very red, sore eye, and nausea/vomiting

How is glaucoma detected?

Glaucoma is detected usually following a routine sight test. We check intraocular pressures using our pressure test, we can check the peripheral field of vision using our field screening test, we do a thorough examination using the slit lamp of the front and the back of the eye to look at the drainage channel and at the optic nerve using volk. We also carry out a OCT 3D scan if requested, and this can detect glaucoma up to 4 years early.  If raised IOPS are suspected we carry out repeat pressure reading; as checking pressures at a different time of day, on a different day, can also affect the measurement of IOP we obtain. If glaucoma is suspected, an onward referral to the hospital eye clinic for further investigations

How is it treated?

The aim of the ophthalmologist and hospital optometrist is then to manage the underlying cause and prevent any further damage to the optic nerve. Some of these treatments include:
  • Eye drops
  • Laser treatment – iridotomy, a small hole is made in the iris to help with drainage of fluid
  • Trabeculectomy – this is where a new drainage channel is made to improve fluid outflow 

… and Finally

Damage to the optic nerve can not be reversed, and glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness worldwide, with around 60 million people living with it.  Damage to the optic nerve can however, be prevented if detected and treatment is sought at an early stage. Make sure you attend your regular sight tests, and if you have any concerns ring your optometrist for advice.   
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The Best Way to Clean your Spectacles

Now I don’t want to sound patronising, but I wondered how many of you lovely readers really do know the best way to clean your spectacles? Many of us spend a fair amount of time choosing a spectacle frame, I know I do.  We all worry “Do these glasses suit me?” “Does the frame go with my colouring and face shape?”. Many of us invest in some decent lenses to ensure we have the best vision possible. But then what? So often I see people cleaning their glasses with the edge of a tee-shirt or jumper!? Or even worse not cleaning them at all, some peoples lenses are so grimey that they look foggy and some have green or even worse, black nose pads. Yuck!!!!! Read on and I will tell you how to keep your gorgeous new glasses looking brand new for longer.

Love your lenses

According to my Mum (Sheryl) there hundreds of different lens coatings out there. If you give her or my sister Abi a chance they’ll bore us talking about them for hours. They talk about things like transmission rates, residual blooms and anti-static properties, blah, blah blah!  For those of us who aren’t lens geeks, there are 2 basic types of spectacle lenses-coatings. Hard-coats (Scratch resistant) and anti-reflection (Stops you seeing your eye looking back at you). In my humble opinion, the anti-reflection coated lenses are best. They reduce reflections (a must if you use a computer) and give you crisper vision. My fiance Simon likes them for the help they give when he is driving. They help to reduce the glare of oncoming headlights.  Hard Coated lenses are a more basic lens but require similar-looking after. The hard coating is only scratch-resistant, it isn’t scratch proof. Only diamonds are scratch-proof, so I’ve heard. By knowing the best way to clean and take care of your lenses and frames you will get the very best out of your glasses and probably extend their lifetime.

How to Clean your Coated lenses

To find out if your lenses have a coating on them, look at them under bright light. If they seem to have a purple or green tinge on the surface they have an anti-reflection coating on them. Lenses with an anti-reflection coating require a bit more attention and you will probably want to clean them more often than a standard uncoated lens. This isn’t because they get dirtier, it’s simply that any marks on the lenses are much more noticeable. Xanthe Doe talks about how to clean your spectacles It’s good to wash your lenses and frame every day using warm soapy water. Always use a gentle soap (Mum always says to use any soap you can wash your face with is fine) and plenty of warm water. Gently pat your spectacles dry with a soft cloth and polish them with your cloth. For coated lenses use a special microfibre cloth as these absorb the grease from the surface of your lenses. “Why are microfibre cloths so special”? I hear you ask! Well, if you don’t use the microfibre cloth, then the grease will get smudged all around the lenses and you’ll probably end up with dirtier glasses than when you started. Don’t forget to wash your cloth regularly too. Mum is always recommending that her clients pop their spec cloths in the washing machine once a week, with the tea-towels. But never put fabric conditioner in with them. 

Don’t use tissues!

Please DON’T, whatever you do, use tissues to clean your spectacles! They are very abrasive and can damage your coating. Also, DON’T use washing up liquid to clean your lenses, it’s far too harsh and sooner or later a ‘filmy’ layer will build up on your lenses that is extremely hard to shift! It’s a good idea to keep a spray specifically designed for lenses to hand throughout the day. At Allegro Optical we use a specially formulated spray in all our practices. Our spray lens cleaner removes all traces of grease and those pesky day to day products such as hairspray,  perfume and aftershave. It even has a lovely fragrance! This spray is one of the best ways to clean camera lenses and tablet screens as well! We also have a soap-based spray if you wish to carry something a little smaller with you. At Allegro Optical we have teamed up with our lens manufacturer who provides a lovely microfibre bag for cleaning and storing your glasses. And as we said the microfibre bag can be washed in your washing machine if it starts to look grubby. 

How to Clean your Uncoated Lenses

If you have uncoated lenses or lenses with just a hard scratch-resistant coating you’ll notice they don’t require as much attention as a coated lens. Dirt doesn’t show up as much on an uncoated lens, but they do get just as dirty. It’s only once you’ve cleaned them that you realise just how dirty they really are! Xanthe Doe talks about how to clean your spectacles We advise you to wash your lens cloth every day if you have uncoated lenses. Also don’t forget to wash your frame every day, again using a gentle soap. Again pat your glasses dry with a soft cloth. You then just need to polish your lenses with your lint-free cloth. As before I recommend that you avoid using tissue as it will damage your lenses. Once a lens is scratched, scratches cannot be removed.

Love your eyewear

With all that in mind, you will now be able to look after your beautiful new glasses and get the very best out of your new eyewear. If you aren’t lucky enough to own a pair of beautiful glasses from Allegro Optical, all is not lost.  Did you know we’re the only Optician in Saddleworth and Meltham with two qualified Dispensing Opticians & three qualified Optometrists available to assist you? They all work together to provide you with award-winning eyecare and absolutely stunning eyewear.  Our optometrists can detect Glaucoma, Diabetes, Macular Degeneration, Cataract, and much more. Thanks to our 3D OCT scan they can detect these conditions up to four years earlier than traditional methods. It doesn’t just stop with the eye examination. All Allegro Optical’s Dispensing Opticians are qualified professionals and they are all registered with the General Optical Council. At many optical outlets, glasses are dispensed by unqualified staff or optical assistants. This can lead to serious errors and affect your vision. ‪Always make sure you’re tested & dispensed by qualified professionals‬.

Award-winning eye-care

In the last twelve months, Allegro Optical has 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 (My Mum) was awarded the 2019 Dispensing Optician of the Year and she was a finalist in the AOP Dispensing Optician of the year 2020. Allegro Optical’s cutting edge approach to dispensing and their musical experience has led to our team being shortlisted for the prestigious Opticians Awards, Optical Assistant team of the year 2020 If you want peace of mind and would like to experience award-winning eyecare, or just call the Allegro Optical team on Meltham 01484 907090 or Greenfield on 01457 353100
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Dispensing Optician Claire looks at the History of two Cult Eyewear Brands

Two Cult Eyewear Brands, a brief history

There are hundreds of brands associated with eyewear, but few have a history which has stood the test of time. It is always interesting to see how a company has grown. Usually from humble origins and through tough economic climates. Quality prevails and here is the history of just 2 of the quality brands we stock at Allegro Optical.

Anglo American

No one is sure when this brand came to be, but at some point around 1881 an Englishman named Stanley Druiff set off for the U.S for the procurement of fountain pens, watches & spectacles to sell back in Britain. Only the sale of the spectacles succeeded! In fact, so successful was he, that he went on to found The Anglo-American School of Optics, an educational training service. The school offered personal tuition or lessons by correspondence. In this 1902 advertisement, (Now owned by the British College of Optometrists) it claims to be the ‘Oldest School of its kind in this country’, with the aim of turning out the ‘thorough refractionist’. 

Anglo-American-College-advert-large

In 1947 the company was bought from Druiff’s descendants by optician Arthur Jenkin. With the commencement of the NHS in 1948 demand for frames increased dramatically. Imports from the U.S ceased during WW2 and resumed again in 1955. Jenkins’ son, Lawrence, left Britain in 1967 and headed for New York to learn the trade of spectacle making. He first worked as a dispenser for a high-class optical practice where he found himself amongst celebrity clients such as Paul Newman & Greta Garbo. Inspired by such clients, he went on to do some freelance design. Ultimately backed by American money, manufactured frames in volume for the first time. The business grew very successfully and by the 1980’s boasted a Park Avenue, New York practice and gained a huge following still popular today.

Lawrence Jenkins CEO Anglo American
Lawrence Jenkins CEO Anglo American Optical

Oliver Goldsmith

In 1926 Philip Oliver Goldsmith was a salesman for the large optical firm Raphael’s Ltd. He started hand-making spectacles at premises in London and established his own company to sell them at 4 guineas a pair. Goldsmith developed the first flesh coloured frame in an aim to make specs more unobtrusive. 

Philip Oliver Goldsmith with his mobile showroom and driver in the 1920s
Philip Oliver Goldsmith with his mobile showroom and driver in the 1920s

In 1936 his son Charles joined the company and it was he who recognized their true fashion potential. Ornamental frames were made to coordinate with clothing and featured jewels and metal inserts. 

During World War Two, Oliver Goldsmith was seconded by the government to make prescription glasses for the armed forces. ‘My grandfather said the most distressing aspect of work at the time was getting the “dead list” who no longer needed spectacles made for them,’ Oliver Goldsmith recalled.

The firm still produced glasses, but form was not as important as function. The gas mask spectacle was in great demand at the time – with ultra-thin temples and small diameter lenses.

Two years after the war finished, Oliver (Philip) Goldsmith died suddenly. He had kept a health condition secret from his family for some time. His son, Charles Goldsmith, who had worked at the company since the age of 16, assumed the name Oliver when he took over the business.

Charles Oliver Goldsmith trade stand

A new era

After his father’s passing, the company sold sunglasses to high-class establishments such as Harrod’s. He began advertising in British magazines including Tatler and Harper’s Bazaar. Celebrity endorsements helped their fame and it is known that before marrying, Prince Charles and Lady Diana Spencer commissioned spectacles from them to match Lady Diana’s dresses.

Oliver Goldsmith spectacles soon became synonymous with high quality, sought-after eyewear and are still going strong today.

We have a wide selection of Anglo American and Oliver Goldsmith frames here at Allegro Optical, so why not call in and try some on? We’re sure you’ll love them!

Blog by Claire Atkinson

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William Morris eyewear – Designed in London and unashamedly British

William Morris eyewear is proud to be British

1996 was quite a year, Bill Clinton was re-elected President, Oprah Winfrey started her famous book club. Incredibly the Macarena became a worldwide hit. 1996 was also the year in which Robert Morris created British eyewear brand William Morris London. Robert’s aim was to create a very ‘English’ brand, providing designer glasses to every audience, offering superb original designs which continually evolve.

William Morris black label collection

From very humble beginnings, William Morris London has grown to become a global name in eyewear fashion. However, the philosophy and brand attributes of William Morris London remain as strong today as they were all those years ago. In a corporate saturated world, where the majority of ophthalmic designer brands are mass-produced by just three manufacturers.  William Morris’s ‘family’ values set them apart and it’s what their customers appreciate.

With the “Big Three” producing an incredible 20% of the world spectacle frames and over 50% of the Global “Luxury” Sunglasses, eyewear can look bit samey. At Allegro Optical we love something a little different, we’re also very patriotic. So it made sense to us to welcome William Morris eyewear into our practices in Holmfirth and Saddleworth.

Robert-Morris William Morris from Allegro Optical

24 years of growth

From humble beginnings in a small room crammed with frames, Robert William Morris grew his vision into a global brand. Through a combination of hard work, dedication and a big vision Robert championed British design. William Morris frames are now an accessory that people, the world over,  want to be seen in. William Morris eyewear expresses the incredible depth of culture across the UK and in particular London. We love the Black Label and The Gallery Collections.

Black Label

The William Morris Black Label Collection is just one range from this very British optical frame maestro. The Black Label Collection harks back to the swinging 60’s, a time of style and innovation.  The Black Label designs are reminiscent of those iconic spectacle frames from the classic films of the cinema era.  

William Morris Black Label Victoria C3

William Morris BLJess C1  Coupled with the love and pride that goes into creating the frames is the same level of hard work, dedication and personal service that each member of the William Morris London team strives to give their customers on a daily basis.

Using the very finest materials such as colour rich acetates, combined with distinguished brass and silver accents, these features highlight the William Morris monogram.  With exhilarating design details and an individual colour palette, it’s little wonder that William Morris Black Label has become a market leader.  

The Gallery Collection

Featuring 12 of the most popular William Morris prints from 1880 to 1905. The Gallery Collection celebrates the Arts and Crafts Movement of the 19th and early 20th century. The collection has been described as “British art meets craft,” and it comprises of 12 contemporary optical frames. With designs for both men and women, the range pays homage to William Morris prints. With the intricate designs featured on the inside of the arms or temple tips.

William Morris Millefleurs C1

Millefleurs (1914) — This beautiful cat-eye inspired frame with acetate rims and metallic hinges offers a bold and daring look. Following with brushed matt and glossy temples that provide radiant hues and an elegant finish. Millefleurs print covers the inside temple tips, which was a revival of the medieval European Tapestries and inspired from Morris’ love for nature and florals. Comes with free matching case and bag.

The 12 classic prints featured in the collection are Corncockle (1883), Bourne (1905), Brother Rabbit (1882), Golden Lily (1897), Lodden (1884), Millefleurs (1914), Poppy (1880), Riverwind (1881-83),  Seaweed (1901), The Strawberry Thief (1883), Wandle (1884) and Willow Bough (1887).

Each frame is sold with a fabulous matching print, magnetic flat-folding case, with a coordinating cleaning cloth. A percentage of each sale will be donated to the William Morris Gallery to help continue its important work of art preservation and education.

Why come to Allegro Optical

Saddleworth’s newest optician, Allegro Optical has been recognised for providing one of the best customer experiences in the country. Allegro Optical Opticians has been named as finalists in the Optical Assistant Team of the Year. The award recognises a team of optical staff that have demonstrated excellence in customer service and patient care. 

To find out more about our William Morris collection or any of our other brands, products or services, contact us here today.  Alternatively, you can call one of our two optician practices today on  Greenfield on 01457 353100 or Meltham on 01484 907090.

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Xanthe explains her love of Walter and Herbert eyewear

Walter and Herbert at Allegro OpticalMy love of Walter and Herbert

Here at Allegro Optical we believe it should always be quality, design and comfort over anything else. So that’s why we love Walter & Herbert. They are a UK  based company which started over 70 years ago, from very humble beginnings, a bit like ourselves. Walter & Herbert were originally based in surrey with just only six employees and now they are a worldwide company. The firm produce high quality, beautiful frames which suite even the most discerning client. Thanks to its two founding entrepreneurs, Walter Conway and Herbert Thorn, the company developed technology such as the PIMO machine. An innovation that would shape the way spectacles were manufactured worldwide!

Xanthe explains her love of Walter and Herbert eyewear so much

 

In September 1946, Conway and Thorn partnered to create Optoplast Manufacturing Company Limited. In their 40 years they enjoyed huge success developing the PIMO machine. They also launched the first range of optical frames for the NHS in 1948.

Another reason we love Walter & Herbert so much is because like us they too are family run business. Sons James Conway and Daniel Thorn are continuing their fathers legacy. Using their father’s knowledge and seven decades of industry experience. They have created a company that offers frames that not only look incredible, but feel wonderful to wear well.

 Attention to detail

Another thing we love about Walter & Herbert, is the attention to detail and design. Every frame they provide is of the highest quality from the best globally sourced acetates. Each frame also undergoes a design and development process. This process ensures that the customer gets the very best style and fit. The all start of as sketches crafted by their design team just outside London using classic techniques and modern technologies to take their ideas from sketch to finished frame. 

Handmade bespoke eyewear from Allegro Optical Opticians in Saddleworth and Holmfirth Greenfield Uppermill Meltham

 

Walter & Herbert’s’ whole design and manufacturing process is done right here in England. The frames are thoroughly tested at their very own UKAS accredited laboratory in Liverpool to ensure it retains the highest possible product quality and British safety standards.

Proud to be a made in England

Walter & Herbert are proud to be a made in England Company and nothing best shows this then their Made in England range which consists of over 80 sunglasses and frames, which like many of their frames have retro design with a modern finish. Although the design centre is taken from Walter and Herbert’s beginning in the 1940s through to the 60s. The Range is also very versatile due it mostly being unsex with a few ladies and gents’ frames too.

Walter and Herbert handmade British Eyewear now available at Allegro Optical Opticians Meltham

 

So if like us, you like to support an UK based company that offers quality, design and comfort over anything else, then next time it comes to choosing some frames with Allegro Optical  in either Meltham or Saddleworth, why not give Walter & Herbert a try? You’ll be so glad you did.