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#SeeTheMusic and More – Glaucoma, the silent thief of sight

Eye conditions and the performing arts professional

Being the only performing arts eye care specialist in the UK as well as the only optician registered with BAPAM , we fully understand how issues with the eyes can negatively affect a performer’s career.

Musicians, dancers, singers, presenters, camera operators, sound engineers, and video technicians have all benefited from our assistance.

We all may experience vision problems at some point in our lives. Most of these problems are caused by refractive errors, which affect the way the eyes focus light, rather than an underlying condition or illness. Nevertheless, eye conditions affect many people. The purpose of this blog series is to examine common eye disorders experienced by performing arts professionals.

Glaucoma – What exactly is it?

The term “glaucoma” refers to a group of diseases that affect the optic nerve, which connects the retina to the brain, resulting in a loss of peripheral vision. Primary open-angle glaucoma (POAG) is the most common form of glaucoma.

Of the multiple types of glaucoma, the two main types are open-angle and angle-closure glaucoma.

Variants of open-angle and angle-closure glaucoma include:

  • Secondary Glaucoma.
  • Pigmentary Glaucoma.
  • Pseudoexfoliative Glaucoma.
  • Traumatic Glaucoma.
  • Neovascular Glaucoma.
  • IridoCorneal Endothelial Syndrome (ICE)
  • Uveitic Glaucoma.

As glaucoma is asymptomatic, but causes irreversible vision loss, it has been referred to as the “silent thief of sight.”. According to the World Health Organisation, it’s a leading cause of irreversible blindness (World Health Organisation, 2010). (Bunce et al., 2010) cites it as the second most common cause of visual impairment registration in England and Wales. Glaucoma is an umbrella term for a large group of disorders with a wide variety of clinical and pathological characteristics. The common characteristics are: 

  • Optic nerve damage
  • Visual field loss

The disease is a silent progressive disease and, if detected and treated early, is preventable and can lead to significant visual impairment or blindness. Diagnosis is crucial, and adherence to treatment is essential to prevent vision loss.

Glaucoma accounts for the majority of the workload (1 million visits per year) in  UK eye clinics. About 2% of people over 40  years of age and nearly 10% of people over  75 have primary (chronic) open-angle glaucoma (POAG). Only about half are diagnosed (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, 2009). The social and economic burden of glaucoma-related vision loss and  workload is likely to increase due to longer life expectancy (Coleman and Miglior, 2008; Burr et al., 2007). Because glaucoma patients may  have no symptoms until they have lost their vision, then the loss of vision is irreversible. Once vision loss is apparent, 90% of the fibres of the optic nerve  may be irreparably damaged (NICE, 2009). Treatment slows progression by lowering intraocular pressure (IOP).

Consequences of glaucoma for the performer

Damage to nerve cells in the retina leads to damage to the visual field. Peripheral fields are usually damaged first. Loss of peripheral vision may go unnoticed until it reaches a significant level, due to the small role that peripheral vision plays in the overlapping vision of our eyes and in perceiving what most people can see. Deterioration usually progresses slowly over the years, although some types of secondary open-angle glaucoma can progress faster.

Performers, particularly musicians who play larger instruments such as pianos, organs and large percussion use their peripheral vision more than most. As a result the symptoms of peripheral vision loss may well be detected sooner. 

Some instrumentalists however may be at an increased risk of the condition. Recent studies suggest that musicians playing high-impedance wind instruments may be susceptible to glaucoma. This could be because the Valsalva manoeuvre is generated when blowing into a high impedance wind instrument. The Valsalva manoeuvre has been reported to cause high intraocular pressure (IOP). 

High and low resistance wind musicians experience a temporary increase in intraocular pressure while playing their instrument. The magnitude of the IOP increase is greater for high resistance players than for low resistance players. High-resistance wind musicians have a lower incidence of visual field loss than other musicians but IOPS are significantly higher, which is associated with lifetime playing time. The cumulative effects of long-term intermittent elevated IOP while playing high-resistance wind instruments could cause cell damage and possibly lead to an increased risk of developing glaucoma.

How do we check to see if you are at risk of glaucoma?

Tonometry

Our optometrists perform a number of different tests to look for glaucoma. We use a device called a tonometer to measure the pressure inside your eye. Our optometrist will put a small amount of anaesthetic and dye into the front of your eye. They will then shine a light into your eye and then use a tonometer to measure the pressure in your eye. Some optometrists use a different instrument that uses a puff of air called a non contact tonometer which does not touch the eye to check the pressure.

A visual field test determines whether any portions of vision are missing. It’s possible that you’ll be shown a series of light dots and asked to press a button to indicate which ones you saw. Some little dots may appear at the periphery of your vision (peripheral vision), which is generally the first area of glaucoma to be impacted. If you can’t see the spots you may be at risk of glaucoma.

Evaluation of the optic nerve 

Because the optic nerve, which connects your eye to your brain, can be damaged in glaucoma, an examination may be performed to determine its health.

Slit Lamp Exam

Eye Drops will be used to dilate your pupils for the test. Your eyes are then examined using a slit lamp (a microscope with a bright light) Slit-lamp examination of the optic nerve magnifies the view with hand-held lenses, allowing for greater control over the examination. This technique produces a stereoscopic, inverted image of the optic nerve.

Optical coherence tomography (OCT) tests create a topographical map of the optic nerve by taking cross-section pictures of the retina with non-invasive light waves. The thickness of the nerve fibre layer, which is the portion of the optic nerve most vulnerable to eye pressure elevation, is measured by an OCT test.

Referral to a specialist

If signs of glaucoma are detected during any of the tests, you will be referred to an ophthalmologist for further investigation. If you do have glaucoma the ophthalmologist will confirm your diagnosis and find out:

  • how far the condition has progressed
  • how much damage has been done to your eyes
  • what may have caused the condition

The ophthalmologist will be able to advise on treatment. 

In some cases, your ophthalmologist will continue to treat you. But for less serious types of glaucoma, you may be referred back to the opticians.

Treatment

There are a few courses of action to treat glaucoma, including eye drops, laser treatment and surgery. The best treatment for you will depend upon your condition.

Eye Drops

Treatment can’t reverse any vision loss but it starts with eye drops. These can help reduce IOP by improving drainage from your eye or by reducing how much fluid your eye makes. Depending  how low your eye pressure should be, more than one type of the eyedrops may be recommended.

Laser Treatment

Laser treatment might be suggested in the event that eye drops don’t work.

This is where a high-energy light is focused on part of your eye to stop or reduce fluid build up.

Sorts of laser treatment include:

laser trabeculoplasty

a laser is used to open up the vessels inside the eye,  to allow more fluid  to empty out and reduce the tension inside

cyclodiode laser treatment

a laser is utilised to remove a small amount of eye tissue that delivers the fluid, which can then decrease pressure in the eye

laser iridotomy

a laser is used to make openings in the iris to permit liquid to escape from your eye.

Surgery

In situations where eyedrops or laser treatments haven’t been successful surgery may be offered.

The most well-known sort of a medical procedure for glaucoma is called trabeculectomy. It includes removing part of the eye’s drainage mechanisms to permit more liquid to escape without any problem.

There are other glaucoma surgical options, including:

trabeculotomy — similar to a trabeculectomy, other than a tiny segment of the eye-drainage vessels are removed using an electric current.

A segment of the white outer covering of the eyeball (the sclera) is removed to allow fluid to drain more easily from the eye.

Deep sclerectomy — the drainage channels in the eye are enlarged, sometimes with the insertion of a small device.

trabecular stent bypass – a small catheter is inserted into your eye to improve fluid outflow.

Conclusion

Patients with chronic conditions, such as glaucoma, should work with their optometrist and other eye care professionals. Preventing irreversible and severe vision loss necessitates early detection and screening.

Getting regular eye exams is now the easiest approach to avoid major glaucoma damage.

Most people can keep their vision with early identification and meticulous, lifetime treatment. In general, a glaucoma check should be performed:

  • under age 40, every two years
  • from age 40 to age 64, every 12 months
  • after age 65, every six to 12 months

A screening should be done every year or two in those with high risk factors after 35. In addition to people of African descent and people with diabetes, those with a family history of glaucoma and wind instrumentalists have an elevated risk of getting glaucoma. If you have a parent or sibling with glaucoma, you are at higher risk.

Benefits of Exercise

A moderate exercise program is beneficial to your overall health, and studies have shown that moderate exercise, such as jogging or walking, three or more times a week, can lower IOP.

You can only reap the benefits of exercise for as long as you continue to exercise; this is why moderate exercise on a regular basis is recommended. The practice of yoga can be beneficial, but it’s important to avoid inverting positions, such as headstands and shoulder stands, as these can increase IOP.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding an exercise program, you should speak with your doctor.

Keep Your Eyes Protected

While participating in sports or doing home improvement projects, it is important to wear protective eyewear.

Protecting your eyes from injury is another way to prevent glaucoma. Traumatic glaucoma and secondary glaucoma are both caused by injury to the eyes.

The best defence against glaucoma and other eye diseases is a regular comprehensive eye exam.

In Summary

The optometrists at Allegro Optical have the technology, facilities, including our fantastic 3D OCT eye scanners, and experience to determine if your eye flashers are serious. Early detection and treatment are critical for preserving your vision, eye health, and performing arts career.

As the UK’s only specialist Performing Arts eye care provider we understand more than most just how much dry eye conditions can impact a performer’s career and everyday life. 

Our optical specialists understand the demands of professional musicians and performing arts professionals. Working in collaboration with our dispensing opticians and optometrists, we are able to assist musicians. It is surprising how many musicians are unaware of the many solutions available to them. 

With the precision of our performing arts eye exams, the expertise of our optometrists and dispensing opticians using cutting edge diagnostic equipment and dispensing procedures our unique approach can help to resolve performing arts practitioners’ vision problems. 

If you are suffering from any of the symptoms mentioned above or have any of the symptoms described then please speak to one of our staff.  To book an appointment or find out more about our exclusive dry eye programme, Call us today and speak to a member of our team. 

Contact: To find out more about Allegro Optical, the musicians’ opticians go to; https://allegrooptical.co.uk/services/musicians-optical-services/

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Wind Musicians and Glaucoma January is Glaucoma Awareness Month at the “Musicians’ Optician”

The month of January is Glaucoma Awareness Month, a time to raise awareness of the leading cause of irreversible blindness. We take Glaucoma very seriously at Allegro Optical since many of our staff members are wind instrumentalists. 

Researchers have recently concluded that musicians who play high-resistance wind instruments may be more inclined to develop glaucoma. This is because blowing into high-resistance wind instruments causes the body to automatically perform a Valsalva manoeuvre in response to certain stimuli. Wind instrumentalists take a breath, but before they begin playing there is a momentary hesitation as their tongues rise up and lock in place, building up air pressure in their mouth.

Focusing on musicians eye pressure

JS Schuman demonstrated in 2000 that playing notes with high resistance and amplitude increases eye pressure significantly. When playing their instruments, high- and low-resistance wind musicians experience a transient increase in intraocular pressure (IOP). Optometrists measure this with the puff of air test. Players with high resistance to wind experience a greater increase in IOP than those with low resistance to wind. 

A small but significantly higher incidence of visual field loss (loss of peripheral vision) was observed among wind musicians who had high resistance.  According to JS Schuman, long-term intermittent elevations in IOP during the playing of high-resistance wind instruments, such as a trumpet, can result in glaucomatous damage that could be misdiagnosed as normal-tension glaucoma.

Soprano and Alto Saxophonists, French Horn players, Soprano Cornet players and Oboists experienced smaller increases in IOP. Once a musician stops blowing into the instrument, the IOP returns to normal. During playing instruments, these players may experience “transient” (in terms of hours) periods of increased eye pressure. Because it has not been studied, no one knows how common glaucoma is among high-resistance wind instrument players. A musician who has more than one risk factor is probably more susceptible to glaucoma. A short-sighted professional trumpet player with a family history of glaucoma, for example, would have an extremely high risk of developing glaucoma.

Who Is Susceptible To Glaucoma?

Glaucoma and its effects should be of concern to everyone. Some people are at greater risk of developing this disease because of certain conditions related to it. Among them are:

  1. Those with a family history of glaucoma.
  2. People of Afro-Caribbean origin are four times more likely to get glaucoma than Caucasians.
  3. Short-sightedness (needing glasses to see at distance) increases the risk of developing primary open-angle glaucoma. Another type of glaucoma, angle-closure glaucoma, is more common in long-sighted individuals (who require glasses for near tasks).
  4. Glaucoma is also more likely to affect people with diabetes, those who have had eye injuries, or those who have had long-term treatment with steroids.

What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is not one disease. In reality, it is caused by various diseases that affect the eye. These diseases cause glaucoma by gradually deteriorating the cells of the optic nerve, which transmits visual impulses from the eye to the brain. The nature of glaucoma can be clarified by understanding how the eye works.

An eye is filled with a jelly-like substance referred to as vitreous. In the front of the eye, a small compartment, the anterior chamber, is filled with a watery fluid, the aqueous humor, which not only nourishes the cornea and lens but also provides the necessary pressure to maintain the eye’s shape. Intraocular pressure, or IOP, is the name given to this pressure. 

A gland behind the iris produces aqueous humor, called the ciliary body. After nourishing both the cornea and lens, it drains through a thin, spongy tissue only one-fiftieth of an inch wide, called the trabecular meshwork. As this drain clogs, aqueous humor cannot leave the eye at the speed it is produced. Consequently, the fluid backs up and the pressure in the eye increases.

Damage caused in the eye by increased pressure

The optic nerve can be damaged by glaucoma. Gradually, this nerve deteriorates, causing blind spots in the visual field, particularly in the periphery. Normally, the “cup” in the centre of the optic disc is quite small in comparison with the entire optic disc. When the optic nerve is damaged by glaucoma, the nerve fibres begin to die because of increased pressure in the eye and/or a loss of blood flow. As a result of glaucoma, the optic nerve cup enlarges (and in reality, the optic nerve enlarges as a result). Although the exact reason for this occurrence is unknown, increased eye pressure is likely to be the cause of this nerve damage. 

We all want to enjoy as long a music-making career as possible, we all know making music isn’t just a hobby, it’s a passion and a way of life. So protect your sight reading by looking after your eye health and your vision. If you can’t sight read the music on the stand you won’t be able to play it. 

Protect your vision and extend your playing career by following a few simple tips. Here are some habits that can reduce the risk of glaucoma-related vision loss include:

  • Have regular eye exams, at least once every two years
  • If you have a family history of glaucoma then have an exam every year
  • Consume lots of leafy greens and fruits
  • Regular and moderate exercise is essential
  • Stay healthy by maintaining a healthy weight
  • Consume coffee moderately, or better yet, sip tea instead
  • Avoid smoking

Give your eyes a little TLC during Glaucoma Awareness Month? Call Allegro Optical in Greenfield or Meltham to schedule an appointment! The best way to maintain good eye health is to have regular eye exams at all ages!

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The six reasons why GLAUCOMA Awareness Month is so important

This month is Glaucoma Awareness Month. There are no warning signs of Glaucoma, and once sight is lost, it cannot be reversed. Glaucoma is called the thief of sight. Here are a few reasons why Glaucoma Awareness Month is so important!

1. In the UK, glaucoma is one of the leading causes of preventable blindness. About 1 in 50 people over 40 years of age and 1 in 10 people over 75 years of age have chronic open-angle glaucoma. Many people are unaware that they have it because glaucoma often has no symptoms at all. Keeping our eyes healthy and protecting vision starts with awareness and frequent eye exams.

The best way to protect eyesight is by increasing awareness of glaucoma by making regular eye exams a priority. Book an appointment

2. Glaucoma Awareness Month is a crucial time to keep people informed about this serious eye condition. This group of eye conditions affects the optic nerve, which connects the eye to the brain. When there is abnormally high pressure in the eye, the optic nerve is damaged. This can lead to partial vision loss or even blindness.

Glaucoma can affect anyone at any age, but it is most common in people over 60. Both eyes are affected, but one may be more severely affected than the other. As the condition progresses the symptoms will vary.

These symptoms include:

  • Eye pain
  • Blind spots in your peripheral or central vision
  • Red eyes
  • Blurred vision
  • Lights appearing to have halos
  • Experiencing severe headaches
  • Tunnel vision occurs in the advanced stages

Glaucoma also presents symptoms that are not specific to this eye condition. Any time you experience any of these symptoms, you should contact the optician and make an appointment with the optometrist to determine what is going on. It could be glaucoma or it could be another eye condition.

3. We Can Lose as Much as 40% of Our Vision Without Noticing. While it may seem strange, our mind is unaware of what it is not seeing. That is why many sufferers of glaucoma lose their sight without noticing it for years. Needless to say, this is one reason why regular vision screening is key to preserving our vision.

Our body compensates for the vision already lost even if we don’t realise it. Due to this, once we reach the age of 60, all of us should schedule an annual optician appointment, or even more often if we have a family history of the disease.

4. The purpose of Glaucoma Awareness Month is to educate the communities about the importance of routine eye exams. Glaucoma can be prevented by staying ahead of it. Routine eye exams are the easiest way to do that. Glaucoma is diagnosed based on an analysis of personal and family history, as well as a thorough eye examination. 

Our optometrists may perform various tests, including:

  • Measurement of corneal thickness by pachymetry
  • Visual field testing to determine if there are any areas of vision loss
  • Tonometry is a method of measuring intraocular pressure
  • Diagnosis of drainage angles using gonioscopy
  • Imaging tests such as Optical Coherence Tomography and dilated eye exams to determine whether the optic nerve has been damaged

Glaucoma comes in many forms, and many of them don’t have specific symptoms. The vision loss is so gradual that any change in vision isn’t noticed until it is at an advanced stage when vision loss has already occurred.

Since vision loss from glaucoma is permanent, it’s essential to schedule frequent eye exams. Glaucoma can be detected in its early stages by regular eye exams. The earlier it is diagnosed and treated, the more likely it is to be stopped or slowed down.

A combination of oral medications, surgery, and prescription eye drops may be used in the initial treatment of glaucoma. Surgical intervention may be necessary in order to improve the drainage of fluid from the eye, lowering intraocular pressure.

5. Supporting People with Glaucoma During Glaucoma Awareness Month.

Glaucoma Awareness Month also presents an opportunity to share tips for living with glaucoma, including:

GLAUCOMA MEDICATIONS

Glaucoma patients may need to take different eye drops throughout the day in order to manage their intraocular pressure levels. Preventing the condition from worsening by strictly following prescription guidance. Maintain a schedule and take the medication at the right time. Set phone alerts to get reminders throughout the day.

AVOIDING ACCIDENTS AND FALLS

The loss of side vision caused by glaucoma can increase the risk of falls and accidents for some people. If this is something you are familiar with, try marking clear boundaries in your home. Paint or colored tape can be applied to table edges, doorways, counters, and drawers.

A scanning method can also be used, which involves carefully observing the environment or surroundings. In this way, it will be possible to identify easily missed items and steps.

6. During Glaucoma Awareness Month, specialists raise awareness of the disease. Risk factors for the disease include:
  • Thinning corneas
  • Eye pressure that is too high
  • Over-40s
  • Those with a family history of glaucoma

Habits that can reduce the risk of glaucoma-related vision loss include:

  • Consume lots of leafy greens and fruits
  • Regular and moderate exercise is essential
  • Stay healthy by maintaining a healthy weight
  • Consume coffee moderately, or better yet, sip tea instead
  • Avoid smoking
A Cutting-Edge Approach for Glaucoma Referral

This Glaucoma Awareness Month is the perfect time to give our eyes a little TLC? Book an appointment with Allegro Optical in Greenfield or Meltham! Having regular eye exams at all ages is the best way to maintain good eye health!

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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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Not just a DO – Allegro Optical in Meltham feature in National Campaign by the Association of British Dispensing Opticians (ABDO)

Allegro Optical in Meltham feature in a National ABDO Campaign

 

Allegro Optical in Meltham is not your run of the mill opticians. With a specialism in musicians and performers eyecare, the small independent has been getting noticed.

As part of their #NotJustaDO campaign, the Association of British Dispensing Opticians have been talking to our co-founder and dispensing optician Sheryl Doe.

The Association of British Dispensing Opticians (ABDO) is running the Not Just a DO Campaign. The aim is to raise the profile of the range of activities carried out by Dispensing Opticians (DOs) and Contact Lens Opticians(CLOs).

Aims of #NotJustaDO

The campaign showcases a different DOs every week talking about their work and specialisms. As well as a guide for the public about what a dispensing optician is and what they do.

ABDO Head of Communications says, “The campaign arose from the feeling that DOs can be undervalued as a member of the practice staff. We would love the wider professions to understand the full benefits of having a DO on your team.”

Read what Sheryl has to say about combining music and optics here.

Why we are different

Allegro Optical became the first and only opticians to gain BAPAM registration, providing optical care in partnership with the British Association for Performing Arts Medicine.Allegro Optical in Meltham near Holmfirth, Huddersfield and Saddleworth feature in national campaign by association of British Dispensing Opticians

Sheryl was a finalist in the prestigious Opticians Awards Dispensing Opticians of the Year awards. She also won the National Best New Business Awards, Entrepreneur of the Year Award.

In addition to providing professional and affordable eyecare to the local community of Holmfirth, Huddersfield and Saddleworth. The team at Allegro Optical look after performers from across the UK and abroad. Providing specialist care both to this very niche market and the local residents.

To find out more call 01484 907090 or call in and have a chat, and maybe a brew.

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OCT – Helping us see so much more

Our OCT Scanner is helping us see so much more to look after your vision and eye health


Good vision is something that most people take for granted, but we all only have one pair of eyes. At Allegro Optical we believe that eyesight is precious, it’s one of the senses we would struggle to do without.  Just as a regular MOT makes sure your car is safe and roadworthy, it’s good to keep a check on your eyes and eye health by having a regular check-up.

Here at Allegro Optical, we like to provide all our clients with the very best in eye care. This is why we are constantly investing in new equipment. We like to think we do more than just ‘sight tests’. We use a wide range of state of the art equipment and we’ll take a little longer than most.

Looking a little deeper OCT 3D Eye Scan at Allegro Optical Opticians in Meltham near Greenfield, Holmfirth, Huddersfield, Saddleworth and Uppermill

We have recently invested in a piece of cutting-edge technology. A machine that can help us diagnose potential problems with your eyes much earlier than before. We have invested in a new Spectral Optical Coherence Tomography (3D OCT) machine, to offer state of the art scans to all of our clients. This cutting edge technology, in conjunction with our detailed eye examination, enables us to detect potentially sight-threatening problems much earlier than with conventional equipment.

The 3D OCT is a special machine allows us to scan your eye in great detail.  Allowing us to see tell-tale warning signs of conditions such as Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD), Diabetes, Glaucoma, High blood pressure, and much more. Previously, we have used retinal cameras to photograph the visible outer layer of your retina. The 3D OCT produces scans, not unlike an ultrasound examination. We will still take a retinal photograph where possible. But now we can also view all the parts of the eye which would not have been visible to your Optometrist previously.

How do I get a 3D OCT Scan?

When booking an eye test at Allegro Optical in Meltham everyone is offered the option to have a 3D OCT scan. The 3D OCT scanner takes high-resolution images of your eye. These will be kept with your clinical records so that your eye health can be carefully monitored at each visit. At Allegro Optical Opticians in Meltham OCT scanner can detect Macula disease

Managing Director Sheryl Doe says, “Our new 3D OCT scanner is one of the most advanced pieces of equipment available to hospitals and opticians. It produces high-quality images allowing us to build up a very detailed picture of your eyes at each check-up. Should the scanner detect anything unusual we would pick this up at the earliest opportunity. Thereby enabling the necessary referrals to be done as quickly as possible.”

For our diabetic clients, the 3D OCT scan is a further check that goes beyond the standard retinal screening provided by some hospitals. As the 3D OCT scanner can look through the layers of the retina. It can detect problems much earlier than retinal photography.

What else can a 3D OCT Scan Show?

Some of our clients would benefit from a scan of their eye blood vessels (angiography). Our new 3D OCT scanner produces high-quality images of the layers of blood vessels and capillaries in the eye. This can be particularly useful for clients with Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) or Diabetes. In fact, a 3D OCT scan can provide an early warning of AMD and this can help ensure timely treatment is given.

The 3D OCT is a non-invasive machine. Just like the retinal camera, you place your chin on a rest. Your Optometrist will then get you to look at a target where a scan will be taken of your eye in a matter of seconds (50,000 scans per second!) This allows the 3D OCT to map out all your retinal layers and your eyes hidden soft tissue. The results appear instantly and your Optometrist can show you and talk you through all the results.

A 3D OCT examination generally requires no eye-drops and is a completely painless procedure with no puffs of air or bright flashes of light.  But if all this technology sounds a little bit scary, don’t worry. We’ll take the time to answer any questions you may have and to explain why we recommend taking each test.

AMD and Macula Scans

At Allegro Optical Opticians in Meltham OCT scanner can detect Macula disease

Examination of the central area of the retina called the macula. This is the most delicate part of the eye and offers the most sensitive vision. With our 3D OCT eye scans, we can now examine macula in 3D and cross-section.

These are most important for:

  • Macular degeneration (AMD)
  • Macular dystrophy
  • Family history of macular disease
  • Diabetes
  • Short-sighted people
  • Any loss of vision
  • In cases of head or eye injuries 
  • Smokers
  • People with unexplained visual problems
  • People with flashes &/or floaters
  • Other retinal or macular disorders e.g. Epiretinal Membrane and macular hole

Optic Nerve Scans

These scans show us the optic disc which connects the eye to the vision processing centres in the brain. The Optic disc is vital for maintaining healthy vision. We can examine the optic disc 3D, cross-section and G-cell mapping (the earliest indicator of glaucoma)

Optic Disc scans are most important for:  Disorders 3D OCT Optic Nerve Scan

  • Glaucoma sufferers
  • People with a family history of glaucoma
  • Anyone with high eye pressures
  • People with neurological conditions e.g. MS
  • Optic nerve disease e.g. optic neuritis
  • Other optic nerve disorders e.g. Optic Disc Drusen
  • People complaining of headaches
  • People with unexpectedly poor vision

Cornea and Anterior Scans

These scans allow us to examine the cornea and measure corneal thickness and clarity, as well as the patency of the eye’s drainage channels.

These are most important for: OCT corneal scanning at Allegro Optical Opticians in Meltham

  • People who have closed-angle glaucoma
  • People with a family history of glaucoma
  • People with small eyes &/or who are long-sighted
  • People with a history of eye pain &/or headaches associated with blurry vision
  • People with high eye pressures
  • Contact lens wearers
  • Laser eye treatment – pre-surgery and post-surgery

Visual Reference & Measuring

3D OCT eye scans from Allegro Optical Opticians in MelthamWith 3D OCT scans any area of the eye that may appear unusual can be measured and later repeat scans can be lined up with the original so that any changes can be monitored as accurately as possible way.  The scans enable us to differentiate between wet and dry types of macular degeneration, which can help us when making referrals for treatment. Many eye conditions can also be diagnosed with 3D OCT Scans and of course, it can also confirm that all is well and the eye is healthy.

In summary, our new 3D OCT Scanner is very versatile and for the first time allows us to check the health of your eyes beneath the surface of your retina, giving the earliest possible indication of your eye’s health.  We believe this will greatly enhance our ability to look after your eye health and visual system.

To experience the very best in eye care for yourself, simply make an appointment for your eye test with us. You can drop into our practice in Meltham or phone us on 01484 907090 or book online here.  We look forward to welcoming you.