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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.

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Dedicated music teacher can now see a bright future thanks to the Musician’s Optician

Music Teacher can now see the music, and so much more thanks to the Musician’s Optician

Music Teacher Gary Collins visited Allegro Optical Optician in Meltham on his doctor’s advice. He was experiencing severe back and neck pain, particularly after playing for any length of time. Gary admitted his vision wasn’t great and Sightreading was becoming a problem.  He was currently using off the shelf reading glasses, but they weren’t ideal. Gary admitted the back pain and neck pain was having a significant impact on his daily life. In fact, he said it was beginning to affect his state of mind. Gary said the pain and discomfort were really getting him down.  It was having a severe impact on his working and social life. We carried out a full sight test and found Gary to have a pronounced astigmatism and following a referral, for further investigation, Keratoconus was diagnosed.

Specialist eye care for musicians and performers at Allegro Optical Opticians in Meltham

Keratoconus and posture

Keratoconus is a progressive eye disease in which the normally round cornea thins and gradually develops into a cone-like shape. This cone-shaped cornea deflects light as it enters the eye on its way to the light-sensitive retina, causing distorted and blurred vision.  Keratoconus is the most common dystrophy of the cornea and it affects around one person in a thousand. However, some reports indicate a prevalence as high as 1 in 500 individuals.  is typically diagnosed in the mid to late teens and reaches its most severe state in the twenties and thirties, but in Gary’s case, early diagnosis had been missed as he hadn’t had an eye test for some 15 years.

A condition such as Keratoconus can cause the musician a great many problems. Particularly when seeing the music and for any concentrated prolonged work. Gary had developed a habit of tilting his head, known as ocular torticollis, to try to gain some clarity. This, however, was leading to severe neck and back pain.

Keratoconus contact lenses RGP and specialist eye care from Alllegro Optical, the musicians optician in Meltham

Uncorrected or undercorrected eye disorders, such as Keratoconus and astigmatism, can cause a pronounced head tilt as the sufferer tries fixating the eye. This induced head tilt offsets the refractive error giving better clarity but can cause a myriad of postural problems, particularly among musicians.

The usual course of treatment for patients with mild Keratoconus may initially be corrected with glasses or soft contact lenses, however, the vast majority of patients need rigid contact lenses for adequate vision correction and Gary was no exception.

Solution

We fitted Gary with Rigid Rose K2 keratoconus contact lenses, which are a common correction for patients such as Gary. These lenses have a multi-spherical posterior design with aberration control aspheric optics distributed across the back and front surface of the lenses. However, this still wasn’t perfect for Gary who when teaching was displaying the early signs of presbyopia creeping in.

We measured all the required working distances Gary uses. As a result, we dispensed hybrid spectacle lenses into a full frame for when he is teaching and playing. This gives Gary a clear working distance from 30 centimetres to 6 meters, with a much wider field of view than any varifocals or occupational lenses. The new spectacle lenses allow Gary to see up to three sheets of music on his stand and give him a clear view of his classroom. Gary also has a pair of spectacles to correct his vision when he isn’t wearing his contact lenses and giving his cornea a rest, as he also suffers from dry eye disease, which isn’t unusual with Keratoconus.

Gary collected his new glasses and contact lenses and said “The new contact lenses and both pairs of glasses supplied by you are amazing and they have changed my life. My back and neck pain has reduced significantly and my quality of life has improved immensely. Now I can drive, teach and read music. I can see around the classroom with ease and my confidence and self-esteem have improved greatly. I now can't imagine living my life without my contact lenses and glasses. Thank You so much.”

Gary collected his new glasses and contact lenses and said; The new contact lenses and both pairs of glasses supplied by you are amazing and they have changed my life. My back and neck pain has reduced significantly and my quality of life has improved immensely.  Now I can drive, teach and read music. I can see around the classroom with ease and my confidence and self-esteem have improved greatly. I now can’t imagine living my life without my contact lenses and glasses. Thank You so much.

Why Allegro Optical?

Many Musicians who experience focusing problems are unaware that there is a solution to the problem. Many like Gary carry on adapting to their worsening eye condition by altering their posture. Often they begin to suffer pain and discomfort. Over time, slumped or hunched posture can create a lag between the eyes seeing an object and the brain interpreting the image of the object, and the body responding to the object. In fact, poor posture caused by deteriorating vision can result in many health issues. Including slowed circulation, shallow breathing, and a further reduction in vision quality.

Squinting, leaning forward, or tilting of the head into an unnatural position to see more clearly can create muscle tightness in the shoulders, neck, and head. Over time, this maladjustment can decrease blood flow causing numbness and muscle strength issues.

At Allegro Optical we understand the many visual requirements placed on different musicians. With an understanding of the playing and seating positions of professional and amateur musicians, we can prescribe and dispense a variety of optical corrections to suit their needs. We create a spectacle or contact lens design especially for the client to provide a perfect optical solution. As a result, the musicians’ working and playing life can easily be improved. In many cases it can also be extended due to the improvement that this solution provides.

Conclusion

This case study has illustrated the variety of dispensing challenges that practitioners may face when a musician presents in practice and the individual needs required to be taken into account.

About the authors

Sheryl Doe BSc (Hons), FBDO, is a dispensing optician who specialises in the optical correction of musicians, presenters and performers. She is the MD and proprietor of Allegro Optical, independent opticians providing bespoke optical solutions to musicians and performers.

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The Musician’s optician goes on the road

It’s been a busy week on the road for Allegro Optical, Meltham’s musician’s optician.

We have had a very busy and varied start to September. On Tuesday last week, we took Allegro on the road, firstly to The Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester when we attended the Music Mark North West area conference. We took our roadshow to the event to help educate music teachers about the very unique visual needs of musicians and performers and how Allegro Optical can help. We were overwhelmed by the response we received, with teachers and educators from across the region wanting to know more. Allegro Optical Opticians from Meltham takes their musicians roadshow to The Royal Northern College of music with Stephen Tighe Gerrard Booth of Oldham music services

Vision and Music

Poor or reduced vision among musicians can lead to poor posture which impacts on performance and in turn on performance confidence. This frequently leads to musicians retiring early. As one musician said recently  “Uncertainty with your vision is just as serious as a mechanical failure with your instrument. That moment of indecision increases performance pressure, leads to mistakes and stops you from giving your best”.

Decreasing visual acuity can lead to poor posture which increases the risk of the musician going on to develop from musculoskeletal disorders. This is particularly noticeable among over the over 40 age group although we do see younger performers with recently diagnosed degenerative eye conditions who fear for the loss of a career or hobby they love.

The British Open

Allegro Optical the musicians optician with Abi and Sheryl at Symphony hall 2018

The next port of call was the British Brass Band Open Championships in Symphony Hall Birmingham. Time to meet lots of new faces and catch up with some old ones. We made plenty of new contacts and Abi seemed to enjoy meeting the bandsmen and women.

Allegro Optical Opticians from Meltham takes their musicians roadshow to The British Brass Band Open in Symphony Hall with Stephen Tighe Gerrard Booth of Oldham music services 

Steve our MD caught up with some old mates from the brass band world who were very kind in their remarks in relation to his health scare last year. He also got a lovely surprise visit from his old mate Tommy Burns from his army days. Over 36 years ago Tommy was a Clarinetist. He served with Steve in the Regimental Band of the 5th Royal Inniskilling Dragoon Guards.  It was lovely for me to meet him and hear the two of them share some memories and reminiscences of their youth.

Congratulations

We send our congratulations to the Cory Band on a well-deserved win. Also to our old friend Vincent Bearpark, Principal Cornet with  Valaisia Brass Band.

Angelo Bearpark needed help with sight reading

Congratulations for winning the Stanley Wainwright Memorial Trophy. (His father is a client of ours and a friend and originates from Saddleworth before he moved to Switzerland). Local trombonist and friend of Allegro Optical, Adrian Bird from Marsden. Adrian plays with Leyland Band where he sits in the seat our Steve occupied in the 80’s on Bass Trombone. They came in with a very respectable 6th place. So we are delighted to send them all our congratulations on a job well done.

Adrian Bird of Leyland band gets his glasses from Allegro Optical the musicians optician in Meltham

There are lots of new and exciting things coming in the next few weeks. So watch this space for more about Allegro Optical, “The Musician’s Optician”.

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Allegro MD takes on the MD role at Kippax Band

Stephen Tighe is the new man in the middle

Allegro Optical’s joint Managing Director, Mr Stephen Tighe, is a very busy man. Not content with his ever increasing role within Allegro Optical Ltd, Stephen has taken the helm at the Leeds based Kippax Band, as their new Music Director.

Stephen Tighe MD Kippax brass band allegro optical britains first bapam registered opticians specialists in eyecare for musicians and performers in meltham huddersfield holmfirth Saddleworth Oxford London

Having performed with some of the country’s top brass bands as both a Trombonist, Arranger, Composer, Music Adjudicator and MD, he is very well known and respected within the brass banding world.

Band Chairman Colin Moss commented: “It was clear from Stephen’s astute observation that he was clear about the work needed for the band to achieve success. We believe his experience shows that he has the musical calibre to take us there. We are all looking forward to working with him.”

Stephen was a key team member in setting up Allegro Optical Ltd (The Musician’s Opticians). However, within just four months of opening the doors of the new Meltham practice, he was taken seriously ill.  Following complications of a routine operation, Stephen spent three months in hospital. He returned to the business on a part-time basis in April of this year and has now resumed his full-time role.

Stephen Tighe MD Kippax brass band allegro optical britains first bapam registered opticians specialists in eyecare for musicians and performers in meltham huddersfield holmfirth Saddleworth Oxford London

Stephen said “It was a bit of a last minute decision to apply for the role at Kippax, but I’m delighted to accept the challenge. I feel refreshed and ready to work hard to re-establish the band’s credentials. I have more free time now than I previously had and I will be trying out some new ideas in concert work”.

Stephen will take up the baton at the Yorkshire Second Section band from September and his role is to help return one of the world’s oldest brass bands back to success into 2019 and beyond.

The announcement was made on 4BarsRest earlier this week. Read more at https://www.4barsrest.com/news/detail.asp?id=33668