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Frame of the Month for November

O.SIX eyewear, Novembers frame of the month 

With the arrival of November comes a new frame for the month. We feature this month’s frame by O.SIX Eyewear, but the actual frame is completely unique, since it comes in a variety of styles, as it is 100% bespoke to your taste. Consider this scenario. If you’re invited to a fabulous work party, you put weeks of planning into your outfit. You wear the same uniform day in and day out at work, so you’re thrilled you get to show off a bit of your style. You’re excited to get dolled up and strut your stuff in this amazing outfit you’ve put so much effort into. You arrive and everyone compliments you on your wonderful style, and how different you look, but then shock horror you find Dennis from accounting is wearing the exact same outfit!!! O.SIX Eyewear is unique and stylish because that’s exactly what people want! I have been in the same position myself and it’s frustrating.  

Endless colour combinations 

We don’t usually think of eyewear when we hear the word “bespoke”. A completely unique frame that you design is exactly what O.SIX Eyewear offers. Here’s how it works. The process starts with your sight test, during which your optician determines what sort of frame and lenses etc. you need, after which one of our dispensing opticians walks you through the design process step by step. A member of our team will determine the right frame size for you based on your needs. After that, you can choose the style of frame you want, square, round, catseye, aviator, oval, tortoise – the choices are endless. Your next step is choosing the material of your frame, either metal or acetate, matt or glossy. Then it’s time to pick a colour or pattern for your frame, and not just the front, but also the sides of your frame! You now have a completely bespoke frame that no one else has because it’s completely unique to you! I could talk all day about this bespoke experience, but I think we should also explore O.SIX as a brand.

Colour, shape and form 

Massimo Mancini founded O.SIX eyewear in 1989 as a way to fill a void during a period when eyewear had a very dull and uncreative aesthetic. In response to this, he earned a reputation for being edgy and unique.  In the decade that followed, the company grew tremendously. The reasons for this were largely due to the fact that many other brands relocated their production to other countries in order to lower costs.

O.SIX’s ethos of offering handcrafted frames that excel remains unchanged, giving the wearer a work of art. During manufacture in Italy’s Valle del Cadore, O.SIX frames are rigorously inspected. O.SIX eyewear is still handmade today, using the same techniques as it was back in the 1990s. The range incorporates some traditional and modern shapes, colours, and styles into their collections. 

Find your O.SIX

You should definitely pop in and check out our range of O.SIX Eyewear if you, like me, love the sound of bespoke frames and O.SIX Eyewear. Create a style that is truly unique to you. To help you find the perfect pair to suit your style, we now offer a style consultation service. You can call us on 01457 353100 in Greenfield or 01484 907090 in Meltham to find out how we can help you. You can also follow us on Twitter @AllegroOptical. Check out our Instagram @allegrooptical as well. 

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Beautiful eyewear that doesn’t cost the Earth – By Abigayle Doe

Now you really can look good while saving the planet

We’re proud that Allegro Optical is a family run business that cares. Sheryl Doe Managing Director and Dispensing Optician has always been concerned about the impact we have on our environment. She worries about how our actions now will affect her children and grandchildren in years to come. With this in mind when Allegro Optical first opened in 2017, Sheryl made sure there was a choice of eco-friendly products available. Our first eco-friendly frames were Hemp Eyewear made in Edinburgh. It is the world’s first spectacle frame made from sustainable plant-based materials.  It is designed and manufactured in the UK, reducing its carbon footprint and lowering the air miles incurred by delivery.

Something a little different

Over the years both Sheryl and myself, Training Manager, Abigayle. Yes, I’m another of Sheryl’s daughters! We have tried hard to bring in new eco-friendly, recycled or sustainable products to both Meltham and Saddleworth.  Allegro Optical now has 11 different environmentally ethical spectacle brands.  We’re are always on the lookout for more because this means that we can help to save the Earth, without it costing you the Earth. We’ve also made sure that there are frames to suit every budget. 

Allegro Optical also plants a tree for every eco-friendly spectacle frame that is sold. Each of our eco-friendly and sustainable brands has its own unique way of helping the environment.  From Coral, Sea2see and Waterhaul, (who all reclaim ocean plastics and fishing nets, recycling them into econyl to make spectacles frames rather than leaving them in the oceans damaging both environment and wildlife).

To David Green (who is inspired by and embraces nature) incorporating natural elements into the designs of his spectacle frames, such as leaves and reeds. These frames are biodegradable when they are no longer needed. Coral even come with a trade-in value towards your new pair of Corals, so you can hand them back when you want a new look. The old frames are then recycled and used to produce another fabulous planet-friendly frame. You even get a thank you for your troubles.

We don’t just think about the frames

As well frames we try to ensure that our lenses have the lowest environmental impact possible. Whilst lenses cannot be produced from recycled materials, yet, we do use lens manufacturers from the UK,

one of which is located only 30 miles from our Meltham practice. The lenses are produced and cut in one location, unlike other opticians who buy lenses from abroad and cut them onsite. Still racking up a huge amount of air miles and diluting the local economy. We do source our lenses this way to limit our carbon footprint as well as to support the local economy and surrounding community. 

 

Saving the seas in Saddleworth and Holmfirth

Our regular readers will know all about our love of local producers and suppliers. Likewise, they will also know that we like to protect our planet. From the low impact Hemp Eyewear to the handmade natural cotton-based acetate frames from David Green. From the recycled frames from Sea2See, Waterhaul, Coral and frames created from biodegradable plastics, the list is vast.

By stocking our frame selection responsibly we are helping our planet and respecting our environment. Where possible we are reducing air miles by sourcing British made frames and lenses and in turn reducing our carbon footprint. In doing this we are also supporting the local and British economy as a whole. Not a bad decision in what can be described as a particularly difficult and uncertain time for the UK.

We care about your eyecare and eyewear

We are passionate about all forms of ethical eyewear. If you would like to know more about eyewear with a conscience, or you would like to own a beautiful pair of ethical spectacles contact Allegro Optical. The home of beautiful eyewear that doesn’t cost the earth. If you would like to try ethical eyewear call, Greenfield, on 01457 353100 or Meltham on  01484 907090

 

 

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COVID Hero Dispensing Optician Kim is shortlisted for National Award

Kim had been shortlisted for the Dispensing Optician of the Year 2021 award

The teams at Meltham and Greenfield are celebrating! Our Dispensing Optician and safety eyewear specialist Kim Walker has been shortlisted for one of our industry’s most prestigious awards.

We’ve all had to adapt, opticians especially have had to change our operating practices more than ever before. It has been a challenge to continue to provide outstanding eye care locally.  Because we have all had to adhere to new operating procedures things have been difficult. In addition to delivering eye care to the local community and supporting musicians with our specialism in performing arts eyecare. Allegro Optical’s team of dispensing opticians have been dispensing safety eyewear to local NHS staff. 

PPE prescription eyewear for those who need it

Working with Bolle Safety eyewear, our team of dispensing opticians, headed by Kim, have dispensed PPE eyewear to the staff of The Mid Yorkshire Hospitals Trust, St James’s University Hospital Trust and starting this month, Calderdale and Huddersfield Hospital Trusts. The team wanted to help the brave NHS workers who have been working tirelessly since COVID-19 arrived in the UK. Kim and all the team have worked long hours in all the Hospitals, seeing up to 50 patients a day. Even on Kim’s day off, she has gone to work and stayed overnight due to bad weather. 

 

Managing Director Stephen Tighe said: “I am delighted that Kim has been shortlisted for the awards. It’s a testament to her hard work and dedication. Kim has been working on the project since January and really made it her own. Her success has allowed the project to expand its reach.  From the initial clinics in Wakefield and now reaches across 3 more hospital trusts”. 

Collecting awards

News of being shortlisted in the Optician Awards comes just two months after Allegro Optical was named the SME News, West Yorkshire’s Most Trusted Family Run Eye Care Clinic for the second year running. The winner will be announced at a glitzy gala dinner on December 2nd in London. It’s sure to be a great night of celebration for optics. 

Founded Allegro Optical in 2016 the team at Allegro Optical specialise in performing arts eyecare. Investing heavily in technology and optical equipment we are proud that both of our practices are equipped with the latest Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT)  Scanners.

Sheryl Doe Joint Managing Director, “Dispensing Optician and winner of the Dispensing Optician of the Year in 2019” said “ It is our mission to deliver the best possible customer experience. Our cutting edge optical technology enables us to offer our clients modern, welcoming, high-quality practices, with state of the art equipment. Our comprehensive eye examinations and our advanced optometry exams involve a complete diagnostic evaluation of clients ocular health and vision. By combining technology with a passion to deliver great customer service has helped us to grow a very successful organisation. Kim has taken the Allegro Optical values and beliefs to a new level in her work in the field of safety eyewear and we are all extremely proud of her.” 

Trust the professionals

Book your advanced optometry eye exam or a styling consultation with Kim or any member of the team call Meltham 01484 907090 or Greenfield 01457 353100. Award-winning eye care at its best.  

For a full list of nominees and details of the event, please follow this link 

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October’s Frame of the Month, an Ethical Spectacle

Xanthe’s Ethical Spectacle, October’s Frame of the Month

It’s October and with the new season, we have a new frame of the month! This month’s frame is Hector, in ocean blue, produced by the wonderful Coral eyewear company. I chose this frame for two reasons. Firstly, now that summer is well and truly over, I wanted a frame that injected a little summer into the autumn season. Secondly, I love Coral eyewear as its ethos is sustainability, using materials that are either causing serious damage to the sea life in our oceans, or materials that are found at landfill sites that otherwise wouldn’t be reusable. Any brand that puts sustainability above everything else, gets a big thumbs up from me! Now, before we go any more into this fantastic brand, I first want to tell you all about our frame of the month Hector in the colour ocean blue. 

 

The first thing that drew me to this frame was the fact it’s unisex, but what kept me interested was its vivid colour. The colour is a gorgeous deep ocean blue, set in a classic style frame shape. I would team this frame with a bold eye look focusing on purples and hazel colours, finishing with a very natural lip shade. This beautiful frame design is created in the UK, with the company being based in London and Edinburgh. The designs are then sent to Italy to be handcrafted by a highly skilled team. Another amazing quality about this frame is how incredibly lightweight they are, while still feeling very robust and well built. The wonderful thing about this frame and any other Coral eyewear frames for that matter is that they are made from completely sustainable materials! Let’s find out a little more about the wonderful Coral eyewear. 

Sustainability and style

Coral eyewear was started by university student George Bailey, who was fed up with brands using non-sustainable plastics and materials for their frames. By researching more sustainable avenues George was able to create a brand and product that puts the environment above everything else. George also comes from an optical family, so has a knowledge and understanding of the industry. This has been invaluable in ensuring that the end product is as high quality as possible without compromising on quality, sustainability and style. The process to make these incredible frames is fascinating. It starts with using rescued ocean fishing nets, regenerated ocean waste and recycled plastic from landfills. Next, they clean and sort the waste to recover the nylon to create a material known as Econyl, which is then used for the eyewear frame. The frames are as strong as any other frame being made using non-sustainable materials, but without damaging our environment.  The final cherry on top of this eco-friendly cake is, if you decide you want to change your style and pick another of their frames, you can send your frames back to them for recycling as they can be recycled infinitely!  

Your vision now, our vision for the future

So if, like me, you love the look of these frames or the sound of Coral Eyewear then don’t hesitate to come in and have a look at our range of Coral frames. Take the opportunity to add some sustainability to your style. We’re also now offering a style consultation service to help you find the perfect pair to suit your style. So please give us a call in either Greenfield 01457 353100 or Meltham 01484 907090 to find the perfect match. Also, follow us on Twitter @AllegroOptical. Or on Instagram @allegrooptical. 

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Xanthe’s frame of the month for September

Xanthe's frame of the month

It’s two for one in September

After a couple of weeks off I’m back! This means we once again have a new frame of the month! This month is a bit different as it’s two frames! (now don’t say we don’t spoil you). You could say that I may be a little biased and that  I say this every month but I truly love this month’s frames!

The moment I saw them I just fell for them, hook, line and sinker! September’s frame of the month is by Caron Eyewear. Oh My in colours red & turquoise, they are just the most vivid beautiful coloured frames! Not only are the colours incredible but the shape is just so different and unique a hexagon! I mean that’s different, but it just works so well! Beautiful colours, unique shapes and a British designed frame, what more could a girl ask for? Now before I get myself all excited, let’s talk about the Caron, Oh My frames in colours red & turquoise. 

Be Bold

The eyewear is crafted with high quality red or turquoise acetate, they truly are beautiful bright eye-catching frames. I especially love how well it shapes the face and adds a burst of colour to your everyday or special occasion look. The frames are hand polished to give a transparent beautiful sheen that really makes the eyewear pop.

I honestly love these frames so much, they just catch your attention with their wonderful colours. The front of the frames is a compact hexagon shape, which I adore because once again it adds to the uniqueness of the frame. Everything about these frames is just so unusual! The frames team amazingly with bold lipstick giving off a striking and eye-catching look. Now although I could go on and on about these beautiful frames, I think it’s also worth mentioning the amazing designer that is behind the Caron eyewear brand. 

Meet the designer

The Caron eyewear line is created by designer Caron Kraitt; she takes her inspiration from texture, geometry and architecture. Caron Kraitt now brings her unique skills to her own brand, inspired by modern women who are not afraid to celebrate their natural beauty and femininity alongside their personal strength and independence.

Everything Caron designs are not just uniquely beautiful, but also exceptionally wearable, her designs have a strong feminine personality. The frames are crafted from combinations of some of the finest materials. All these elements contribute to the design, ergonomics, and contemporary style. Caron eyewear will naturally enhance your individuality whilst effortlessly expressing modernity and independence. 

So if, like me, you love the look of these frames or the sound of Caron Eyewear then don’t hesitate to come in and have a look at our range of Caron frames. Take the opportunity to add some bright colours to your style. We’re also now offering a style consultation service to help you find the perfect pair to suit your style. So please give us a call in either Greenfield 01457 353100 or Meltham 01484 907090 to find the perfect match. Also, follow us on Twitter @AllegroOptical. Or on Instagram @allegrooptical. 

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Frame of the month-August

Xanthe is being rather outspoken in this August’s Frame of the Month

Xanthe Allegro OpticalIt’s August (where has this year gone?!). A new month and that can only mean one thing, a new frame of the month! I am very excited about this months frame. Particularly as it’s a unisex frame so it’s brilliant for our ladies and our gents! This month’s frame of the month is our Outspoken OA1819 in Colour 4.

I was drawn to this frame by the unique combination of colours. The hues are so different but still work so well together. From the moment I saw it, I knew that this frame would need to be featured as our frame of the month. I just think it’s got such a different and unique style, while not being too over the top.

One reason for us using outspoken as a brand is that they do offer many different unique and wonderful frames, in lots of fabulous colour combinations, but before talking about them let’s talk about the frame OA1819 in Colour 4.

Layers of colour

The frames start with a layer of mixed purple and blue, flowing to a segment of orange with a running clear section flowing to a green segment then finishing with a beautiful orange layer.

It’s a colour combination I’ve never seen in a frame before and honestly, never would’ve thought would work, but there’s just something about this frame that stands out while still blending so well together.

I also love that the shape of the frame still has a very classic style and feel to it. While the colours are different the style of the frame is kept very simple, giving the wearer the option to wear it either as an everyday frame or for special occasions. Either way, this frame is bound to bring many compliments. 

Stand out from the crowd

Colourful, Idiosyncratic, and sometimes challenging. That is the identity of Outspoken to make you stand out when you wear their glasses! Founded in the Netherlands and established themselves in the global optical market distributing in the US, Europe, Australia, Canada, South America and the UK. Outspoken tries to emphasize the personality of the wearer.

Both men and women can show their individuality with the unique colour combinations offered by outspoken frames. The wearer of an outspoken frame can proudly and confidently say no other brand has the same colour combinations as outspoken has for their frames.

Different acetate plates are combined into unique colour combinations. The plates are then laminated in their own factory to create colour combination frames. The designers carefully select different materials from various resources to create a unique frame for the wearer. Not only do these frames have amble uniqueness and style but they also offer comfort and reliability.

Find your perfect pair

So if, like me, you love the look of this frame or the sound of this brand then don’t hesitate to come in and have a look at our range of Outspoken frames. Take the opportunity to add some unique colour to your style. We’re also now offering a style consultation service to help you find the perfect pair to suit your style. So please give us a call in either Greenfield 01457 353100 or Meltham 01484 907090 to find the perfect match. Also, follow us on Twitter @AllegroOptical. Or on Instagram @allegrooptical. 

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July frame of the month

David Green at Allegro Optical

David Green Quercus – By Xanthe Doe

It’s that time of the month again, it’s the frame of the month! July’s frame of the month is David Green Quercus. At Allegro we are doing everything we can to be more eco friendly. We like to do our bit to make the world a more sustainable place. When we first came across David Green we knew they were exactly the kind of brand we would love.  Their whole range is eco-friendly and sustainable materials! 

 

Something Different

We have many different frames available from David Green but the frame Quercus really stood out for me as it just had that little bit of something different about it. The frame is a classic style made from real cork fitted within a hazel natural cotton acetate. The cork is over 100 years old all the way from Portugal in its completely natural state. Even the case is made from 100% recycled materials. 

David Green is dedicated to being different, in a world of duplication, replication and mass production. With an aim for uniqueness, David Green is still dedicated to his eco-conscious ethos. Handcrafted from the finest raw materials with each pair of eyewear contains a piece of real nature such as fallen leaves, mother of pearl, reeds and a variety of woods. Their designs echo different designs as unique as mother nature herself. When you choose David Green, you’re saying I don’t just want to look good, I want to feel good –  about myself and the world in which I live. Be kind to yourself, be kind to the earth, discover David Green.

Love your eyewear

So if, like me, you love the look of this frame or the sound of this brand then don’t hesitate to come in and have a look at our range of David Green frames. Take the opportunity to not only add some style to your day but also feel great knowing your bit for the environment. We’re also now offering a style consultation service to help you find the perfect pair to suit your style. So please give us a call in either Greenfield 01457 353100 or Meltham 01484 907090 to find the perfect match. Also, follow us on Twitter @AllegroOptical. Or on Instagram @allegrooptical. 

 

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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