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We are open as normal in Tier 4 (Greenfield) and Tier 3 (Meltham)

Allegro Optical Staff in PPE masks
Following today’s COVID-19 review the Government has confirmed that “As health care providers and essential businesses with safe and appropriate Infection Prevention and Control measures already in place, community optometry practices are exempt from the protection measures in all tiers and can therefore remain open and provide a full range of services”. This means we will remain open and operating as planned into the new year despite Oldham’s move to Tier 4. There are some restrictions on travelling into Tier 4 areas for those in other areas who may live in lower tiers. Travel from other areas is allowed for necessary medical treatment so if you feel that your eyecare concerns are essential, then please call us to arrange an appointment. If you feel your eyecare can wait and you are not having any problems it’s best to put it off until restrictions are eased. If you have an appointment booked and you feel it’s better for you not to attend, please do let us know as soon as you can. We are still extremely busy catching up with overdue appointments, and there is currently a long waiting list. So if there is no problem or if you’d prefer not to come for whatever reason right now – we will have no trouble filling your appointment.

Routine appointments are allowed

Since the middle of June, we have resumed the provision of routine eye care, following General Optical Council and the College of Optometrists guidance. In November we began to recall those clients who would have been seen routinely in the period we had been operating a limited service. Clearing the backlog is well underway, however, we expect it to be well into the New Year before we have fully caught up. The social distancing rules and additional hygiene measures mean that we are unable to see as many people in a clinic as we used to. If your recall is due now, there may still be some delay until our backlog has been cleared, although you can always contact us if you are having a more urgent problem and require an appointment.

What to expect when you visit 

We already have rigorous hygiene standards in place as outlined by our governing bodies and the Government. Please feel reassured that we are taking all the precautions we can to safeguard our clients and staff. Prior to visiting, we will send you a text with details regarding what you can expect when you visit. One of our team will call you the day before your appointment and conduct a pre-appointment COVID -19 symptom check. We are operating a locked door policy, so when you arrive please ring the bell and a member of the team will let you in. With a strict capacity policy, we are limiting the number of clients in practice at any time. Please do not arrive early or late for your appointment. If you would rather wait outside or in your car until you can be seen, please come to the main door a couple of minutes before your appointed time.  A member of the team will record your temperature on arrival and ask some questions, they will then check your current glasses (if you wear them) and record the prescription so that our optometrists can tell you if your prescription has changed or if it is stable. Our optometrists will conduct your eye examination wearing full PPE, including surgical scrubs, aprons, gloves, masks and when appropriate visors or eye protection. The test room is thoroughly cleaned between appointments and all equipment sterilised.  We appreciate some patients have unique requirements, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you require any further information.

Dispensing of glasses

Using appropriate PPE our Dispensing Opticians we are able to dispense, fit and repair glasses as normal. Our full frame selection is available to view and a member of our team will be on hand to assist you. All frames once handled are cleaned and sterilised before being put back on display. Our normal lab service is still running so just give us a call if you need any adjustments or some new frames.

Emergency and essential eye care

These clients will continue to be prioritised. Emergency and essential eye care include:
  1. Clients we have continued to treat throughout the pandemic.
  1. Clients we consider to be emergencies such as those who have specific issues have experienced a change to their vision or those that we feel require urgent investigation.
  2. Clients who under normal circumstances would not normally be considered to be emergencies, but where, in our view, a delay in an examination may be detrimental to sight or wellbeing (called ‘essential care’).
  3. Clients who were due to be seen during the period of lockdown for a review of a specific issue (not a routine check-up) In our view reviewing an ongoing condition is ‘essential’.
  4. Clients with any other issues classed as an ‘essential situation’. Particularly if they have lost or broken their glasses or contact lenses and require a replacement to function.
Many of these clients will have been already contacted and booked in. If we haven’t contacted you already to make an appointment but you feel you fall into one of these categories, please call or message us through our website, and we can advise whether we are able to see you. In addition, if you have any new concerns and think you would benefit from being seen, please get in touch. You can email us on info@allegrooptical.co.uk  or call us in Greenfield on 01457 353100 or Meltham on 01484 907090 We appreciate the loyalty of our patients, now more than ever. And we pass on our very best wishes to all our clients at this difficult time and hope to see you back in the practice soon. 
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PPE explained – Ozone in the ‘Zone’

Allegro Covid-19-response - o zone generators

Why we are investing in client safety

Coronavirus and the COVID-19 disease has impacted all our lives. First appearing in China in December 2019, coronavirus has spread rapidly across the globe. No disease in recent times has impacted public health and the economy more rapidly and in such a dramatic way than coronavirus.  Allegro Optical Coronavirus (COVID-19) Statement In the UK, although slowly emerging from lockdown, we are still adhering to the strict guidelines laid down by the government. Our social and working lives, in the space of three short months, changed completely. We are now very aware of what we touch, of washing our hands and maintaining a safe social distance.

What we are doing

The big question for us as practitioners has been how do we keep all our clients safe when visiting us. We’ve socially distanced both practices, implemented one-way systems, installed perspex screens and operate an appointment only admission policy. All our team members are wearing full PPE including changing into surgical scrubs when they arrive at work to maintain the highest possible hygiene standards. They also wear N95 respirators at all times and change surgical gloves and aprons in between each appointment for your protection.  We’re very sorry, but at the current time we are discouraging browsing unless a member of staff has supervised client hand sanitising and provided a pair of gloves, (in return for a charitable donation). Face masks must be worn and a member of our team will remove all the frames tried, clean them and put them through a  UV sanitiser before they are put back on display. The whole area is then sanitised before we can admit the next client, so a strict appointment policy is followed.

What about opening a window? Is that safe?

Opening a window doesn’t really help. If someone walks past with the virus and coughs while you’re stood by the window? Oh dear! Fresh air is a good thing, but just how fresh is it? While it’s always good to maintain a fresh home and air circulation is important just what is the science behind it?  A 2009 World Health Organization report on illness transmission and air ventilation suggested that people expel microscopic droplets of saliva not only when coughing and sneezing, but also while talking and exhaling. When expelled, these droplets can quickly evaporate, leaving behind nearly weightless airborne particles which can house illness-causing pathogens. These pathogens can ride on the airflow created when a person opens or closes a window or a door. While the likelihood of these airborne particles making someone sick is uncertain, it may vary from one pathogen to the next. 

What are Ozone Generators and why we have installed them

As a further precaution, we have installed ozone generators in both of our practices. Many decontamination specialists use ozone equipment to deal with airborne contamination. The question many people are asking today is; Can ozone kill coronavirus? Well, according to many studies and the previous use of ozone as part of infection control and virus protection – yes, it does. Like many practitioners, we have installed ozone generators to protect our clients and our team members. All across the world, ozone generators have been installed in hospitals, clinics, dentists surgeries and optical practices. The healthcare sector is applying this measure in the fight against coronavirus. 

How does Ozone work against Coronavirus?

In this blog, we look at some of the scientific evidence that demonstrates the capabilities ozone generation has in the fight against coronavirus. We showcase the benefits of using ozone and take a moment to outline the associated risks of using ozone to combat coronavirus.  Coronaviruses are classified as enveloped viruses, which means the virus has an outer coat that wraps around the virus particles. The outer coat protects the virus, ensuring its survival and its ability to infect other cells. If this outer shell can be broken down, then coronaviruses the virus inside is destroyed. Ultimately coronaviruses can be broken down when exposed to ozone gases. When the outer shell of the virus is destroyed by ozone gas it’s core is exposed and breaks down. When appropriate levels of ozone are utilised, up to 99% of the viruses can be eliminated.   Recently Ozone was used successfully in the fight against viruses. In 2003, ozone was used to great effect to combat coronavirus; SARS-Cov-1, which belongs to the same family of viruses as COVID-19.  Sanitising our homes, workplaces and public spaces is a key tactic in the fight to stop the spread of COVID-19. Ozone generators can frequently be seen in many hospitals these days. This is why at Allegro Optical we have invested in state of the set Ozone Generators for all of the public areas of our practices. Because we care about our client’s safety we don’t just open a window.
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About Allegro Music News

Square eyes and sharp notes

#SeeTheMusic #NameThatTune

Do you have square eyes?

“You’ll get square eyes” My Mum would shout, whenever I was late for a meal. Growing up in the late 70s, early 80s, I was one of the first generations of gamers. I spent long periods of time playing space invaders and my personal favourite, Brian Bloodaxe. Many hours were spent learning code and inputting it on to my pride and joy, the ZX Spectrum. I would spend hours in front of the screen often losing track of time. 40 years on and I still spend up to 12 hours in front of a computer screen. Oh and I’ve still not developed square eyes. However, like many of us VDU users, they do occasionally feel tired. With many more people working from home during lockdown we are seeing an increase in clients complaining of eye strain symptoms. After or during a long day of working at a computer, many of us experience some or all of the following problems;
  • sore, tired or burning eyes
  • watery, itchy or dry eyes
  • blurred, or double vision
  • headaches
These symptoms are often the result of eye strain, which occurs when our eyes get tired from intense use. Fortunately, these symptoms can be eased with a helpful trick known as the 20-20-20 rule:

Every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for 20 seconds.

For every 20 minutes spent using a screen, try to look away at something that is 20 feet away for a total of 20 seconds. Unless you have a tape measure to hand it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to accurately measure 20 feet. Luckily an exact measurement isn’t essential. Just try to focus on something far away. Look out of a window at a distant object, like a tree or a building across the street.  Sometimes, the easiest way to change the depth of your focus, is to leave your computer or device for a moment and take a short walk. Maybe get a glass of water or just stand up for 20 seconds and have a stretch. The point is: just get moving! By moving around we can reduce eye strain. It helps to keep us active during an otherwise sedentary period, increasing alertness and leading to higher productivity. Avoid eyestrain with Allegro Optical the musicians optician in Saddleworth and Holmfirth

#SeeTheMusic

Many musicians who visit us complain that not only is seeing the music a challenge. Often they are experiencing similar symptoms to VDU users when rehearsing or performing. This isn’t surprising, as musicians we fixate on our music on the stand for long periods of time. Just like a digital device user, we stare at our music and we tend to blink less while playing. Musicians in particular often struggle due to their dusty environment. Those who wear contact lenses are particularly prone to dry eyes. Especially if seated close to air conditioning ducts in an orchestra pit. Eye problems are a commonly overlooked health issue for musicians. The effort our eyes make to read sheet music or follow the conductor while peering around an instrument can lead to a number of common, but treatable, complaints.  Is your music out of focus

Dry eye and blurred vision

Our musical clients often complain of eyestrain related symptoms. The cause is very similar to that which leads to the very same diagnosis in computer users. Our eyes didn’t evolve to repetitively scan a music score or computer screen at a distance of 60-95cm for long periods of time. Continuous fixation and repetitive scanning can lead to a condition known as “spasms of accommodation.” When our eyes are overworked our ocular muscles can go into spasm and can no longer adjust when we look at something far away. In the musicians’ case, when we look up at the conductor. Everything distant becomes blurry as the muscles tire and lose the ability to focus.  Fortunately, these symptoms can be eased with a helpful trick known as the 20-20-20 rule:
  • 20-20-20 rule. Just like VDU users we recommend that musicians should try to look away at something that is 20 feet away for a total of 20 seconds every 20 minutes.
  • Lubricate your eyes. A handy and easy trick to avoid dry eye problems is very simple: blink! When concentrating on a piece of music during a rehearsal or performance musicians often forget to blink. The result is that the cornea dries out and the eyes can start to ache. Musicians who wear contact lenses are particularly prone to dry eyes, especially if their seat is close to an air conditioning unit. We would advise using a good lubricant of artificial tears but always check with your optician that the lubricant is compatible with your contact lenses first.
  • Adjust your music stand correctly. The top of your sheet music should ideally be at or just below your eye level to avoid any straining or neck problems. If your stand must be below eye level, try to lower your eyes rather than tilt your head as this can lead to postural problems which can, in turn, affect your sound. 
  • Find an optician who understands . As opticians who specialise in musicians eye care, we know that a musician’s eyes are as important as his or her instrument and hands. If you think you have work-related or performance-related eye problems, find an optician who is sensitive to this issue or who has proven experience working with other musicians. Always insist on taking your instrument, music, music stand and clip light to a consultation. This will help the optometrist and dispensing optician can properly understand your working conditions and individual needs. Always insist that your glasses are dispensed by a registered dispensing optician as unlike the optometrists who understand how your eyes work a dispensing optician is a lens expert with extensive expertise in lens design.
Another nasty consequence of eye strain can be ocular migraine, which causes visual disturbances. You should always consult your optician if you experience any form of visual disturbance.

Why do musicians come to Allegro Optical?

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

Award-winning eye-care

We’ve been pretty successful in helping performers to #SeeTheMusic. In fact, in the last twelve months alone we have scooped no less than five national and regional awards for our work in this field. These awards include the National ‘Best New Arts & Entertainment Business of the Year at a gala event in London. Managing Director Sheryl Doe was awarded the 2019 Dispensing Optician of the Year and she was a finalist in the AOP Dispensing Optician of the year 2020. She has also reached the finals of the  National Business Women’s Awards, for the Business Owner of the Year category.  Allegro Optical’s cutting edge approach to dispensing and their musical experience has led to the team being shortlisted for the prestigious Opticians Awards, Optical Assistant team of the year 2020 During March 2019, Allegro Optical was awarded the Scale-Up Business of the Year, at the regional finals of the Federation of Small Business awards in York. They then went on to receive the FSB Chairman’s award at the national finals in May. Finally winning the FBU Yorkshire family business of the year. Allegro Optical has been featured in many national publications including The Times, 4BarsRest, The British Bandsman and Music Teacher Magazine. If you are a musician who is struggling with their vision and making music no longer the enjoyable experience it once was, give us a call at either Greenfield on 01457 353100 or Meltham on 01484 907090. 
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Glitz, Glam and Huge Knickers by Xanthe Doe

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! The festive party season is in full swing and many of us are desperately searching for that perfect dress, shimmering shoes, and beguiling bags. All so we can look absolutely fabulous at the works Christmas party. Plus making sure we don’t eat too many mince pies so we can still fit into our perfect dress…thank god for shapewear underpants! But no party look would be complete without the perfect eye make-up. This is easier said than done for spectacle wearers, who often find this tricky to get right. Cue me spending an hour going for the smoky eye look and the end result looking more like Tai Shan the panda…but that’s a whole other story. Whilst many of us will opt for contact lenses on a big night out, others may not be able to wear them or some just prefer to keep their frames on. But there’s absolutely no reason why we should have to sacrifice those glammed up eyes because of your specs! Here’s some quick and easy party season make-up tricks for gorgeous spectacle wearers: Here’s some quick and easy party season make-up tricks for gorgeous spectacle wearers:

Going Bronze

Bronze, metallic eyeshadow (my favourite!) is big in the beauty world, and for spec wearers it’s an excellent colour of choice to make your eyes really stand out. Warm metallic and shimmery shades are soft and help to lighten your eye area. The Revlon Nudes palette is a great product for mixing bronze hues, allowing you to create a more intense look that contrasts with your frames.  

Load up on Liner

Eyeliner is a spec wearers’ best friend, creating that wow, stand-out party season eye make-up look. Choose a soft black kohl such as Revlon’s Colorstay Eyeliner to line your eyes along the top and bottom lashes. Keep the line thin on the inner corners. Then  thicken it up as you sweep it across and gently smudge to create that smokey-eyed look. For more intensity, use a thin black liquid liner to outline your lashes on your top lid. Always apply a couple of coats of mascara to your top lashes. Xanthe winter fashion

 Glamorous Glitter

If you really want real impact, glitter eyeshadow is always guaranteed to make your eyes stand out in your frames. It’s also the perfect festive party season make-up look, and is really easy to create. Whatever shade of shimmer you choose to enhance your eyes, make sure you apply a cream eyeshadow base first before adding the glitter. This helps to keep it in place. Use a slightly damp brush to apply the glitter, dabbing on bit by bit and using gentle pressure to help it set. Use a touch of Vaseline on a piece of tissue to wipe away any excess glitter. Xanthe goes glitter

Boost your Brows

Spectacles naturally draw attention to your brows, so make sure yours are well groomed and enhanced to make the right impact. Pluck or trim any stray hairs and use a brow defining product such as Benefit’s Browzings Eyebrow Shaping Kit to fill in any sparse spots. Sweep a light dusting of shimmer powder underneath to define your brow bone and lift your eye area. Xanthe's brows

 And don’t forget…

  • Since you can’t apply make-up wearing your glasses, use a magnifying mirror to help you see better.
  • Curl your top lashes so they flick upwards and don’t hit your lenses.
  • The thicker your frames, the thicker your eyeliner needs to be to make your eyes stand out.
  • The colour of your eyeshadow shouldn’t compete with the colour of your frames.
  • A good rule of thumb I use when picking eyeshadow colours is to avoid picking colours, you’d find opposite on a colour wheel and swabbing them together on the back of your hand to see if they blend nicely together.
When did you last have an eye examination? If you’re overdue an eye examination why not book one today! Call Greenfield on 01457 353100 or Meltham call 01484 907090  
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A spectacular Clarinet and Baritone Duo thanks to Specialist Musicians Glasses

Specialist musicians glasses help a very musical couple

In this blog we look at how Specialist musicians glasses have helped a very talented musical couple. It’s no secret that at Allegro Optical we love music. Music and Optics are our two great passions, and we love meeting people who share our passion. Especially when we get to see them year on year. We take such pleasure in helping fellow musicians, from all walks of life, to continue doing what they love. Making music!  Making music is a wonderful thing and something that many couples love to share. Vivienne and Brian Murphy are no exception to this. Vivienne plays the clarinet and saxophone, while Brian’s instruments are the baritone horn, valved trombone and piano. While Brian has played the piano and baritone horn for some time, he had only recently taken up the valved trombone. The couple began making music together after they had retired and it’s a pastime they thoroughly enjoy. Mastering a new instrument is one thing. However, it is even more difficult when seeing the music on the stand is problematic. 

Understanding the problem

Vivienne and Brian first visited Allegro Optical opticians last year, having heard about our specialism with musicians. Vivienne is an experienced varifocal wearer.  While they were fine for everyday visual tasks, they didn’t provide a good enough field of view when she was playing. Following a comprehensive eye examination, our Optometrist, who has some experience of playing the Saxophone herself, completely understood Vivienne’s predicament and was able to find a prescription to solve her focusing problems. Vivienne then consulted Dispensing Optician Sheryl. Sheryl suggested a pair of varifocal lenses and a pair of specialist musicians glasses for music making. In some cases such as this many optical retailers will try dispensing an occupational lens for musicians. That still wouldn’t address the distances and field width Vivienne needed. Specialist musicians glasses a Godsend for musicians Vivian and Brian Murphy thanks to the musicians optician Allegro Optical DIspensing Optician of the year

The solutions

Sheryl created a completely individual lens design to enable Vivienne to see her music clearly, while still seeing the conductor. The lens design took into account the position of Vivienne’s music stand, her seating positing and the position of her conductor. Creating a clear view at all these distances. Without any of the distortion like that experienced in a varifocal or occupational lens.   While Vivienne was with Sheryl Brian also had an eye examination. Brian also wears varifocals, although he never makes music in them. Having had some neck problems in the past Brian prefered to use single vision lenses when playing his baritone horn. However, that meant that he couldn’t see the conductor very well. Just like Vivienne, we found the perfect prescription for Brian’s working distances. Sheryl created a completely individual lens design to enable him to see his music and the conductor. 

Annual Check

Jump forward twelve months and Brian and Vivienne returned to Allegro Optical for an annual check. It was so nice to catch up and hear about what they are playing and how they are getting along. As musicians ourselves we like to hear what pieces people are working on about any concerts which they may have coming up. While we were chatting we asked Brian and Vivienne how they liked their music glasses. Vivienne said: “These glasses have helped me a lot with my music. I now no longer misread the notes as I did when using my varifocal’s. So they have improved my standard of play.  I also was surprised to find that they are really useful when I use my computer.” Brian added; ” I am very pleased with these glasses.  They are particularly effective when I have to share a music stand in band practice.” Specialist musicians glasses a Godsend for musicians Vivian and Brian Murphy thanks to the musicians optician Allegro Optical DIspensing Optician of the year

Why Allegro Optical?

We are an independent family run business and we are gaining an international reputation for professional excellence and an inventive approach to solving our clients vision problems. Now known internationally as the ‘Musicians Opticians’ as we are attracting many clients from across Europe and further a field. Thanks to our groundbreaking work in the field of performers eye care Allegro Optical have become the first and only opticians to gain registration with the British Association for Performing Arts Medicine (BAPAM). We treat each and every client as an individual simply because they are. No two performers are the same, so why should their vision correction be? At Allegro Optical we enjoy creating unique lenses to meet performers individual needs. As musicians and performers ourselves we can ask the right questions and interpret the answers accordingly.

Award-winning eye-care

Allegro Optical has been so successful in helping performers that this year alone we have scooped no less than five national and regional awards. These awards include the National ‘Best New Arts & Entertainment Business of the Year‘ at a gala event in London. Managing Director Sheryl Doe was awarded the 2019 ‘Dispensing Optician of the Year‘ and she has been shortlisted for the AOP Dispensing Optician of the year 2020. During March Allegro Optical was awarded the ‘Scale-Up Business of the Year‘ at the regional finals of the Federation of Small Business awards in York and went on to receive the FSB Chairman’s award at the national finals in May. Finally winning the FBU Yorkshire family business of the year. Allegro Optical’s unique optical solution and our cutting edge approach to dispensing has led to the group being named finalists in the Huddersfield Examiners Business Awards in the Innovation and Enterprise category. The company has been featured in many national publications including The Times 4BarsRest, The British Bandsman and Music Teacher Magazine. Are you are a musician who is struggling with their vision? Is making music is no longer the enjoyable experience it once was? If so call us at either Greenfield on 01457 353100 or Meltham on 01484 907090.
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A very specific problem for a Trombonist who just wanted to see the music

Graham just wanted to see the music

At Allegro Optical we love helping musicians to see the music and we relish a challenge.  Trombonist Graham Palmer from Wiltshire laid down a very specific challenge for us. Graham told us that he was noticing that the staves on his sheet music were merging into each other. For non musical readers, a stave is a set of five horizontal lines and four spaces used in Western musical notation to represent a different musical pitch. 

 

Sight reading had become very problematic for Graham as trying to distinguish which line he should be playing was almost impossible. As musicians, we usually enjoy playing a new piece, but this was far from a treat for Graham.

The problem

Graham is presbyopic and mildly astigmatic was wearing the following prescription bifocals;

RE -0.25/-0.75 x 180  Add +2.25

LE 0.00 / -1.25 x 45    Add +2.25  

With single vision glasses for music made up to;

RE +1.00/-0.75 x 180  Add +2.25

LE  +1.25/ -1.25 x 45   

While Graham’s bifocals were fine, unfortunately the music glasses just weren’t working for him. Having found a change in axis in the right eye Optometrist Gemma carried out a fixation disparity test. This was to detect any diplopia, also known as double vision at distance. She also used the Mallett unit to detect any near point convergence issues. None were detected. However when concentrating on the printed music on the stand Graham struggled to maintain the union of the visual axes and fairly quickly used up his fusional reserves. Resulting in the appearance of overlapping staves. To alleviate this problem, Gemma prescribed some vertical prism, helping  Graham to maintain his fixation when reading his music.

The solution

When dispensing lenses for musicians, I always bear in mind that they will be required to look through a central location in the lens to achieve the corrective power required for a particular working distance. This was a challenge for Graham. Because the need for a prismatic element in the lens meant that a conventional lens was out of the question. Graham needs to move his eyes to read his music. He can’t move his head due to the nature of his instrument and the restrictions of his mouthpiece.

The danger of dispensing a conventional lens is that the further off centre the wearer looks, the greater the image displacement. When the wearer looks down from the centre of a “plus” lens, Base Up prismatic effect is induced and the image appears to move downwards. However, when the wearer looks down from the centre of a “minus”, Base Down prismatic effect is induced and the image appears to shift upwards.  This is what was happening when Graham was playing, causing him to experience the focusing problems and partial double vision. 

For this reason I dispensed Graham with a pair of digital freeform lenses. Specifically for music stand distance, incorporating a prismatic element. Graham found the new lenses to be better than the previous pair. He does still have to move his head a little, but his vision is much improved and he can enjoy making music again.  

Trombonist Graham Palmer buys his specialist musicians glasses from Allegro Optical the musicians optician

The verdict

I heard from Graham a few weeks after he had received his new glasses and he said; “Simply put without Optical Allegro I would have had to stop playing. Two pairs of music glasses from a well known high street optician did not help. I was left  feeling as if the end of my playing had arrived I contacted Optical Allegro. The difference was enormous!  Nothing was too much trouble and they went that extra mile for me. Thank you Sheryl and all your staff for being so friendly, supportive and caring to both myself and my wife”. 

Why do musicians come to Allegro Optical?

An independent family run business we are gaining an international reputation for professional excellence and an inventive approach to meeting customer needs.

Now known internationally as the ‘Musicians Opticians’ we are attracting many clients from across Europe and further a field. Our groundbreaking work with performers, players and conductors has resulted in Allegro Optical becoming the first and only opticians to gain registration with the British Association for Performing Arts Medicine (BAPAM).  

We treat each client as an individual and it is true that no two musicians are the same. So why should their vision correction be? We enjoy creating unique lenses to meet a musician’s particular needs. As musicians ourselves we can ask the right questions and interpret the answers accordingly.

Award-winning eye-care

So successful has Allegro Optical been in helping performers that this year alone we have scooped no less than five national and regional awards. These awards include the National ‘Best New Arts & Entertainment Business of the Year‘ at a gala event in London. Managing Director Sheryl Doe was awarded the 2019 ‘Dispensing Optician of the Year‘. During March Allegro Optical was awarded the  ‘Scale-Up Business of the Year‘ at the regional finals of the Federation of Small Business awards in York and went on to receive the FSB Chairman’s award at the national finals in May. Finally winning the FBU Yorkshire family business of the year.

The company has been featured in many national publications including The Times 4BarsRest, The British Bandsman and Music Teacher Magazine.

Are you are a musician who is struggling with their vision? Is making music is no longer the enjoyable experience it once was? If so call us at either Greenfield on 01457 353100 or Meltham on 01484 907090.

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Now Peter really is Mr Bass Man thanks to his specialist musicians glasses

EEb Bass Player Peter plays in Mono

It’s always nice to catch up with a musical friend and EEb Bass player Peter Minshull from Cheshire has become just that. Having visited Allegro Optical in the past and being one of our early clients purchasing a pair of specialist musicians glasses. It was lovely to see him again when he visited us for his yearly check.

During the eye examination it became apparent that Peter had had a hyperopic shift. Meaning he had become a little more long sighted. Peter had felt that his vision had changed and mentioned that reading music on his stand was becoming more problematic even with his specialist musicians glasses.

Peter is a retired Civil Engineer and since retiring has returned to music making and now plays for several ensembles including;

Winterley Methodist Brass Band

Sandbach U3A Band 

Alsager Light Orchestra

This means that no two working distances are ever the same as the rehearsal rooms and so set up differs. Because of this we had to try to give Peter as good a range of vision as possible.

Alsager Light Orchestra
Alsager Light Orchestra. Photo courtesy of Geoff Reader

It’s not always better in stereo

Peter who is presbyopic, also has a strong right eye dominance, the tendency to prefer visual input from one eye to the other. This is a bit of a challenge for an EEb Bass player. The large bell of the instrument partially obscures his field of view. This  means he has to read the music with his non dominant eye. This can present as his right eye was dominating his vision and his brain was processing the right image by preference. We resolved this by suppressing Peter’s dominance. Preventing the right eye from disturbing his vision of the music on the stand. 

Ocular dominance issues solved at Allegro Optical Opticians in MelthamWe dispensed a monocular solution which allowed Peter a clear view of the conductor. In his right lens we also gave him a little notation field to the bottom of the lens. While in the left we concentrated on giving the widest field at music stand distance. Both lenses are fully personalised freeform lenses, manufactured using the latest digital ray-path technology, to maximise visual performance.

Seeing the music

Peter collected his new glasses a couple of weeks later, (while his wife Keri was having her eye test). We had experimented with Peter’s problem and had dispensed a mono-vision solution. So, we all held our breaths when Peter tried them on. Would he like the new monocular solution? What if he experienced double vision? Would he lose his depth of field? These were some of the questions we asked ourselves during the dispense and production process. I know we were all thinking that when he first put them on!

Peter Minshull EEb Bass player buys his specialist musicians glasses from ALlegro Optical the musicians optician

Seeing is believing

Thankfully Peter adapted really quickly. After an initial adjustment period to his new prescription, his vision seemed to settle very quickly. All our musicians lenses come with a full guarantee, just like all varifocals. If it isn’t perfect the first time, we will change the design until it is.

Peter was back at the practice a couple of weeks later when his wife came to collect her new glasses. While there he commented on the wide field of view he has of the music on his stand. We asked him how he was getting along with his new glasses and he said; I was becoming increasingly frustrated by High Street opticians who could only offer what they called ‘work’ glasses (intermediate/long distance varifocals) which did not work for reading music and seeing the conductor clearly.  When I met Sheryl at the Blackpool area band contest it was a ‘no-brainer’. To go to an optician who not only understood the problems musicians have, but are very capable of solving these problems. My latest glasses work very well – when I first started using them it was obvious that I was using my left eye to read the music, rather than my right eye which I had previously. However, having used them for a little while now I have become accustomed to them. I now don’t notice which I eye I am using. All I notice is that the music is always in focus no matter what size of the print.

Why Allegro?

Making music requires the ability to read music, often very quickly and at many different distances. This can present a musician with real problems, particularly if their instrument obscures their visual field. As a result of this, some musicians go on to develop postural problems because of their compromised visual clarity.

As musicians ourselves we have an understanding of the playing and seating positions of professional musicians. Thanks to very knowledgeable team of optical professionals, of which many are musical. We are ideally placed to resolve these issues and many more with our unique specialist musicians lenses.  Once we have restored visual clarity and the optical disorders corrected the musicians working and playing life can easily be improved.

A family business

As an independent family run business we are gaining an international reputation for professional excellence. Our inventive approach helps us to meet customer needs. Now known internationally as the ‘Musicians Opticians’ we are attracting many clients from across Europe and further a field. Our groundbreaking work with performers, players and conductors has resulted in Allegro Optical becoming the first and only opticians to gain registration with the British Association for Performing Arts Medicine (BAPAM).

We treat each client as an individual because they are. It is true that no two musicians are the same, so why should their vision correction be? We enjoy creating unique lenses to meet a musician’s particular needs. As musicians ourselves we can ask the right questions and interpret the answers accordingly. Dispensing specialist musicians glasses means musicians can continue to play and enjoy making the music they love.

Award-winning eye-care

So successful has Allegro Optical been in helping performers that this year alone we have scooped no less than five national and regional awards. These awards include the National ‘Best New Arts & Entertainment Business of the Yearat a gala event in London. Managing Director Sheryl Doe was awarded the 2019Dispensing Optician of the Yearand she has been shortlisted for the AOP Dispensing Optician of the year 2020.

During March Allegro Optical was awarded theScale-Up Business of the Yearat the regional finals of the Federation of Small Business awards in York and went on to receive the FSB Chairman’s award at the national finals in May. Finally winning the FBU Yorkshire family business of the year. Allegro Optical’s unique optical solution and our cutting edge approach to dispensing has led to the group being named finalists in the Huddersfield Examiners Business Awards in the Innovation and Enterprise category.

The company has been featured in many national publications including The Times 4BarsRest, The British Bandsman and Music Teacher Magazine.

Are you are a musician who is struggling with their vision? Is making music is no longer the enjoyable experience it once was? Would you benefit from a pair of Specialist musicians glasses. If so call us at either Greenfield on 01457 353100 or Meltham on 01484 907090.

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From Capetown to Yorkshire – South African Eyewear designer, David Green comes to Meltham Optician

South African Eyewear designer, David Green comes to Meltham Optician

The weather in Yorkshire in October is best described as a mixed bag. So we were delighted that the rain held off long enough for us to  welcome entrepreneurial eyewear designer, David Green, to our Meltham practice last month.
David Green eyewear at Allegro Optical
Helen, Gemma, Sheryl, Jill and David
David, who lives in Capetown, South Africa, is one of the industry’s eyewear designers who is leading the way in his commitment to green technology and environmental sustainability. With a range of unique, bespoke handmade frames featuring natural materials such as leaves, petals, cork, reeds and mother of pearl, the collection is as individual as its wearers.

Bringing nature to a walkers paradise

Walkers come from all over the country to enjoy the surrounding hills and spectacular views. So what better place to stock a completely natural range of eyewear. With inspiration drawn from the from forests to oceans of South Africa, the shapes and colours are both vibrant and natural. One only has to walk around our surrounding countryside to appreciate nature and the natural world. We feel that David Green eyewear echoes this and blends perfectly with our beautiful neighbourhood. For those who regularly read our blogs, you will know how passionate we are about the environment. We love sustainable eyewear and David Green eyewear just ticks all the boxes. Using natural foliage and vegetable dyes to provide vivid colours, all materials used are encased in natural cotton based acetates. While metal components are certified to contain no harmful substances.   David Green eyewear from Allegro Optical opticians in Saddleworth and Meltham Meltham may not provide the warm and lush climate David is used to. But the vibrant colours certainly bring a feeling sunshine and fun. David Green eyewear is ideal for ladies and gentlemen who want an update and are passionate about their environment, and the world they live in. Protecting our planet and environment is something which is gaining great importance and this beautiful eyewear collection reflects this.   Guitarist Rod Gooch - David Green eyewear David Green Awake Matt Black with leaf detail Gemma’s walk on the wild side While with us David kept us all entertained. He regaled us with many hints and tips about his fabulous eyewear collection. About life in South Africa, and his travels around the world. He also shared his love of music. In particular his passion for the guitar ash he chatted with Mr Gooch, one of our musical clients. We think you’ll agree that Mr Gooch looks fantastic in his new David Green Awake frame with it’s stunning leaf detailing. David Green eyewear from Allegro Optical opticians in Saddleworth and Meltham   For more information on the David Green Eyewear collection. To view the collection call either Greenfield on 01457 353100 or Meltham on 01484 907090 or email us on info@allegrooptical.co.uk
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About Allegro Music News

Double trouble for a musical duo – A couples search for specialist musicians glasses

A tale of a musical couple search for specialist musicians glasses – by Stephen Tighe

It’s not unusual forthe musician’s opticianto book an instrumentalist in for an eye test. It is less frequent that we book those appointments in pairs. However musical couples are quite a thing, our own directors are a musical pairing. So when Conductor and Tuba player Marcus Jones and his partner, Louise Crane rang to book an appointment together, the team weren’t phased.

In time, but one at a time

The couple visited our practice in Greenfield Saddleworth, with Louise being the first in the “big chair.”  Louise complained of some eye strain with her current glasses, she felt it was time to seek a new prescription. As a musician with a moderate hyperopia prescription and a high oblique astigmatism, Louise immediately presented us with a challenge. Louise also has a minor strabismus and was investigated for Brown’s Syndrome as a child. We knew that peripheral distortion was going to be a problem for Louise, so we needed to overcome this.  Being relatively young, Louise retains a good amount of accommodation, but her near vision is quite unbalanced. For this reason, unusually, we prescribed Louise with uneven add’s. We dispensed Louise with specialist musicians glasses with lenses from our turba range, as she still has relatively low adds. We did however want to balance her vision as best we could to make playing, conducting and life in general as easy as possible. The higher add was given for her left and less accommodative eye. While we have kept the addition to a minimum for the dominant right eye. 

Ashton Riley

Louise chose two beautiful frames from the Ashton Riley range, beautiful frames designed in the UK by Brett Waugh and named after his son. These easy to wear frames feature interesting but wearable shapes, which are complemented by acetate colours with depth and detail. Louise chose the Manchester and York models providing her with two very different styles for different occasions. Both frames dress up or down and are extremely flattering to Louise’s face shape.   
Ashton Riley York from Allegro Optical Opticians
Ashton Riley – York
Ashton Riley Manchester Black Matte from Allegro Optical Opticians
Ashton Riley – Manchester
When asked about her new glasses Louise, who conducts the Middleton youth band and plays soprano cornet for the main band, said; “I’m loving my musicians glasses! I was a bit skeptical at first having always had a single vision lens. But the Allegro team took the time to carefully tailor my new prescription and lenses really well. The eye strain and headaches I was experiencing have completely gone and I can now see fine print and music much more clearly, highly recommended.”
Louise Crane and Marcus Jones buy their specialist musicians glasses at Allegro Optical the musicians optician
Louise and Marcus

A second sitting

Next in the chair was Marcus, current Music Director of Dove Holes Brass Band and talented Tuba player. Marcus is mildly short sighted and can see the music on his stand fairly well without his glasses. However taking specs on and off during rehearsals isn’t very practical. Like Louise we dispensed Marcus with two pairs of specialist musicians glasses. Both with Turba lenses to help with transitioning between the two working distances.  Marcus wanted a frame that fitted well with a wide eye size. Opting for our 2-4-1 offer Marcus chose the Jaguar 33098 in both blue and charcoal. When he collected his new glasses Marcus commented on how comfortable they were in comparison to his old tight fitting spectacles. In fact Marcus went on to say; I’d recommend Allegro Optical Ltd to all glasses wearers musicians or not, their care and understanding goes above and beyond.”  Thank you Marcus.

Why Allegro?

This case study illustrates how frustrating vision problems can be for the musician. Focusing at the many different distances can be very problematic. As was illustrated in both Louise and Marcus’s case, many musicians find they struggle with the varying focal distances required. Some musicians even suffer from postural problems, which are often caused by their deteriorating vision as they try to compensate for this reduced visual acuity. With an understanding of the playing and seating positions of professional musicians, this can be overcome and the musicians working and playing life can easily be improved.  Many Musicians who experience vision problems are unaware that there is a solution to their vision problems and soldier on. Thanks to Allegro Optical there is no need to suffer in silence.

A family Business

As an independent family run specialist business, Allegro Optical is gaining an international reputation. Both for professional excellence and an inventive approach to meeting customer needs. Becoming known internationally as the ‘Musicians Opticians’ the team are attracting many clients from across Europe and further a field. It’s our groundbreaking work with performers, players and conductors which has resulted in Allegro Optical becoming the first and only opticians to gain registration with the British Association for Performing Arts Medicine (BAPAM).   We firmly believe in treating each client as an individual and it is true that no two musicians are the same. Even if they come in pairs! On that note we ask our usual question.  Why should all musicians vision correction be the same? We enjoy creating unique lenses to meet a musician’s particular needs. As musicians ourselves we can ask the right questions and interpret the answers accordingly. Marcus and Louise have been delighted with their specialist musicians glasses and now recommend us to all their friends.

Award-winning eye-care

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

Christmas fashion and style in Meltham and Saddleworth

The big day is nearly here and you’re invited to an evening of Christmas fashion and style in Meltham and Saddleworth. Are you a last minute Christmas shopper, trying to get something for everyone a week before the big day? Or, have you not only bought, but actually wrapped most of your presents already? Either way you can’t deny that the festive season is nearly upon us. 

Does the office party or Christmas Jumper Day fill you with dread? Do you worry about what to wear to the charity gala dinner? If so help is at hand as Allegro Optical calls in the experts at two evenings of festive fun and sparkle. 

Find your fashion

Following on from our successful colour and style event in July we are hosting two evenings of seasonal fashion and style tips. Coco Chanel famously said “Fashion changes, but style endures” and that is what the evenings are all about.

The purpose of our event is to engage in an evening of discussion about the importance of self-confidence through good styling. Fashion wouldn’t exist without style. Many of us don’t feel empowered enough to wear the styles of clothing that appeal to us the most. At Allegro Optical we want to encourage everyone to be bold enough to celebrate their own style and unapologetically express themselves.

A word from the experts

Guest speakers will use style, embellishment, and festivities as a topic to lead discussions about how to stay confident, motivated, inspired and most of all to love ourselves. The fashion industry doesn’t discuss this enough, so we aim to encourage and empower our audience and have them leave inspired or having inspired others. We talk about how colour and shape can flatter or flounder and how it can help your personality sparkle this festive season.

The evenings begin with a drinks and nibbles reception and you will have the opportunity to talk to all the speakers. 

Sparkle event ALlegro Optical at Scona 14th November 2019The first event is taking place on Thursday 14th November at Scona in Greenfield at 7:30 

Sparkle event Allegro Optical at 20th November 2019The second on Wednesday 20th November at Allegro Optical in Meltham.

If you would like to join us for an evening of sparkle and style in Greenfield register here or call 01457 353100 or for Meltham click here or call 01484 907090