“It’s not always just about refraction”

Allegro Optical is making a name for itself as the “Musicians Optician” Specialising in performing arts eye care, the group is the nation’s largest optician dedicated to providing better vision for performers. The eyecare professionals working at Allegro Optical are dedicated to improving the lives of performing artists affected by deteriorating vision. 

Millions of musicians and performers worldwide encounter barriers when trying to sight-read or complete their daily near vision tasks. This can be due to refractive error, visual impairments or ocular disorders. Some performers encounter vision problems early in their careers, while others can reach their fifties without experiencing problems. The latter is true of string player and retired music teacher Susan Marshall. Susan came to Allegro Optical on the recommendation of friends as she was experiencing difficulty with her most recent glasses. She was finding that sightreading was becoming increasingly problematic and lighting, in particular, was crucial. In fact, she said she preferred her old glasses to her newer ones. 

An eye for detail

The first thing that the Allegro Optical team noticed when examining Susan’s glasses and her old prescription was that the prescribed prism on her most recent prescription was in the opposite direction to the prism in all her previous spectacles. Following detailed consultation with Bapam Registered Optometrist Elizabeth Holmes Susan was given a new optical prescription. The consultation not only included full refraction, and a binocular investigation including analysis with a saccadic eye movement tracker, but it also included a 3D ocular tomography scan and full binocular visual fields investigation.

Elizabeth found that Susan had mild lens opacities and nuclear sclerosis. In other words, she had early cataracts. The cataracts are growing centrally and cause some disturbance to Susan’s vision. A nuclear cataract is a clouding and hardening of the lens centre, resulting in blurred vision, glare, and other changes in the field of vision, making reading difficult and causing a degree of glare. Aside from opacification, cataracts also cause refractive changes and colour distortion.

Not just focusing on the lenses

Because of the position of the cataracts and the changes to Susan’s refractive error Elizabeth and Dispensing Opticians Abigayle and Sheryl Doe decided that a digital aspheric lens solution would be the best option. This worked particularly well with the prism element of Susan’s prescription, making the lenses much more attractive than conventionally surfaced lenses. The digital lens form also provided a much more natural vision correction for Susan, eliminating bowing and reducing magnification making the music easier to read and keeping the appearance of staves straight. The lenses were coated with an anti-glare coating and we provided Susan with a yellow contract enhancing filter to help when playing in lower lighting conditions. By using a separate filter Susan doesn’t have to walk around with yellow lenses on which can at times impede colour perception.

Coloured filters often enhance residual vision, improve visual function, reduce glare, and enhance orientation and mobility skills. In addition to cataracts, many symptoms of ocular diseases can be eased with coloured filters and overlays, including age-related macular degeneration (AMD), retinitis pigmentosa (RP), and diabetic retinopathy, to name but a few. 

Perfectly framed

Susan chose a lovely Oliver Goldsmith frame which suited her complexion and fitted perfectly. This is particularly important for a violinist, as the last thing she wants is to be constantly pushing her glasses up, especially as she doesn’t have a free hand when playing.

When Susan collected her glasses, she commented how much clearer her vision was. however, it was the yellow filter which made a big difference. The yellow filter reduces blue light, creating greater contrast in daylight conditions and helps with sight-reading. 

We caught up with Susan a couple of weeks later and asked her how she was getting on with her glasses and filters. She said; After a long period of struggling I can at last read music clearly thanks to the skill and thoroughness of Elizabeth, Sheryl and Abigayle at Allegro Optical. I am especially grateful to them for restoring my vision and providing my new music glasses in time for three concerts I have just played. I am a very happy client.”

Why do musicians come to Allegro Optical?

We are an independent family-run company with an international reputation for professional excellence and an inventive approach to meeting customer needs.

Allegro Optical is now known internationally as the ‘Musicians Opticians’ and is attracting clients from across Europe and beyond. With our groundbreaking work with musicians, conductors, and performers, Allegro Optical became the first and only opticians to gain registration with the British Association for Performing Arts Medicine (BAPAM).

It is true that no two musicians are alike, so why should their vision correction be the same? The lenses we create for musicians are designed to meet their unique needs. We understand their situation because we are musicians ourselves.

Award-winning eye-care

Allegro Optical has been so successful in helping performers that we have won many national and regional awards. These awards include the National ‘Best New Arts & Entertainment Business of the Year‘ 2019. In the same year Managing Director Sheryl Doe was awarded the ‘Dispensing Optician of the Year‘ an achievement repeated in 2021 by another Allegro Optical Dispensing Optician Kim Walker.

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

Are you a musician who is struggling with their vision? Is making music no longer the enjoyable experience it once was? If so call us at Greenfield on 01457 353100, Marsden 01484 768888 or Meltham on 01484 907090.

About Allegro Music News

Outstanding performance from start to finish – A blog by violinist Richard Bottom of Slaithwaite Philharmonic Orchestra

A violinist’s view

We love to receive feedback, good and maybe not so good, it is all helpful and helps us to grow and improve our business and products. We’re even happier when a happy customer offers to write a blog about their experience. In this blog Violinist Richard Bottom from Slaithwaite Philharmonic Orchestra talks all about his journey to find the right glasses to help him see the music.

Violinist Richard Bottom at Huddersfield town hall with Sheryl from ALlegro Optical, the musicians optician

Struggling to see music

I decided to give Allegro Opticians a try after reading their claims and some of the testimonials on their website.

I have been struggling to see music when playing my violin and viola for several years. My normal varifocals just didn’t work when playing. I tried single lens glasses, which were fine for reading the music in front of me, but didn’t work playing in the orchestra. My regular optician suggested bi focals but these made me feel sick.

Things came to a head in July Slaithwaite Philharmonic Orchestra were reading through Beethoven’s Eroica, a symphony which, for some reason I had never played and was really looking forward to doing. I struggled to see the music so much I went home in tears, convinced my playing days in an orchestra were over.

Looking for a solution

The following day I rang Allegro and made an appointment for later that same day. It was clear from the outset that Allegro were different from other opticians and really did understand the quite complex requirements for glasses for musicians.

The initial eye test was thorough, similar to what you would expect from any other examination. 

What followed, however is in my opinion what makes Allegro stand out from the crowd.

Next came a detailed discussion took place with Sheryl Doe, the dispensing optician. Sheryl covered all aspects of what I needed to be able to see. And it didn’t stop there. Violin out, music on stand, distances I needed to be able to see at measured:

  • height of the music on the stand, 
  • how far away the conductor was, 
  • distance to the desk in front (for copying bowings during rehearsal), 
  • writing on my own part. 
  • tracking my eye movement to see which parts of the lens I was using when playing. 

You name it, it was checked and double checked.

Seeing is believing

And the attention to detail continued. When the glasses came back from the factory Sheryl wasn’t happy with them. Slight changes were made and the lenses re-made till she was satisfied they would do the job. Even then I was sent home to play and make sure I was completely happy.

The glasses are not cheap, around what you would pay for high end varifocals. But the end result is, I now have a pair of glasses I previously thought it was impossible to make. As a result I can look forward to playing again. Allegro really do understand the needs of musicians and their attention to detail is outstanding.

I have no reservations whatsoever in recommending them to anyone looking for an optician who will go that extra mile to get it right and would like to thank all their staff for their professionalism and help.

Why do musicians come to Allegro Optical?

As 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 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 to provide the very best glasses for musicians.

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‘ 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.

Allegro Optical the musicians optician Sheryl winning Dispensing Optician of the Year 2019 Award for their work with Musicians eye care

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? Are you looking for the perfect pair of glasses for musicians? If so call us at either Greenfield on 01457 353100 or Meltham on 01484 907090.

About Allegro Music News

Nouvelle “Entente Cordiale” lorsqu’Agnès, joueuse de cornemuse, cherche du côté de Saddleworth et Holmfirth pour résoudre ses problèmes de vue.

Un bon nombre de musiciens dépités nous contactent par téléphones et quelques-uns sur notre site Internet. À l’occasion, une requête nous donne à réfléchir, ce qui a bien été le cas quand Agnès Lefèbvre, enseignante de cornemuse à Paris, nous a contactés.

Agnès nous a expliqué qu’elle avait de sérieuses difficultés à fixer son regard non pas sur la musique de son pupitre mais sur celle de ses étudiants. Après avoir consulté au moins quatre différents optométristes dans l’espoir de trouver des lunettes qui correspondent à ses besoins, Agnès se retrouvait déçue et dépitée. Elle nous a expliqué qu’elle avait besoin de lire à la fois la musique sur son pupitre et sur celui de ses étudiants. Elle avait tout essayé : des verres uni-focaux avec un point focal pour son pupitre, des verres uni-focaux pour le pupitre de ses étudiants, des verres progressifs et professionnels. Rien ne marchait et elle ne savait plus quoi faire.

Piper Agnes plays with a number of marching pip bands and turned to Allegro Optical the musicians optician for help to see the music and reducing eyesight

De plus en plus désappointée, Agnès s’est dirigée vers Internet dans sa quête d’une solution à ses difficultés visuelles et elle a trouvé Allegro Optical. Quand elle a pris contact avec nous, elle a expliqué ce dont elle avait besoin et a décrit ce qu’elle attendait d’une paire de “lunettes de musique“. Agnès se tient à droite de ses étudiants et a souvent besoin de deux pupitres, un devant l’étudiant et un pour elle.

Agnès enseigne à ses étudiants à jouer une variété de cornemuses et de binious soit français soit écossais. Un trait de nombreuses cornemuses françaises est la position du bourdon ténor sur la même souche que le tuyau mélodique au lieu d’être le long du bourdon de basse. Ceci positionne l’étudiant à gauche de l’enseignant et peut occasionner un défi visuel.

Tout est question de tuyaux

Piper Agnes plays with a number of marching pip bands and turned to Allegro Optical the musicians optician for help to see the music and reducing eyesight

Heureusement notre Directeur Général Stephen Tighe a un bon nombre d’amis qui jouent de la cornemuse et ainsi d’anciens collègues de fanfare militaire ont reçu quelques coups de téléphone. En général on joue de la cornemuse de mémoire, sans partition,

dans un défilé ; il n’y avait donc que le problème des leçons à résoudre. Nous avons donc travaillé avec A

gnès sur Skype et l’avons observée pendant ses leçons pour arriver à une solution intéressante.

Ce dont Agnès avait besoin était une lentille à puissance dioptrique moindre à l’œil gauche pour lui permettre de voir sa propre partition et celle de ses étudiants. Nous avons donc préparé pour Agnès un verre uni-focal à l’œil droit pour son propre pupitre et un de nos verres Fogotto, pivoté à 90 degrés à l’œil gauche.

Une perspective de musiciens

Agnes loves her new glasses from Allegro OPtical opticians in Greenfield Saddleworth and Holmfirth The musician's optician

Ces solutions monoculaires permettent ainsi à Agnès de lire sa partition tout en suivant ce que ses étudiants sont en train de jouer. Nous avons posté les nouvelles lunettes d’Agnès sous une quinzaine et avons attendu sa réaction. Très vite Agnès a pris contact avec ces mots :
Les lunettes sont les meilleures que j’aie jamais eues, merci beaucoup. Je dois toujours bouger un peu, il me semble, mais pas autant qu’avec les lunettes d’avant. Je vois beaucoup mieux la partition de mes étudiants et monbureau, et celles-ci sont vraiment supérieures à mes anciennes lunettes. J’avais un peu peur d’acheter des lunettes en ligne, mais je suis vraiment satisfaite de la qualité de la monture et des verres. Votre service clientèle est sans pareil et je ferai de nouveau appel à vous sans le moindre doute. J’ai déjà recommandé votre entreprise à plusieurs amis.”

Pourquoi les musiciens viennent-ils à Allegro Optical ?

Nous sommes une entreprise familiale qui gagne une réputation internationale d’excellence professionnelle et de créativité face aux besoins de nos clients. Étant désormais connus à l’échelle internationale comme les “Opticiens des
Musiciens” nous attirons une clientèle dans toute l’Europe et bien au-delà. Notre travail novateur avec des artistes, des interprètes et des chefs d’orchestre a fait d’Allegro Optical le premier et le seul opticien à être enregistré par l’Association Britannique de Médecine pour les Arts du Spectacle. Nous considérons chaque client individuellement et il est vrai que chaque musicien est unique. Pourquoi donc la correction de leur vision ne le serait-elle pas ? Nous
sommes heureux de créer des verres uniques pour répondre aux besoins particuliers de chaque musicien. Étant nous-mêmes musiciens, nous savons poser les bonnes questions et en interpréter les réponses.

Soins oculaires primés

Un soin oculaire primé Le succès d’Allegro Optical dans son aide aux artistes a été tel que nous avons, rien
que cette année, décroché cinq accolades nationales et régionales, dont le prix national de la Meilleure Nouvelle Entreprise des Arts et du Spectacle, à un évènement de Londres. En 2019 notre Directrice Générale, Sheryl Doe, a été nommée Opticienne de l’Année. En mars Allegro Optical a été nommée Entreprise en Croissance de l’Année en finale régionale de la Fédération des Petites Entreprises à York et par la suite a reçu le prix en finale nationale du Président de la Fédération des Petites Entreprises en mai. Enfin Allegro Optical a remporté le prix du Yorkshire comme Entreprise Familiale de l’Année.

La compagnie a été présentée dans de nombreuses publications nationales telles que The Times, 4BarsRest, The British Bandsman et Music Teacher Magazine.

Si vous êtes un musicien ou une musicienne qui a des problèmes de vue et si la musique n’est plus pour vous le plaisir qu’elle était, appelez-nous soit à Greenfield au (+44) 1457 353100 soit à Meltham au (+44) 1484 907090.

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Musicians’ new glasses are a real sax…cess

Musicians’ new glasses are a real sax…cess thanks to the “Musicians’ Optician”

As opticians who specialise in the field of musicians eye care, we see our fair share of orchestral players. Due to our location, with practices each side of Saddleworth Moor we also see plenty of brass players. So you could say it was a bit of a break from the norm’ when Saxophonist and violinist Melanie Taylor from Swadlincote in Derbyshire paid us a visit. Melanie plays with a few groups, including Rebel Rebel, The Comet Rockers, 7StoreySoul and Beeston Big Band. She also teaches violin and so she needs to read music which is off to one side.

Melanie had tried varifocals in the past but had struggled with the peripheral distortion. Also the very small area for focusing on the music stand and laptop. For this reason, her optician changed her to bifocals.  Giving an intermediate or mid-range prescription in the top and reading in the bottom. This option didn’t really work, especially as when performing on stage Melanie moves around a lot. This was then changed to bifocals with the distance prescription in the top and an intermediate prescription in the bottom. Unfortunately, Melanie found the line of the segment top too high. This inferred with her playing, caused a certain amount of image jump. As the two prescriptions were for a set distance her vision was frequently blurred through the glasses and again there was a problem on stage.

Melanie’s quest to see the music

In frustration, Melanie took to the internet, desperate to find a solution. Something that would allow her to read her music on the stand, move around and teach. Melanie came across Allegro Optical and arranged a consultation. As luck would have it, Melanie had her initial eye examination with Optometrist Claire Wightman, who as a Saxophonist herself, who completely understood Melanie’s problems. She also had a very good understanding of her working distances. Following her eye examination, Melanie met with Dispensing Optician Sheryl Doe who measured all her visual fields, angles of gaze and working distances. This allowed Sheryl to design a pair of lenses to give Melanie the clearest possible vision and greatest depth of field when performing and teaching.

Sheryl also dispensed a pair of freeform digital varifocals, choosing these lenses as Melanie had previously had problems with varifocal lenses. These lenses have complex variable curves on each surface to provide the very best vision correction. By using dual surface Camber technology the manufacturer can achieve greater prescription accuracy. Utilising both sides of the lens with specific personalised measurements, gives a wider field of vision, with improved adaptability.

Melanie Taylor Saxophone with her musicians glasses from Allegro Optical, the musicians optician in Greenfield and MelthamMelanie Taylor Saxophone with her musicians glasses from Allegro Optical, the musicians optician in Saddleworth

The continuously changing surface curvature of these individualised lenses delivers an expanded reading zone and improved peripheral vision. With their sophisticated inner surface design, both surfaces work together to produce an expanded prescription range, with better cosmetics and superior near vision performance, when compared with other progressive lenses.

Now Melanie can see the music

When she collected her new glasses a few weeks later Melanie was delighted. We fitted the varifocal first and her distance vision was excellent, giving her a visual acuity of 6/5 and near acuity of N4. She commented on how much clearer the lenses were in comparison to her previous ones.

As for her musicians’ glasses, Melanie was delighted and commented on the wide field of view she had and the depth of clear vision. Melanie said; “I am delighted with my new glasses.  For the first time I can stand on stage reading my music from different distances,  walk around, dance, see my fellow band members and the audience with perfect clear vision. No more looking over the top of my glasses frames or wearing them halfway down my nose!  I can’t thank Sheryl and Claire at Allegro enough. They totally understood my needs and provide an outstanding service. The choice of frames was vast and the advice given was first class. Thank You!”

Why does Allegro Optical get it right when so many opticians can’t?

Well, the answer is simple, as musicians ourselves we completely understand the complex visual needs of performers. As mature players ourselves we know how difficult it can be to read those accidentals. Also to distinguish between a natural and a sharp. Especially when sight reading a fast tempo piece of music for the first time.

Sometime after age forty, nearly everyone experiences a phenomenon known as presbyopia. We often hear clients refer to it as the “optical trombone effect”. Like a trombonist reaching for sixth position, we have to push things further and further away to get any clarity. The situation becomes even worse with fine print or in dim light. Presbyopia is a form of long-sightedness caused by loss of elasticity of the lens of the eye. It usually occurs in middle and old age. Losing the ability to focus properly can be devastating to a lifelong musician and can become a serious threat to both careers and livelihoods.

Sadly as Melanie experienced many optometrists and dispensing opticians suggest either varifocals, which often exacerbate the problems due to the narrow corridor. Or they recommend bifocals or occupational lenses neither of which provide a satisfactory solution as they are designed for the job. At Allegro Optical we use a unique lens design, designed with musicians’ in mind. Every lens we dispense is different and takes into account, the instrument played, the musicians playing position and posture when playing and during rest periods. We know that most musicians breathe in phrases, both when playing wind and other instruments. This can also affect posture and the pupil’s position behind the lens. We never use an “off the shelf” lens design and we’ve yet to meet a musician who we would consider “off the shelf”!

Melanie Taylor playing Saxophone and violin with Rebel Rebel buys her glasses from Allegro Optical the musicians optician

Specialist eye care for musicians and performers

Allegro Optical specialises in all aspects of performers’ vision correction to return and enhance their performance experience.  The Allegro Optical team has over 150 combined years’ experience in the optics and entertainment industry. In March Allegro Optical even won the coveted Arts and Entertainment Business of the Year award. While Dispensing Optician and co-founder Sheryl Doe is the current holder of the Optician Award Dispensing Optician of the Year.

So whether you want advice or a practical solution call Allegro Optical in Greenfield, Saddleworth on 01457 353100 or Meltham, Holmfirth on 01484 907090 or visit

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

Allegro Optical in Meltham feature in a National ABDO Campaign


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

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

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

Aims of #NotJustaDO

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

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

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

Why we are different

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

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

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

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

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OCT – Helping us see so much more

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

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

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

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

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

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

How do I get a 3D OCT Scan?

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

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

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

What else can a 3D OCT Scan Show?

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

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

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

AMD and Macula Scans

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

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

These are most important for:

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

Optic Nerve Scans

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

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

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

Cornea and Anterior Scans

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

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

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

Visual Reference & Measuring

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

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

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

About Allegro News

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

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

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

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

Keratoconus and posture

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

Why Allegro Optical?

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

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

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


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

About the authors

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

About Allegro News

The Musician’s optician goes on the road

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

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

Vision and Music

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

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

The British Open

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

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

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

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


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

Angelo Bearpark needed help with sight reading

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

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

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

About Allegro News

Allegro MD takes on the MD role at Kippax Band

Stephen Tighe is the new man in the middle

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The announcement was made on 4BarsRest earlier this week. Read more at

About Allegro News

Cellist Now Has Sharp Vision And Fewer Blurred Notes

Nicky was looking for help to see the music

Freelance Cellist and Pianist Nicky Woods from Harrogate became aware that the music on her stand wasn’t as sharp as it could be. Thanks to the recommendations from colleagues Fiona Mayo, Gillian Charters and Cherry Bratkowski Nicky discovered  Allegro Optical Opticians. Fiona suggested that she should contact us as we are specialist musicians’ opticians. Nicky has a very high myopic prescription and she is a long-term varifocal wearer. Like many of the musicians, Nicky was finding the middle distance area of her current varifocal lenses very restrictive. Particularly at the distance of her music stand. Nicky was wearing very good high index varifocal lenses by Zeiss, a well-respected lens manufacturer. Unfortunately, these lenses still didn’t provide a wide enough field of view at the distances she required.

When the music isn’t clear

As is the case for many musicians, they often use a music stand off centre and to one side. The need to be able to read the music at an angle. When wearing varifocal lenses this can become challenging as they are designed to give clear vision while looking straight ahead.

Due to Nicky’s very high prescription, her lenses will always carry a higher than average amount of distortion. So dispensing even freeform design lenses would not have sufficed. We dispensed Nicky with a pair of high index freeform varifocal lenses for daily use and a second pair of our “performers” lenses with a much wider field of view at the music stand distance. The new lens design gives her a wide central field and much clearer vision to her left and right. The new lenses provide a clear view of the conductor and sharp focus of her music on the stand, she also has sufficient clear vision to notate the manuscript when needed.

A high-performance solution for a high prescription

We took into account Nicky’s seating and playing position and the offset position of the music stand allowing her to play the Cello and Piano with ease. Then we dispensed a plotted “performers” lens designed to take into account all Nicky’s working distances. We also measured and plotted the area and angle of her visual field at each distance. Once that was complete we adapted the music stand distance to give her as wide a field of view at the music stand distance to enable her to see two full pages of sheet music, thus making it easier to concentrate on playing rather than seeing.

Nicky took to her new music lenses almost straight away, really noticing the wider field of view and the enhanced playing comfort. Nicky saidit’s brilliant to be able, finally, to concentrate on playing the music rather than worrying about seeing it – or not seeing it!.”


Musicians can present a great many dispensing challenges. Mainly because of their varied working distances and strict seating positions. As musicians ourselves, we’re able to ask the musicians the right questions, and interpret their answers. Using our combined optical and musical skills we can address and resolve the many visual problems encountered by mature musicians.

As a specialist optical team we are able to produce individual solutions to suit many musicians and performers needs. This service is not available anywhere else and we approach the problem in a completely different way, looking at it from the musician’s perspective.

A unique approach

Our unique lens designs enable us to solve musicians and performers unique visual problems. We have built up a considerable following of performing arts professionals as a result.

It’s been less than twelve months since we opened our brand new practice in Meltham and we’re already getting noticed. Allegro Optical Opticians has been shortlisted numerous awards including; the Yorkshire and Humberside Federation of Small Businesses, Celebrating Small Business Awards, for the Start-up Business of the Year category. Our Co-founder and Dispensing Optician Sheryl Doe has also been named as a finalist in this year’s Optician Awards, Dispensing Optician of the year award. She also won the National Best New Business, Entrepreneur of the year award.

Allegro Optical, the musician's optician in Meltham near Huddersfield, Holmfirth and Saddleworth

Allegro Optical are a BAPAM (British Association of Performing Arts Medicine) registered practitioner we are passionate about helping to correct the specific visual problems faced by musicians and performers. Providing a range of tailor-made solutions and services including on-site vision assessments. Using specialist optical technology for those affected by reduced visual clarity. The team have built up a broad client base, from professional classical musicians to members of well-known brass bands and many keen amateurs. We have also helped music teachers, performers, TV presenters and many keen amateur musicians of all genres. We love helping musicians to see their music again and extending their playing careers.