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Eye Health from Brookside Optometric

Eye health tips and information about glasses, contact lenses, Lasik, and more from the doctors of Brookside Optometric Group.

What is blue light, and why should you care?

Most of us have an understanding that overexposure to ultraviolet (UV) light is bad for our eyes. We’ve learned to shop for sunglasses that have “100% UV Protection”. This is still good advice. However, due to a dramatic increase in our use of electronic devices and energy-efficient lighting, there’s increased concern about our exposure to another part of the visual spectrum... blue light.

Blue light itself is nothing new. It’s been present in natural sunlight and in artificial light in varying concentrations since the beginning of time. It’s actually very close to UV light in the visible light spectrum (Ultraviolet = 10-380 nm, Blue-violet = 380-455 nm). The difference is the level of exposure to blue light that we’re receiving in our modern world. The majority of this increase comes from our growing dependence on electronic devices, and how quickly this trend has occurred. Let’s look at a few dates that we can probably all relate to:

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Meet the Staff: Savanna

When you visit Brookside Optometric, chances are you are greeted by our receptionist, Savanna. Savanna lives with her family in Stockton. She attended Edison High School and Maric College.

Savanna’s many responsibilities include helping the doctors prepare for their day, pulling the charts of the day’s patients, checking in patients, answering phone calls to make appointments or answer patient questions and closing down the office at the end of the day.

“My favorite part of the job is working with Brookside Optometric Group staff and doctors,” says Savanna. “After being here for about a year I consider them my BOG family.”

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What are Cataracts?

“You’ve got cataracts”.

These three words can still fill a patient’s mind with worry and fear when their doctor has to utter them. Memories still linger of parents and grandparents going to the hospital and needing a week of bed rest only to be chained to thick glasses for the rest of their lives once the surgery was complete. Luckily for all of us those days are a thing of the past.

These days cataract surgery is a 20-minute procedure that should not be feared. With modern implant surgery bed rest is not necessary and the visual outcomes are often nothing short of miraculous.

So what are cataracts and how do you fix them?

Everyone’s eyes have two lenses they use to see with. The cornea is the lens on the front of the eye where contact lenses are placed. The cornea’s job is to help you see distance objects clearly. If the cornea has an improper power than contact lenses, glasses or LASIK surgery is necessary to provide clear distance vision.

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Meet the Doctors: Dr. Bob Melrose

Dr. Bob Melrose remembers sitting in his pediatrician’s office one day as a child and deciding that he wanted to become a doctor. After graduating from high school in the Bay Area, he completed his undergraduate studies at UCLA and UC Berkeley before beginning his optometry training in 1978 at Cal’s School of Optometry. 

As luck would have it, he met another student in his class, Rosemary Rodic. The two of them fell in love and were married in 1981. After graduation they joined Dr. Craig Hisaka as partners in private practice here in Stockton.

In addition to their practice, Dr. Bob and Dr. Rosie both become assistant clinical professors at Cal’s School of Optometry. They taught there until the early 1990s when the birth of their twin boys, Brian and Kevin, changed their lives forever. Dr. Rosie ended her teaching career to raise their children while continuing to practice at their office. Dr. Bob continued to teach but left in 1994 when an exciting new opportunity came his way.

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Make-up Tips

In honor of Women’s Eye Health and Safety Month, I want to offer some tips to my female patients regarding make-up application and removal. I am not talking about tips on how to get the perfect winged eyeliner or smoky eye (but if someone can teach me, that will be greatly appreciated). I am referring to how to put make-up on and remove it to avoid getting dry and red eyes.

One of the common causes of dry eye is meibomian gland dysfunction. The eyelid margin (also known as the waterline) is lined with meibomian glands that secrete oil to lubricate the eye. However, if there is chronic blockage of the gland, it can become inflamed and no longer produce the oil we need to keep our eyes feeling moisturized.

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Scholarship Opportunity

This month I have the distinct honor to write about the Brookside Optometric Group’s latest project. My husband and I moved to Stockton in 1982 to begin our professional life here as optometrists. We joined Dr. Hisaka and Dr. Prima as partners. At that time we were impressed with their professional values but also with their community values. They taught us that when a community is good to you, you need to be good to the community.

Over the years our practice grew and in 1998 we combined our practice with two other practices in Stockton (and have since added a third) to form Brookside Optometric Group. We looked for other doctors who shared our concern for patients but also for our town as a whole.

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Glaucoma Diagnosis

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Glaucoma is a disease where a person slowly loses their peripheral due to an increased pressure within the eye that damages the optic nerve.

In the early days of glaucoma detection doctwere mainly concerned about the level of intra-ocular pressure (pressure within the eye). If it was high you had glaucoma-simple as that. We also looked at the appearance of the nerve and tested the level of their peripheral vision by having them stare at a large blank area of black cloth and brought in a white marker on a stick to see when they first noticed it.

Those days are all but forgotten now. Today’s diagnoses of glaucoma require sophisticated equipment since our understanding of the disease has evolved.

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2015 – A Look Back

This is the time of year we celebrate the holidays with family and friends, but it is also a time to reflect back on the last year to remind ourselves what has transpired during this particular trip around the sun.

It has been an eventful year for our office. In fact, it could be called the “Electronic Medical Records” year.  Beginning in October, this was the year that the government made EMRs a necessity in doctors’ offices across the country.  Between coding changes and Medicare rules, the ability to operate an office without an EMR system became an impossibility. 

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Good Vision Means More Than Seeing "20/20"

Now that our kids are back to school it is important for parents to feel confident that their child is seeing clearly to optimize his or her learning experience. An estimated 80 percent of information processed in school is through vision. When most people think about seeing clearly, they think of visual acuity, or being able to see “20/20.”

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Eye Spy

Some of us may remember playing the game "I Spy," with my little eye, where the speaker would describe something within everyone's line of sight for the other participants to guess what they see. In a world of smartphones, tablets and other handheld devices, our eyes can see the whole world right from our fingertips.

The eye is a truly amazing organ which turns light into sight and for animals, this can mean a completely different type of vision. For example, insects and arthropods, have compound eyes that can have up to 25,000 lenses compared to the single one found in humans. This allows for thousands of images being present at once, which allows faster motion detection and image recognition, which is the reason why it can be difficult to swat a passing fly.

People and most other animals, have eyes that are similar to a camera, which use a single lens to focus images onto a light sensitive membrane on the inside of the eyeball called the retina. While these camera-type eyes are similar conceptually, most animals see the world completely different than humans.

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Guest — lloyde
That's a great myth busters infographic, thanks for the post, very entertaining and informative!
Monday, 17 August 2015 11:43
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Meet the Staff: Jana Ballance

Our staff and doctors are the most dedicated and caring group. Today, we introduce you to our office manager Jana Balance.

Jana has been part of the Brookside Optometric Group since 1989 starting as a technician then became office manager in 2002. She has worked for ophthalmologists in San Diego and Stockton many years ago. Her typical workday consists of employee scheduling, employee counseling, meetings with various vendors, updating doctor’s credentialing information, and occasionally helping patients that require special attention.

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Meet our Staff: Veronica Artesi

Not only do we provide great optometry care, but we also have an awesome staff to help you with your every need.  We’d like to introduce you to one of the first people you see when you walk in our doors — our front desk assistant manager, Veronica.

Veronica was born and raised in Stockton.  She comes from the largest families in town, the Castellons and Valverdes.  Veronica had been a patient at our office for more than 30 years when she joined the Brookside team in 2006.  Not only has Dr.  Hisaka been her family doctor for years, but her siblings, their kids and her spouse’s family all are patients of Brookside Optometric. 

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Seeing in the Summertime

It's another of those hot central valley summers and many of us are choosing to keep cool by enjoying watersports. Boating, wave running and swimming are all excellent ways to beat the heat but there are a few things we all need to watch out for when it comes to our eyes and our eye health.

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What's the problem with cataracts?

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"What are cataracts?” and "Do I have cataracts?” are two of the most common questions asked during an eye examination.

What are cataracts? A cataract is formed when the lens of the eye becomes cloudy. The lens is the part of the eye that helps focus light or an image on the retina, the light sensitive tissue at the back of the eye, similar to film in cameras.

When the lens is cloudy, it will interfere with the light entering the eye and imaging on the retina. Hence, vision will be blurred or hazy. Colors will be less vivid or intense and more difficult to distinguish. There may be increased sensitivity to glare from lights, especially when driving at night and difficulty seeing at night. Reading and other routine activities become more difficult to perform.

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Meet the Doctors: Dr. Yolanda Scheer

A Professor, Doctor, Optometrist, and Mom, Dr. Yolanda Scheer joined us here at Brookside Optometric Group in September of 2014. A Northern California native, Dr. Scheer has served as an assistant clinical professor at UC Berkeley School of Optometry for the past 7 years, while the same time working as an associate doctor with an Optometric Group in Lafayette for the past 11 years.

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Diabetes and Eye Health

Diabetes is a disease that affects approximately 29 million or 9 % of the American population and is the 7th leading cause of death in this country. Of those affected Americans 15% to 20% will suffer some visual impairment due to the disease. Diabetic patients are 60% more likely to develop cataracts at an younger age and 40% more likely to be diagnosed with glaucoma - both of which can cause severe vision loss if left untreated. Because diabetes is largely treatable with diet and medication, we can reduce the likelihood of these side effects from occurring or at least delay their severity.

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Springtime is allergy time!

As spring approaches most of us will appreciate the beautiful flowers, blooming trees, the singing birds, and the bees. Unfortunately some of you will dread the sneezing, coughing, and the watery, swollen, and itchy eyes associated with Seasonal Allergic Conjunctivitis (SAC).

Seasonal allergic conjunctivitis (SAC), is the condition that many patients often suffer from without knowing they have it. Unfortunately, we often do the wrong things out of habit.

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Astigmatism and Contact Lenses

Doc, Can I Wear Contact Lenses?

This is a question that the doctors of Brookside Optometric are asked on a daily basis.  And, in the vast majority of cases, the resounding answer is “Yes”!  Over 38 million Americans currently wear contact lenses.  Although that sounds like a big number, it actually only represents about 16% of those who would benefit from vision correction in the U.S.  So, why don’t more people wear contact lenses?  In many cases it’s because of common misconceptions.  Let’s focus on just one of them.

I was told I can’t wear contacts because I’ve got “a stigma”

Well, you don’t actually have disgraceful or defective eyes.  You simply have “astigmatism”, which is one of the more commonly misunderstood vision problems. Like nearsightedness (myopia) and farsightedness (hyperopia), astigmatism is a refractive error, meaning it is not an eye disease or eye health problem; it's simply a problem with how the eye focuses light.  Refractive errors are the primary reasons why people are prescribed glasses, contact lenses or pursue corrective refractive surgery. 

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Guest — Ashley Maxwell
It's nice how you said that contact lenses work like glades. I also like how you said that there are soft versions of them too. My... Read More
Wednesday, 05 September 2018 18:44
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Dry Eye FAQs

Q:  WHY DO MY EYES ALWAYS FEEL SO IRRITATED? 

A:  COULD BE DRY EYE SYNDROME

Next to blurry vision, our most common ocular problem in the Valley is dry eye, and many people don’t even know they have it! Studies show that up to 1/3 of people suffer from dry eye naturally, and our dry Valley air and high degree of allergens makes it even worse.

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You would be surprised how often people forget to blink. I have two friends that always forget to blink when we play video games. ... Read More
Tuesday, 07 April 2015 06:53
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January is National Glaucoma Awareness Month

January is National Glaucoma Awareness Month. Glaucoma is a disease where the pressure in the eye rises and slowly kills off the optic nerve and leads to blindness. Here are just a few facts about Glaucoma:

  • It is estimated that over 2.2 million Americans have glaucoma but only half of those know they have it.
  • In the U.S., more than 120,000 are blind from glaucoma, accounting for 9% to 12% of all cases of blindness.
  • Glaucoma is the second leading cause of blindness in the world, according to the World Health Organization.
  • After cataracts, glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness among African Americans.
  • Blindness from glaucoma is 6 to 8 times more common in African Americans than Caucasians.
  • African Americans are 15 times more likely to be visually impaired from glaucoma than Caucasians.
  • The most common form, open-angle glaucoma, accounts for 19% of all blindness among African Americans compared to 6% in Caucasians.
  • Other high-risk groups include: people over 60, family members of those already diagnosed, diabetics, and people who are severely nearsighted.
  • Estimates put the total number of suspected cases of glaucoma at over 60 million worldwide.
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Your Vision Check: More Than Meets the Eye

Sometimes the eye doctor is the only doctor people see with any regularity — especially some of us guys. Therefore it is comforting to know that there is a lot your eye doctor can tell you about your general health by examining your eyes. When you think about it, the back of your eye is the only place on your body that you can actually look at the blood vessels themselves. And the optic nerve is really a kind of cable extension from your brain. Hypertension and high cholesterol levels cause observable changes to your blood vessels.

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How to evaluate whether or not you are working with the correct laser center for LASIK eye surgery

Not a day goes by where a patient of mine does not ask me about LASIK eye surgery. This life changing surgery has been available in the United States since 1999 and it is estimated that over 600,000 people have this procedure performed every year. Sadly not all LASIK centers are the same and it is important to know how to determine if the center you are working with is the best choice for you.

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Computer Vision and the importance of Computer Glasses

Do you stare at the computer more than 4 hours a day? Do your eyes feel tired and strained by the middle or end of the work day? Do you regularly experience headaches by the end of your day or sooner? Does your neck and back ache as you tilt your chin and adjust your head to see the computer screen through your progressive glasses all day?  These concerns and more are all related to a condition known as computer vision syndrome, also known as digital eye strain. If this sounds like you or a loved one, don’t worry—you’re not alone. Digital eye strain affects more than 70 percent of the approximately 143 million Americans who work on a computer on a daily basis, according to the American Optometric Association (AOA).

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Good Vision Improves School Performance

School is back! And it’s time to make sure your child can learn by making sure they can see well. Many kids who do not do well in school often need glasses to improve their vision in order to help them see the classroom board or to decrease eyestrain while reading. 

If a child has a difficult time learning in school, is unable to comprehend material, or has a short attention span, it could possibly be the result of a vision problem. Before any child is diagnosed with a learning disability, he/she is required to get an eye exam first.

Here are some common vision problems:

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Recent Comments
Guest — Ronald Bryan
Dr. Laurel, I agree that many children suffer in school, because of their eyesight. My girls both ended up needing glasses when th... Read More
Friday, 06 February 2015 20:24
Guest — sean
Thank you for addressing farsightedness. It is easy to let farsightedness go unnoticed as children will be able to see just fine. ... Read More
Friday, 27 March 2015 09:00
Guest — Tom Shrill
Indeed, I was one of those children that couldn't see. I ended up getting glasses in fifth grade, and really loved to wear them. I... Read More
Tuesday, 07 April 2015 13:18
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