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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.

Lens Materials

So it’s been determined that a spectacle prescription will help you with your visual system. The type of prescription and amount of power combined with the size and shape of the eyeglass frames you choose will play a big part in how well your glasses perform for you as well as how good they look on you when you wear them.

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Coronavirus and Your Eyes

There has been lots of speculation about the eyes being a source of COVID-19 infection. Some of this has come from a report by a virologist news reporter who claimed to have contracted the disease from his eyes on a plane flight. However, upon repeated testing the reporter never even had COVID-19!

On July 30, 2020 Dr. Fauci mentioned in a press conference the possibility of using eye shields to protect against COVID-19. Dr. Fauci said, "You have mucosa in the nose, mucosa in the mouth, but you also have mucosa in the eye," he continued. "Theoretically, you should protect all the mucosal surfaces. So, if you have goggles or an eye shield you should use it." He noted that goggles and eye or face shields are "not universally recommended" at this time, "but if you really want to be complete, you should probably use it if you can."

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Computer Glasses vs. Standard Progressive Lenses

Experiencing Eye Fatigue with Computer Use?

We all can relate to hours spent each day on our smart phone, tablet and computer. The average adult American spends close to 4 hours a day on an electronic device (excluding television). You start off each day seeing well, your eyes feeling good, but that all changes as the day wears on. By the end of the day, your eyes are now feeling tired, going in and out of focus, maybe feeling dry and needing to blink a lot to focus and even have some degree of a headache around or behind your eyes.

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Lighting and Eye Strain

Let’s face it. Computers are an ever present, integral part of our daily lives. Even in my profession as an optometrist where twenty years ago the only computers in the office were at the front desk or in highly sophisticated testing equipment, I now have a computerized eye chart, computerized patient records, displays in each room to educate or document, one in my pocket to keep me in contact with my front desk and testing equipment galore with digital display screens.

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Health and Safety Changes

The next time you visit Brookside Optometric for your eye care needs, some things will be different. As we reopen to deliver a full range of essential eye health and vision care, the health and safety of our patients, staff, and the members of our community remains our top priority.

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2020 Scholarship Winner: Elyse Glover

Congratulations to the winner of our 2020 Scholarship Contest, Elyse Glover! Elyse is graduating from Lincoln High School, and will be attending Sacramento State University in the fall, majoring in Biology. Elyse plans to become an OB/GYN and return to Stockton to practice after completing her education.

Learn more about Elyse, including her background, educational and career goals in this video interview!

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Your Child’s Eyes: What Parents Need to Know

Clear and comfortable vision is essential to a child’s ability to learn, develop, and play. Any number of issues with the eye health or vision can limit their ability to learn in school, participate in sports, and their ability to navigate the world around them.

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Eye Care for Senior Adults

Today’s seniors are more active than ever and life expectancy is longer than ever. That is why annual eye exams are very important as you get older. Seniors are more susceptible to developing diabetes and high blood pressure - both of which can affect your vision. Cataracts and macular degeneration are two more eye diseases that can develop over the years. Early detection for any of these eye conditions is important in maintaining good visual outcomes.

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Dr. Kurt Skinner: Grounded in the Community

My wife and Partner at Brookside Optometric Group, Dr. Linda Hsu, are celebrating our 30th year in practice living here in Stockton. Through the help and support of my fellow Doctors of Optometry at Brookside, I have developed a bit of a specialty in fitting contact lenses on scarred or irregular eyes—corneas with surface irregularities that are unable to provide a good refracting surface to focus vision, even with glasses.

By providing these specialty-type of contact lenses, patients can often stay functional in driving, continue working, and lead a much more fulfilling life. The reward of assisting someone with more clear and comfortable vision is a feeling I am fortunate to experience every day.

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Children's Vision: What Parents Need to Know

When babies are born, they already have the “hardware” necessary for vision, but the hardware still needs to be programmed. Babies are in the dark before birth, so the visual stimulation they experience, particularly between birth and age 2, is key to quality of vision for the rest of their lives.

Normal development for infants and toddlers

  • Newborns see best at 8 to 10 inches (the distance to a parent’s face) but only in black & white
  • By 6 months old, the eyes should be coordinating (looking in the same direction) and tracking objects. Color vision is improving.
  • By 1 to 2 years old, depth perception and eye-hand coordination should be developing
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Dr. Yolanda Scheer: Specializing in Eye Care for Kids

My area of specialty is pediatrics. I love working with children! During my rotations in Optometry School, I discovered that it takes different skills and techniques to work effectively with children. Working with kids felt natural to me, and I felt I could make a difference by providing the highest quality vision care for children.

The most rewarding part of my job is getting to know families, providing them with clear eyesight, and being able to offer education on how to maintain good eye health. I enjoy building relationships and being able to watch as families grow over the years.

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Dr. Linda Hsu: Helping Patients See Their Best

I have been in practice at Brookside for more than 30 years, along with my husband and partner Dr. Kurt Skinner. The most meaningful part of my work are the relationships I have developed with my patients throughout my practice.

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Diabetic Vision Conditions

A long-time patient made a comment that it seemed to her that “everyone” has either prediabetes or diabetes. She was not too far off. According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 30.3 million Americans or 9.4% of the US population have diabetes; 23.1 million people have diagnosed diabetes and 7.2 million people have undiagnosed diabetes. The prediabetes statistic is even more staggering…84.1 million or about 1 out of 3 adults in the United States have prediabetes and 90% of them do not know they have it.

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The Nitty Gritty of Dry Eyes

Dry Eyes is a chronic and progressive condition that affects millions of people. In the United States, dry eyes rarely leads to blindness, but in parts of the world near the equator and where medical care is non-existent, it can result in eye diseases that cause blindness. Common symptoms to watch for are dryness, burning, grittiness or sandiness, foreign body sensation, excessive tearing chronic red eyes or eyelid margins, soreness around the eyes, contact lens intolerance or discomfort, and even blurry or fluctuating vision. Even recurrent styes can be a symptom.

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Dr. Rosie Melrose: Cultivating Strong Relationships

I am most excited by the variety of general practice, never knowing who will walk through the door to my exam room next. It's so interesting to work with people of different ages, occupations, ethnicities, and interests—I learn new things from my patients every single day! On one of my favorite mornings, I examined a 93-year-old patient followed by a 3-year-old patient, both ends of the spectrum of life!

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Common Causes and Misconceptions of “Lazy Eye”

First and foremost, let me unequivocally state that I hate the term “Lazy eye”. That term always sounded to me that if a patient just stopped being ‘lazy” they would see better. This is far from the truth.

“Lazy Eye” is the common name for a condition we call amblyopia which is a permanent decrease in the ability of a patient’s eye to see 20/20 vision, even with glasses or contacts. Amblyopia is caused by one of four conditions during childhood when the visual system is still developing.

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Dr. Richard Vanover: Committed to Comprehensive Eye Care

I really enjoy working with children and their parents, and the opportunity to help them understand what their child’s vision is like and what the future can hold for them. It’s important for me to get the parents to realize the visual process and why it’s important to have the child wear their glasses or follow my instructions for the best long-term outcome (and what the possible outcomes can be if they don’t!).

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Do I Have Cataracts?

What are cataracts?

A cataract is formed when the natural lens of our eye becomes cloudy or opaque. The human eye contains a natural lens which provides much of the “power” that allows us to see clearly and focus on the things we see. Over time, this natural lens begins to lose its clarity, which in turn can affect your overall vision. I like to use the analogy of trying to see through a dirty or hazy windshield. The best way to know you have cataracts is by having your routine comprehensive eye exam.

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Meet the Doctors: Dr. Josephine Laurel

Dr. Josephine Laurel is an optometrist and partner at Brookside Optometric Group. Patient care is her highest priority, and getting to know her patients well helps her find the pair of glasses or contact lenses that will fit their needs.

Developing long-term relationships with patients is one of her favorite aspects of the job. She engages with her patients, working to improve both their eye health and overall lifestyle. She enjoys catching up with returning patients and learning about their professions and hobbies, as well as meeting new patients and addressing their eye health and vision needs.

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Guest — Camille
She is awesome! My Husband and I loves her!
Monday, 24 September 2018 13:12
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Common Vision Conditions: Glaucoma

Glaucoma is generally thought of as a disease whereby the pressure of the fluid inside your eye rises to the point of causing damage to your Optic Nerve. Inside your eye, there is always a fluid being produced to bathe the eye tissue with new nutrients. Then this fluid cycles out and new fluid is secreted back into the eye chamber to replace it.

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In Memory of Dr. Craig Hisaka

On June 12, 2019 our beloved Dr. Craig Hisaka peacefully passed away.

Dr. Hisaka was a Stockton native, graduated as one of the top students from Edison High. He was a 3-sport athlete playing quarterback on the varsity football team, basketball and was named All-Conference in baseball. Dr Hisaka then went on to study at the University of California, Berkeley. After graduating from the University of California Berkeley School of Optometry in the 1970’s, he went on to earn a Master’s in Public Health from Cal. He then returned to Stockton to practice Optometry.

Within a few short years he brought in a partner, Dr. Judy Prima and soon after that Drs. Robert and Rosemary Melrose and we became the San Joaquin Optometric Group. In 1998 he had a vision to merge the 3 largest optometry practices in Stockton. Dr. Demshar, Dr. Vanover, Dr. Skinner and Dr. Hsu joined the practice and we became The Brookside Optometric Group. Since then Dr. Fujii, Dr. Laurel, Dr. Loo, Dr. Chow, Dr. Scheer, and Dr. Girn have all joined our group.

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Transition Technology in Contact Lenses

Transition technology has reached contact lenses! Bright light and transitions from dark to light can be stressful on your eyes. Acuvue Oasys Transition Contact Lenses quickly adapt to changing light, providing comfortable vision in a wide range of lighting conditions.

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Common Vision Conditions: Astigmatism

Astigmatism is a seemingly exotic word and often humorously mispronounced. It is a common vision condition in which light entering the eye can’t be focused clearly – in fact over 90% of all patients we see have some degree of astigmatism. Astigmatism is also often described as the front surface of the eye (cornea) being football shaped, egg shaped, or a warped camera lens. The “nerdy” definition is that an image will come to focus in two different meridians either before or after the retina, thus it is associated with nearsightedness and farsightedness, which is obviously why we don’t describe it this way to our patients.

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Common Vision Conditions: Farsightedness

The terms nearsighted and farsighted are often confused but the easiest way to remember which condition you have is that “you are what you can do best without glasses.” If you see better at near without glasses, then you are nearsighted (myopic). Conversely if you see better at a distance without glasses, then you are farsighted (hyperopic). With farsightedness, a person has difficulty and discomfort when reading or doing computer work.

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Common Vision Conditions: Nearsightedness

Patients always want to know, “Am I nearsighted or farsighted?” but the more they think about it, the more confused they get. It’s really very simple: your prescription is named after what is easier for you to see without glasses. Without glasses, people with nearsightedness (or myopia) see better up close than far away. The larger your prescription, the closer objects need to be for you to see them clearly.

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Brookside Optometric Group Partners with Discovery Challenge Academy

Brookside Optometric Group is proud to partner with Discovery Challenge Academy to provide free eye exams and new glasses to local high school students. Based in Lathrop, Discovery Challenge Academy (DCA) opened in January 2017 as a partnership between the California National Guard and San Joaquin County Office of Education.

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An Update from our 2018 Scholarship Winner!

Brookside Optometric Group is proud to support the outstanding San Joaquin County High School seniors in our community with our annual scholarship contest! Here's an update from Arica Aninag, our 2018 winner.

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Santa Brings Gift of Color Vision to Paradise Fire Victim

Doug with his girlfriend and Kendra

Kendra emailed us last week with a question: would we be willing to help a young man who had lost everything in the Paradise fire? Doug, the boyfriend of Kendra’s daughter, was downhearted, like all the fire victims in Paradise. Despite his personal losses, as a heavy equipment operator he will be helping to clean up the devastation his friends and neighbors have experienced as well. Doug has had poor color vision his whole life, and Kendra wanted to do something spectacular to raise his spirits.

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Why Lucky #7 Isn't Enough for Diabetic Management

Last month I posted a blog explaining how important the number 7 is to a diabetic when it comes to their A1C measurement. The A1C measurement reflects the average blood sugar levels in a diabetic for the last 90 days. Keeping that level low is indicative of good control but it does not tell the whole story.

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2018 Highlights from Brookside Optometric Doctors

Brookside Optometric Group doctors and partners share their most meaningful and memorable patient stories from the year!

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Making a Difference in Pakistan

I had the opportunity to travel to the country of Pakistan in October. My Rotary District had set up a trip for us to go on to help immunize children for polio in this country. In 1985, Rotary International made the commitment to eradicate polio worldwide by immunizing every child in the world against this disease. At that time, more than 375,000 children a year were becoming more paralyzed by the disease every year. Since 1985, rotarians have traveled the world and now only two countries in the world still present with new cases of polio: Pakistan and Afghanistan.

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What is Keratoconus?

Keratoconus is an eye condition whereby the corneas (the central clear part of the front surface of the eye) become curved in an irregular manner. The first signs of this syndrome usually can be detected around the age of puberty and the progression of this curving effect to the cornea keeps advancing into the patient’s 30’s.

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Lucky Number 7 for Diabetics - Part I

November is National Diabetes Awareness Month and a perfect time to discuss why a diabetic’s lucky number is always #7.

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Meet the Staff: Lizbeth Hernandez

As an optician in Brookside Optometric Group’s optical department, Lizbeth works with patients to help them select frames or lenses ideal for their prescription and lifestyle. Once the frames are selected and the order is placed, she sends the frames off to the lab.

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Hypertension and Your Eyes

According to the CDC, 1 in 3 adults have high blood pressure in the United States.1 With this systemic disease, there are huge consequences for our bodies, including the eyes.

Blood pressure is the force of blood against your artery walls as it circulates through your body as defined by the CDC.1 Although our body’s blood pressure naturally rises and falls throughout the day, long term elevated blood pressure can cause damage to the artery walls. This long term damage to arteries can lead to stroke, heart attack or other vasculopathic disorders. Listed below are the guidelines for blood pressure by the American Heart Association.

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Rocky Lombardi Memorial Fundraiser

Lions Eye Foundation is a nonprofit organization dedicated to preserving sight by providing no cost eye surgery, eye medication, and other medical eye care to low income people without medical insurance living in Northern California and Nevada. All services are provided in San Francisco at the Lions Eye Clinic/Sutter CPMC Department of Ophthalmology. Hotel lodging is also provided for those patients who need an overnight stay in San Francisco.

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2018 Summerfest

Our 7th annual Summerfest Fundraiser will be held on Saturday September 15th from 4-8 PM. The event will be held on Lake Lincoln at 3814 Merrimac Court in Stockton.

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Meet the Staff: Julie Ohta

As part of the Brookside Optometric Group family for 33 years, Julie plays an important role as the frame inventory control specialist and manages our extensive frame inventory. During a typical day, she orders frames for patients and the frame room, receives and tags frames, and meets with frame sales reps to select the latest styles for the practice.

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Contact Lens Health: Caring for Your Lenses and Your Eyes

The Third Week of August marks the 5th Annual observance of Contact Lens Health Week. Since Soft Contact Lenses were first invented in 1961, and introduced to the USA by Bausch and Lomb in 1971, the “uniqueness” of the experience has faded a bit and people have often become somewhat lax in their care of these medical devices we are inserting into our bodies. Summer is the perfect time to review some of the practical steps we can take to ensure a safe and comfortable relationship with your contact lenses.

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Meet the Staff: Cherise Manning

As an optician at Brookside Optometric Group, Cherise fits glasses and contact lenses to ensure that each patient has optimal vision. During a typical day, she works closely with our doctors and patients and maintains patient contact lens orders, including logging prescription contact lenses as they arrive from our suppliers and maintaining our in-stock inventory of lenses.

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Back to School Vision Care

It is hard to believe that getting our kids ready to go back to school is something we have to think about in mid-July. However, as school calendars have changed, parents have to plan earlier and earlier for the new school year.

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Best of San Joaquin 2018

Thanks for once again voting us “Best of San Joaquin” in 2018, for the 8th year in a row! We appreciate your ongoing support as Best Optometrist, and we are honored to have you all as our patients!

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What is Color Blindess? – Part II

Part I of this blog introduced vocabulary for the various types and severities of hereditary color deficiencies. Part II explains how, for the first time ever, we can help color deficient patients distinguish colors. Disclaimer: lots of doctor terminology ahead (but there’s no other way to explain it). If you only want to know how you can try out the extraordinary new color vision lens called EnChroma, available exclusively at Brookside Optometric Group, skip to the last 2 paragraphs below.

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Extra-Active Photochromatic Lenses: SunSync Drive XT

I am excited to try a newly released photochromatic lens. The SunSync Drive XT is a photochromatic lens that responds to ultraviolet light and also to visible light. The big advantage to responding to visible light is that it will get dark in the car while traditional photochromatic lenses will not. Thus to simplify, the brighter it is, the darker it will get.

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What is “Color-blindness”?

Almost everyone has heard or used the term “color-blind,” but what causes color-blindness and what does a color-blind person actually see?

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Dr. Vikram Girn: Helping Patients Thrive

The two areas of practice that I especially enjoy are pediatric eye exams and specialty contact lens fittings for patients who have limited vision even with glasses.

As an eye doctor, you realize that children with uncorrected vision conditions perform poorly in academics. What surprised me was how many children who are underperforming in school have underlying vision problems! These could be easily diagnosed with a comprehensive eye exam by your optometrist. Working with young kids has the potential to change their academic potential and much more.

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Level Up Your Eyewear: Level Smart Glasses

Want to track your daily activity and give back to those in need simply by wearing your glasses? Now you can do both with Level smart glasses.

Designed in the U.S. and handcrafted in Italy, the smart glasses are a perfect mix of style and function. Built-in activity-tracking technology logs your daily activity, step count, calories burned, and more. View your activity throughout the day on your phone—the glasses sync wirelessly with the Level mobile app, and if you ever misplace your glasses, you can easily track them down using the app.

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Protect Your Vision: Safety Tips for Home and Work Eye Hazards

People are very protective of their eyes. I notice this all the time in doing an eye exam in that people are tentative when you bring objects close to them. So it boggles my mind that people are so nonchalant when it comes to eye safety when they are outside of my office.

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Recent Comments
Guest — Tara Hough
There is no doubt that a lot of individuals protect their eyes. However, there are still some who do not bother protecting their e... Read More
Friday, 06 April 2018 18:30
Guest — Lens Experts
Contact lens are the perfect replacement for the annoying glasses that one have to wear even in summer time. The itchiness due to ... Read More
Wednesday, 23 May 2018 04:10
Guest — Phil Andy
Worth reading! Thanks for pretty awesome tips to protect vision at home as well as on workplace. Usually, people don't bother prot... Read More
Wednesday, 21 November 2018 01:53
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The Oculus Pentacam: My Personal Experience

Brookside Optometric Group recently acquired a new scanning device to increase the effectiveness of our care for our patients. The Oculus Pentacam is an amazing device that can measure the parameters of every anatomical structure in the eye up to the retina. Combining this device with our Optical Coherence Tomagrapher (OCT)—which analyzes the individual cellular levels of the retina—we now have the ability to determine the root cause of all visual problems that are anatomically linked within the eye.

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Guest — Total Eye Care
Super interesting read! Thank you for sharing. It's nice to know that technology is continuing to make important strides in the me... Read More
Thursday, 10 May 2018 15:08
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Low Vision and Community Center for the Blind

February is designated as National Low Vision Awareness Month. Low vision is the term used to describe the visual performance of eyes impacted by any condition that renders a person’s visual acuity to 20/70 or poorer in the better-seeing eye and cannot be corrected or improved with regular eyeglasses. Most people know this term as being “legally blind”.

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