Eye Health from Brookside Optometric

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

Special Needs Children & Vision: Why should they visit the Optometrist?

Special Needs Children & Vision:  Why should they visit the Optometrist?

Now, more than ever before, there are greater numbers of children with special needs and challenges in the classroom. Many of these children, particularly those with dyslexia, attention deficit disorder (ADD) and high functioning autism (Asperger’s), have average and often above-average intelligence. But regardless of their IQs, they often struggle in school because their brains process information differently than others. Given that more than 25% of the brain is devoted to processing vision, it is not surprising that visual processing issues are often among the processing differences of the special needs child. Failing to address these visual processing issues makes the child’s learning experience more difficult than it needs to be. Sometimes it may be a combination of both visual processing and visual function (seeing, focusing, tracking, eye coordination) that is contributing to your child’s difficulty. The optometrist can help to identify what is the appropriate intervention, including treatment, therapy, and/or coordination of care with other professionals such as speech and language therapists, reading specialists and programs, neuropsychologists, behavioral therapists, specialized tutors and others.

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Meet the Staff: Pheth Xaysana

Meet the Staff: Pheth Xaysana

As assistant lab manager at Brookside Optometric Group, Pheth ensures that all patients experience great customer service when they visit the office. Her role includes helping patients pick out new frames and adjusting glasses for relaxed vision and greater wearing comfort. She ensures that every patient is happy with their glasses, and loves to see them smile when they try on the perfect pair.

In addition to meeting the needs of patients, she also assists doctors and other staff members—she appreciates the opportunity to expand and develop her skills, and finds positive solutions when faced with challenges. Prior to joining the team at Brookside, she worked at National Vision Inc.

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Meet the Doctors: Dr. Rosemary Melrose

Meet the Doctors: Dr. Rosemary Melrose

Dr. Rosemary Melrose is an optometrist and partner at Brookside Optometric Group. Known around the office as Dr. Rosie, she has practiced optometry with her husband, Dr. Bob Melrose, since 1982. The most rewarding aspect of her job is the opportunity to educate patients about their eyes and vision so that they can make the best possible choices for their overall health.

During a typical day at the office, she enjoys seeing a variety of patients of all ages and different cultures, and learning from their unique life experiences. Dr. Rosie strives to create an atmosphere of trust when caring for her patients and is committed to their best interest, whether that means treating their vision problems herself, or referring them to a specialist.

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Meet the Staff: Alicia Salcedo

Meet the Staff: Alicia Salcedo

As a receptionist at Brookside Optometric Group, Alicia is one of the first staff members that patients interact with when they call the office or come in for an appointment. She responds to the needs of patients, multitasks efficiently, and coordinates and communicates with doctors and other staff members to ensure that every patient visit is a great experience.

During a typical day at the office, Alicia greets patients, answers phone calls, schedules appointments, and maintains charts. She enjoys the busy and fast-paced environment, and her favorite aspect of the job is the opportunity to work with patients and staff while continuing to develop her skills by learning new departments.

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Low Vision Month Interview

Low Vision Month Interview

Dr. Bob Melrose served on the Board of Directors of Community Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired for several years. It was there he met and became friends with Joni Bauer, M.S., COMS, who has served as the Center’s Orientation & Mobility Specialist/Independent Living Skills Instructor for 40 years.

February is Low Vision Month, so Dr. Bob sat down with Joni for a discussion regarding the ways Community Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired serves residents of San Joaquin County who are visually impaired.

Dr. Bob: Joni, sometimes I think your organization is the best-kept secret in San Joaquin County. Could you please explain your organization’s mission and services?

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Meet the Doctors: Dr. Josephine Laurel

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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Meet the Doctors: Dr. Richard Vanover

Meet the Doctors: Dr. Richard Vanover

Dr. Richard Vanover is an optometrist at Brookside Optometric Group. The most rewarding aspect of his job is the opportunity to explain a process or condition to a patient in a way that brings them greater clarity and understanding of the situation. One meaningful experience at the office was when he met a patient who came in for an exam solely because she wanted a new pair of glasses. She was in good health, yet during the exam, Dr. Vanover discovered something concerning in her eyes. He used the Optomap retinal scanner to show her the findings, and referred her back to her primary physician for further evaluation.

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Blogging about Macular Degeneration

Blogging about Macular Degeneration

As I examine patients and ask about eye disease in their family, nearly everyone has heard of glaucoma and cataracts (although only occasional patients can remember which is which!). Relatively few patients are familiar with Macular Degeneration, also known as Age-Related Maculopathy (ARM), even though it is far more devastating to their loved one’s vision. Remarkably, ARM is the leading cause of permanent vision loss in Americans over 65 years old, and affects 2 million people.

First, a little anatomy lesson to help you understand ARM: the macula is the portion of the retina we use for all our detail vision. Whenever you look directly at something, you are using your macula to see it. For still unknown reasons, in some older folks, the vision-sensing cells in the macula selectively get destroyed. The cells can either atrophy (or degenerate), called “dry” ARM, which makes up 80% of cases, or they can become scarred, called “wet” ARM, which makes up the remaining 20% of cases.

The impact on vision is profound: whatever you look directly at appears blank, but since peripheral vision is retained, you can see around the edges. My patients with severe ARM tell me that when they look at me, they can tell I have brown hair and the color of my clothes, but they can’t see my face. You can imagine how this affects everything that we love to do: read, watch TV, and drive. People with ARM fortunately do not go completely blind; they always retain peripheral (side) vision.

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Meet the Doctors: Dr. Vikram Girn

Meet the Doctors: Dr. Vikram Girn

Dr. Vikram Girn is an optometrist at Brookside Optometric Group. He enjoys working with patients to help improve their vision and comfort, from helping a patient who thought they would never be glasses-free to finally see with LASIK or multifocal soft contact lenses, to fitting a patient with workstation-glasses to help them work comfortably behind a computer screen all day long. The most rewarding aspect of his job is the opportunity to see his patients thrive.

While each day at the office is unique, Dr. Girn typically has a combination of complete eye health evaluations, custom contact lens fittings, and examinations to treat and manage dry eyes, glaucoma, and various eye infections. He enjoys meeting a variety of patients, from toddlers to seniors, and everyone in between. He also works part time at Central Valley Eye Medical Group in Stockton.

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Meet the Staff: Iris Palomarez

Meet the Staff: Iris Palomarez

Iris joined the Brookside Optometric Group family in 2015. As part of the enrollment department, she assists with scheduling, prepping, and organizing. She enjoys being part of a team that works together to create the best possible experience for patients, and her favorite aspect of the job is working alongside a great group of doctors and staff members who support one another and care for each other.

One especially meaningful day at work was when a patient complained about double vision. Iris referred the patient to one of the optometrists who specializes in double vision conditions and treatments. The patient was extremely relieved after that visit, and Iris appreciated the opportunity to help them address their vision needs. Her experience working at Brookside is one she will carry with her for the rest of her life, and she is thankful to be part of the team.

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Meet the Staff: JoAnn Murphy-Ma

Meet the Staff: JoAnn Murphy-Ma

As front desk manager at Brookside Optometric Group, JoAnn is one of the first people that patients meet when they visit the office. She oversees appointment scheduling for all of the optometrists, handles supply orders and recall notices, and manages staff as they check, pull, and prep patient charts.

Her favorite aspect of the job is creating a welcoming environment for patients. When patients come in to the office to pick up their new glasses, she loves to see their smiles as they experience restored vision. As part of the Brookside team for 13 years, JoAnn appreciates working in a family-oriented environment filled with caring and compassionate doctors and staff.

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Glaucoma: Avoiding the Silent Disease

Glaucoma: Avoiding the Silent Disease
Progression of Glaucoma

As we’ve kicked off this New Year feeling refreshed and looking forward to carrying out our many New Year’s resolutions (some being more realistic than others of course...), let’s add one more thing to that list: Seeing the best that you can in 2017.

January is National Glaucoma Awareness Month meaning there’s no better time to start the conversation about this often talked about condition. In this article, I will try to explain what exactly Glaucoma is while clearing up some common misconceptions along the way!

What is glaucoma?

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Meet the Doctors: Dr. John Fujii

Meet the Doctors: Dr. John Fujii

Dr. John Fujii is an optometrist at Brookside Optometric Group. He enjoys working in a unique career that gives him the opportunity to build relationships with his patients while addressing their visual needs and making a positive impact on their overall health. The most rewarding aspect of his job is delivering personal and professional care to his patients while working alongside a great team of skilled doctors and staff.

Dr. Fujii has worked in three different ophthalmology offices and was formerly the Laser Center Director for Pacific Laser Eye Center. Working for ophthalmologists gave him greater experience with post-surgical care and complications, and his work at the laser center gave him the opportunity to work with, learn alongside, and train other optometrists and ophthalmologists.

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Year in Review - 2016

Year in Review - 2016

It is hard to believe another year is coming to a close. No one can say that 2016 was not an eventful year for our country and it certainly was not uneventful for Brookside Optometric Group either.

We were the recipients of the 1st place vote as Best Eye Care office in San Joaquin County in both the Best of San Joaquin Magazine and The Best of the Record contests for the 6th year in a row. We are touched and honored to receive this designation once again.

Our office completed its first year of using our new electronic medical records system. Change is always fraught with challenges and this was certainly the case with us. We are happy to report that even some of us older docs have finally become proficient with this new technology so we will look less confused as we record our exams as we enter 2017.

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Meet the Doctors: Dr. Linda Hsu

Meet the Doctors: Dr. Linda Hsu

Dr. Linda Hsu is an optometrist at Brookside Optometric Group. In practice for more than 25 years, she enjoys building relationships with her patients and the opportunity to diagnose and solve their vision problems. With an extremely high myopic correction, Dr. Hsu understands firsthand how blurry the world can appear. When she received her first pair of glasses at age eight, she was excited that she could finally see “the leaves on the trees!”

Today, many of her younger patients come back to the Brookside office after receiving their first pair of glasses, and share that they too can now see the leaves on the trees. Those experiences take her back to why she became an optometrist in the first place - to help people see the world more clearly and not miss out on all that life has to show them.

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November is National Diabetes Awareness Month

November is National Diabetes Awareness Month

I hope we find all of you in good health and good spirits. November is National Diabetes Awareness Month. Looking back at the late 80’s, students were trained to interpret a case history to determine what disease entities we should look for based on a patient’s race and age. For example, it you were middle aged and of Hispanic or American Indian descent, we would be concerned with diabetes, if you were of African American descent, we would be concerned with hypertension and glaucoma and so on. While this is not funny, consider it a medical form of racial profiling but it was clinically significant. Case histories are still important but the thinking has changed.

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Meet the Doctors: Dr. Leila Chow

Meet the Doctors: Dr. Leila Chow

Dr. Leila Chow joined Brookside Optometric Group as an optometrist in 2002. Her favorite aspect of the job is the opportunity to help patients receive the highest level of optometric vision care, and she enjoys seeing her pediatric patients mature and grow up.

Dr. Chow studied zoology as an undergraduate at the University of California Berkeley and graduated from the UC Berkeley School of Optometry in 1990. She began her career in private practice in Antioch, but was curious about the more practical side of the optometry business. She sold part of her practice and returned to school at California State University Hayward, where she graduated with her MBA in 2001.

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Home Eye Safety

Home Eye Safety

House cleaning, home improvements and yard work: for many Americans, these projects define this time of year. But, did you know home projects like these can be a major threat to eye safety? All too often, when we’re working around the house and doing chores that we've done a thousand times before without incident, we forget about the risks we take by not protecting our eyes but all it takes is one split-second accident that could damage your vision for a lifetime." According to the American Academy of Optometry, nearly half of all serious eye injuries occur at home, yet only 35 percent of Americans wear protective eyewear during projects that could pose a threat to their eyes.

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Meet the Doctors: Dr. Kurt Skinner

Meet the Doctors: Dr. Kurt Skinner

Dr. Kurt Skinner is a partner at Brookside Optometric Group. The most rewarding aspect of his job is the opportunity to create positive outcomes for his patients. Whether he can provide sharper vision, ease eyestrain from blue light screen exposure, or recognize a disease process and take proactive steps toward treatment, he appreciates the opportunity to help his patients.

During a typical day at Brookside, Dr. Skinner provides comfortable prescriptions for poor or strained visual conditions, including glasses for computer demands and contact lenses for sports. He also offers guidance with laser vision correction or cataract surgery. The advanced instrumentation at Brookside allows him to detect eye disease processes and ocular side effects from systemic diseases.

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Meet the Staff: Beverly Cahoon

Meet the Staff: Beverly Cahoon

Beverly Cahoon joined the Brookside Optometric team as the insurance authorization specialist ten years ago. With her great attention to detail and strong organizational skills, she spends a typical day at the office pulling up to 100 insurance authorizations for patients with appointments and ordering contacts or glasses from a variety of insurance companies.

When a patient is not eligible for a service under their insurance, Beverly calls to advise them before the appointment. She also communicates with insurance companies to track patient coverage, assists the opticians with insurance calculations, and enters new insurance plans into the AcuityLogic management system. Her favorite aspect of the job is helping patients with their insurance coverage and connecting with returning patients.

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2016 Best of San Joaquin

2016 Best of San Joaquin

Thanks for once again voting us “Best of San Joaquin” in 2016, for the 6th year in a row! We appreciate your ongoing support, and we are honored to have you all as our patients.

Since 1998, we’ve been committed to caring for our community by providing the highest level of optometric vision care. Thanks for thinking so highly of us, and for choosing our experienced doctors and our professional and compassionate services as the best in San Joaquin County.

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Dry Eye Syndrome - Part I

Dry Eye Syndrome - Part I

Many patients come to our office at Brookside Optometric Group not only because they have blurry vision, but also because their eyes are often irritated, and even red. Sometimes the irritation and redness have been going on for so long that the patients think it is "normal", especially if they wear contact lenses. In actual fact, they may be suffering from dry eyes or Dry Eye Syndrome (DES).

DES is a disease of the tear film covering the surface of the eye. This condition results in ocular discomfort, blurry vison, and tear film instability that can damage the surface of the eye. This then leads to inflammation of the eye, producing red eyes, swelling, and sometimes even watery eyes. Eventually the corneal surface will be damaged, causing further pain, discomfort, and even blurred vision.

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Meet the Staff: Jennifer Hulstine

Meet the Staff: Jennifer Hulstine

Jennifer is the optical lab manager at Brookside Optometric Group and has worked on the team for six years. She spends her fast-paced days managing a team of employees, assisting with patient orders for contact lenses and glasses, teaching patients how to wear and care for contact lenses, and providing an optimal experience for all of our patients. She loves to see patients of all ages try on glasses or contact lenses for the first time as a new world of sight opens up to them.

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Meet the Staff: Marilyn Woo

Meet the Staff: Marilyn Woo

Marilyn is the first person patients meet with when they visit Brookside Optometric Group. As an optician, she pre-tests their eye health before they go in to see their optometrist for the eye exam. After the exam, Marilyn enjoys working with patients to help them choose a frame that fits their individual needs, from fit and shape to color and style.

When a pair of new glasses is ready for a patient, she inspects the product for accuracy with patient prescription requirements, demonstrating a strong attention to detail. She’s also happy to adjust and repair frames as needed and assists with optical dispensing, fitting eyeglasses and contact lenses.

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Infant/Toddler/Children’s Vision: My First Visit to the Optometrist

Infant/Toddler/Children’s Vision:  My First Visit to the Optometrist

If you are a parent like me and have ever wondered “when should I first take my child to see the optometrist”, you are probably not alone. Many parents decide to take their children to the eye doctor for their first eye exam when they fail a vision school screening or the vision screening at the pediatrician’s office. However, there are great benefits to bringing your child in for a comprehensive optometric examination long before the presentation of a suspected or apparent vision issue.

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What is blue light, and why should you care?

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

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?

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

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

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

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

Glaucoma Diagnosis
cirrus
Measurement centering
Visual Field Test
Direct Ophthalmoscopic Exam
icare child
HFA IIi banner

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

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"

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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Meet the Doctors: Dr. Craig Hisaka

Meet the Doctors: Dr. Craig Hisaka

Dr. Craig Hisaka is the Founding Partner of Brookside Optometric Group. Born and raised in Stockton, he received his BA, BS and Doctorate at UC Berkeley and went on to earn a master’s degree in Public Health. His daughter, Alexis Hisaka, attended Lincoln High in Stockton, college at UC Davis and the University of San Francisco and now works for LinkedIn. His wife, Julie Hisaka, passed away 3 years ago after 41 years of marriage. She was a popular, innovative and effective administrator at Lincoln Unified School District.

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Eye Spy

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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Meet the Staff: Jana Ballance

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

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

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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Meet the Doctors: Dr. Jim Winnick

Meet the Doctors: Dr. Jim Winnick

After Dr. Jim Winnick completed his undergraduate degree at Cornell University and his doctorate degree at the State University of New York in Manhattan, he came to the west to complete his residency training in Portland, OR. He came down to California to work with an Ophthalmologist in Truckee, CA, but soon moved to the Bay area where he was a partner in large multi-doctor practice for 14 years.

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What's the problem with cataracts?

What's the problem with cataracts?
cloudy-lens.gif
Normal Vision
Vision with Cataract
An advanced "Mature" cataract

"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

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 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!

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

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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Dry Eye FAQs

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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January is National Glaucoma Awareness Month

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

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

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

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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