Our Location & Hours

Our Location & Hours

Optometrist, San Ramon, Optometric Center & Eyewear Galleria

2551 San Ramon Valley Blvd.
Suite #101
San Ramon, CA 94583 View Map

 
Mon, Wed, Thurs: 9:00am - 6:00pm
Tuesday: 9:00am - 7:00pm
Friday: 10:00am - 5:00pm

* Exams 9am-5:15pm Mon-Thurs; 10am-4pm Fri

 astigmatism 1200x630

 

By Michael Duong, OD FAAO

 

The word astigmatism can be confusing to a lot of people.  The word “astigmatism” is from the Greek roots a- (“without”) and stigma (“point”).  When light rays enter the eye, astigmatism creates two or more separate images in different points.  

 

What causes Astigmatism?

The clear front surface of the eye (the cornea) is normally round like a baseball.  Most astigmatism is caused by unequal curvature of the cornea resulting in a football shaped front surface.  In other words, the cornea is more curved in one meridian - which is usually 90 degrees apart - than the least curved meridian.  This can result in headaches and blurred vision because light is not focused in one point to allow the eye to see clearly.   No one knows for sure why people develop astigmatism, but it is very common.  About one third of Americans 20 and older have clinically significant astigmatism in at least one eye.

astigmatism image

 

Symptoms of Astigmatism

Astigmatism causes objects at all distances to be blurry or distorted.  This can result in eye strain, headaches, and in children can lead to learning problems in the classroom.  

 

How to correct Astigmatism

Astigmatism is corrected using eyeglass lenses, specialty contact lenses called toric contact lenses, or LASIK.  To determine the amount of astigmatism that you have, your doctor will perform a series of tests:

 

Auto-Keratometry/Topography: An auto-keratometer is an instrument used to measure the curvature on the front surface of the eye.  You might have experienced this technology when asked to look at the hot air balloon at a distance as it goes in and out of focus.  A topographer creates a curvature map on the front surface of the eye and provides even more detail on the shape of the cornea.  This technology is routinely used for contact lens fittings.  

 

Refraction:  Using an instrument called a phoropter, a series of lenses are placed in front of your eyes to see how they focus light.  You will look at a chart at the end of a room through the phoropter. The doctor will ask you, “Which of the two lenses makes the line the clearest, 1 or 2?”  Despite improved technology, patient response remains integral in generating an accurate eyeglass prescription.  

 

With the information from these tests, your optometrist will be able to determine the proper amount of astigmatism to prescribe in your glasses and/or contact lenses for clear and comfortable vision.   

 

Astigmatism also occurs in a relatively rare condition called keratoconus which causes the cornea to be thin and cone-shaped.  This results in large amounts of astigmatism resulting in poor vision which cannot be corrected with glasses.  In this case, rigid or hard contact lenses are the only option to provide clearer vision.  Topography is essential for diagnosing keratoconus early, fortunately, we perform this test routinely for our patients.  

 


Call our office today 925-743-1222 to schedule an eye examination if you have headaches, eye strain, distorted vision. You may have uncorrected astigmatism.  We look forward to going over all the options to help you see clearly and comfortably!

 

cataract

 

By Michael Duong, OD FAAO

A cataract is a clouding of the lens inside of the eye.  The lens sits behind the iris (colored part of the eye) and the pupil.  The lens and the cornea (clear front part of the eye) is responsible for focusing light onto the retina to provide clear vision.  Cataracts are the leading cause of treatable blindness around the world.  According to the National Eye Institute (NEI) the number of people that will have cataracts in the US will grow to 38.7 million in 2030 and to 50.2 million in 2050 as the US population continues to age.

 

Causes

Aging is the primary risk factor for developing cataracts.  According to NEI, cataracts affect 5.2 percent of American ages 50-54.  This percentage increases with age.  Among Americans age 80 and older, more than 68 percent have cataracts.  Other risk factors include smoking, diabetes, exposure to UV-light and high-energy visible light (HEV) from the sun, and long-term use of medications (i.e. corticosteroids).

 

Symptoms

Symptoms of cataract include hazy or blurry vision, poor night vision, and glare.  Cataracts can also cause colors to appear faded and may cause “ghost” images or double vision in one or both eyes.  Cataracts worsen gradually over months or years,  but in some cases with certain medications, can worsen over weeks.  As a result, frequent changes in eyeglasses or contact lens prescription occur.  

 

 

Prevention

The best way to decrease your risk from developing cataracts is to maintain a healthy lifestyle.  This includes exercising frequently, watching your weight, and avoid or quit smoking.  Always wear high-quality sunglasses when outdoors to prevent UV and HEV rays from the sun from entering your eyes.  Studies are starting to show that blue light coming from tablets, phones, and computer screens can increase the risk of cataracts.  Wearing protective blue light blocking lenses is highly recommended to prevent cataract formation.  

 

Treatment

Once a cataract causes significant visual impairment during normal daily activities, it needs to be removed.  Cataract surgery is the only proven treatment for cataracts.  Modern cataract surgery is very safe and effective and take less than 20 minutes with most people seeing a significant improvement within 24 hours.  


If you or someone you know is experiencing the symptoms of cataract, call our office today to schedule an eye examination at 925-743-1222.  We look forward to hearing from you!

 amblyopia

 

By Michael Duong, OD, FAAO

What is amblyopia?

 

Amblyopia is decreased vision in one or both eyes due to abnormal development of vision during infancy or childhood. The decreased vision is a result of the nerve pathways that connect the eye to the brain are not properly stimulated. This results in the brain “learning” to see only blurry images.  This often happens in one eye and is often called the “lazy” eye, with the other eye seeing better.  However, amblyopia can occur in both eyes.  

 

What causes amblyopia?

 

The most common cause is young children not getting the proper vision correction in early childhood resulting in poor development of visual function in the affected eye(s).  This is called refractive amblyopia.  Another common cause is strabismus or eye misalignment.  This can result in one or both eyes turning in, out, up or down due to a weak eye muscle (crossed eyes).  Lastly, a rare cause for amblyopia is that light is being blocked by a structure like a cataract, scar on the cornea or droopy eyelid.  This is called deprivation amblyopia.  

 

How is amblyopia treated?

 

Refractive amblyopia - occurs when there is a large or unequal amount of prescription between the a child’s eyes.  The child may not complain because the child may be seeing well with the better seeing eye.  Also, the amblyopic eye may not look different from the normal eye.  The treatment is consistent wear of glasses and/or contact lenses to provide a clear image to the brain.  The brain is “used to” see blurry with the amblyopic eye and must learn how to see better now that a clearer image is provided by glasses or contact lenses.  Follow-ups are needed to monitor for vision improvement.  

 

Strabismic amblyopia - occurs when one or both eyes turn in, out, up, or down.  This can create confusion and double vision.  Overtime, the brain learns to compensate by “turning off” the lazy eye which can lead to permanent reduction of vision in one eye.  Strabismus usually develops in infants and young children, most often by age 3.  Treatment of strabismus includes eyeglasses, prisms, vision therapy, or eye muscle surgery.  

 

Early detection and treatment is essential to preventing vision loss in children due to amblyopia.  None of these treatments guarantee 20/20 or “perfect” vision but not treating will result in poor visual function.  However, if treated early and consistently, the child will be able to function and lead a normal life.  

 

Call our office today 925-743-1222 to schedule your child’s eye examination.  We see patients as young as 6 months of age.  

 

 

By Michael Duong OD, FAAO

 

I routinely hear from patients that I see a spot or a floater in my vision.  Floaters are a semi-transparent or cloudy particle within the vitreous, which is a clear, jelly-like fluid that fills the inside of our eyes. The floaters can appear as threadlike strands, or cobwebs.  They move or “drift” with your eye movements as they are located inside the eye.  

 

When we are born and in our youth, the vitreous has a gel-like substance and is transparent.  As we age, the gel inside of our eyes start to liquefy, like leaving Jello out in the sun.  This results in floaters in our eyes that are usually easy to see on a white or blue background.  The floaters cast a shadow onto your eye which may cause them to appear dark.  Noticing a few floaters is of no concern, it is when you see many floaters that you should be evaluated immediately, especially if they are accompanied by flashes of light.

 

The sudden on set of these symptoms could signify that the gel is separating from the retina as it liquifies called posterior vitreous degeneration.  This is usually a benign condition.  However, it can also indicate that the vitreous is tugging on the retina and cause it to tear.  Fluid can accumulate beneath a retinal hole or tear and cause a retinal detachment.  This is a medical emergency and you should be seen immediately by an eye care professional.  It this occurs during after hours, a prompt visit to the emergency room is necessary.  

 

Vitreous Floaters

 

Studies show that people with sudden onset of eye floaters and/or flashes of light, 39.7 percent had posterior vitreous degeneration and 8.9 percent had a torn retina.  Another study showed that 50 percent of people with a torn retina will develop a retinal detachment which can lead to significant vision loss.

 

Treatment

 

Most floaters do not cause harm to your vision and eventually settle down due to gravity or your brain learns to ignore them.  Other times, they can persist and be annoying if they are large or in your field of view.  Procedures like vitrectomy which involves removing the entire vitreous from the eye and new procedures like  vitreolysis which uses a laser to “zap” or vaporize the floater into tiny pieces can be surgical options for large floaters.  

Contact our office immediately if you are experiencing signs and symptoms of recent onset of flashes of light and floating spots.  

 

glaucoma 2

 By Michael Duong, OD, FAAO

Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that damage the eyes optic nerve and can result in loss of peripheral (side) vision and blindness. However, with early detection and treatment, you can protect your eyes against severe vision loss. Glaucoma is the second leading causing of blindness in the United States, affecting 3 million people.  

 

What is Open-Angle Glaucoma and how does the optic nerve get damaged?

Studies show that high pressure in the eye can cause damage to the optic nerve.  The front of the eye is called the anterior chamber. The anterior chamber is where the fluid that nourishes the eye flows into and out of the eye.  The fluid is produced behind the iris and flows between the iris and lens to exit through an opening/drainage called the trabecular meshwork.  In open-angle glaucoma, this drainage is “open”, but the fluid passes slowly through the openings in the meshwork causing build up and the pressure to increase.  This increase in pressure can cause damage to the optic nerve leading to vision loss.

People at higher risk of developing glaucoma:

·      African Americans over age 40

·      Everyone over age 60

·      People with family history of glaucoma

 

Can I develop glaucoma if I have increased eye pressure?

Not necessarily.  Not every person with increased eye pressure will develop glaucoma.  The thickness of your eye can be protective of glaucoma and certain people can tolerate higher pressures than others.  It is important to have a comprehensive visual evaluation including checking the pressure of the eyes and evaluating your optic nerves.

 

Can I develop glaucoma if I have normal eye pressure?

Yes.  Glaucoma can develop without an increase pressure to the eye.  This type of glaucoma is called low-tension or normal-tension glaucoma.

 

Glaucoma Symptoms

Glaucoma is a progressive, non-painful loss of peripheral (side) vision.  Good vision is maintained centrally.  As the disease progresses, people will have a difficult time seeing things out of the corner of their eyes and experience tunnel vision at later stages of the disease.  Eventually, central vision may be reduced until no vision is left.

 Don’t wait to schedule your eye examination. Call our office today to have your eyes evaluated for glaucoma.  

Our Location & Hours

Optometrist, San Ramon, Optometric Center & Eyewear Galleria

2551 San Ramon Valley Blvd.
Suite #101
San Ramon, CA 94583 View Map

 
Mon, Wed, Thurs: 9:00am - 6:00pm
Tuesday: 9:00am - 7:00pm
Friday: 10:00am - 5:00pm

* Exams 9am-5:15pm Mon-Thurs; 10am-4pm Fri