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, Tue, Wed, Thur: 9:00am - 6:00pm
Friday 10:00am - 5:00pm


 Survive Spring Allergies


By Michael Duong, OD, FAAO

Spring is around the corner, which brings warmer temperatures and increased pollen counts.  This results in an increase of patients seen with eye allergies at our office.  Pollen and mold are the two most common causes of allergies.  Stay indoors if you can on high-pollen count days while keeping windows and doors closed.  Make sure your air filter is changed out in your vehicle and your air conditioner at home.  If you will be outside, the pollen count will be highest in the morning and will be lower after rain.  Mold spores are found in shady, wooded areas, so if you plan to hike, plan accordingly.  

 What can be done?

Wear wraparound sunglasses to shield your eyes from allergens.  If you were contact lenses, avoid wearing them during high-pollen times and switch to eyeglasses.  Switching to daily disposable contact lenses are a great option as the allergens that adhere to the contact lens are thrown away at the end of the day. Allergens can attach themselves to fabric, shoes, and pets.  More laundering, vacuuming, hand washing, and pet scrubbing will be necessary to reduce allergens in the home.  

Over-the-counter eye drops may help reduce cases of mild or moderate itchy, scratchy, watery, and burning eyes due to allergies.  Talk to your eye doctor first because symptoms of watery and red eyes might be caused by an eye infection. The treatment for eye allergies and eye infections differ. More severe eye allergies may require prescription eye drops. If spring time starts to take a toll on your eyes, do not hesitate to contact us!



By Michael Duong, OD FAAO

Yes, absolutely! I am proud to be part of the InfantSEE program, which optometrists will provide a one-time, comprehensive eye assessment to infants between 6 - 12 months age.  There are more than 3,700 optometrists participating in the program.  According to the American Optometric Association, one in twenty infants was found to need a prescription to prevent visual impairment.  

izzy1 izzy2

                        Izzy's First Eye Exam

Although infants cannot respond verbally, the first year of life is an ideal time to perform their first eye exam. Infants do not yet fear the doctor and the visit is often painless.  It is best to bring in your infant when they are well fed and not during nap time.  This results in better cooperation.  Typically, the infant sits on their parent’s lap during the assessment, the doctor uses lights and  hand-held colorful targets to evaluate the eye focusing, tracking, teaming, and  need for glasses.  To ensure that the back of the eye (retina and optic nerve) are healthy, dilation drops will be placed in the infant’s eyes to dilate them.  Magnifying lenses will be used to look at the internal structures of the eyes.  


A rare tumor called retinoblastoma affects 200-300 infants a year.  If not treated, it can be life threatening.  Treatment involves removal of the eye to protect spread to the brain.  I have seen one case of retinoblastoma.  It is something that I will never forget.  Fortunately, it was caught in time and treated to prevent loss of life.  


We look forward to providing the first visual assessment for your infant. Please contact us at 925-743-1222 for more information.

To learn more about InfantSEE, call 1(888) 396 - 3937 or visit www.infantsee.org

macular degeneration 600x255


by Michael Duong, OD, FAAO

Macular degeneration is an age-related disease that affects the macula.  It is the leading cause of vision loss in older Americans.  The macula is located on the retina in the back of the eye.  The macula is the center of the retina and its function is to provide color vision and the ability to see fine detail.  There are two types of macular degeneration: dry AMD and wet AMD.  Dry macular degeneration is the most common type of macular degeneration accounting for 80 to 90 percent of AMD.  Dry AMD  occurs when yellow spots called drusen begin to accumulate in and around the macula.  In wet AMD, the drusen can break down the macula causing blood vessels beneath the retina to leak into the macula. This is the more serious type of AMD and can lead to more severe vision loss.  

Who is at risk?

Smoking - doubles the risk for AMD

Race - AMD is more common in Caucasians, however risk for people of all races increases with age

Family history - people with a family history AMD are at a higher risk.  


What are the symptoms?

A common symptom is a blurry spot in the center of your vision.  Glasses and contact lenses do not provide clear vision.  As the disease progresses, the central vision deteriorates leading to difficulty driving, reading, and recognizing faces.  AMD affects central vision and can lead to serious vision impairment and disability.  



How is AMD Detected?

During a comprehensive eye exam, your doctor will be able to determine if you have signs of AMD even before you notice symptoms. Additional testing includes:

Fundus photography - a photo is taken of the back of your eye to provide a baseline for the stage of macular degeneration and to monitor for changes over time.  

Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) - This technology uses light waves to image the layers beneath the retina to determine the severity of AMD.  It is like a CT scan of the eye.

Amsler grid - This test is a grid that has a black circle in the middle, AMD causes the lines in the grid to disappear or appear wavy.  This test can be taken home and patients can monitor for changes in their vision.  

How is AMD treated?

There is no FDA-approved treatments for early dry AMD.  For intermediate AMD, the Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2 (AREDS 2) showed that taking a specific formulation of can reduce the risk of intermediate AMD to severe AMD by 25% over a 5 year period.  The ingredients are below:


  • 500 milligrams (mg) of vitamin C
  • 400 international units of vitamin E
  • 80 mg zinc as zinc oxide
  • 2 mg copper as cupric oxide
  • 10 mg lutein and 2 mg zeaxanthin


In wet AMD, treatments include injections of medicine in the eye and laser therapy to reduce the amount of blood vessel growth.  The treatments can stop or slow the progression of wet AMD, but vision that is loss cannot be recovered. The best way to protect your eyes for a lifetime is to have yearly eye exams and follow the advice of your eye doctor. Call us at 925-743-1222 to schedule your eye exam today.

 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!




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.



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 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.  




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.  



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!

Our Location & Hours

Optometrist, San Ramon, Optometric Center & Eyewear Galleria

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

Mon, Tue, Wed, Thur: 9:00am - 6:00pm
Friday 10:00am - 5:00pm