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The Importance Of A Dilated Eye Exam

March 5, 2018

You may think your eyes are healthy, but visiting Beach Eye Medical Group for a comprehensive dilated eye exam is the only way to really be sure. During the exam, each eye is closely inspected for signs of common vision problems and eye diseases, many of which have no early warning signs. It is generally recommended to start getting annual comprehensive dilated eye exams starting at age 60. For, African Americans, there is a higher risk of glaucoma and they are advised to start having comprehensive dilated eye exams starting at age 40. It’s also especially important for people with diabetes to have a comprehensive dilated exam at least once a year.

Key elements of a comprehensive dilated eye examination include dilation, tonometry, visual field test and a visual acuity test.

Dilation is an important part of a comprehensive eye exam because it enables our Physicians to view the inside of the eye. Drops placed in each eye widen the pupil, which is the opening in the center of the iris (the colored part of the eye). In the same way that opening a door allows for more light to enter a dark room, dilating the pupil allows for more light to enter the eye. A magnifying lens, that provides a clear view of important tissues a the back of the eye, including the retina, the macula and the optic nerve, is used to examine the eye once it is dilated.

In a person with diabetic retinopathy, the most common diabetic eye disease and a leading cause of blindness in the United States, the exam may show swelling or leaking of blood vessels in the retina, the light-sensitive layers of tissue at the back of the eye. Our Physicians may also see abnormal growth of blood vessels in the retina associated with diabetic retinopathy.

In age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a common cause of vision loss and blindness in people over the age of 50, the exam may show yellow deposits called drusen or clumps of pigment beneath the retina. In some cases, the exam may also show abnormal growth of blood vessels beneath the retina. These AMD-related changes tend to cause deterioration of a small area of the retina called the macula, which is needed for sharp, central vision.

A comprehensive dilated eye exam is also critical for detecting glaucoma, a disease that damages the optic nerve, which carries information from the eyes to the brain. In a person with glaucoma, the dilated exam may show changes in the shape and color of the optic nerve fibers. The exam may also show excessive cupping of the optic disc, the place where the optic nerve fibers exit the eye and enter the brain.


Tonometry is a test that helps detect glaucoma. By directing a quick puff of air onto the eye, or gently applying a pressure-sensitive tip near or against the eye, Beach Eye’s Physicians can detect elevated eye pressure, which can be a risk factor for glaucoma. Numbing drops may be applied to your eye for this test.

A Visual field test measures your side (peripheral) vision. A loss of peripheral vision may be a sign of glaucoma.

A Visual acuity test will require you to read an eye chart, which allows us to gauge how well you see at various distances.

As part of a comprehensive eye examination, pupil dilation is very important at revealing the status of your optic nerve and retina, and is critical to preventing and treating eye conditions that could potentially lead to vision loss.

Preventing Vision Loss for People with Diabetes

February 16, 2018

You can’t feel it. You can’t see it—till it’s already too late. The most common type of diabetic eye disease is Diabetic Retinopathy and is the leading reason of blindness in adults age 20–74. It occurs when diabetes destroys the blood vessels in the retina.

Diabetic Retinopathy impacts 7.7 million americans, and that number is projected to increase to greater than eleven million people by 2030.

Only approximately half of of all people with diabetes get an annual comprehensive dilated eye exam, which is critical for detecting diabetic eye disease early, when it is most treatable.

With no early symptoms, diabetic eye disease— a collection of conditions such as cataract, glaucoma, and diabetic Retinopathy—can have an effect on all people with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. African americans, American Indians/Alaska Natives, and Hispanics/Latinos are at higher threat for losing vision or going blind from diabetes. The longer a person has diabetes, the more the threat for diabetic eye disease. As soon as vision is lost, it frequently can not be restored.

Managing your diabetes is key to slowing the development of vision problems like diabetic Retinopathy. There are crucial steps people with diabetes can take to keep their health on the right track:

  • Take your medications as prescribed with the aid of your doctor.
  • Attain and maintain a healthy weight.
  • Add physical activity to your every day routine.
  • Manage your ABC’s—A1C, blood pressure, and cholesterol levels.
  • Kick the smoking habit.

Moreover, people with diabetes should have annual comprehensive dilated eye exams to assist in protecting their sight. Early detection, timely treatment, and appropriate follow-up care can lessen a person’s chance for extreme vision loss from diabetic eye disease by ninety five percent.

Greater than ever, it’s critical for people with diabetes to have a comprehensive dilated eye exam at least once a year. New treatments are being developed all the time, and we are learning that specific treatments may work best for different patients. What hasn’t changed is that early treatment is always better.There has never been a more hopeful time in the treatment of diabetic Retinopathy.

Did you know?

  • Diabetes impacts greater than 9 percent of the U.S. population.
  • More than 1 in 3 people have prediabetes.
  • Everyone with diabetes is at risk for diabetic Retinopathy—the number one cause of vision loss and blindness in operating-age adults.

Keep in mind, if you have diabetes, make annual comprehensive dilated eye tests part of your self management routine. Living with diabetes can be hard, but you don’t have to lose your vision or go blind due to it. To help friends and loved ones lessen their risk, share this blog.

Maximizing Hope and Independence for Those with Low Vision

January 16, 2018

Though many things are prospering in today’s booming society, being able to see without glasses is becoming novelty. According to recent research the wide variety of Americans who are visually impaired—consisting of people with low vision— is predicted to double to more than eight million by 2050.

Impaired vision is when individuals strain to see, even with the assistance of visual aids such as glasses, contacts or surgery. Individuals who suffer from this disorder often have difficulties participating in everyday tasks, such as laundry, grocery shopping and maintaining a job.

The majority of people who are effected by low vision are over the age of sixty five. Their vision loss is usually attributed to medical conditions like age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, glaucoma and diabetic retinopathy. Those under the age of sixty five who experience sub-par vision have the disorder because of genetic eye conditions, infections or an autoimmune disease.

Since vision loss leaves individuals feeling helpless, we’re here to help restore your sense of independence. If you experience vision loss, it’s important to discuss your condition with a qualified eye care professional and speak to a low vision specialist immediately.

Finding an ophthalmologist or optometrist is key because these professionals are trained to help you get the most out of your remaining vision. The specialists will steer patients in the right direction and allow them to live a fuller and more productive life. A good eye doctor will establish a vision rehabilitation plan tailored to your abilities and goals and recommend visual aid devices. The care-plan established with your physician is designed to help you reach as much clarity as possible.

Partaking in vision rehabilitation is vital, it maximizes your independence and helps individuals feel more included in society. These services are offered via the competent training and state-of-the-art equipment possessed by a team of qualified eye-care professionals.

These specialists work collectively to educate people with vision loss a variety of skills, including the following:

  • The use of magnifying and adaptive devices
  • Navigating safely around the house and in public
  • Performing every day activities including cooking, shopping, and reading
  • Finding assets and support

Low vision research efforts, including learning how the brain adapts to vision loss; finding strategies to improve vision rehabilitation; and developing new technology that help people with low vision to read, shop, and find their way in unfamiliar locations will help people with low vision make the most of their remaining sight and preserve their independence and quality of life.

Winter Eye Health Tips

December 11, 2017

It’s that time again when the trees have dropped their leaves and the cold air moves in. We all know the harsh winter can be particularly difficult to bear for those who suffer from dry or itchy eyes. Cold and even snowy days can bring additional problems that affect your vision negatively, making your eyes very irritable and uncomfortable even though they were fine during the rest of the year.

Luckily there are many simple techniques that can be applied to effectively relieve dry eyes and keep your eyesight clear, healthy and pain-freed during the winter months. Make sure to check out these dry eye tips to help keep your eyes healthy and happy during the cold, dry winter season.

Keep the moisture in, not out.

Dry air is just a natural side effect of the winter. It makes it difficult for our eyes to produce the tears they need to stay moist and lubricated. There is an easy way however to fight against this by using simple rewetting drops for your eyes. You simply use them when your eyes feel like they’re getting dry. They can easily be purchased at almost any convenience store. You may also speak to your eye doctor to find out where to get them or have them write you a prescription if you feel that the dryness is persistent and very painful.

Keep yourself away from the heat.

It’s cold out so now actually you’re going to have your heat on during the winter and heat can cause dry eyes as well. Thankfully simple lifestyle changes such as sitting further away from heaters are Rady Ater’s can make a big difference for your dry eyes. You can also find yourself humidifier which will help keep moisture in the air and control the air flow in room to keep your eyes feeling comfortable and happy.

Put down those cell phones and tablets.

Many folks spend practically their entire day staring at a computer screen or their phone. And now that it’s winter you’re probably going to head inside to keep warm and spend even more time gazing at your electronics devices longer than normal. So you may be keeping warm but let us tell you looking at these electronics for extended periods causes you to blink less which keeps your eyes from producing the tears they need to prevent pain and redness. Always use the 20 2020 rule. This works by finding something at 20 feet away and looking away from your electronic devices every 20 minutes at it for at least 20 seconds. This will help reduce eyestrain caused by your dad caused by your digital devices and will help keep your eye sight from getting worse.

Sunglasses are a must.

Every winter seems like the sun disappears however its UV does not. When you go to the beach you always wear your sunglasses to keep those nasty UV rays from harming your eyes so why not in the winter when the sun’s rays are being reflected from the snow lying on the ground. This actually makes it even more important to keep your eyes protected in the winter. Always be mindful to wear sunglasses whenever you are outside or driving for more than a period of 15 minutes; especially on bright sunny days. You can always put on a hat with a brim to also help combat the harmful effects the sun ha on your eyes.

You are what you eat.

Your eyes are still a part of your body and just as your body feels better when you put the proper fuel into it your eyes feel and function better when you feed your body. Healthy eating will not improve your eyesight but can help them from feeling dry or achy. Making sure you drink plenty of water and hydrating yourself also helps keep moisture in your eyes. Mega three fatty acids in your diet will also help maintain and improve your eyes function.

Give them a little TLC when they’re in pain.

If your eyes are bugging you after a long day of at staring at the computer screen, or working long hours don’t sit there and rub them to try make them better. Take a warm damp cloth and place it over your eyes for at least 15 minutes for quick easy relief. However if you experience chronic eye pain regularly you should schedule an appointment with an eye doctor so they can assess and treat your eyes individual needs.

Get yourself some goggles.

If you are outside a lot in the winter months especially for winter sports, the wind at high-speed‘s, can really irritate and take the moisture from your eyes. Your vision can become blurry and even leave them susceptible to dirt and other debris. Make sure that when you go goggle shopping you find a pair that will cover both your eyes and actually have built in UV protection.

If your eyes remain irritable and in pain during the winter months it’s always best to see an eye doctor. We can make sure that you are treated properly. If you ever have any questions or need advice on the best way to help protect your eyes this winter please come see us. We are more than happy to see you and provide the correct and best treatment that is possible for you.

Eye Changes During Pregnancy

November 26, 2017

While you are pregnant your body will go through many different changes very quickly as the new life is developing inside you. You will notice many different changes from flattening feet, ligament pains, swollen ankles and many other things. Most women however don’t realize that their eyes will also be affected by this new life developing inside them. It’s funny but the reason for this is actually the same reason many women have complaints during pregnancy. Complaints such as increased blood volume, fluid retention, and the fluctuation of hormones. All those things we just mentioned are the primary factors for most of the body’s changes during pregnancy. Most of these things however will return back to normal after the baby is born.

A important thing for women to know is that their vision may change during pregnancy. These vision changes however are typically temporary and will resolve themselves after the child is born. Women often worry if they will need a new eyeglass prescription after noticing a change in their vision. Typically this is not the case. One thing to take note of is that you should never have LASIK during or shortly after being pregnant.

Dry eye is actually the most common change to a woman’s eyesight while she’s pregnant. As a result of the changing hormone levels the eye maybe come dry. Make sure to schedule an appointment with Beach Eye Medical Group If you experience any dry eye discomfort during your pregnancy. We can recommend and prescribe safe to use eye drops during your pregnancy. Also wearing contact lenses may also become very uncomfortable while you’re pregnant and many women find it much more practical and comforting to just wear their eyeglasses.

The effects of dry eye while being pregnant may also be reduced by consuming certain foods and vitamins. Omega-3 fatty acid rich foods such as flaxseed, fish and walnuts can also help keep dry under control. Make note however that certain types of fish should be limited while you’re pregnant because of the high levels of mercury. Make sure to speak with your OB and your ophthalmologist or optometrist concerning the treatment and symptoms of dry eye and the proper procedures for keeping your eyes healthy throughout your pregnancy.

If your vision where to change rapidly or become extremely blurry while you’re pregnant it may be an indication of high blood pressure or even gestational diabetes. If you experience any of these symptoms make sure to contact your doctor immediately.

Just like you would contact your primary physician about anything that concerned you regarding your body during pregnancy, you should also make sure to contact your eye care professional if you were concerned about the health of your eyes while your pregnant. Make sure, for the sake of yourself and your baby that you listen to what your body is trying to tell you throughout your entire pregnancy.

Ten Tips for Protecting Your Eyes

October 16, 2017

Being human we tend to take our incredible physical abilities that our bodies afford us for granted. Too often we are worried about things like, “when is our next oil change” or “am I over the recommended mileage” than we are about maintaining our own unique body parts and systems.

For instance our eyes. Too often our eyesight is taken for granted. We fail to have our eyes examined, forget to protect them when mowing the lawn or participating in sports and leave them vulnerable to the harmful effects of the sun and so on.

At Beach Eye Medical Center, your vision is our passion. Ensuring our patients are physically able to appreciate the advantages of having excellent vision, either naturally or corrected by LASIK or vision correction. So with that here are ten great tips to help protect your eyes.

  1. Be aware of and up to date on your family’s eye disease history. — Identify if you’re at greater risk for problems like diabetes or high blood pressure. Being over the age of 65 or of African-American descent over 40 can also put you at a higher risk for eye disease. This makes having regular eye exams with the doctors at Beach Eye Medical very important.
  2. See your family doctor for regular physical exams. — Regularly having your blood pressure checked and ruling out the possibility of diabetes is extremely important since both of these diseases can lead to eye diseases like macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy.
  3. Monitor changes in your vision — Difficulty seeing in low light, double vision, repeated flashes of light, red eyes, floaters, persistent eye discomfort. All of these symptoms need urgent attention paid to them.
  4. Safeguard your eyes from the harmful effects of the sun — Protect your eyes from UV rays by wearing sunglasses. Why? Cataracts are often caused by UV rays from the sun as well as other eye problems.
  5. Change your diet — Studies have shown that eating antioxidants like blueberries and broccoli can decrease the risk of developing cataracts and eating fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids may reduce the risk of developing macular degeneration.
  6. Physically exercise more — Exercising regularly can reduce the chance of having age-related macular degeneration by up to 70 percent.
  7. Don’t start or quit smoking — If you smoke you are much more prone to developing diseases such as age-related macular degeneration and uveitis and other eye problems like cataracts.
  8. Have your eyes examined at the minimum of every two years — Various eye conditions do not show symptoms until your vision has been damaged already. Comprehensive eye exams however, including the dilation of your pupils, may uncover your chance of incurring diseases like diabetic retinopathy.
  9. Wearing eye protection — Playing sports, doing yard work, working with tools, and so on require wearing protective eyewear. Professional sports athletes like Horace Grant of the Chicago Bulls wear protective eyewear while working so why shouldn’t you while you’re trimming your sidewalk.
  10. Rest your eyes and don’t forget to blink! Staring at the computer screen or looking at something close for extended periods of time can contribute to eyestrain. To help alleviate eye fatigue, we recommend following the 20-20-20 rule. At 20 minutes intervals, shift your gaze. Look at something 20 feet away and count slowly to 20.

Is it time for your regular eye exam with Beach Eye Medical? Call us at 714-965-9696 to make your appointment

Dry Eye Syndrome

August 30, 2017

The health of your eyes can greatly affect your overall quality of life. Discomfort, irritation, and watery eyes can make it difficult to work or enjoy everyday activities. If your eyes are constantly stinging or tearing, you may be suffering from dry eye syndrome. At Beach Eye Medical Group in Huntington Beach, California we specialize in the diagnosis and treatment of range of eye and vision disorders, including dry eye syndrome.

What is Dry Eye Syndrome?
Dry Eye Syndrome is a condition that occurs when our eyes fail to keep themselves adequately lubricated, whether due to an inability to produce enough tears or when those tears evaporate too quickly. It’s estimated that millions of Americans are affected by this condition. In most cases, symptoms are acute and relatively mild – typically soreness, redness, and irritation. However, in more serious cases, dry eyes can be chronic and result in severe pain and/or vision loss.

Common symptoms associated with dry eye include:

  • blurred vision, sensitivity to light, and full vision loss in extreme cases
  • irritation (scratchiness or the feeling of something in the eye) and redness
  • pain and/or burning
  • alternations between dryness and watery eyes (as your system tries to flush out perceived irritants)

There can be many causes of dry eye. Environmental factors such as wind, dust, sand, smoke, and other pollutants in the air can contribute to eye irritation, but an underlying medical condition may also be a factor. Dry eye syndrome can arise due to:

  • prolonged time focusing (ie. books and computer screens)
  • allergies
  • rosacea
  • autoimmune disorders
  • hormonal changes during pregnancy, menstruation, and menopause
  • laser-eye surgery and overuse of contact lens
  • side effects from medication
  • genetic predispositions

Diagnosis and Treatment
First and foremost, a proper diagnosis of your eye problem is essential. During your appointment at Beach Eye Medical Group, one of our doctors will perform a comprehensive eye exam and review your symptoms. Next, tests can be performed to measure your tear production, as well as the quality of your tears.

Due to different potential underlying causes, treatments can vary. To help alleviate symptoms, your doctor may recommend lifestyle changes–such as less screen time, healthier living, or air filters/humidifiers–or prescribe therapeutic remedies, such as artificial tears or prescription eye drops (eg. cyclosporine). In some cases, punctal plugs, or tear duct plugs, may be inserted. A punctal plug is a small silicone device that can be placed in the tear duct to help conserve lubrication.

Why Choose Beach Eye?
If you experience dry eye symptoms, and they continue to persist, it’s important that you speak to an ophthalmologist or optometrist as soon as possible.

At the Beach Eye Medical Group in Huntington Beach, our priority is to provide our patients with the best care available for eye disorders. Having served the residents of Southern California for over 35 years, along with decades of combined experience, our medical team is committed to bringing the forefront of modern medical technology to our practice.

Myopia Treatment Choices

July 22, 2017

myopiaAccording to the National Eye Institute (NEI), myopia is a “common type of refractive error where close things appear clearly, but distant objects look fuzzy” and myopia treatment choices range from common glasses or contacts to myopia surgery.

Myopia Treatment Choices

According to the National Eye Institute (NEI), myopia is a “common type of refractive error where close things appear clearly, but distant objects look fuzzy” and myopia treatment choices range from common glasses or contacts to myopia surgery.

What’s myopia?

Commonly called nearsightedness, myopia basically suggests the eyeball is incapable of focusing images correctly on the retina, resulting in what you’re seeing to be focused in the front of the retina.

It might also be brought on by an excessively thick lens, or any combo of issues regarding the lens, eyeball length, and corneal curvature.

Whatever the case, the truth is that your eyesight is going to be negatively affected, making focusing correctly on items at a distance very difficult.

NEI statistics reveal that at 2004, the proportion of the US population with myopia has increased to 41.6 percent (a rise of 16.6 percent from 1972) which was over ten decades ago so the proportion is probably much higher now.

The sheer quantity of people who have myopia, and its incidence as a predisposing factor for other eye associated problems like glaucoma, retinal detachment, and myopic retinopathy, have a lot of eye specialists saying that myopia is a substantial public health issue that’s getting worse.

Degenerative myopia

Oftentimes, nearsightedness is a hassle since it poses little if any threat to the health of the eye. There are often more health threatening related issues like retinal detachment, myopic retinopathy, and glaucoma that myopia is often a predisposing condition for. In all these instances, treatment should be performed by an ophthalmologist.

Degenerative myopia is an uncommon condition that’s also called malignant myopia or pathological myopia. This disorder is an accelerated form of myopia which frequently occurs in children, is generally genetic (hereditary and also contributes to a rapid loss of vision and legal blindness.

Fixing Myopia

The principal treatment options for myopia comprise of contacts and eyeglasses. While these myopia treatment options are exceptionally capable of correcting the refractive error which leads to the myopic focus, these treatment choices don’t slow the eyeball from growing or axial elongation.

Laser refractive surgery is also a possible treatment for myopia. LASIK physically alters corneal tissue to correctly permit the light to concentrate in the appropriate position, and may reduce or eliminate the need to wear eyeglasses or contacts.

The Myopia Experts at Beach Eye

If you have problems with squinting, eye strain, headaches, tired eyes when driving a car or performing everyday tasks, or possess glasses (or contact lenses) for nearsightedness and still encounter these or other associated symptoms, please schedule an eye exam with one of our Doctors at Beach Eye Medical to evaluate your specific situation, correctly diagnosis the myopia or other possible, severe ocular disorders, and explore the alternatives.

You can rest assured that your myopia will be more manageable and learn whether you’re a candidate to achieve clearer vision with LASIK, and make certain you don’t have any serious ocular disorders in which myopia may be a predisposing factor for.

Tips on How to Get Healthy Eyes

July 10, 2017

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Mistakes Contact Lens Wearers Shouldn’t Make

June 12, 2017

Bad Habits for Contact Lens Wearers
Credit: American Optometric Association |