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Author: Lenny

Three Career Stages: Protege, Peer, Mentor

Tommy Lim, OD, of Berryessa Optometry in San Jose, Calif., reflects on three stages of his optometric career. First, as a protégé, he benefited from the advice of more experienced ODs. Later, he sought and exchanged business knowledge from peer study groups involving other ODs at varied career stages. Finally, he is thankful to be in a position to share both clinical and business knowledge with younger ODs and to give back to a profession that has given him and his family so much reward and satisfaction.

ACTION POINTS

BE OPEN. Opportunities to learn and grow arise at any time; keep your mind receptive.
BE INVOLVED. Being a member is fine, but you benefit more when you volunteer and lead.
BE GENEROUS. Sharing knowledge with others pays off in many ways.

Watch Dr. Lim on video here

Baseball Player Switches His Contacts

What happens when a baseball player struggling with Keratoconus changes his contacts? Its life changing! Read this article and find out more:

Pham has a clearer view of opportunity with Cardinals

At Berryessa Optometry your eye care comes first. Dr. Lim and Dr. Mac will give you a thorough friendly examination and then they can help you make an informed choice between dailies, monthlies, toric, and other lens types.

Call our office today for a consultation – new patients welcome!

Resolve to Prevent Glaucoma in 2016

Glaucoma 20Eye 20Diagram

This year, make healthy eyes and vision your resolution. Find out if you or a loved one is at risk for glaucoma, and take steps for prevention.

Glaucoma is a leading cause of preventable vision loss and blindness in adults in the United States and Canada and the second leading cause of blindness in the World. Projections show that the number of people with the disease will increase by 58% by 2030. These facts however could change with proper awareness.

When detected in the early stages, glaucoma can often be controlled, preventing severe vision loss and blindness. However, symptoms of noticeable vision loss often only occur once the disease has progressed. This is why glaucoma is called “the sneak thief of sight”. Unfortunately, once vision is lost from the disease, it usually can’t be restored.

Risk Factors

Prevention is possible only with early detection and treatment. Since symptoms are often absent regular eye exams which include a glaucoma screening are essential, particularly for individuals at risk for the disease. While anyone can get glaucoma, the following traits put you at a higher risk:

  • Age over 60
  • Hispanic or Latino descent, Asian descent
  • African Americans over the age of 40 (glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness in African Americans, 6-8 times more common than in Caucasians.)
  • Family history of glaucoma
  • Diabetics
  • People with severe nearsightedness
  • Certain medications (e.g. steroids)
  • Significant eye injury (even if it occurred in childhood)

What is Glaucoma?

Glaucoma is actually a group of eye diseases that cause damage to the optic nerve due to an increase in pressure inside the eye or intraocular pressure (IOP). Treatments include medication or surgery that can regulate IOP and slow down the progression of the disease to prevent further vision loss if detected early. The type of treatment depends on the type and the cause of the glaucoma.

What are the Symptoms?

Most times glaucoma does not have symptoms. There is no pain unless there is a certain type of glaucoma called angle closure glaucoma. In this case, the channel of outflow gets crowded then blocked, causing foggy, blurred vision, halos around lights, headache and even nausea. This is a medical emergency and should be assessed immediately as the intraocular pressure can become extremely high and cause permanent damage within hours.

Most forms of glaucoma have an “open angle”, which is not so urgent, but does need compliance with the treatment plan (which is sometimes difficult as some of the glaucoma drops have uncomfortable side effects). Once vision loss develops it typically begins with a loss of peripheral or side vision and then progresses inward.

What Can You Do To Prevent Glaucoma?

Because there are no symptoms, regular eye exams are vital to early detection. If you have any of the above risk factors or you are over 60, make a yearly comprehensive eye exam part of your routine. Make sure that your eye doctor knows your family history and any risk factors that are present.

A comprehensive eye exam can determine your risk of developing glaucoma; if you have been diagnosed with glaucoma and have concerns about your treatment, it is best to speak openly with your doctor. Remember, a simple eye doctor’s appointment on a regular basis could save your vision for a lifetime.

Why Do We Need Glasses?

The most well-known part of a comprehensive eye exam is the basic vision test. When you have a general vision test, one of the main conditions the eye care practitioner is checking for is a clipart-010refractive error. A refractive error means there is an abnormality in the shape of the eye, changing the eye’s ability to focus light directly onto the retina.This causes blurred vision and can usually be corrected by wearing prescription eyeglasses, contact lenses and possibly, alternate treatments such as vision therapy, ortho-k, LASIK or refractive surgery such as LASIK.

The term, “refractive error” refers to a problem with the process of refraction that is responsible for sight. Normally, light rays that enter your eye are refracted or bent through the cornea and the lens, and ultimately converge or are focused onto a single point on the retina. From the retina, messages are sent through the optic nerve to the brain which then interprets these signals into the image that we are seeing.

In order for this process to work effectively, the anatomy of the eye including the length of the eye and the curvature of the cornea and the lens must be just right to be able to focus the light onto the retina. When this is not the case, a refractive error will occur.

There are several different types of refractive errors, depending on which part of the eye is affected, and it is possible to have multiple refractive errors at the same time:

Myopia or nearsightedness:
In myopia the length of the eyeball is too long which results in light coming to a focus in front of the retina, rather than on the retina. This allows the individual to see well when objects are close but not clearly when looking at objects at a distance.

Hyperopia or farsightedness:
Hyperopia is when the eyeball is shorter than normal and can result in near objects being blurry. However, people experience hyperopia differently. Sometimes distant objects are clear while other times people may experience overall blurred vision near and far or no problems at all. In children particularly, the lens may accommodate for the error allowing for clear vision but may cause fatigue and sometimes crossed eyes or strabismus. Hyperopia causes eyestrain or fatigue especially when looking at near objects for a period of time. Often people with 20/20 vision may still need glasses at their desk to relax their eyes and improve concentration.

Astigmatism:
Astigmatism is usually the result of an irregularly shaped cornea (although it can sometimes also be due to a misshapen lens). The cornea, which is normally round, is more football-shaped in an eye with astigmatism, resulting in multiple focus points either in front of the retina or behind it (or both). People with astigmatism usually have blurred or distorted vision to some degree at all distances, near and far.

Presbyopia:
Presbyopia is an age-related condition which usually begins to appear sometime after 40. As the eye begins to age, the lens stiffens and can no longer focus clearly on objects that are close.

It’s important to note that presbyopia is often confused with hyperopia, as both cause problems focusing at near distances. However, high hyperopia can also cause blur at far distances as well, especially in dim lighting, and depth perception problems can result in motor vehicle accidents. In these instances people with hyperopia could use glasses at any distance.

If you are having trouble seeing, it is important to have an eye exam to determine the cause of the problem and to effectively correct your vision. Even if your vision is fine, you should schedule a routine eye exam on a regular basis to ensure that your eyes are healthy and that any potential problems are caught early.

Eye Safe Toys and Gifts for This Holiday Season

 

EyeSafetyChristmasGifts‘Tis the season for giving, and parents, grandparents, family and friends need to know which toys and games to leave off the list because they can pose a risk to children’s health and eyesight. Last year nearly 252,000 emergency visits were due to toy-related injuries, almost half of which were to the head or face. Further, about 1 in 10 children’s eye injuries treated in the emergency room can be traced back to toys, most of which occur in children under 15 years of age.

The most common types of eye injuries that occur from toys can be anything from a scratch on the cornea (the front surface of the eye) to very serious injuries that can threaten vision such as traumatic cataracts, corneal ulcers, bleeding inside the eye and retinal detachment.

Most of these injuries can be prevented by taking the proper measures to evaluate the safety of gifts before they are purchased and to supervise children during any play with toys that could have the potential to cause damage or harm.

Here are some tips on how to select safe toys for children this holiday season:

  1. Check age recommendations on all toys to make sure they are age appropriate and suitable for the child’s maturity level. If younger siblings are present, ensure that any toys made for older children are kept out of reach.
  2. When possible, check toys for a seal of approval that the product meets national safety standards from a toy safety testing organization such as the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) or the Canadian Toy Testing Council.
  3. Do not purchase toys that have a projectile or sharp, protruding parts. Toys such as darts, guns, arrows or sharp propelling toys can cause serious eye injuries that can lead to permanent eye damage and even vision loss. Even high-powered water guns such as super soakers or soft foam dart guns can cause significant damage when shot at close range.
  4. Purchase safety eyewear with polycarbonate lenses to accompany sports equipment, chemistry sets or woodworking tools. Speak to your optometrist to learn more about the best option for your child’s hobby of choice.
  5. Check that toys with sticks or handles such as swords, fishing rods, pogo sticks, brooms or pony sticks have rounded edges or handles and avoid or supervise use with little children.
  6. Any toys or devices that have a laser or bright light (such as laser pointers or flashlights which are sometimes used by kids to play laser tag) can be dangerous. Bright lights such as those produced by high-powered flashlights can cause temporary vision loss that can lead to a risk of a fall or accident. Further, laser pointers are not safe for use by children as the light intensity can cause permanent vision loss if shined in someone’s eyes.

When purchasing a toy for a child that is important to you, make sure you are considering what is most important – their safety. Ask us if you have any questions about the eye safety of a toy or gift you are considering.

Blue Light with Dr. Lim on Popular Science Radio

Popular Science Radio

Oct 17, 2015

Details

If you use a computer or cellphone screen for hours a day, you’ve probably noticed the strain it creates on your eyes. Optometrist, Tommy Lim, explains the dangers of the blue light emitted by our screens and teaches us how to protect against it.

Credits

Host: Alan Taylor
Producer: Jared Alexander
Special Guest: Dr. Tommy Lim

Listen Here: Popular Science Radio

How Do BluTech Lenses Help Combat Blue Light?

Dr. Lim has been a proponent of BluTech Lenses with all his patients. Now he has an opportunity to share his knowledge with the others as well. Our optometrist in San Jose was recently featured on the Radio WCBS in NYC with radio host Pat Farnack talking about the danger or Blue Light.

CBS Interview Pat Farnack

What is it about screens that affect our eyes? Most of us would assume that regular prescription lenses would compensate for everything we need. Not so. The blue light we get from electronic devices creates a special type of blur and strain that cannot be compensated for in normal prescription lenses. I personally use a lens called the ‘BluTech’ lens. This is a special lens that has a patented material embedded in it that mimics the protective properties of the ocular lens pigment and melanin that we naturally have in our eyes. The lens also has an amber tint, which helps relax the eyes.

People with light colored eyes, like blue or green, are more at risk from the blue light because there is less pigment in their retina to filter this light. It is even more important for these people to have something that helps to filter out blue light, which in turn lessens the strain and relaxes the eye to make it more comfortable. This is an additional protective mechanism for those at risk of macular degeneration.

Exposure to blue light is bad for your overall health – it may disrupt the sleep cycle and can increase the risks for macular degeneration. Some of our patients who use the BluTech lenses find that they can go to sleep more easily.

If you have a history of macular degeneration, you are at an increased risk for it because blue light causes oxidation in the retina at the macula. The BluTech lenses mimic the ocular lens pigment and melanin in our eyes by filtering the harmful high energy blue light.

Kids who spend lots of time on iPads and computers are also at risk. Children have larger pupils, allowing more blue light into their eyes. Because children also have shorter arms, everything is held closer to them, thus increasing their blue light exposure. Children, as well as adults, both need lenses that filter or reflect blue light.

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We are excited to welcome you back into our office!

We are currently open by appointment only for all services to reduce the number of people in the office. Please contact our office to get our soonest availability for an exam.

Due to COVID-19, we are taking precautions to ensure your safety and well being, as it remains our highest priority. Our staff is diligently adhering to CDC guidelines and other healthcare recommendations and required protocols.

Thank you and we look forward to seeing you soon!

Hung D. Mac, OD & Staff