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Dr. Elise Brisco, O.D.

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Living in a Visual Culture and How It’s Not So Easy on the Eyes

By | Computer Vision | No Comments

Read This if You Look at a Screen of Any Kind for More Than 2 Hours Daily

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How many of you have a job that could be classified as visual? This might mean that you depend on your eyes for a large portion of the work day; maybe you look at a screen all day, or maybe you spend your business hours looking over documents. Either way, our work is 90% visual in most vocational settings, which places heavier and heavier demand and stress on… you guessed it, your eyes.

Working with computers, working in graphic design, hammering out spreadsheets, making presentations on tablets, running a business from your cell phone — all of these activities are primarily visual.

The United States is becoming less and less a physical or manual labor country. We no longer engage in manufacturing, farming or building with our hands and bodies on the same scale as in the past. More and more of our jobs are based on visual labor rather than physical labor. We are now focused on computers, microtasks, visual analysis, viewership, design, research and other highly demanding activities that can potentially increase wear and tear, even damage our eyes.

Are Your Eyes Getting the Care They Need, and Deserve?

Little is being done to help office workers keep their eyes healthy and rested even though it’s how they do most of their work. People go to the gym to exercise their bodies and muscles, and people who do manual labor are required to take physical rest breaks, but few people do eye exercises that benefit your eyes, or take visual rest breaks. In fact, many people use their cell phones to text, watch videos and jump on social media during their breaks, instead of resting their eyes, after having spent most of the day working with their eyes.

The eye muscles are the most active muscles in the body. They are hard at work scanning across thousands and thousands of words every hour. Surprisingly, employers are neglecting the wellbeing of eyes of their Visual Workforce. This is short sighted (pun intended) because healthy eyes, clear vision, and appropriate tracking and eye teaming skills help employees be more comfortable, happy and productive. Health insurance plans often do not include vision insurance even though the majority of your work involves visual tasks. That means it’s up to you to take care of your own eyes.

Very few people consider the ergonomics of their office from a visual perspective. Workstations need to take visual needs into account such as:

  • The angle that workers are most comfortable viewing screens
  • Ambient and backlighting
  • Screen resolution and refresh rate

Protection from harmful blue light that is emitted from computer screens, cell phones, tablets, digital TVs and fluorescent lights. Blue light can cause more damage to the eyes than the sun
The humidity of the office also needs to be considered since heavy computer use often leads to dry eyes because we don’t blink as much when we stare at the computer screen

What is a “Visual Culture”?

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Do you have friends who only express themselves in memes and gifs? That’s part and parcel of our culture relying more on our eyesight than any other sense. Vision is how we stay connected to the world, and each other.

Examples of visually demanding jobs include:

  • Designers (Web, Fashion, Video Game, Etc.)
  • Animators
  • Film and video Editors
  • Copywriters
  • Editorial Staff (Both Print and Digital)
  • Accountants
  • Law Professionals
  • Administrative Professionals
  • Security
  • Graphic design
  • Health professionals
  • Students
  • And Much, Much More

And the list keeps growing!

The number of multimedia artists and animators working in the field is projected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics to grow 10% from 2016 to 2026, due to increased demand for things like gaming, movies, TV, animation, and more. Also, not only does the work day trend towards digital devices, but recreational time as well. These include cell phones, social media, video games, chatting, video streaming, Youtube, TV, etc. That means it doesn’t look like our culture is going to shift away from this trend any time soon (or ever, for that matter).

Unchecked Stress on the Eyes Can Affect…

  • Visual Pursuits (Tracking Moving Objects)
  • Accommodation / Sustained Focus
  • Binocularity
  • Stereopsis (Perception of Depth)
  • Convergence (Tracking Towards and Away)
  • Plugged oily tear glands

This leads to:

  • Dry eyes
  • Eyes that are red, watering, burning, tired
  • Headaches
  • Eyestrain
  • Poor concentration
  • Diminished productivity

The bottom line is when your eyes feel tired, you feel tired!

That’s why it’s so important to take care of your eyes. The Hollywood Vision Center provides Vision Therapy for eye strain, double vision, sports vision, computer vision syndrome, visual impairment due to head trauma or brain injury, visually-related learning problems, and more.

We also have a state of the art MoisturEyes Spa to treat dry eyes that result from staring at the computer or cell phone for hours each day. https://www.hollywoodvision.com/moistureeyes-spa/

If you’re experiencing even what you perceive to be slight eye strain, it’s important to act now to avoid serious problems down the road. We have a dedicated staff of visioneers who work with you to help you see clear, easy, and comfortable so that you can perform your best at work and play!

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Holistic Prevention of Blue Light Damage and Cataracts and How Diet, Nutraceuticals, and Eye Exercise Can Help

By | Computer Vision, Uncategorized, Wellness Care | No Comments

Most people don’t know that the majority of eye diseases go unnoticed because there are no pain receptors inside of the eyes. Without symptoms, or “warning signs”, often the first sign that something is wrong with your eyes, is when the disease has progressed to the point that you have lost some vision.

This is why it’s extremely important to have annual vision exams. By catching problems in the early stage, we can prevent more serious vision problems from progressing and harming your eyesight. It’s like dental care. Regular cleaning and exams prevents cavities and gum disease.

We use holistic and multi-disciplinary techniques at the Hollywood Vision Center to help our patients age gracefully. We empower our patients with knowledge to help them take care of themselves between visits to our office to stay healthy. Today, we will discuss ways to prevent eye problems like cataracts and blue light damage with homeopathy, nutraceuticals and a balanced diet.

Cataracts and Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Cataracts and Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) are two of the leading causes of acquired blindness and visual impairment in the United States. They both affect millions of Americans each year. Eating certain nutrients, sun protection, blue light filters, not smoking, and using homeopathic remedies to “detox” your lens, can help decrease the risk of cataracts and AMD. While studying to be a Clinical Homeopath, I learned several ways to use homeopathic lymphagogues to help decrease the cloudiness in the lens that exists in cataracts. I make individual recommendations based on the findings in each patients’ exam.

What nutrients are good for the eyes? Enhancing your lutein and zeaxanthin intake has been shown to reduce the risk of chronic eye diseases like AMD and cataracts. Unfortunately, most Western diets tend to be low in lutein and zeaxanthin. Foods high in these antioxidants include leafy green vegetables, like spinach, but also corn, broccoli, and eggs.

How Do Antioxidants Help with Cataracts and Blue Light Damage?

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Do you stare at a computer screen for hours on end? How many times do you expose your eyes to high-energy blue wavelengths of light from computers, cell phones, television and tablets each day? Indoor lighting, fluorescent lights and sunlight also causes free radical cell damage, and bombards us with blue wavelengths of light.

Lutein and zeaxanthin from foods and supplements can protect our eyes from blue light! Many studies have shown that these carotenoids filter harmful blue light from damaging the eye, and can help prevent AMD and cataracts.

Protect your eyes by including more lutein and zeaxanthin rich foods in your diet: dark leafy greens, herbs, salad greens, summer squash, broccoli, brussel sprouts, asparagus, green peas, leeks, and green beans. (PICTURES)

The average American does not get enough lutein or zeaxanthin through food alone. This is why I recommend supplements such as Ultra Dry Eye TG which contains essential fatty acids to improve the quality and quantity of oily tears to combat dry eyes, as well as lutein and zeaxanthin.

The crystalline lens of your eye can go through oxidation as well, which is a primary cause of cataracts, and presbyopia, which is the inability to see at near once you are over 40 years old. Antioxidants will help neutralize unstable molecules (also called free radicals) that cause oxidative stress and damage to the retina. You can get antioxidants through a variety of foods including:

  • Fruits: Cranberries, blueberries, and blackberries
  • Vegetables: Beans, artichokes, and Russet potatoes
  • Nuts: Pecans, walnuts, and hazelnuts

More Holistic Vision Tips from Dr. Brisco

Your eyes are like muscles. You have to work them out to keep them sharp and in shape. One exercise we recommend is reading 48-point font with one eye covered from 8-10 feet away. Then read 14-point font at an arm’s length away with that same eye covered. Then alternate and repeat. This exercise is a great way to maintain the flexibility of your eyes focusing muscles as long as possible by zooming in and out. If you combine this routine with a healthy diet full of spinach, green beans, peas, broccoli, and maybe with the occasional omelet, your eyes will be in good shape for the long haul.

Sunglasses, and certain contact lenses with ultraviolet protection, namely UV-A, UV-B and UV400 protect the eyes from sun damage including cataracts, pterygiums and pingueculas, AMD and eye lid cancers. Excessive or prolonged cumulative ultraviolet exposure can cause skin damage and accelerate aging, and even more so in the eyes because the eye tissues and retina in the back of the eye are very delicate. I also recommend wearing a hat with a wide brim to protect your eyes from the sun. My mother made me wears hats and sometimes even carry a sun parasol when I was young. As I grow older, I am thankful that she made me do this! Since 80% of sun damage occurs before 18 years old, get your children in the habit of sun protection now.

We hope some of this helps. If you’d like to know more about blue light damage, cataracts, and how homeopathic treatment, nutraceuticals, and a balanced diet can help you enjoy crystal clear vision for years to come, contact us at Hollywood Vision Center today to learn more. We are here to help you keep your eyes and vision as sharp and healthy through graceful aging.


dr-elise-brisco-los-angeles-optometristDr. Brisco joined the practice in 1988 and, among other improvements, has incorporated her areas of special interest in the practice: Children’s Vision, rehabilitation of vision problems after brain injury, Vision Therapy, Sports Vision, treatment of dry eye, Strabismus and Amblyopia.

Dr. Brisco incorporates an Integrative approach to vision care. She evaluates patients from a holistic standpoint looking at how health, lifestyle, stress and diet affect the visual system and vice versa. She is one of a select group of optometrists in the country to be a Certified Clinical Homeopath, having conducted a research study using homeopathy with LASIK to decrease dryness after surgery. Dr. Brisco gives her patients options between pharmaceuticals and natural medicine such as homeopathy whenever appropriate. She also incorporates Chinese Medicine, Naturopathic Medicine, Osteopathic Medicine, Preventive Cardiology, Acupuncture and other health care disciplines into her recommendations as needed, to help her patients reach their maximum health potential. Dr. Brisco graduated from the University of Southern California with honors, and completed her doctorate with Distinction at the Southern California College of Optometry.

She has earned two post-Doctorate Fellowships from the American Academy of Optometry, and the College of Optometrists in Vision Development. She’s been recognized in the International Who’s Who in Medicine, and America’s Top Optometrists. One of her special interests is Children’s Vision. Since there is a strong relationship between vision and learning, the Hollywood Vision Center – Optometry provides vision screenings at over 40 schools in the area. The practice also has a complete Vision Therapy department. Another one of her interests is Rehabilitative Vision which is the treatment of patients who have functional visual impairments after acquired or traumatic brain injury (such as stroke, brain tumor, motor vehicle accident, etc.) that interfere with daily functioning such as reading, driving, eating, and sports. She co-founded the Rehabilitative Vision clinic at the Cedars Sinai Medical Center, and is a member of the Neuro Optometric Rehabilitation Association. Dr. Brisco’s achievements include being the Team Optometrist for the NHL’s Mighty Ducks of Anaheim, WCHL’s Long Beach Ice Dogs, and the Los Angeles Galaxy. She also worked with athletes from around the world at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia teaching them how they could improve visual motor skills to see and react faster. She has been a Clinical Instructor at the Southern California College of Optometry and was an Adjunct Faculty member of the Western University College of Optometry.

Specialty Contact Lenses

By | Children's Vision, Computer Vision, Eye Doctor, Los Angeles, Post Traumatic Vision Syndrome, Sports Vision, Wellness Care | No Comments


We thought a blog about the many specialty contact lenses that we offer at the Hollywood Vision Center Optometry would help shed light on the new innovations and exciting options available for those who can benefit from medically necessary and specialty contacts.

There many different types of lenses available for a wide range of eye conditions that are not correctable with glasses or regular contact lenses. Technology has consistently improved lens designs so that patients with dry eyes, high prescriptions, irregular corneas, damaged corneas (from surgery or injury), astigmatism and bifocals can now wear contacts comfortably and see clearly.

Types of Specialty Contact Lenses

We offer scleral lenses that are designed for high astigmatism, keratoconus, and post-surgery (such as LASIK and radial keratotomy). These are also designed for patients who have irregular corneas and cannot see well with gas permeable or regular soft lenses. Scleral lenses are also designed to provide sharper vision to irregular corneas, provide more security for hard-to-fit eyes, and creates a moist reservoir for dry eyes.

Ortho K corneal molds are specialty contact lenses designed to decrease myopia and astigmatism while you sleep, and without surgery. You don’t have to wear these contact lenses during the day. You’ll only need to wear them at night while you sleep. There can be many reasons for discomfort, including sports (like swimming, football, baseball, basketball, and horseback riding). These molds non-surgically provide decrease prescription and are completely safe for children (who are too young have LASIK).

Multifocal lenses are another type that eliminates the need for bifocal glasses and reading glasses. Multifocal lenses also give you enhanced depth perception (unlike monovision contact lenses).

Lastly, we use hybrid lenses (like Duette by SynergEyes), which are great for keratoconus and for patients with irregular corneas who have a hard time adapting to hard contact lenses. Hybrid lenses have a rigid gas permeable center for better optics, attached to a soft skirt to increase patient comfort and decrease foreign bodies and debris under the contact lens.

A Wide Array of Vision Possibilities, All Under One Roof!

Hollywood Vision Center Optometry takes an integrated and holistic approach to our work. Our dedicated staff of medical professionals have our patient’s best interests in mind at all times. We also offer other services, including our MoisturEyes Dry Eye Spa, Vision Therapy, as well as both western and homeopathic medicine choices for our patients. For example, our integrative approach to treating dry, tired eyes includes stimulating and increase your natural tear production, which will help our patients with dry eyes wear their contact lenses longer and more comfortably.

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Patients often tell us that they see more vividly and more accurately with contact lenses because their lenses behave and perform as if they are a natural part of the eyes. There are many cases when our patients see better with their contacts than with their glasses. Our patients enjoy increased peripheral vision and crisper vision through contact lenses, and during your initial consultation we’ll help you determine which type will be the best and most practical for you. Contact Hollywood Vision Center Optometry today to schedule your visit.

vision-collage

Vision Therapy: See Better to Live Better

By | Children's Vision, Computer Vision, Eye Doctor, Los Angeles, Post Traumatic Vision Syndrome, Sports Vision, Wellness Care | No Comments

 

“We live in a wonderful world that is full of beauty, charm and adventure. There is no end to the adventures that we can have if only we seek them with our eyes open.”

~ Jawaharlal Nehru

The more you use your eyes, the more any underlying vision problem is going to make you tired, uncomfortable, or interfere with your productivity. Our heavy dependence on computers, cell phones, and even desk work, has created a greater need to address vision problems so that you can work or learn comfortably without being limited by a vision problem.

Whether you work on a computer for more than 2 hours a day, or are in school studying, or play sports competitively, you need more than 20/20 vision to be your best.

Dr. Elise Brisco, OD, the director at the Hollywood Vision Center, takes a holistic approach to treating patients, by assessing more than 20/20 vision. We evaluate how a patient uses their eyes, in addition to a glasses prescription and eye health examination.

Most of our patients in Vision Therapy see clearly, but have a tracking, eye teaming or visual processing problem that was not picked up with an ordinary eye exam. Dr. Brisco did a Post Doctorate Fellowship with the College of Optometrists in Vision Development and has trained many optometrists in Vision Therapy over the years. She was also the only female team doctor in the NHL, serving as the Team Optometrist for the Ducks of Anaheim. She was also on the medical staff for the MLS Los Angeles Galaxy, and the IHL Long Beach Ice Dogs. She has trained athletes at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games, and worked with athletes at the World Special Olympics games in New Haven, CT and Los Angeles, CA.

What is Vision Therapy?

Vision therapy (VT) is doctor-supervised, non-surgical, customized program aimed at improving eye muscle control, coordination and visual processing. VT consists of visual activities designed to correct specific vision deficiencies and, improving overall visual skills. It’s like Physical Therapy, but for the eyes and visual system.

If you suffer from any of these symptoms, we can help:

  • Tired or uncomfortable while reading
  • Headaches while studying
  • Computer and reading promotes sleepiness
  • Decreased productivity
  • Lack of reading comprehension
  • Loss of concentration
  • Words on the page or screen often move, jump, blur, or appear to “swim”
  • One eye drifts in or out
  • One eye is not correctable to 20/20
  • Double vision
  • Slow reading
  • “Pulling” sensation around eyes while reading
  • Lost pleasure in reading
  • Short attention span while reading (when compared to other activities)
  • Poor eye-hand coordination and motor skills (while playing sports, for instance)
  • Poor depth perception (difficulty judging distances — parallel parking, stopping a car, etc)

Notice a trend yet? These problems have a tremendous effect on the way we take in information and learn about the world around us. Problems with eyesight also affect the way we interact and navigate the world.

vision-therapy-1Vision Therapy can treat the following problems and more:

What We Do in Vision Therapy

vision-therapy-los-angeles-optometristOur program incorporates many different exercises that train and enhance deficient visual skills. Learning correct visual skills might be like learning a musical instrument or a new sport. We use neurological remodeling and remapping to train correct visual motor and visual perceptual skills in our office under the supervision of a vision therapist.

We also prescribe home therapy, which reinforces and accelerates newly-learned skills. The duration of your VT program depends on your individual circumstances and severity of your vision problem. How quickly you progress also depends on how dedicated you are to learning and practicing VT as prescribed by the doctor.

Build Confidence Through Vision Therapy

You might be struggling professionally or academically. Is your work inconsistent? Do you grasp a concept one day and lose it the next?

If you avoid reading like the plague, let’s look at the underlying cause. Your eyes might be working so hard to read that it’s a real struggle for comprehension.

Therapy can increase in reading and comprehension levels. Patients exhibit neater handwriting and word spacing, and even better communication. We improve your overall body balance and coordination with holistic practices.

The results:

  • Higher productivity
  • Less fatigue and discomfort associated with reading and computer use
  • Better eye teaming and tracking
  • Faster speed of visual reaction time in sports and driving
  • More confidence in school
  • Better ability to benefit from the curriculum at school
  • Improved visual perception
  • Enhanced integration of the senses
  • Increased confidence with the application of these new skills
  • Cosmetically straighter eyes
  • Better depth perception

Would you like to know more? An estimated 20% of people may suffer from these types of problems, and you could be one of them without even knowing it. If you think you might have a treatable problem that interferes with your work/life balance, we can help. Call us at the Hollywood Vision Center today to schedule your initial consultation with us.

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Dealing with Digital Eye Strain

By | Uncategorized | No Comments

Digital devices such as computers, cell phones, and tablets create both solutions and problems.

Society as a whole spends more and more time in front of digital devices for work, school, and play. We do everything from spreadsheets, to shopping, to socializing online. You name it: cell phones, personal computers, laptops, e-readers, iPads, and other digital devices allow us to connect to friends and family, but at what cost to our health? All that screen time is hard on your eyes and may lead to digital eye strain — even if you have perfect vision.

Digital Eye Strain is becoming an epidemic for several reasons. First of all, heavy use of digital devices is hard work on our eye muscles. Our eyes were not designed to focus close up for prolonged periods. We are descendants of cavemen and cave women who needed to see clearly in the distance, more than close up, to hunt to provide for their families. Anything that you do for more than 2 hours a day, would usually fatigue the muscles used. For example, if you worked for a moving company, your arms, back and legs get tired at the end of the day, after riding a bike for 2+ hours, your legs would get tired, etc.

Our screen-rich culture can be blamed for digital eye strain. Your eyes have to work harder to focus on a computer screen for a prolonged period. Computers are far more visually demanding than printed material because the image on a monitor is never stable like the printed text in a book. Computer images composed of pixels of light are constantly refreshed, adding strain.

The main symptoms of Digital Eye Strain include:

  • Eyestrain/Tired Eyes
  • Frontal/temporal headaches
  • Dry Eyes (burning, red eyes, soreness)
  • Physical Fatigue
  • Blurry or vision that goes in and out of focus, especially at the end of the day

Ultimately this causes stress, discomfort and loss of productivity. The irony that you are reading this on a screen right now does not escape us, either. After you finish this blog, give those windows to your soul a break!

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Over time, the tears that aren’t spread over the eyes, stagnate and thicken. This clogs the opening of the Meibomian oily tear glands along the edge of the lids so that newly made tears get stuck in the tear glands. Eventually the clogged tear glands become infected, and atrophy which decreases the amount of tears that you can make. It can also make your eyes look unhealthy with red, thickened lids, and even loss of eye lashes.

We have a natural and unique way of treating dry eyes due to my holistic and integrative background. We can decrease your red, tired and dry eyes by unclogging tear glands open, and by stimulating natural tear production, naturally, without medication or surgery. We have helped many patients in our MoisturEyes Dry Eye Spa to feel and look better. We can help your eyes look less puffy and tired, and feel refreshed which will help you get your work done more comfortably and efficiently.

What other problems does heavy screen time cause?

Without a healthy layer of tears, vision goes in and out of focus, or stays blurry because the tears are necessary to form a smooth optical layer across the front of the eye. When the eyes are dry, vision gets blurry unless you blink more, or produce more tears.

Heavy screen time can also lead to eyestrain and headaches, not only because of dry eyes, but also because of an uncorrected prescription. Studies have shown that even a small amount of uncorrected prescription can lead to muscle eye strain as you compensate to see. A prescription that is measured for your eyes and the distance that you put your computer screen will lessen, or eliminate the eyestrain. Add a blue light filter to protect your eyes even further from the blue light that can lead to eye health problems such as macular degeneration, as well as interfere with sleep. This is the topic of another article which I have written as well.

You might experience a combination of these factors. To learn more about how your eyes can look and feel better after a long day at the office, as well as the ways we can help you with our specialized services, contact us today. At Hollywood Vision Center, Optometry, Inc. we can address the vision care needs of each unique patient, providing the following services under one roof:

  • Dry Eye Spa especially for heavy computer and cell phone users
  • Natural homeopathy, supplements, etc., as well as pharmaceutical medicines when necessary
  • Vision Therapy
  • Glasses, contact lenses, Ortho-K contact lenses
  • Holistic Optometry

We are dedicated to serving the vision care needs of our patients, providing vision care services for the entire family. We provide caring, Integrative and Holistic vision care services that combine VIP treatment with state of the art technology. If you suffer from digital eye strain call today to schedule your consultation with Hollywood Vision Center, Optometry, Inc at (323) 521-4770.

 

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