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What are Digital Eyeglass Lenses?

in Optical Services

Digital Lenses Stockton, CAAlthough your eyeglasses correct your vision to 20/20, you may still wish your vision was clearer in certain situations. At Central Valley Eye, we offer high-definition eyeglass lenses that correct for certain vision issues that normal eyeglasses can’t.

Why are my normal eyeglass lenses not always cutting it?

Even if your eyeglasses correct for your predominant vision problem, be it nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism, you could have other problems still affecting the clarity of your corrected vision. Doctors refer to this as higher-order aberrations.

Higher-order aberrations are more subtle, complex refractive errors, and the technology behind traditional eyeglasses and contact lenses may not be able to correct for them. These higher-order aberrations can cause difficulty seeing at night, glare, halos, blurring, starburst patterns, or even double vision. Every eye has some degree of higher-order aberrations, but often they aren’t enough to cause issues with vision. Abnormal curvature of the cornea and crystalline lens may contribute to the distortion of many higher-order aberrations.

What are high-definition lenses?

You can’t place the blame on the conventional technology used to create the vast majority of eyeglass lenses and contacts. After all, it was invented in the early 20th century! Conventional lenses provide their optimum clarity through the optical center of the lens. As your eye looks away from the center, the clarity of your vision diminishes. This is, even more, the case with high prescriptions and progressive lenses.

Recent advances in lens manufacturing techniques have made possible new high-definition eyeglass lenses that correct for higher-order aberrations. This allows sharper vision across the lens than has been available before. The design of high-definition lenses provide sharper vision in all lighting conditions and reduce glare for nighttime driving and other night vision tasks.

Free-form lenses

Free-form lenses are the most popular type of high-definition eyeglass lenses. The term “free-form” refers to the advanced manufacturing process that reduces higher-order aberrations such as spherical aberration that occur in traditional eyeglass lenses.

With free-form lenses, computer-controlled surfacing equipment that is much more precise than conventional milling tools is used to create lenses from the wearer’s eyeglass prescription. To show the degree of precision, free-form technology can surface lenses in power increments of 0.01 diopter (D), compared with 0.125 to 0.25 D increments with conventional eyeglass lens tooling.

Interested in having the sharpest corrected vision possible? Call us at Central Valley Eye Medical Group, (800)-244-9907, and ask about our high-definition eyeglass and contact lenses.

2018 Spring Trunk Show

in Announcements

Spring Trunk Show

Just Had Your 40th Birthday? Say Hello to the Gift of Presbyopia

in Eye Conditions

Presbyopia Stockton CASo, you just had your 40th birthday. Hopefully you survived the Depends (or worse) jokes and the black-frosted cake shaped like a tombstone. In reality, though, you’re probably less than halfway through your life.

But there is one eye condition that begins around 40 and will make you feel older. It’s called presbyopia. While presbyopia isn’t a disease or anything, and isn’t curable, we treat it every day at Central Valley Eye Medical Group. Here’s some info about what to expect.

What is presbyopia?

Compared to that aching knee or those crow’s feet around your eyes, most people don’t think of their eyes when it comes to aging. But your eyes do age. Presbyopia is a natural consequence of this. Presbyopia is a condition where the eye loses its ability to change its focus so that you can see objects that are close up. This affects things such as reading or working on a computer. In most people, it starts to appear at the age of 40.

What happens?

When you are young, the lens in your eye is soft and flexible, and it can change shape easily. This is how you focus on objects both up close and far away. After most people turn 40 the lens becomes less flexible, more rigid. It’s not like it happens overnight, but it can’t change shape as easily as it did in your younger days, so it becomes much more difficult to see things up close. You may be able to see the golf ball on the green 250 yards away, but reading the scores on the scorecard in the bar afterwards is a challenge. But you’re in good company — presbyopia affects almost everyone.

Isn’t this just farsightedness? 

People confuse presbyopia with farsightedness (hyperopia), but the two are different conditions. When the lens of the eye loses flexibility with age, that is presbyopia. When the natural shape of the eyeball (the eye is either shorter than normal or has a cornea that is too flat) causes light rays to bend incorrectly when they enter the eye, that is hyperopia. The confusion comes because the results are much the same — the person has difficulty seeing things up close without correction — but the causes are very different. Farsightedness can be present at birth, while presbyopia develops after 40. Hyperopia often has genetic tendencies, while presbyopia is common throughout the population.

There is no cure for presbyopia, but it can be easily corrected. Most people simply opt for standard drugstore reading glasses, having a few pairs around the house whenever they may need to do some reading. It can also be treated with laser surgery.

Now you know what’s been happening with your vision after you hit the dreaded 40th. Is it time for your regular eye exam? Call us at Central Valley Eye Medical, 1-800-244-9907, to make your appointment.

What is Astigmatism?

in Astigmatism, Eye Conditions

Astigmatism Stockton, CAMost of us have at least some flaw in our eyesight. If you’re over 40, your close vision is probably in need of reading glasses. That’s presbyopia and is almost universal for people over age 40. If you’re nearsighted, called myopia, that means you can see up close fine, but distance vision usually needs correction. If you’re farsighted, called hyperopia, you can see at distance just fine, but the close vision is blurry.

And then there’s astigmatism. This condition can be misunderstood as to just what it means. Even the name — astigmatism — is often thought to mean “You have a stigmatism.” No, it’s a single word.

Since we deal with all of these issues all the time at Central Valley Eye Medical Group, let’s take this blog to explain astigmatism a little better.

What is astigmatism?

When a person has astigmatism, their cornea is shaped like a football rather than round. Pretty much everyone has this to some degree; it just may not be the noticeable or impacting vision. A normal eyeball is shaped like a perfectly round ball. Light comes into it and bends evenly, thanks to the perfect roundness, making for clear vision.

But when you have astigmatism, the football shape of your eyeball means that the light gets bent more in one direction than another. That means only part of an object is in focus. It often affects objects at distance, and they may appear blurry and wavy.

What causes astigmatism?

Most people are born with astigmatism. No one knows exactly why. It can also develop after an eye injury, eye disease, or surgery. There is a wives’ tale out there that you can develop astigmatism if you read in bad light or sit too close to the TV, but that’s not true.

How do we treat astigmatism?

Not too long ago, the only way to correct for astigmatism was glasses. Contact lenses had trouble adapting to the shape of the cornea. But today’s contact lenses handle it just fine. Usually, contact lenses will have a line at the top, so the patient can align them properly to get the right fit on the eyeball. These are called toric lenses, and they bend light more in one direction than in the other, hence the need to have them specifically placed on the eyeball.

LASIK surgery can now also fix astigmatism by changing the shape of the cornea.

Is it time for your regular eye exam? Call the team at Central Valley Eye Medical Group, 1-800-244-9907, to make your appointment.

The Dust, the Sun, the Pterygium

in Eye Conditions

Pterygium Stockton, CA While being out in our awesome natural landscape of California has tons of benefits for our mental and physical well being, there is a downside for your eyes — pterygium.

Pterygium is an eye condition that affects people who spend a great deal of time outdoors. It involves the growth of pink, fleshy tissue on the conjunctiva (white part of the eye), usually on the side toward the nose. The cause of pterygium is excessive exposure to ultraviolet light, dust, wind, sand, and humidity. Put those together, and you see why the colloquial name for this condition is Surfer’s Eye, and why it’s no stranger to California residents.

Pterygium is a non-cancerous growth that can develop slowly over time and may not present a threat to the patient’s eyesight unless it covers the pupil of the eye. Patients only need surgery if it interferes with the patient’s eyesight. We treat pterygium at Central Valley Eye Medical Group.

What is pterygium surgery?

The team at Central Valley Eye uses surgery to remove pterygium tissue growth on the white of the eye. This surgery formerly resulted in a hole in the surface of the conjunctiva. This made it likely to regrow pterygium again in the future. But now, a tissue graft taken from the underside of the eyelid corrects this problem.

For pterygium surgery, the patient is placed under local anesthesia — both light oral sedation and local anesthesia on the eye itself. Then we excise the pterygium along with a portion of the surrounding conjunctival tissue. Next, the area where the growth was removed is then scraped with a blade and an abrasive burr to remove any remaining vascular attachments that may remain where the growth was. Then the graft is taken and placed on the excision site. It is placed with an adhesive mixture, usually thrombin and fibrinogen.

After surgery

At Central Valley Eye Medical Group, pterygium surgery only takes 30 to 45 minutes. Afterwards, you’ll need to wear a protective eye shield for the next two days. It will be four or five days before you can return to work.  It will be a few weeks before you should attempt strenuous exercise or labor. You’ll have to avoid things such as lifting that create pressure on the eyes.

Is it time for your eye exam? Call the team at Central Valley Eye Medical Group, 1-800-244-9907 for an appointment.

Fending off Macular Degeneration

in Macular Degeneration Treatment

Macular Degeneration Treatment Stockton, CAMacular degeneration is a disease of the macula, an area of the retina at the back of the eye that is responsible for fine detail vision. Macular degeneration occurs gradually and often affects the central vision first. At Central Valley Eye we have a variety of treatment options for macular degeneration, but there are numerous things you can do to keep your eyes healthy.

What are the symptoms of macular degeneration

One problem with this condition is that is may exhibit few noticeable early symptoms. That’s why eye exams every two years with the team at Central Valley Eye Medical Group are important, as we can spot early signs of the disease. These are typical symptoms:

  • Difficulty reading without extra light and magnification
  • Distortions or blurring when looking at objects
  • Perception that objects “jump” when you look directly at them;
  • Difficulty seeing to read or drive
  • Inability to see details
  • Blind spot in the center of your vision

Things you can do to keep your eyes healthy

Here are some tips to keep your eyes in good condition. For those who are already diagnosed with age-related macular degeneration, follow these guidelines to slow the progression of the disease.

  1. Smoking is a risk factor. Don’t smoke, or try to quit if you do.
  2. Consume dark, leafy vegetables. Eating half a cup of raw spinach three times a week can greatly improve the condition of your eyes.
  3. To supplement your healthy diet, take multivitamins.
  4. Consuming fruit and nuts on a daily basis keeps your eyes bright and healthy.
  5. Exercise is key. Keep your body moving regularly and maintain a stable and healthy weight.
  6. Lower your intake of food with refined carbohydrates.
  7. Eating fish or fish oil supplements is beneficial for your eyes.
  8. When going outdoors, make sure to wear appropriate sunglasses, particularly those that will block the damaging UV rays of the sun. Direct exposure to sunlight can greatly damage your eyes.
  9. Keep your blood pressure and cholesterol levels under control.
  10. Visit your eye doctor regularly and have regular eye exams. Early detection of eye diseases leads to early treatment and better results.

At Central Valley Eye Medical Group, we have various options for treating macular degeneration. If you’re showing any of the above signs, or if it’s time for your regular checkup, please call us at 1-800-244-9907.


Your Children and Their Eyes

in Pediatric Eye Care

Comprehensive Eye Exam Manteca CAParents have lots of things to worry about with their children and their health. Eye care is a fuzzy area. If it seems your child sees just fine, many parents opt to forgo pediatric eye exams, paying more attention to issues like vaccinations and fighting off things like ear infections.

But pediatric eye care is very important because early detection is the key to successful prevention or treatment of issues with your child and his or her vision.

Here are some tips for caring for your child’s eyes from the team at Central Valley.

When should my child have a regular eye exam?

Many parenting books don’t address eye exams. They cover when to go to the dentist and the doctor, but can have a hole with pediatric ophthalmology. But eye exams are very important because vision issues will hamper your child at school if they aren’t addressed. Plus, if the issues are more serious they can lead to permanent vision damage. Research shows that up to 10 percent of all preschoolers and one-quarter of school-aged children in this country have vision problems.

So, when should you get your child to Central Valley for an initial exam? The American Optometric Association recommends that infants should have their first comprehensive eye exam at 6 months of age. After that, the next eye exam (if everything looked good during the first exam) should be at age 3, and then again just before the child enters kindergarten (around age 5 or 6).

What problems arise in school from vision deficiencies?

Of course, it’s obvious that eye exams are critical to catching any serious eye condition early in children. Conditions such as pediatric cataracts can’t be left to develop. But even issues such as nearsightedness can create learning problems. Children use a variety of visual skills when they are learning. If their vision can’t keep up (for instance, if they can’t see the board adequately), the child can fall behind in school.

These are the visual skills children need to learn properly:

  • Distance vision
  • Near vision
  • Binocular eye skills
  • Eye movement skills
  • Focusing skills
  • Peripheral awareness
  • Eye/hand coordination

Haven’t had your child in for his or her first eye exam yet? Call the team at Central Valley Eye Medical, 1-800-244-9907, and let’s take a look.

What is Dry Eye?

in Dry Eyes

Dry Eye Treatment Manteca CA The eyes make two types of tears. The first type is called lubricating tears, and they are produced slowly and steadily all through the day. The second type of tears is called reflex tears. They don’t have much lubrication value, instead functioning as emergency flooding of the eye when it is injured or irritated. If you get a bug in your eye or are around smoke, those are reflex tears.

There is one other way your body will create reflex tears — when the eye is not producing enough lubricating tears. This is a condition known as dry eye. At Central Valley Eye Medical Group, we have various methods for treating dry eye.

What are the symptoms of dry eye?

Dry eye has these symptoms:

  • Watery eyes
  • Feeling of grit in the eyes
  • Eyes that itch and burn
  • Vision that becomes blurred after periods of reading, watching TV, or using a computer
  • Red, irritated eyes that create a mucus discharge

What causes dry eye?

  • Age — As we get older, glands in our eyelids produce less oil. Oil is needed to keep tears from evaporating, so without that oil, the tears dry up faster.
  • Hormonal changes — This is especially true for women after menopause.
  • Prescription medications — Certain medications such as high blood pressure medications, antihistamines, diuretics, anti-anxiety drugs, sleeping pills, pain medications, and antidepressants cause dry eye.
  • The use of contact lenses.
  • Hot, dry, or windy conditions and high altitudes.
  • Eye surgery — this includes LASIK.
  • Reading or up-close use of your eyes.

How we treat dry eye

The most common treatment is for the patient to supplement his or her tears with artificial tears. Artificial tears come in liquid form, gel, or ointment. The ointment is usually recommended for nighttime use. Artificial tears provide the oil and lubrication not being produced by your eye. They only alleviate symptoms, however, and don’t correct the condition.

If your dry eye is due to infected or inflamed eyelids, or from clogged oil glands, we may use antibiotics and special lid cleaning techniques to reduce the inflammation and get the glands open again.

Restasis® is a prescription eye drop that helps the eye to produce more tears by reducing inflammation. Restasis® treats the cause of dry eye.

Punctal occlusion is a procedure where we insert plugs into the tear drainage area of the patient’s eyes. These plugs keep the tears in the eyes longer.

If you have the symptoms of dry eye, call the team at Central Valley Eye Medical Group, 800-244-9907. We can help.

Diabetes and Your Eyes

in Diabetic Eye Care

Diabetic Eye Care Stockton CA | Diabetes Manteca CAPeople with diabetes have a very high risk for developing a variety of serious eye problems. At Central Valley Eye Medical Group, we work with our patients to head off, if possible, serious eye conditions that develop with diabetes. If we can’t prevent these conditions, we help our patients manage them.

Early diagnosis is the key

One thing that is most unfortunate about various eye problems is that they often don’t show any early symptoms. Before the patient knows it, he or she already has eye damage. Eye conditions with diabetes don’t scream for attention. But the pros at Central Valley Eye will spot these problems early, which is key to successful outcomes.

For our patients, regular eye exams enable us to spot these conditions. But if you have any of the following symptoms, we need to see you immediately:

  • Your vision suddenly becomes blurry for more than two days.
  • Your vision in both eyes suddenly goes away.
  • You see floaters, black spots, or strings that seem to float appear in your field of vision.
  • You see blinding or flashing lights.
  • There is sudden pressure or pain in your eyes.

Common eye complications related to diabetes


Diabetes increases the likelihood of a person developing glaucoma by over 40% over someone without diabetes. This risk increases as a person ages, particularly if they have had diabetes a long time. Glaucoma is a result of the buildup of pressure in the eye because drainage is significantly slowed down. This pressure eventually affects the optic nerve, causing vision damage.


Cataracts are a very common age-related eye condition. But a person with diabetes can develop cataracts at a younger age. Overall, diabetes increases the chances of developing cataracts by 60%. In cataracts, the lenses of the eyes become clouded and need to be replaced with artificial lenses.


Retinopathy is a group of disorders that affect the retina of the eye. They are classified as non-proliferative and proliferative. Almost all patients with Type 1 diabetes will develop non-proliferative retinopathy, while only a smaller percentage of Type 2 diabetes patients develop it.

If you have diabetes, having the team at Central Valley Eye Medical Group perform regular eye exams is very important to maintaining your vision. Call us at 1-800-244-9907 if you have any questions or to schedule an appointment.

Cataracts 101 — the Details

in Cataracts

Cataract Treatment Stockton | Cataracts Manteca CAIt’s estimated that 20 million people over age 40 in the U.S. have cataracts. At Central Valley Eye Medical Group, cataract diagnosis and surgery are one of our specialties.  We’re even one of the few eye specialists that practice laser cataract surgery, to not only shape the lens but also to remove the need for a surgical blade to make the initial incision. The surgery can change a patient’s vision so dramatically, it’s incredible. Here is some information on cataracts, especially since they are such a common eye problem as we age.

What are cataracts?

Cataracts are a common eye condition characterized by clouding of the eye’s lens, the transparent film that focuses the images as seen by the eye on the light-sensitive retina at the back of the eye. This condition usually occurs when proteins form abnormal clumps in the lens. When these clumps enlarge, they begin to interfere with vision by distorting the passage of light through the lens. The result is an increasing cloudiness that affects vision, especially at night.

What are the causes of cataracts?

The effects of aging, combined with lifelong sun exposure (especially here in sunny California), cause cataracts to develop usually beginning around age 40. The cloudiness progresses slowly, not usually affecting vision until after the age of 60. Other contributing factors to the development of cataracts are smoking, eye trauma, chronic diabetes, radiation treatments, and corticosteroid medications. Cataracts can be present in infants at birth, usually due to infection, but those cases are very rare.

What are the symptoms of cataracts?

There’s a serious problem with cataracts, which is maybe why they are the world’s leading cause of blindness. In most cases, cataracts don’t show any symptoms until the protein clumps grown large enough to affect the patient’s vision. Because the development is very gradual, patients often don’t even realize they have cataracts. But when they reach a certain point of development, various symptoms will show themselves: cloudy, blurry vision; double vision; seeing halos around lights; inability to see bright color; increased sensitivity to glare; and distortion, which can be akin to looking at the world through a veil.

What is the treatment for cataracts?

You can’t treat cataracts. The only remedy is to have the clouded natural lens surgically removed and replaced with an intraocular artificial lens. The severity of your vision impairment is the deciding factor. When everyday actions like driving at night and recognizing faces become difficult, it is time to opt for surgery with the team at Central Valley. If you have cataracts in both eyes, the surgery is performed separately for each eye, allowing the first eye to recover with its new lens before removing the second bad lens. The second surgery will usually follow two to four weeks after the first. While this sounds daunting, recovery is relatively easy.

What can I expect after my cataract surgery?

Cataract surgery is usually an outpatient procedure performed under local anesthesia. The procedure often takes no longer than 10 minutes to perform. Then, you will recover for 30 minutes or so and be taken home (you can’t drive yourself) with a pair of dark sunglasses to protect your eye from bright light. At home, you will wear a protective shield over your eye when you sleep.

Many patients report clear vision within several hours after cataract surgery, but everyone heals differently. It can take a week or two to see things in the sharpest focus. Until then, there can be some blurry vision, as your eye adjusts to the removal of the cataract and the intraocular lens that replaced it. There is not usually any pain associated with recovery.

Sick of seeing the world through a dirty window? Call the team at Central Valley Eye Medical Group, 1-800-244-9907, to schedule a consultation.