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Welcome to Eye Concepts Optometry

At Eye Concepts, Dr. Barry J. Cohen, OD and staff are available to meet all of your vision care needs. We offer the complete range of eye care services, including eye exams, screening and treatment for glaucoma, specialty lenses, Lasik consultations and co-management, Macular Degeneration DNA testing and more. Dr. Cohen is an Anterior Segment & Dry Eyes specialist. Read More >

Serving Santa Monica and Greater Los Angeles for over 30 Years



What Is Vision Training?

vision trainingVision training, which is also sometimes called vision therapy, is a type of physical therapy that works to improve the connection between the brain and the eyes. It is one of the best non-surgical options available for common eye-related concerns including lazy eye, double vision, crossed eyes, convergence insufficiency and some disabilities related to learning and reading.

For some people, vision therapy is even effective if they have gotten older and have been told it is too late to treat conditions related to the eye.

Define the Problem

The first step is to have your eyes examined by a trained eye doctor as soon as you notice or think you notice some type of concern related to your vision. Many people need to have their eyes screened at a young age, even before they turn five, especially if there is any indication of eye function limitations. Your child’s family doctor may spot these initially and recommend treatment. Getting it sooner can help to ensure that your child’s eye vision is the best it can be throughout their lifetime.

There are a few things to know about vision training. Here’s how it works:

  • The goal is to progressively exercise the eye muscles. This process will progressively change the way the eye muscles work.
    This should only be done under your eye doctor’s supervision.
  • An in-office consultation is generally the first start and then there are one or two weekly sessions of 30 minutes to an hour of treatment in the office.
  • Most people will also have home reinforcement techniques offered to them to improve the vision even further.
  • The patient will have a customized care plan designed to meet their specific needs. This not only differs from one person to the next, but it will change over the course of the process.eye exam

Generally, this process can help to improve the visual skills a person has over time. It can improve the ease, visual comfort, and efficiency of vision.

For many people, it allows for improvement of the way the brain interprets visual information. If you or your child suffer from any type of vision impairment related to these concerns, it may be helpful to talk to your eye doctor about the benefits of vision training. It may give you the opportunity to achieve a better level of sight.
Call our office to schedule a consultation with the best eye doctor in Santa Monica to learn more about your eye health.

Take the step right now to protect your eyes by calling the best Santa Monica eye doctor at 310-464-0229 to schedule an appointment.

What Is the Difference Between Soft and Rigid Contacts?

eye contactGetting contact lenses, potentially for the first, time, can be a big decision and a process. When you come in to see your eye doctor, he or she will offer suggestions to you about the best type of contact lens for your eyes. There are many factors that play a role in the type of contact one person should have over another.

Ultimately, your eye health is the most important factor. You also may want to consider your lifestyle and other concerns. There are a few things to keep in mind when considering contact lenses that are rigid and those that are soft.

First, realize that rigid contact lenses, also known as GP contact lenses, are not the same as traditional hard lenses from years ago. Those are virtually obsolete. These products are designed to be more flexible, but they offer a high tech solution. They are often known as rigid gas permeable or simply GP lenses. Consider how these stack up with soft lenses:

  • High quality soft lenses are much like GP lenses when it comes to oxygen delivery. In many situations, GP contacts are better because they provide the eyes with more ability to breathe.
  • GP lenses are less comfortable, especially when you just start wearing them, than soft lenses. Because soft lenses tend to fit the eye so easily, they are likely the easy solution right away.
  • When it comes to visual acuity, GP contacts are some of the best. They retain their shape no matter what, even when you blink your eyes.
    This can help those who have astigmatism or those who have a need for bifocals as well.
  • GP lenses are less expensive overall since you do have to replace and clean traditional soft lenses more frequently. They also last longer than soft lenses.
  • When it comes to durability, GP lenses and soft lenses can be a good option. Both products are designed to last a great deal longer than traditional products.

eye contactsIf you are like many people, you want a high quality solution when it comes to contact lenses. Work closely with your eye doctor to find the best choice for your individual needs. You will find that these contact lens options can fit your needs with plenty of versatility between all of the options available. Call our eye doctor in Santa Monica today to schedule a consultation.


Take the step right now to protect your eyes by calling the best Santa Monica eye doctor at 310-464-0229 to schedule an appointment.

How Often Should Your Eyes Be Checked?

eye examGoing in for an eye exam does not take long. In many cases, your health insurance will cover at least one eye exam each year for each person on the plan. And, that is because this type of exam is just as important as having a physical. But, your traditional family doctor does not have the means or the equipment to provide a full eye exam. If you have not come in for an exam in some time, now is the best time to do so. But, how often do you really need to do so?

When Should You Have an Eye Exam?

It is recommended that you have an eye exam, without a debut, when there is any damage or potential damage to your eyes. For example, if you have been in an accident or you are having significant headaches loss of vision, or eye-related health issues seek out your eye doctor for an appointment. You do not want to avoid these types of visits when there are medical concerns at play. In addition to this, follow these guidelines for securing your vision screening.

Children should see the eye doctor:

  • For those under the age of 3, the child’s pediatrician will likely handle most types of eye-related matters.
  • Between 3 and 5, the child should have his or her first vision screening with a traditional eye doctor.
  • School age children should be checked at the point of entering first grade. If there are no symptoms of concerns at this time, and no family history of it, the child should be rechecked every two years.

For adults, consider the following guidelines:

  • kideyeexamFor those who are in their 20s and 30s, schedule an eye exam as often as possible but at least every five to 10 years.
  • For those who are 40 to 54, schedule an eye exam as often as annually but at least every two to four years.
  • For those who are between the ages of 55 and 64, schedule an exam at least one time a year to up to three years.
  • For those who are over the age of 65, schedule an exam every year or every other year.

You may need more frequent exams, especially if you wear glasses or contact lenses now or you have a family history of any type of eye disease. Call our Santa Monica office now to schedule you eye exam with us.

Take the step right now to protect your eyes by calling the best Santa Monica eye doctor at 310-464-0229 to schedule an appointment.

How Does High Blood Pressure Impact Eye Health?

eye healthHigh blood pressure is a concern in and of itself. It is a condition that can lead to a number of complications to your vision as well as to your heart, brain, and other organs in your body. High blood pressure, which is also known as hypertension can develop in the blood vessels located around the eyes. In addition, having untreated high blood pressure in your heart or other blood vessels can also increase risk to your eye health and overall vision.

Here’s what you need to know about how high blood pressure can cause you to lose your vision.

Straining Blood Vessels

When you have high blood pressure in the vessels that feed into the eye and the optical nerve specifically, it can damage those blood vessels. This can cause the blood vessels to narrow and, over time, to bleed. This can cause too much blood pressure force and ultimately leads to the swelling in the optic nerve, which also leads to damage to your vision.

Is Your Blood Pressure Untreated?

eye healthAlthough having high blood pressure is a big deal itself, if it is untreated, the risks are even higher that something will ultimately cause vision loss or limitations. When you come in for an eye doctor visit, your eye doctor will need to examine the blood vessels located in your eye to ensure that they remain healthy.


What’s very common is for these vessels to be at a higher risk of blockages as well as too much optical nerve pressure. If it is untreated, and it remains this way, there is a very high risk of damage to your sight. In many cases, this is permanent damage.

Increasing Your Risk of a Stroke

High blood pressure can also cause a stroke. When you have a stroke, that can lead to brain damage and vision loss. Strokes occur because of the high level of pressure in the blood vessels causing a block of plaque to break off from the lining of the blood vessel. This travels to the brain and cuts off pressure there. This can cause unrepairable damage to the brain.
Ultimately, high blood pressure needs to be treated to help you to avoid the onset of all sorts of medical complications. Call our office to schedule an eye exam with the best eye doctor in Santa Monica to learn more about your needs and risks.

Take the step right now to protect your eyes by calling the best Santa Monica eye doctor at 310-464-0229 to schedule an appointment.

How Does Diabetes Impact Eye Health?

eye careYou’ve been diagnosed with diabetes. You know that this is bad for your health in various ways, but your doctor is telling you that you need to have regular eye screenings as well. How does having diabetes impact the health of your eyes? Many people do not realize that vision problems and overall eye health can deteriorate in those who have diabetes whether or not you are being treated with insulin or not.

It is important to have regular screenings, usually recommended on an annual basis, to look for potential concerns.

What Are the Risks?

The risks associated with diabetes to the eyes are numerous. Those who have the condition are more likely to see vision deteriorate over time. And, there is a very real risk of developing blindness. Most people do not see the condition or complications advance that far, but others do and everyone should be warned and monitoring. Some of the key risks associated with diabetes include:

  • The development of glaucoma is 40 percent more likely in those who suffer from diabetes than those that do not. This worsens even more so as you get older. Glaucoma causes a buildup of pressure in the eyes, which can cause drainage of the aqueous humor, ultimately leading to constriction of the blood vessels and potential damage to the retina and nerve.
  • Cataracts are also a common complication. They are 60 percent more likely to develop in people who have diabetes than in those that do not. You are also likely to get cataracts at a younger age if you have diabetes. This condition can lead to a film that covers the vision field, making it harder to see clear images.
  • Diabetic retinopathy can also be a concern, though there are various types of it. Non-proliferative and proliferative are the most common forms. In both cases, the blood vessels in and around the eyes become blocked and limit overall flow of the blood to the eye.

eye healthIf you have been diagnosed with diabetes, do not put off getting help for the condition. What you will find is that the sooner a condition is spotted, the more likely help can be to improve your vision or slow down the progression of the vision impairment.


Take the step right now to protect your eyes by calling the best Santa Monica eye doctor at 310-464-0229 to schedule an appointment.

Protective Eyewear for Sports

Protective Eyewear for Sports

Your child is playing sports this year. However, you know your child needs to protect his or her eyesight. And, you also may know your child needs to improve vision so that he or she can perform at their best when they are on the field, the diamond, or the court. But, what type of protective eyewear should you choose from your son or daughter? The good news is there are numerous products on the market today that are highly effective and designed to provide ample protection.

First, Understand the Risks

The main reason for a child to wear protective eyewear during sports is to protect from injury to the eye. Being struck in the eye with an object may be one risk. Having someone poke you in the eye is enough. In some rough and tumble sports, this is very common and, as a result, very important to protect against. If your child’s vision is already compromised in any way, protective eyewear is critical to ensuring your son or daughter remains protected throughout game play.

Finding the Right Protection Eyewear Solution

There are a variety of products on the market. Some of the most basic and the most commonly used are simply shield-like goggles placed over the player’s face covering the forehead through the upper nose. These are commonly worn in professional sports because they provide ample protection. If your son or daughter wears prescription glasses, you can often have these products upgraded to include the prescription lens that is necessary to improve his or her vision. This means your child does not have to play wearing glasses.

Protective Eyewear for SportsOther products fit around the face in a more streamlined fashion. They are tight fitting just over the eyes with straps that tie at the back of the head. These products simply look like glasses with a strap to hold them into place. They can be more fashionable and some products are designed to be highly effective.


The key here is to ensure that these glasses fit your son or daughter well and that you have invested in the right lens for them.

If your son or daughter is in need of protective eyewear for any type of sport, call our offices and schedule a consultation with the best eye doctor in Santa Monica. Take the time to look for specific products designed to provide your son or daughter with the very best solution.

Call us at 310-464-0229 to schedule a consultation.

What Should You Look for in Sunglasses?

sunglassesWhen it comes time for summer to roll around, one of the first things you should update is your sunglasses. If you wear glasses, the investment in prescription sunglasses can be an excellent one. It can give your eyes the must needed protection they need from the sun while also giving you the cool and stylish look you want. But, what should you look for when buying these? There are a few things to keep in mind as you do so.

Invest in Eye Protection First

When comparing the products available to you, do not overlook the importance and value of buying sunglasses designed to protect your eyes. While you may like the look of one pair over the other, make sure you are buying the highest level of UV radiation protection available to ensure your eyes are never at risk.
It is a good idea to look at how much UVA protection the prescription sunglasses can offer. The best options block 99 percent of UVA rays. You may be able to choose those with 95 percent blockage, but you do not want to choose anything less than this if you spend a lot of time outdoors.

Check Out the Quality of Sunglasses

Not only do you want a stylish pair of sunglasses, but you are likely investing a good amount of money into these lenses. As a result, you want to invest in sunglasses designed to be highly durable. Look for those that are scratch resistant, for example. If there is damage to the lenses from a scratch, this may lead to damage of the UVA protection. It is also important to look for durable frames that you like but that are also not easily bent or disfigured, especially if you do not plan to wear your sunglasses all that time.

sunglassesThere are numerous options available to today’s consumer in prescription sunglasses. You may be looking for lenses that can change from shaded to clear as you move from within a building to outside of it. You may want sunglasses that have a specific level of tint or shine to them.

The good news is that you will find today’s prescription sunglasses are flexible enough to offer something for everyone. To get started, call our offices at 310-464-0229 and schedule a vision exam or prescription sunglasses consultation with the best eye doctor in Santa Monica and the area.

5 Signs You Need Glasses

Do you need glasses?

glassesMany people put off getting the vision improvement they need because they think they are doing well enough or that their vision is as good as it is going to get. Others do not realize that an eye exam can be a fast way to seeing a significant improvement in the way you function throughout your day. But, do you really need glasses or is your visitation just fine? Here are a few signs that it may be time to make an appointment with an eye doctor for a vision screening.

#1: Are you struggling with headaches?

Headaches are often brought on by the strain of trying to see. The more that you do this, the more that you are likely to see your symptoms worsen. Headaches, especially those located behind the eyes are not something to put off.

#2: Do you squint?

When you are trying to read something, do you notice that you are pushing your head forward and squinting? This is often something you do not realize you are doing. Ask your friends and family if you do it. If so, that is a clear indication you may need vision improvement.

#3: When was the last time you got new glasses?

If you have not updated your eye glass prescription in the last two years, it is likely time to do so. It is also important to upgrade your prescription if you have scratches or damage to the lenses of your existing pair. And, if you cannot seem to clean them well enough, that is another indication of needing glasses.

#4: Do you struggle with cleaning your contacts?

If you are wearing contact lenses now and you are not taking them out to properly clean them, or giving your eyes a break from them, now may be the most important time to take action. If you continue to push your eyes like this with constant contact wear you’ll damage your eyes. Glasses can give your eyes the break they need.

#5: Do you sit closer and closer to the front of the room?

glassesIf you have to sit closer to the TV or you want a better view of the movie so you sit up close, these are indications that you may need to get glasses as well.


If you have any of these signs, now is an excellent time to call the best eye doctor in Santa Monica to get the help that you need.

Call us at 310-464-0229 to schedule a consultation.

Anatomy of an Eye Exam: What happens When You Visit the Eye Doctor

Getting regular eye exams are the best way to keep your eye prescriptions updated, to be aware of any hidden eye issues and to ensure that you enjoy proper vision for all of your life. It is recommended by health experts that you should get your eyes examined regularly after 2 year intervals. However, if you have a family history of eye problems, then you should get your eyes examined more often.

What Happens During an Eye Exam?

eye examFirst of all, a detailed eye exam should be conducted by a professional eye doctor. It takes about an hour and consists of different tests and procedures that check your vision, examine each part of your eye as well as their overall health. A comprehensive eye exam usually consists of the following parts:

Your Health History

Before an eye doctor starts your eye examination, they will ask you about your previous
eye problems, any medicines that you are taking, and if you have undergone any surgery in the past. If you have any pain or symptoms, the doctor will ask you what they are and how long you have had them, and if any changes have occurred over the time period.

You will also be asked about your purpose of visit, whether it is a routine checkup or because of a more specific reason. You should also tell your doctor about your previous glasses or contacts, if you suffer from headaches and vision or focusing problems.

The Eye Exam

Eye doctors will internally and externally examine your eyes. This allows them to make assessments about your eye health. An ophthalmoscope will be used to examine the insides of your eye which is a torch that shines light through the pupils allowing a detailed study of the internal eye structures.

Cover Test

This is done to see how well your eyes work together. The doctor will cover and uncover each eye and ask you to stare at a target set at a particular distance so the movement of your eyes could be observed. This test may be repeated with the target set at another distance.

The Eye Muscle Movement Test

The doctor will ask you to visually track a target in different directions to observe your eye muscle movements and to assure that the eyes are aligned properly.


Refraction is a test to measure near or far sightedness, presbyopia and astigmatism. You will be subjected to a series of lens and the eye doctor will ask you which one helps you see more clearly.

This test is usually done so that the doctor could give you a prescription.


Retinoscopy is what gives your eye doctor a way to measure refraction. It is usually performed in the early stages of an eye exam and it gives the doctor a starting point to determine whether or not you need a prescription for glasses.

Slit Lamp Examinations

A slit lamp (also called a biomicroscope) is an instrument that is used to examine the front and back part of the eye. This test is done to examine the eye’s overall condition. The instrument magnifies the eyes so that eye structures can be clearly observed. Since each part of the eye is examined, this procedure can help in the discovery of cataracts.


Could This Be a Treatment for You?Tonometry (also called the air-puff test) is the measurement of the eye’s pressure (Intraocular pressure). This is important because of the pressure inside your eye is higher than usual, then you might be at a risk of Glaucoma.
eye examOur eyes are the windows through which we see the world. And it is important to get them regularly examined by a professional eye doctor to make sure your eyes are in the best possible condition. If you live in, or near Santa Monica, then book an appointment with Dr. Barry Cohen today, since he is the best eye doctor in Santa Monica. You can be sure that you (and your eyes) are in good hands!

Call us at 310-464-0229 to schedule an appointment.

Why You Should Invest in Good Quality Sunglasses

sunglassesSunglasses these days have evolved from being a necessity to an accessory. But it is important to remember what sunglasses are primarily used for – to protect our eyes. Just like sun lotion is important to protect your skin for the harmful affects of UV rays; your naked eyes deserve protection, too.

Eye Problems and UV Rays

    When you go out in the sun without your sunglasses, you put your eyes at a risk of several long-term and short term diseases. The possible eye problems that could be caused by the exposure of naked eyes to the sun are:

  • Sunburn of the eye: Sunburn of the eye (also called Photokeratitis) can be caused by exposure of the eyes to places where the sun is very bright, it is also known as “Snow Blindness” since it happens to skiers as well since the sun reflects on the snow. This is why your eyes become swollen, red and light-sensitive (photophobic) after a day at the beach. In certain severe cases, sunburn of the eye can cause blindness for about 48 hours.
    Other Long term eye problems that can be caused if you don’t wear your sunglasses are:
  • Cancer: Just like long term exposure of the skin to the sun can lead to skin cancer, the eye, the skin around the eye or the eye lid could be at a risk of cancer if you do not cover them from harmful UV rays
  • Cataracts: The progressive eye disease which clouds the eye lens.
  • Surfer’s Eye (Ptergium): An abnormal but benign growth on the surface of the eye. This itches, swells and becomes irritating. Although surgery can be done to remove it, there are chances of it coming back again.
  • Macular Degeneration: The part of the eye located at in the middle of the retina, at the back of the eye is the Macula. It is caused by the blue light form the solar spectrum and can damage the nerve cells in the macula which may cause you to see dull colors and blur fine details.
  • Wrinkles and Cold Feet around eyes: Those who do not wear sunglasses are more likely to get wrinkles and crow’s feet around their eyes at a younger age.

The Benefits of Wearing Sunglasses

Reduced Eye Strain and Squinting

It is common for people to squint when they are unable to see in bright light. This causes a lot of strain on the eye, as it increases eye pressure. It can ruin your eyesight and may cause wrinkles around the eyes. Sunglasses allow you to see clearly in light and therefore, you will squint less often, saving your eyes a lot of strain!

They Decrease Dry Eye Problems

Dry eye syndrome is something many people suffer from because of environmental factors. Windy weather in areas with dry weather can dry out the eyes. Sunglasses block the wind from entering the eye and therefore prevent the dry eye syndrome.

Reduce Glare

When it comes to reducing the sun’s glare, nothing works better than a pair of good quality sunglasses!
Wearing sunglasses while driving helps you see better, especially if you are out during the day. They also make driving safer because squinting while driving is dangerous iis a risk to your life and the life of other people. Most road accidents take place because drivers can’t see properly because of glare.

They Make You Look Good

Most people, who wear sunglasses, simply wear them because it looks so cool. They make you feel good about yourself and therefore increase your confidence. Oh, and they help pull together any style that you want to create!


sunglassesFor those who already wear glasses, a routine visit to Dr. Barry Cohen in Santa Monica will help you keep your prescription updated and help determine the UV protection your eyes need in particular. You will also know of the advances in sunglasses and the different coatings that provide more protection than ever. Show your eyes you love them by booking an appointment with the best eye doctor in Santa Monica today!

Call us at 310-464-0229.