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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



Signs and Symptoms that You Need to Visit an Eye Doctor ASAP

Signs and Symptoms that You Need to Visit an Eye Doctor ASAPEveryone should get an eye exam once a year. This helps an eye doctor to identify potentially harmful eye conditions before they become worse. Symptoms and signs of eye ailments generally include swelling of the eyeball or eyelids, redness, itchiness, a pink discoloration of the whites or watery discharge. Your eye doctor may schedule more than one exam in a year if you have experienced any eye infections in the past. All individuals (both young and old) must schedule an early exam to get their eyes checked in case they any of these signs and symptoms.

Sudden or Gradual Blurring of Vision

The sudden inability to focus or blurry vision can be signaling a bigger health issue.  If the blurry vision is limited to one eye and comes and goes in episodes; it’s time to take an appointment with an optometrist ASAP! Similarly, gradual blurring too requires timely attention. A distortion in your vision can happen over time. When you notice that your vision improves when you move a book or an object away from you; it’s time to get your eyes checked.

Sensitivity to Light

One of the most common eye problems is a sensitivity to bright or flashing lights. This is a problem that affects people of all ages. It is vital that you do not delay an appointment with the ophthalmologist as soon as you realize that your eyes hurt or discharge water when exposed to bright lights and whatnot.

Eye Strain or Fatigue

Signs and Symptoms that You Need to Visit an Eye Doctor ASAPThere are several factors that affect the overall health of our eyes. Less sleep, more screen time and dry eyes can cause strain and fatigue in the eye muscles. Take care of your eyes by getting sufficient shut-eye and try your best to avoid getting hit by seasonal allergies or a cold. The common cold or a summer flu can also cause the eyes to become tired easily. Since this can also be a sign of an underlying eye infection or major health condition, get yourself an appointment with a eye specialist to get to the root of the problem.


Constant and never-ending headaches are also a bad sign that your eye sight is getting weaker. These headaches can be dull or sharp, depending on the kind of eye condition you are developing. Constant headaches at work or home when are using your laptop or smartphone or watching TV is a sign that you need to get glasses.


Another sign of a serious eye infection can be squinting. A person or child squints when they have trouble focusing or seeing anything faraway, since it reduces light scattering as well as minimizing the extraneous light entering the eyeball to improve vision.

Final Thoughts

Signs and Symptoms that You Need to Visit an Eye Doctor ASAPHeadaches, eye strain, blurred vision, motion sickness and dizziness should not be taken lightly. These signs and symptoms may be due to poor or deteriorating eye health. Schedule an eye exam with the best eye doctor in Santa Monica to get your eyes checked with hi-tech equipment and professional services.

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 to Get Rid of a Stye

How to Get Rid of a StyeIf you’ve found something on your eye as you looked in the mirror, you may be worried what it is and where it came from. Styes are not uncommon. They are generally harmless. In most cases, they will heal on their own without any type of treatment. This may take about a week. If you’ve never had one before, though, you may be unsure if what you have is a stye or if it may be something else. It’s important to talk to your New York eye doctor if you have a stye that does not seem to go away, one that hurts, or one that changes in shape or color.

Keep Your Eyelids Clean

Believe it or not, one of the most common types of treatments for styes is keeping your eyelids clean. Styles develop as a result of bacteria buildup. It is important to cleanse the stye properly to remove any type of debris as well as any type of oils or other fluids being leaked from it. To do this, use a diluted, but tear-free baby shampoo. This will do the best job of removing the oils and other substances without impacting the eye itself. Apply a small amount of the product to a cotton ball or a washcloth. Simply pat it into place and wipe off. Be sure to rinse the eyelid, then, with warm water and dry it completely. Doing this at least twice a day can help to encourage the stye to dry out.

How to Get Rid of a StyeIt’s also important to consider what may be causing the stye to develop. For example, your skin may be secreting a higher level of oils than normal. Determining why this is can help. In addition, some people develop these as a result of leaving eye makeup on for extended periods of time. It is important to use a proper eye makeup cleaner to remove product from your eyes to avoid this condition.

And, if it becomes uncomfortable, apply a warm compress to the area. Do this for up to 15 minutes. Repeat the process at least three times a day. This can encourage the stye to heal.

How to Get Rid of a StyeGetting rid of a stye also takes some patients. If you are unable to get it to go away, schedule a consultation with your New York eye doctor to talk about the cause and to ensure you have a stye.

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.


Treatments for Dry Eyes

Treatments for Dry EyesEveryone may experience dry eyes from time to time. In these instances, individuals may have drier eyes as a result of poor hydration or illness. Allergies can cause it as well. However, in other people, dry eyes become a constant and chronic condition. It can worsen over time, but it generally does not go away without some type of treatment. For those who have dry eyes, the first and most important treatment for it is seeing your eye doctor in New York.

Treating the Underlying Condition

Your eye doctor will start providing care for your dry eyes based on the underlying cause. This is determined based on your vision and eye health screening. The treatment that is right for you depends on the cause of your dry eyes. Some of the treatment options your doctor may recommend including:

    • Treatments for Dry EyesMedications to treat inflammation, if inflammation is the cause of your dry eyes.
    • Cornea inflammation will require the use of immune suppressing medications such as cyclosporine. This is often in the form of eyedrops.
    • Some medications work to stimulate production of tears. These medications can help to encourage the tear ducts to function properly.
    • Autologous blood serum drops, a type of eyedrop made from an individual’s eye, can help with severe dry eyes that cannot be treated with other medications.
    • Your doctor may recommend closing the tear duct to reduce the amount of tear loss an individual has. This can help to stop the eyes from drying out quickly.
    • In some cases, dry eyes is brought on by use of contact lenses. Your eye doctor may recommend the treatment using special contact lenses in this case.
    • If your oil glands are blocked and this is causing the symptoms, treatment for dry eyes here may involve unblocking them through a LipiFlow thermal pulsation treatment.
    • Light therapy and massage of the eyelid are also types of treatment that can work in some situations.

Treatments for Dry EyesIn most situations, doctors can help to improve the symptoms you feel if you obtain the right type of treatment for your needs. To begin this process, seek out help from an eye doctor in New York City that specializes in the care of dry eyes. It is one of the best ways to ensure you get the results you need and that you get access to the most advanced treatment options available for your condition and cause.

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 Macular Degeneration?

What Is Macular DegenerationAs we get older, our eyes change. Like most other organs and systems of the body, they begin to wear down and not function the way they used to. One of the most common types of advanced vision problem is macular degeneration. This condition is simply a deterioration of the macula, a key component of the eye. If you have macular degeneration or you think you may, it is important to work with a New York eye doctor to ensure your vision is protected as much as possible. Not treating this condition can encourage it to advance further and faster.

What Is the Macula?

The macula is a small area located within the retina. The retina is the light sensitive component of your eye. This tissue lines the back of the eye. It is important to vision because, it is responsible for the center portion of your vision. If you do not maintain this type of vision, you will have trouble seeing the fine details of objects. This is one of the first signs of this condition.

What Is Macular DegenerationThe macula is a small part of the retina but it is perhaps the most important component because of how sensitive it is. It can help you to see the details on a small point and gives you the ability to thread a needle. It also is one of the most common areas of the eye to begin wearing down as a natural part of the aging process.

What Are Symptoms of Macular Degeneration?

Some people have few symptoms. However, it is more common for individuals to have symptoms but not to notice them because the deterioration of the condition can happen very slowly. Some of the most common signs of this condition include:

    • Blurriness
    • Distortion in the center portion of your vision
    • Dark areas in the center portion of the eye

There are treatment options available that can slow the progression of this condition. In most cases, this condition develops in just one eye at first, providing an opportunity for doctors to work to reduce the risk that this condition will go undetected in the other eye. If left untreated, the condition can lead to blindness in that eye. By having regular vision screenings with your eye doctor in New York City, it is possible to stay ahead of this condition and to protect your vision, potentially, longer.

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.


Can Foods Improve Vision?

Can Foods Improve Vision?You may know the importance of going to the eye doctor on a regular basis. You know that you need to wear your prescription eye glasses if you need them. But, did you know what you eat can impact your eye health as well? To keep your eyes healthy, it is important for you to choose the right foods to add to your diet. And, it is also important for you to prevent worsening of any current eye conditions you have by eating foods that work to restore vision and may even improve it. Though you still need vision screening from your New York eye doctor, these foods can help protect your vision.

What Foods Are Good for Your Eyes?

Some foods work to provide your body and eyes with the nutrition they need to perform at their best. It’s important to know that these foods will not cure your vision problems, but they can help to prevent illness or at least aid in giving your eyes the nutrition they need to work the best.

    • Can Foods Improve Vision?Fish – Aim for cold water fish whenever possible. This includes tuna, sardines and mackerel. These foods are rich in omega 3 fatty acids which are good at protecting your vision from conditions such as macular degeneration and cataracts.
    • Leafy greens – These foods have a large amount of nutrition in them and can help to be a powerful source of antioxidants. This can help to flush the toxins from your body. Try foods such as broccoli, avocadoes and all types of leafy green vegetables.
    • Eggs – Eggs are good for you! They contain a good amount of healthy fat in them while also providing you with protein. This can help to fight blindness as well as dry eyes.
      Whole grains – Skip the sugar-rich carbs and instead switch them out for whole grains. Choose foods such as whole grain breads and pastas. Enjoy oats, too. This can help to reduce the risk of developing macular degeneration.
      Citrus and berries – For those looking for fruit, focus on these two types. They offer the highest amount of nutrition for your eyes and gives you the best opportunity to protect your vision and avoid the
    • development of cataracts and macular degeneration.

Can Foods Improve Vision?It’s important to know that nutrition like this is good for your overall health. Instead of smoking, consuming alcohol, or straining your eyes, work to give your body what it needs to perform at its best level possible.

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 Amblyopia?

What is Amblyopia?Individuals who develop the vision concern called amblyopia often have limited vision in one eye or in both eyes. This occurs as a result of the abnormal development of vision. It often begins in infancy or childhood and may worsen over time. Individuals may not be diagnosed with this condition very early because it is not easy to spot. The vision loss that occurs is generally due to the nerve pathway between the eye and brain that does not develop as it should. Individuals who suffer from this condition should seek out care from their eye doctor in New York as soon as symptoms become obvious.

What Are the Symptoms of Amblyopia?

What is Amblyopia?In general, symptoms of this condition can occur at any time, but may not be obvious as a result of the child not understanding or knowing the different. Generally, the damage to the nerve pathway leads to the brain learning to see only blurry images. This occurs even when corrective glasses are used. Because the vision in one eye is poor, the other eye generally becomes the dominate eye. The brain relies on that good eye. As a result, the poor vision in the other eye worsens because the nerve is not used and strengthened. This can lead to further vision loss. In fact, amblyopia is the leading cause of vision loss in children.

Can Amblyopia Be Treated?

There are some situations that can be corrected. Individuals who have this condition may be able to see improvement throughout the use of contact lenses or glasses that help to strengthen the vision in the poor eye. This can happen even as early as the first week of life. The sooner the treatment occurs, the more likely it is to work. Once a child reaches the age of 14, the eyes are generally done changing and the condition is likely to be permanent. In many cases, it is possible to see significant improvement and even correction of the problem if it is treated at a young age.

What is Amblyopia?It is important to speak to a doctor about the condition as soon as it becomes evident that it is there. If and when an eye doctor can treat this condition early, it is likely to prevent at least some vision loss. However, regular screening by a New York eye doctor becomes very important for those who have this eye and vision concern.

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 Causes Cataracts?

What Causes CataractsAs a person gets older, he or she may begin to notice changes in their vision. Most of the time, the process happens gradually so much so that it can be hard to detect early. Yet, for many people, the cause is cataracts. This is the most common loss of vision in people who are over the age of 40 in the United States. It is generally one of the most common causes of blindness worldwide. More people have cataracts than have macular degeneration, glaucoma, and diabetic retinopathy combined. What does this mean to you? If you have cataracts, it’s important to work with your New York eye doctor to prevent them from worsening and to seek out treatment.

Why Do They Occur?

With more than 22 million people in the United States impacted by cataracts, it’s often concerning as to  why this occurs. Generally, the cause is related to the protein that’s present in the eyes.

What Causes CataractsWithin the eyes is a lens. This lens helps to focus the light onto the retina. The retina, a specific area in the eye, helps to create clear vision and provide information to the brain about the image through the optic nerve. The lens works as a focus for the eye as well. It gives you the ability to see items that are close up, such as when reading a book, or far away, such as reading signs on the roadway.

This lens is made up of protein and water. The protein has a very special arrangement that helps to ensure images are clear. They also allow light to pass through when they are in order. Over time, the protein becomes unordered. When this happens, the proteins clump together and can create cloud-like presences in the eyes. This cloud is what is called a cataract.

Why does this occur? There are numerous potential causes including:

    • Diabetes
    • Ultraviolet radiation from the sun
    • Smoking
    • Obesity
    • Hypertension
    • Previous eye injury or inflammation
    • Previous eye surgery
    • Use of corticosteroid medications

What Causes CataractsIn some cases, family history can play a role in the development of the condition. In other cases, your doctor may be unable to determine why you have developed them. The good news is that there are both treatment options and prevention tools available that may help you to see better. And, with a wide range of options available, individuals can seek out care from their New York eye doctor.

What Is Myopia?

What Is MyopiaMyopia is one of the most common types of vision conditions. Also known as nearsightedness, in this condition, individuals can see items close up but have difficulty seeing images that are at a distance. According to the National Eye Institute, as much as 41 percent of the United States population suffers from this condition. That’s a significant increase in the last 30 years. For those who have any type of vision problem, the first step is to always seek out an experienced eye doctor in New York for help.

Symptoms of Myopia

What Is MyopiaMany people suffer from this condition and do not realize it. The most typical symptom of it is having trouble seeing at a distance. This may include:

    • Not being able to read road signs
    • Having trouble seeing distant objects indoors
    • Eye strain
    • Headaches
    • Squinting
    • Trouble with playing sports
    • Eyes that feel tired after playing sports, driving, or engaging in other long distance viewing

For those who have these symptoms, the first step to care is an appointment with an eye doctor. Vision screenings can pick up on this condition early on, and that’s a good thing. Children who suffer from this condition may have trouble seeing the teacher or items across the room.

What Treatments Are Available?

The most common type of treatment for myopia is the use of corrective lenses. This may include the use of prescription eye glasses, but it also may include contact lenses. The goal of treatment is to improve the vision as much as possible to ensure individuals can have the best level of vision possible. In some situations, patients may wish to seek out more advanced treatment. LASIK eye correction, and similar types of eye surgery may help.

Over time, the eyes change. And, it is possible that a nearsighted prescription could change from year to year. That is why it is so important for individuals to seek out care from a trusted eye doctor on a regular basis. Individuals who suffer from myopia are most likely to need at least annual vision exams and potential upgrades to their vision.

What Is MyopiaFor those who think they may have this condition, the first step is to seek out eye care from a trusted eye doctor in New York City. Ongoing care not only reduces the symptoms, but also may help to slow the progression of this condition and help avoid pain and discomfort.

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 to Expect at a Contact Lens Exam

What to Expect at a Contact Lens ExamYou are thinking about getting contact lenses. Many people who wear prescription glasses want the freedom and improved look that contact lenses can often offer. However, you will need a specialized eye exam from your New York eye doctor before you can obtain them. That’s because your eye doctor needs to determine what type of contact lens is right for you, what size fits your needs, and what prescription will improve your vision to the highest level. If you are thinking about contacts, your first step is to schedule a contact lens eye exam.

What Happens During a Contact Lens Eye Exam?

Here’s what you can expect during this type of eye exam.

    • What to Expect at a Contact Lens ExamYour eye doctor will first focus on your vision. This is a traditional eye exam in which your vision needs are considered based on the vision tests you are given. You will learn about your prescription and whether or not you need contact lenses.
    • Then, your eye doctor will look at the health of your eyes. Not everyone will qualify for the use of contact lenses. Your eyes will need to be healthy and in overall good condition in order to obtain them.
    • Your eye doctor will then talk to you about your habits and needs. Do you want to wear contacts all of the time for days at a time? It may be better to choose contacts that you remove each night and replace in the morning. And, you may need specially sized or types of contacts based on your tear production and vision needs.

During a contact lens exam, your eye doctor will talk to you about proper care of your contacts and how to put them into your eye and how to take them out. He or she will also likely recommend a contact lens fitting. This is a hands on demonstration and training that allows you to learn the proper way of caring for and using your contacts. For first time contact lens users, this is a critical step.

What to Expect at a Contact Lens ExamContact lens exams are a bit more time consuming because they require the taking of measurements. However, this type of exam can give you the improved vision you want and the freedom to put your eye glasses in your pocket for a while. They will also help you to learn much about caring for your lenses and your eyes.

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 to Expect at an Eye Exam?

What to Expect at an Eye Exam?Going in for an eye exam may not be something you want to do. After all, it may mean spending a few minutes making sure the health of your eyes is as good as it can be. For those who have vision problems, visiting the eye doctor at least one time every six months is a good idea. For those who do not have vision concerns, it is still important to have annual vision screenings from your eye doctor in New York City. This ensures your eye health is good. With the help of your eye doctor, you can be confident that you are doing everything you can to protect your eyes.

What Happens During an Exam?

What to Expect at an Eye Exam?There are two things that eye doctors are looking for when conducting an exam. One of the first steps they will take is to determine if your eyes are healthy. Your doctor will look at each structure of the eye to determine its health and whether or not it is functioning at its best. Ultimately, an eye exam for this purpose is necessary since treating eye health concerns as soon as possible is critical to protecting your vision and eyes for years to come.

The second component of the eye exam involves a focus on your vision. If you are known to have vision loss or difficulty, your doctor will discuss your current prescription and whether or not it is the best option for you. Through a series of questions about the objects or letters you see on a screen and through various lenses, your eye doctor can tell you what your vision is and if there are any steps necessary to improve your vision levels. In most cases, vision screenings like this are necessary for those with known vision concerns as well as those with known good vision.

What to Expect at an Eye Exam?There are a number of steps to the process of examining your eye health and vision levels. All are noninvasive. Most involve the use of basic equipment that you will look into during the procedure. You will need to answer questions about your symptoms and overall health as well. Most of the time, an eye exam takes less than 20 to 30 minutes and it can give you the reassurance you need to know your eyes are healthy. If you have not had your eye exam lately, schedule a consultation with your New York eye doctor today.

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.