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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 Causes Cataracts?

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.

Within 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.cataracts

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

In 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.

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 Myopia?

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

Many 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.myopia

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.

For 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.

Can Foods Improve Vision?

visionYou 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.

  • 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.vision
  • 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.

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 Macular Degeneration?

As 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.


Macular DegenerationWhat 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.

The 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.

Macular DegenerationWhat 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.

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.Amblyopia

What Are the Symptoms of 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.

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.

Treatments for Dry Eyes

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:Dry Eyes

  • Medications 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.

In 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.

How to Get Rid of a Stye

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.

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.

Getting 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.

What Is a Retinoscopy and Why Is It Used?

retinoscopyHave you been told that you need to have a retinoscopy? This is a specific type of test that is used to determine the refractive error of the eye. This test can help to provide the level of vision the individual has whether it is related to nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism. Ultimately, this test can provide information as to whether or not there is a need for glasses and at what level those tests are necessary. Overall, this type of testing is very easy and only takes a few minutes. Generally, you do not have to do much during this test.

How Does a Retinoscopy Work?

During this test, the eye doctor will use a retinoscope, which is a hand-held instrument, to beam a light into the eye. This process does not hurt the eye and it is not hard to see through. You will be told to look straight ahead and usually not into the light. The light is moved vertically and then horizontally across the eye while the doctor looks into the eyes at that time. The doctor is looking at the reflected light that is located at the back of the eye. This creates a reflection, which is called a red reflex.

Then, the individual will place a lens in front of the eye. He or she will change the power of the lens during this process to see how the reflection changes. Ultimately, this process allows for the eye doctor to determine what is likely the best prescription or power of lens you need in order to see the most improvement in your vision.

retinoscopyMost commonly, this test is used to determine the prescription and need for glasses I children, though it can also be used in adults. Generally, adults can communicate the improvement to their vision without the need for the doctor to use this test, though. Those who are at a risk for needing glasses but are unable to communicate if a lens is better for them than another, will ultimately need to have this test. Some eye doctors also prefer to offer this test as a way to verify the right prescription is begin given to the individual.
If you have not had an eye exam recently, now is the time to do so. Call us now to schedule a complete eye exam with the best eye doctor in Santa Monica.

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.310-464-0229 

What Are Visual Acuity Tests?

visual acuity testMost people will have a vision screening at some point in their lives. The goal of this type of screening is to get a better idea of how well you can see. And, ultimately, the goal is to determine just how small of writing you can read and at what distance, if any, your vision becomes less clear. This type of test is called a visual acuity test and it is one of the most common types of vision screenings given today because it provides specific information about what you are seeing.

What Does It Do?

A visual acuity test is used by an eye doctor to determine the smallest letters that you can see. This is done using the Snellen chart, or standardized chart that is displayed on a monitor or a card at about 20 feet away from where you are standing or sitting. It is also possible for these charts to be at other distances from you. The goal here is to show you various sized letters to determine how clear your vision is at various levels.

Why Do You Need It?

This is a non-invasive test and it does not take more than a few minutes to complete. When you have it done, usually in the presence of your eye doctor, it will provide very specific information to your eye doctor about the health of your eyes. It is a part of the standard eye exam in most cases. This test can provide individuals with:

  • Information on the quality of their vision
  • Whether or not vision needs to be corrected
  • More accurate information about the vision quality of a child

eye examOpportunities to minimize the risk of permanent damage to the eyes by providing a diagnosis of a condition earlier
If your results from a visual acuity test are not normal, this may mean that you need to wear glasses. In doing so, you may see that your vision improves significantly. Contact lenses may also be an option for many individuals in this case.

In some cases, failing this type of test can also indicate a more progressive type of eye disease or condition. This will allow your doctor to take steps to correct, prevent, or overcome the condition.



If you have not had a visual acuity test in some time, now is the time to do so. Call our offices in S310-464-0229anta Monica to get an eye exam.

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.

Does Your Child Need a Color Blindness Test?

color blind testColor blindness is often a worrisome experience. Take a few minutes to consider if there is any history of color blindness in your family. If so, your child may be at risk for having the condition. However, even if there is no hereditary link, there is still a potential for your child to develop or have this condition. But, what is it, why does it happen, and how do you know if your child is at risk?

Understanding Color Blindness

Though it impacts boys much more commonly than girls, it can impact anyone. In short, those who are color blind cannot see certain colors or may not be able to distinguish between some colors. The following are the most common early signs that color blindness could be a concern for your family member.

  • The child uses the wrong colors on various objects such as when coloring. For example, he or she may color a tree leaf yellow instead of green. This often happens with dark colors.
  • The child smells food before he or she eats it.
  • There is a low attention span when coloring in paperwork.
  • The child is likely to deny any type of color concern. They often have no idea about it.
  • There is a sensitivity present to bright lights.
  • They have an excellent sense of smell and/or night vision.
  • The child cannot or struggles to identify various colors of crayons or the color of an object.
  • They may complain that their head hurts or their eyes hurt frequently, which is more common in situations when the child is looking at something that is the color red on a green background or the other way around.
  • The child will struggle with reading when there are colored words on paper.

color blind testThere are many situations in which it is very hard to determine if a child is color blind or not. The ultimately way to learn if this is a concern is to have the eye have an eye exam that specifically targets their color vision.


This is often a test given to males at a young age, but it can also be given to children of any age when there is a concern or a thought that color blindness may exist.

Call our offices today at 310-464-0229 to schedule a vision screening for your child. You’ll get a screening from the best eye doctor in Santa Monica.