What is CK for Vision Correction?

Conductive Keratoplasty also known as CK is an 8- minute procedure done here in our office. CK uses non-laser radiofrequency energy that helps reshape the cornea. Heat is applied to the outer cornea reducing the astigmatism and improving the eyesight. This treatment can help fix a number of conditions including Farsightedness, nearsightedness and in some cases help with Keratoconus. CK is often combined with Intacs®, since CK can provide further improvements to eyesight and supplement the improvement of Intacs® alone. Intacs® and CK are routinely performed on the same day.


 CK Procedure Benefits:topo

There are many benefits to having the CK procedure done for those who are suffering from both Farsightedness and Keratoconus. The CK procedure is non-invasive and provides the patient with a speedy recovery. Below are other benefits a patient can have from receiving the CK procedure:

  • Little to no pain
  • Quicker recovery time
  • Increased quality of vision
  • Procedure can be done here at our Beverly Hills office
  • No overnight hospital stays
  • Patient may have freedom from glasses or contact lenses
  • Procedure can be done in combination with other procedures


CK is also FDA-approved for patients who need reading glasses. CK can also be used to decrease astigmatism and improve the quality of distance or reading vision as well as improving reading vision after cataract surgery.

Are Eyelash Extensions Harmful For Your Eyes?

pablo (9)
Since the 1960s false eyelashes have been a trending cosmetic product among women everywhere. Thanks to stars like the Kardashians, Nicki Minaj and Beyonce, these trendsetters have promoted the market for falsies, but when it comes to a product that’s going near your eyes, one cannot be too careful.

Below are some Q & A’s to consider before scheduling an appointment.

Can you go blind?
No, you cannot go blind from eyelash extensions because your eyes are closed during the procedure. But in extreme cases, coming in contact with formaldehyde can cause blindness. It is important to go to an eyelash expert who knows how to properly apply the adhesive and lashes.

 Will extensions damage your own lashes?
If they are applied properly, they should not damage your own lashes. Each lash should be individually applied. Making sure not to pull or rub them off will ensure longevity and healthy lashes. If constantly used, it is possible for the weight of the eyelash to weigh down on the lashes, tearing the real ones out of ones eyes.

Are they safe to use for contact wearers?
Yes, contact wearers are able to use extensions but are still prone to get irritated eyes. Bringing a contact case with you, that has extra solution to avoid dry eyes.

What happens if glue gets in your eye?

Glue cannot directly get into your eyes, since they are shut the whole time, but it is not impossible. Glue products have gotten to the top layer of the eye and can cause irritation and scarring. Be sure that the glue does not contain harmful chemicals like formaldehyde,which is known to cause allergic reactions.

How do I remove the lashes?

Going  to a professional and getting the extensions removed would be your best option, they are trained in removing them without harming your own lashes.


Whether you choose to use false eyelashes are not, make sure you are doing your research and are asking the beauty professional the right questions. Take into account that any damage done can possibly be permanent.

Your Favorite Foods Can Be Causing Eye Problems

1. Coffee

cup of coffee

Many of us can’t get our day started without our daily cup of coffee, but research suggests that it may be affecting our eyesight. According to the Journal Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science, consuming large amounts of caffeine can lead to glaucoma, which is a known cause to blindness.  Avid coffee drinkers who consume three or more cups of coffee a day were at a higher risk of developing glaucoma. Researchers suggest that there is some type of compound in coffee, when mixed with caffeine that can result in glaucoma. If you are wondering if you should cut coffee out of your diet, the answer is no. Limiting the amount of coffee is a healthier option though.


2. Sugar

spoon full of sugar

It is no secret that sugar is bad for you, and is found in almost every processed or packaged food. Studies haves shown that nearly two sodas per day can accelerate aging by 4.6 years.  Another study, published in the American Journal of Public Health stated that the effect of soda is much like that of smoking. This not only affects the eyesight, but has damaging results on the overall body. You may not realize that sugar is hidden in a lot of foods such as juice, bread, pasta, chips, yogurt and ketchup. Reduce the amount of processed foods in your diet.


3. Junk Food

                                                                                  junk food

It may be convenient to order some take out, or pick up some food at the nearest drive-thru, but in reality, those foods are not only taking a toll on your body, but your eye sight. The fats and oils in “fast-food” clog arteries and blood vessels that help supply the eyes with nutrients that they need. It is very important to nourish the body with the necessary vitamins and minerals. Colorful fruit and vegetables, leafy greens and wild-caught fish help with the prevention of eye diseases.


4. Salt

Salt shaker

Salt is required in almost every recipe, but did you know high levels of sodium can cause high blood pressure, leading to restricted blood flow to the eyes!  Sodium not only bloats the body, but affects other tissues in the body. Sodium in salt, is found in many foods naturally, so adding more salt is not necessary.  Removing the salt shaker from the middle of the table of the table,  or buying salt with 50% less sodium are two ways that you can reduce your sodium intake.


5. Cigarettes


Although cigarettes are not categorized as “food”, they are categorized under “habits” that can damage your eye health. These cancer sticks not only can leave you blind, but the chemicals being inhaled are three times more likely to cause cataracts according to a study made by Harvard University. There are healthy alternatives to replace the craving.

Making Vitamins Work For Your Eye Care

vitaminsVitamins are often recognized for overall general health, but did you know they can help provide eye care as well? Taking the time to start a vitamin regimen can help your overall vision care. Different supplements can improve your eye health such as flaxseed, fish oil, Niacin, and Antioxidants. Asking your eye care professional which vitamins will benefit you and your vision needs is the first step to establishing a good regimen.

Below are some of the benefits of these varying vitamins:

Flaxseed Oil- Flax seeds were first cultivated as early as 12 centuries ago. Flaxseed oil is used for several different purposes including treatment of cardiovascular diseases, inflammation, and as essential fatty acids with help many other conditions including eye conditions such as Dry Eye.

Fish Oil- The Omega-3’s found in fish oil can help aid in reduction of inflammation and help reduce the risk of AMD or Age-related Macular Degeneration. The key with Omega-3’s is the ratio in which they are used (Average Dietary Ratio 3:1 or 4:1 Omega-3 to Omega-6). Another problem is that many people consume too much Omega-6 and it reduces the health benefits of the Omega- 3’s. Too much Omega- 6 can cause your body to retain fluids, increase your blood pressure, and even cause blood clotting. The daily ratio is delicate and important when improving your vision health.

Common foods containing large amounts of Omega – 6

Sunflower seeds                      Walnuts

Vegetable oils                          Margarine

Mayonnaise                             Potato Chips

Tofu                                        Peanut Butter

Cookies                                   Crackers

Niacin (AKA – Vitamin B3)

Discovered in the 1940’s Niacin (known to many of us as Vitamin B3) has several great health applications including the prevention & treatment of Cataracts. The Antioxidants within the Niacin that are most beneficial to the eyes are called Lutein & Zeaxanthin. These are also the only two antioxidants found within the eyes natural lens. These antioxidants have been known to lower risk of getting Cataracts by over 30%.


For more information about eye health please contact our office at (310) 860-1900

The Doctor’s Orders To A Successful Valentine’s Day

As a kid I loved getting all those hand-cut, pastel cardboard Valentine’s Day cards from my classmates. Didn’t you love that? It put a big smile on my face, especially when I got a card from Leisl Herman, who I had a crush on. Somewhere between 5th grade and college the teachers sadly dropped that activity. If you’re reading this, then you’re probably no longer in grade school getting those warm, fuzzy valentines with the heart shaped crunchy candies. But that doesn’t mean you can’t have a little fun and smile around February 14th.
Get your smile ready. Did you ever think that I would also be a poet? This limerick for Valentine’s Day just popped in my head when I was working out. I had a wee bit of expert refinement from Pat Myers, “Empress of the Style Invitational” at the Washington Post.

There was a lass with eyes of blue –
Word spread of her dazzling hue!
At times she was taken,
True love was forsaken,
Now wiser, she seeks serious woo.

 Now that I’ve got you smiling, be sure to spread the smiles. Wish someone, anyone, “Happy Valentine’s Day!” Even better, then give ‘em a good hug. Hugs are good for your health. It’s all about human touch. In medical school I learned of a study that found heart attack patient survival in the intensive care unit was higher in in the group where the nurse held the patients’ hand vs. no hand holding. So hug away on Valentine’s Day!

Another prescription that I can offer is to have some dark chocolate – 100% guilt-free. There are health benefits to the melt-in-your-mouth stuff too:

1. Enhance Eyesight
2. Lower Blood Pressure
3. Reduce Stress
4. Lessens Risk of Heart Failure
5. Provide Sun Protection
6. Access Higher Intelligence
7. Deliver Powerful Antioxidants


Have a wonderful day filled with love, poems and, of course…dark chocolate!

Learn the facts between CXL vs. Holcomb C3-R

If you are still on the fence about what crosslinking procedure is the right fit for you, please refer to this helpful infographic.  Here you will find the comparison between CXL and the Holcomb C3-R keratoconus procedures. The CXL procedure is an invasive, surgical procedure that painfully scrapes the cornea epithelium. The Holcomb C3-R procedure is a non- surgical procedure that lets you return back to work the next day with no complications.

cxl vs holcomb c3-r infog––––

3 Reasons You Should Have Included Your Eyes in Your New Year’s Resolution

eyeWith the New Year just beginning, we often feel the need to change and do something different. Resolutions are the focal point of our thoughts but we seldom add our vision care as something we focus on.

Most people think of losing weight, quitting smoking, and other health-related changes for their resolutions but thinking of your eyes early can prevent many conditions from arising in your future and improve the quality of your life now.

Below are 3 reasons to include your eyes in your New Year’s resolution:


1. Discover the Benefits of an Annual Checkup:

When considering a New Year’s resolution maybe it should be something as simple as getting your annual eye exam. This resolution is a simple appointment that is often overlooked or pushed back. This one day commitment can help you prevent future problems and identify additional health issues you may have that have not been discovered yet such as diabetes, hypertension, high cholesterol, and even some types of cancer.

2. Avoiding Rapid Vision Loss:

If you have other underlying health conditions they can affect your vision quickly, like keratoconus. You may not even realize it until it is too late. Getting an annual or bi-annual eye exam can lead to early detection of these problems and prevent them from getting worse.

3. Improving Your Quality of Vision:

There are several new treatments for various eye conditions that can improve your overall quality of vision. Treatments like Fortified LASIK, PRK, Visian ICL, CK and RejuvaVision can improve your quality of vision, and reduce or eliminate your dependence on glasses and/or contact lenses.

Common Symptoms of Eye Conditions:

  • Frequent Changes in Prescriptions
  • Blurred Vision
  • Frequent Rubbing of the Eye
  • Halos/Glares Around Lights
  • Poor or Decreasing Night Vision
  • Eye Pain
  • Dry Eyes

To hear Dr. Brian talk with Dr. Drew about these and more conditions on his daytime T.V. show Lifechangers:

One Year Anniversary of My Mom’s Passing

My mom and me at Vision AwardsSomeone once remarked, “You won’t remember what people said, but you will never forget how they made you feel.”  My mom made me feel confident, unconditionally loved, a love for animals, special, lucky, a love for family, safe, and responsible.


Here’s an example of how she made me feel confident like a superhero.  As a kid when I picked a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle or a complex model airplane to build, she never said, “That’s too advanced” or “you can’t do that”.  She nurtured me with “Wow!  You can do it.”  And that enabled me to do it.  She always made me feel confident.


My mom made me feel unconditionally loved.  I used to wear dorky glasses as a kid – remember that kind?  Of course the “four eyes” name calling soon followed.  My grandpa in Cincinnati, who was a Golden Gloves boxing champion, taught me how to fight and my parents explained that ancient Chinese proverb about sticks and stones may break your bones but names will never harm you. I know it’s not really Chinese, but probably just as old.  My parents said I should never get physical unless I needed to defend myself.  I had a several defensive fights growing up, but there was one boy who always verbally bullied me for many years and I always ignored him.  One time in 6th grade I was playing basketball at lunch and he slapped the ball from my hands so hard that it bounced up and hit my chin which caused quite a jolt.  If they had NBA-style flagrant fouls in 6th grade, this would’ve been one.  That was the final straw and I pummeled the guy until they pulled me off him and woke him up with smelling salts.   I understandably got in trouble at school and of course my mom was called – that was an “Uh oh!” moment. You know that feeling of impending parental doom.  When I got home and walked through the front door, she looked at me and then smiled knowing that the underdog had delivered justice against the bully.  She hugged me hard and kissed me as an expression of her unconditional love.


My mom made me feel special through her generosity.  When I was in college, my mom was in her 40s and she was yearning for memories of her childhood.  Yup, you guessed it – it was a mid-life crisis.  She asked me to help her buy a late 1950s Nash Metropolitan just like the one she drove as a teenager in Cincinnati, Ohio.  I had some experience with old cars and I helped her get a 1958 black and white Metropolitan.  I took the bus during my first year at UCLA.  In the summer she said, “Brian, you really need to have car.  Go ahead and take my Metropolitan.”  That became my daily driver for the following 3 years of college thanks to her….and I still have it!  She knew how to make me feel special.


She made me feel a love for family.  She would do anything for her family.  I can’t even try to count how many baseball games she schlepped her three sons to or how many times she took my brothers and me to Cincinnati to spend time with her family there.  I also have a deep love of family in large part because of my mom.


She made me feel lucky as she seemed to always come swooping down to rescue me just at the right moment.  In Franklin Elementary School in Santa Monica for some reason I never wanted to use the school bathrooms and would “hold it” until I walked home.  Well, one day I must’ve drank too much water.  I was half-way home and then it started.  You know that feeling of an ever expanding bladder.  So there I a few blocks from home – held up at a red light.  The balloon in my pelvis kept expanding.   I bared down with all my might, but alas, it was in vain. My mini-pelvic floor muscles were no match against the liquid.  I felt that unmistakable sensation of warmth streaming down my right leg that etched a dark vertical line all the way down the length of my brown Toughskins pants.  My nightmare though wasn’t over.  I looked down in horror to observe the concrete slowly darkening as a wet circle spread out from the epicenter of my right foot.   I faced the most embarrassing moment of my life:  walking home with obviously soiled clothes.  Just then my mom pulled up to the street corner in her car and rolled down the window and saved me with, “Hi Brian, would you like a ride home?”  That is one example of how she always made me feel lucky.



My mom made me feel responsible for my actions.  My mom and dad subscribed to the parenting philosophy of “Natural Consequences” for children, largely taught from the book “Children: The Challenge” which Selina and I also use with our girls.  Here’s an example of “Natural Consequences”:  as young boy I would burst her bedroom door wide open while she was sleeping like a log and yell “Batman! Batman! Batman!”  She was constantly sleep-deprived because of me.  Despite all her scolding, I kept up my ritual.  A good friend gave her the idea of how to deal with me and here’s what happened.  Like clockwork the next morning I threw her door open with “Batman! Batman!  Batman!”  She acted out what happened next.  She sleepily put on her nightgown and made her coffee and just sat at the breakfast table faking to be in a daze.  I said, “Mommy, where’s my breakfast?”  She said, “Brian, I didn’t get a full night sleep and I’m just too tired to make breakfast.”  So I went without breakfast that day and guess what?  I never again woke her up early.  Through my childhood and early adulthood, she made me feel responsible and she prepared me for the path of life.


While I won’t remember many of her exact words, I will always remember how she made me feel.  I would not be who I am today without my mom.

What I Learned Rowing In A Brutal 4-Day Regatta



A few days ago I finished competing in the USRowing Masters National Championships on a lake outside of Boston in the sizzling August heat as my wife and twin 10-year old daughters were there to support me.  My prior rowing career could have never prepared me for what I just experienced.  I raced in college at UCLA and Edinburgh University in Scotland in 4-man and 8-man boats.  After a nearly 20 year hiatus I finally got back to rowing about six years ago with the same mindset of competing again.   I learned how to scull (rowing alone in a skinny boat with two oars) as it was immensely easier to coordinate with the guy in the mirror versus seven other people at this stage in life.


I competed in my first Masters Nationals Championships a year later in the single scull and won bronze.  I had never before been to this national regatta and had no idea of what to expect.  I was surprised and pleased with the result.    After that I was invited to row in an 8-man boat from San Diego Rowing Club in the famed Head of the Charles regatta in Boston.  Back at UCLA I had only heard of it since we never traveled there for the race.  I found my sculling training translated to being a better rower in the team boats.  And after a couple of years competing we did well to the point of winning a medal at that regatta – no easy feat.


Last year the crew that myself and a number of guys from San Diego were supposed to be a part of decided to go a different route and we found ourselves a crew without a rowing club for the Head of the Charles regatta.  I had been training hard all summer when that news arrived just a couple of weeks before the event.   My stomach turned.  A quick call from a crew-mate to Lesleh Anderson Wright, a former coxswain from the Canadian Olympic rowing team, to see if Chinook Performance Racing might be willing to attempt to get us a lottery spot provided a glimmer of hope. This regatta is probably the most competitive and hardest to gain acceptance to race.  It is hands-down one of the most watched rowing events in the world with 400,000+ spectators crowded up and down the 3-mile course on the banks of the Charles River in Boston.   We were entered under Chinook, but our acceptance would come down to being selected by a lottery.  We waited. Then we waited some more.  Would months of summer training have been in vain?  We continued to wait to hear if we got in.  We did!


The Head of the Charles has many categories of events with 40-50 entries per category.  As a result, the boats fire off in single file line and the faster boats will catch and pass the slower boats.  It’s not like a sprint that you may have seen at the Rio Olympics where the boats line up on a starting line and race to the finish.  The river isn’t wide enough for that.  As a new entry, we lost our prior position near the start of the pack and were near the very end of the boat line up with slower boats from the prior year race.    When we blasted past the starting line we overtook the boat in front of us almost immediately.  Then something happened that I had never experienced.  We came roaring up to two boats where one was in the midst of overtaking another boat.  As we approached them, Demitra Good, our coxswain (the person who steers and is our eyes and ears), told us what we were approaching:  two boats next to each other.  She yelled, “We’re going to split them and go right up the middle!”  She hollered to both coxswains to move aside as we were overtaking (which means we have the right of way).  They must have moved further apart because the next thing I noticed from my peripheral vision was two other 8-man boats, one on each side of us, come into view.  Then they seemed to fall behind us and disappear like we had jumped to hyperspace in Star Wars. It was incredible to “split” two boats like that without a single clash of oars with either boat.  That was a surgical steering job from our coxswain.   We passed many more boats and due to congestion at one point we had to stop rowing to avoid a boat collision.  In the end we finished as the 9th fastest crew in our race from our initial starting position #51.


Last weekend I rowed with Chinook Performance Racing at the 4-day USRowing Masters National Championships.  Each race was 1,000 meter “sprint” which can last between 3 minutes to 5 minutes depending on type of boat, # of rowers, and wind conditions. Here the boats are lined up and it’s the first to the finish line.  On the first day I had my single scull race.  It was a heat and the top three would go to the semifinal and top three go to the final.  I came in third in my first Masters Nationals in the final and in my second Masters Nationals I got through to the final but the final race was cancelled due to thunderstorms.  I had trained hard and had high expectations.  In my heat of the single scull, I had a bad day and didn’t even qualify for the semifinal.  I was bummed.  I explained to my daughters that the most important thing was that I had prepared and followed a training program and never quit along the way because I didn’t feel like doimg it.  It was a good teaching moment.  But there was more racing to come.


I had the following day off and the next day I was in two racing crews:   8-man boat and mixed quad sculls (2 women and 2 men each person rowing with two oars).   The 8-man boat started at a semifinal and we qualified for the final.  In the final we won gold by less than one second.  It was a barn-burner of a race and Lesleh was our coxswain whose years of expertise was apparent.  In the mixed quad, we progressed nicely from the heat to the semifinal then to the final.  In the final sprint we were in bronze position when one of our crewmates had an oar problem that slowed us down and we ended up fifth.  I wasn’t disappointed.  For me it was more important to reassure my boat mate that early in everyone’s rowing career (this person had only been rowing a year) this kinda thing happens.   I explained, “At next year’s Masters Nationals you will have twice the experience and will be improved by light years – as happens during everyone’s learning curve of rowing.”  My crewmate was reassured and that was more important than a piece of metal.  After five races I felt remarkably good as I had developed a recovery ritual that I do after every race in preparation to put my body through the grind of another 1,000 meter race again.  It seemed to work.


There was an amazing comradery that I discovered at our Chinook tent which was like base camp at Everest only much hotter since it was Massachusetts in August.   There were 70+ rowers, women and men, who had their own races.  Everyone was recovering from her or his own races using their own ritual.  Perhaps the most important thing about rowing is relationships.  It is what Chinook’s foundation is.  The four women who started the team, Lesleh Wright Anderson, Nancy Dynan, Deb Davis, and Merida Scully were friends first and a rowing crew (in some way shape or form) second.  Their relationship to each other bears a lot of weight on each and every crew they race in together.  That has permeated the team.


Under the Chinook tent and shade of those green tall bushy trees that swayed in the breeze is where I got to know many others on the team and their families.  The other thing that I learned there was that families are extremely important to the rowers – just like my family is so vital to me.  Many of the women and men rowers have children and families that they are managing all while committing to this rigorous training.  It is quite extraordinary.  It was fascinating to pause and reflect on the unique experience that I was part of:  regardless of what the team did in their occupation back home, during this event everyone was just as focused on the racing as an elite athlete.  That was no surprise considering everyone had been seriously training for months for this regatta (which the team does for all its regattas).  It was very social while we were milling about in the protective shade of the tent and trees. Back in college the atmosphere was so intense between races, but here in the “masters world of rowing” it was much more relaxed off the water.  Thus it was enjoyable.  The same observation was shared by some women I met on the team there.  It was a phenomenal organizational feat by Lesleh our leader to put together who was rowing with who and in what events.  Chinook didn’t forfeit one race despite all the racing happening each day with all of us.  I joked that she could be a general in the military and she said Stephen Covey, author of 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, once told her that too.


The final day of the Championships had another five races in store for me:  mixed 8 (4 women and 4 men), younger 8-man boat, and a mixed 4 (two women and two men).   Our mixed 8 was stroked by Caryn Davies, an extraordinary athlete and highly accomplished 6’ 4’’ lady who won a Silver in the 8-woman boat at the Athens Olympics and Golds in Beijing and London Olympics in the 8-woman boat.   It was an honor to be in her boat.  We won our semifinal and went on to win the final.  After that race, I had the other 8-man boat, but almost all of us had just raced about 30 minutes prior and we placed fourth.  We rowed as hard as we could, but our bodies didn’t have the power that comes from a longer recovery.  Nonetheless, I was proud of our effort since I know not many crews could give it their all in that situation the way we did.  Our mixed 4 semifinal went well and we got through to the final – that last race of the day for Chinook.  The other man in the boat was a fellow former UCLA rower who stroked the boat.  It was a brutal headwind and we fought our way down the course to cross the line with a bronze.   We had been thoroughly drained by the many days of heavy racing.  Medals aside, I felt it was a personal accomplishment to have done what I did with five races in back to back days.  I never had such a draining experience in my years of elite college rowing that was one race a day.


Chinook had also won the trophy for the most points of all the teams entered (based on boats that medaled and get to the final) – a first for this young organization.    It was truly the epitome of team work – which is what rowing is about – working together to accomplish a common goal.   It’s never too late for someone to learn to row and to join a club and, if desired, compete in races.  I feel fortunate to have found Chinook even though my road there was filled with plenty of ups and downs.  But then again that’s life – filled with ups and downs – and rowing certainly prepares one to weather those storms that we all face at various times.


My twin 10-year old daughters come to almost every regatta with my wife and I use my up and down rowing experiences that they witness as “teaching moments”.   I don’t know if they will ever pursue this sport (one loves basketball, the other adores volleyball), but hopefully what they see their dad go through in rowing will help them handle the hurdles of their life journeys.   As one educator I know says, “You can’t prepare the path for your child, but you can prepare your child for the path.”