New Look and Other Changes

Now that I’ve graduated from opto-school, I’ve decided to spend a little more time on In an attempt to revive the website, I’ve decided to change the look and layout of the site; perhaps it’ll motivate me to post more frequently. The website is now indirectly connected to my own, personal website – which provides information about my career, and will also become a resource for patients.

Anywho, I think Optonotes is a little cleaner now, and it has a few more features …and one less. I’ve removed the “tools” section for now. Until I find myself with some serious time to devote to the development of tools there, I’ll leave it out.  I have added Twitter support though, and you can now follow the blog’s posts from the dedicated Twitter account, @optonotes. Optonotes also allows you to tweet its posts directly from its pages.

The student presentation slides are still password protected. The reason for this is that they may contain some information that is not 100% accurate — they are (after all) student presentations. For this reason, I do not want them disseminated to the general public.  I will also be adding a set of notes known amongst Berkeley students as “Chong Notes” to the “slidessection. They will also be password protected in case there is inaccurate information there as well. If you are a student or doctor and would like access to the slides and notes, please email me at, and I will provide you with a username and password. Finally, if there’s anything you’d like to see added, please let me know in the comments.

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Telemedicine: EyePACS

I’ve been fortunate enough to have the opportunity of spending two of my third-year rotations at Highland Hospital in Oakland, CA, taking retinal fundus photographs of patients with diabetes. The diabetes management program team there works with our school’s EyePACS program, directed by Dr. Jorge Cuadros, OD, PhD, to screen for diabetic retinopathy. In the video below, Dr. Cuadros explains the program to the Center for Information Technology Research in the Interest of Society (CITRIS).

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Mnemonics: VITAMIN D

My class was first introduced to this mnemonic by Dr. Karen Brandreth-Walker, OD, last year during our systemics lectures; but it was originally created by Dr. Todd Severin, MD, who has been lecturing us in our posterior segment class this past month on glaucoma and its treatment. The mnemonic “VITAMIN D” tells you what things to consider as an etiology for any pathological process. It isn’t perfect, but it works:

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The Lens Guru

If you have as much trouble as I have remembering what lenses are out there, in terms of PALs and occupational lenses, check out It has a searchable database for ophthalmic lenses. You can specify the material, the minimum segment height, and various other parameters, and it shows you all the lenses that meet your requirement. It even has a page with all the PAL identifiers to help you determine what kind of PAL your patient is wearing.

You can search by lens details, manufacturer, identifiers, and see all designs that are digitally surfaced. This will save quite a bit of time in the eyewear department.

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Clinical Pearls: Tonometry

Tono-TipHere’s a tono-tip that I picked up from Dr. Robert DiMartino, one of the clinical professors at UC Berkeley, School of Optometry. You know the target that sits on the arm that swivels from the top of the slit lamp forehead-rest? It’s there for a reason. A lot of my colleagues (myself included) had neglected to use that target to direct patient gaze.

As it turns out, placing this target in front of the contralateral eye makes measuring IOP with Goldmann tonometry considerably easier for a lot of patients. Just set it up so that the eye of interest is pointing in the right direction. Don’t forget that a lot of these targets have a lever or knob that allows you to alter the focus of the target for the patient, based on their refractive error. Ask them if it’s clear, and direct their attention toward the target, while telling them to ignore the blue light.

I’ve had a number of patients tell me that they found this to be a lot easier than when people have tried to measure their IOP in the past. Use of the target, of course, is not restricted to tonometry. Use it as often as you need to for other procedures on patients with eyes that like to wander.

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New Links Added

Yesterday I added a ton of new links on the sidebar to the right. The new categories include: ‘Contact Lens Resources,’ ‘Licensing & Practice Links,’ ‘Low Vision Resources,’ ‘Online Books & Atlases,’ ‘Optical Resources,’ ‘Optometric Education,’ ‘Pharmacology Links,’ and ‘Other References and Resources.’

Thanks to Jenny T. for supplying them. I’ll be making modifications to the list as it evolves. Any other links or suggestions people have would be greatly appreciated. Just include them in comments below and I’ll add them. Please do not send any proprietary links though, they will probably be rejected.

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Atlas of Gonioscopy

Atlas of GonioscopyOne of my classmates came across, a website that covers the intricacies of gonioscopy. The site is maintained by Wallace L.M. Alward, MD, the Frederick C. Blodi Chair in Ophthalmology and Director of Glaucoma Service at the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine.

This site is dedicated to teaching gonioscopy through the use of videography. It covers the basic examination techniques and more advanced techniques, such as indentation and the corneal wedge. There are video examples of most glaucoma-related diseases.

I hope that you find it to be educational.

Atlas of Gonioscopy

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Welcome to Opto Notes

The Opto Notes EyeThis site was created to disseminate information relevant to students of the field of eyecare – whether they be actual students currently attending school, doctors practicing in the field, or eyecare patients. The blog you are reading will feature thoughts on eyecare and recent developments in the field. You will also find various blogposts with thoughts from guest doctor and student contributors.

In other areas of this site, you will be able to refresh your knowledgebase with and handouts from seminar presentations. Keep abreast of the latest in eyecare research via the section. There you will find links to journal articles and medical news sources. Finally, make use of all the out there that we’ve collected here for you, all in one convenient location.

This site is provided as a service to the optometric community by a third-year student attending the University of California, Berkeley, School of Optometry. Please see the section to email us any questions, comments, or requests.

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