Tribute to Dr. Harue Marsden

With a heavy heart, we want to inform all OCOS members that Dr. Harue Marsden passed away after an extended fight against cancer on Thursday Feb 2. She passed away in the comfort of her own home. There will be a memorial service next Friday, February 10. For those wish to attend it will be at Marshall B. Ketchum University and you can check out the Ketchum Website for more details soon.

Harue was an amazing woman, a great mentor to her students, and dedicated so much of herself to the profession of optometry. Incredibly devoted to OCOS, she attended virtually every meeting and even our board meetings to help guide and nurture the future leaders of our society. I think it was her favorite thing to do, to inspire and develop young people to achieve more of the potential she saw in them. I remember seeing her just a couple weeks ago and she was fired up to discuss topics for our upcoming house of delegates meeting. She was always so excited to be an instrument of change, because for her, it symbolized the steady upward march of optometric progress. And it’s why she loved so much to talk to young people who were unburdened by the past—who couldn’t wait to seize the future.

I personally experienced this as she was my contact lens mentor and later friend on the OCOS board. I remember like yesterday at one of our OCOS meetings 3 years ago, she won a VISA gift certificate courtesy of one of our sponsors. A SCCO student had pulled her winning ticket. She strolled up to collect her prize, but once she got to the front she took the gift and handed it to the student who pulled her ticket with a smile. I’ve never seen anyone else do that, but that was just who Harue was.

So I ask of OCOS to honor the memory of Harue. To be worthy of her life’s work and for our part actively promote our wonderful profession. To say “yes” to those emails and calls from pre-optometry and optometry students who want to visit us in practice to learn. To break bread, share a good drink, and create lasting relationships with your optometrists colleagues. We’ll certainly miss her. We lost a good one and may she rest in peace.

Thanh Mai, OD
OCOS President


January is Glaucoma Awareness Month

Many of the tests in a standard eye exam are designed to detect glaucoma, a collection of disorders involving progressive damage to structures at the back of the eye (including the optic nerve head and retinal nerve fiber layer) and resulting vision loss. Over 3 million Americans have glaucoma with nearly half unaware that they have the disease. Glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness in both the African-American and Hispanic/Latino communities, and it is the leading cause of preventable blindness for all Americans.

Risk factors for glaucoma include the following:

  • African-Americans over 40 years old
  • All people over 60 (especially those of Hispanic/Latino descent)
  • Asians (for Angle Closure Glaucoma)
  • Elevated intraocular pressures
  • Family history of glaucoma
  • Diabetes
  • Hypertension
  • Prior eye injury

In early stages of the disease, there are no symptoms. Without routine eye exams, glaucoma can go undetected until significant, irreversible vision loss occurs. Studies indicate that up to 40% of vision can be lost before any symptoms develop. With proper detection and management, glaucoma can be treated with minimal loss of vision.

Schedule your annual eye exam today to make sure that you do not have this potentially blinding disease! And help spread the word to all your family and friends, especially those who are at risk for developing glaucoma.

Additional resources:

-Steven Wang, OD


December is Safe Gifts and Toys Month

As a parent of two young children, I know all too well the trials of the holiday season. First of all is the challenge of getting my kids to appreciate giving as much as receiving. And, despite the best intentions of friends and family, I need to be diligent in inspecting that all toys are safe and appropriate. In 2015, the Consumer Product Safety Commission reported 254,200 toy-related injuries treated in hospital emergency rooms. Most of these involved lacerations, contusions or abrasions (41%) and most affected the head and face area (45%). In response to this problem that poses such a significant risk to our children’s eyesight, Prevent Blindness America has declared December “Safe Toys and Gifts Month”.

Prevent Blindness America recommends the following guidelines when purchasing gifts:

  • Only buy toys meant for the child’s age and maturity level
  • Purchase toys that meet the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) standards
  • Read all warnings and instructions on the box
  • Avoid purchasing toys with sharp or rigid points, spikes, rods or dangerous edges
  • Buy toys that will withstand impact and not break into dangerous shards
  • Avoid toys that shoot or include parts that fly off

They also recommend the following guidelines when your children are at play:

  • Keep an eye on your children while they play
  • Keep young children away from toys meant for older children
  • Supervise children’s art projects (particularly those involving glue and scissors)
  • Have children wear the right protective eyewear when playing with toys
  • Store toys properly to prevent slips and falls
  • Fix or throw away broken toys

By following these simple guidelines, we can substantially reduce the number of toy-related injuries and make sure that this is a happy, festive holiday season with less trips to the emergency room.

-Steven Wang, OD


Adult Amblyopia Treatment Study

Adult Amblyopia Treatment Study

Amblyopia is characterized by a reduction in visual acuity, contrast sensitivity, and binocular visual functions.  There is very little published on adult amblyopia therapy. This is because clinicians initially believed that amblyopia could not be treated after the end of the critical period.  However, recent studies have suggested that adult amblyopia can be treated. Patching combined with active, near, threshold-training tasks and continuous feedback was employed in these studies.

The purpose of the current study is to use standard amblyopic therapy in addition to an oral supplementation to determine if there is an enhancement in visual performance in the amblyopic eye.

Inclusion criteria/Study specifics:

  • Age > 18 years
  • Best corrected acuities between 20/60 and 20/400 (with E-ETDRS chart)
  • Amblyopia due to anisometropia and/or strabismus
  • A standard amblyopic work up will be performed on all patients to determine if they are eligible for this study
  • Visual acuity and contrast sensitivity function will be measured at each weekly visit
  • Data collection will take approximately six months per subject
  • Prior amblyopia therapy is not an exclusion criteria
  • Subjects will receive amblyopia therapy at no cost

Exclusion criteria:

  • Significant cataract that affects vision
  • Glaucoma
  • Diabetes
  • Uncontrolled high blood pressure
  • Pregnant or expecting to become pregnant during the study period
  • Ocular/systemic diseases that affect contrast sensitivity
  • Renal impairment, liver damage

If you have a potential subject for this study, please contact:

Dr. William Ridder x 714 449 7494                         Dr. Reena Patel x 714 992 7873

(wridder@ketchum.edu)                                         (rpatel@ketchum.edu)

community service

Community Service: 2016 Central-West County Health Expo



EVENT:  Central-West County Health Expo will provide free eye exams and new prescription glasses to over 500 homeless and low income patients. Need volunteer help from optometrists, opticians & students

DATE:  Saturday October 29th & Sunday October 30th

LOCATION:  Concorde Career College

TIMES:  Morning, afternoon and all day shifts (see flyer for times)

To Volunteer Please CONTACT:  Sam Hahn – vision@ifhomeless.org


Community Service: Central-West County Vision Expo


Volunteer eye care specialists are needed for the Central-West County Vision Expo in OC.

This event will be hosted by Senator Janet Nguyen and the Central County & Illumination Foundation.

Click Here to View the Official PDF Flyer 

DATE:  Saturday, October 24th

LOCATION:  Concorde College 12951 Euclid St Garden Grove, CA 92840

TIMES:  8:30 – 12:30 OR 12:00 – 4:00

To Volunteer Please CONTACT:  centralcountyexpo@gmail.com or (714) 741 – 1034

kids vision fest2

Optometrist Needed: Kids Vision Fest in Santa Ana (Compensation Available)

Kids Vision for Life strives to accomplish the mission of eliminating poor vision and its lifelong consequences. They are looking for awesome optometrists who would be willing to work at their next local event.

EVENT:  Kids Vision Fest in Santa Ana.  There is funding to pay optometrists to work that day. The rate is $55/ hour. 

DATES:  Thursday April 30th 2015 & Friday May 1st 2015

LOCATION:  Lincoln Elementary School in Santa Ana

TIMES:  8:00am to 3:00pm

To Volunteer Please CONTACT:   Sam Hahn, Area Program Leader of Kids Vision for Life OC at kidsvisionforlifeoc@gmail.com or phone (949) 338-9340 

community service

Community Service: South County Outreach Vision Screening

EVENT:  South County Outreach vision screening for the low income and homeless. Looking for either 3 optometrists to volunteer the full day or 6 optometrists to volunteer for half of the day.

DATE:  Saturday, May 16, 2015

LOCATION:  South County Outreach Center – 7 Whatney, Irvine, CA 92618 

TIMES:  8:30 am until 4:00 pm

To Volunteer Please CONTACT:  Bev Miller, OD - millrose13@gmail.com