Voted Best Optometrist in the South Bay Eight Years in a Row!

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Clear Choice Optometry speaks to seniors

JCI Gardens is a senior living apartment with over 100 units that is walking distance from Clear Choice Optometry. The other day I was contacted by their Program Director, Jamie Cho, who asked if I would speak to their residents about eye problems that seniors face. I used to do this type of speaking earlier in my career and I had always found it gratifying to be able to spread some knowledge and help where I could. I agreed, and the event occurred this past Tuesday.

There was a nice crowd of about 30 seniors. The talk centered around 4 of the most common conditions that occur later in life: cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy. These are maladies that we see daily at Clear Choice Optometry. I gave a brief overview of all four with an explanation of symptoms, causes and treatments. During the Q and A, I was surprised by the lively discussion. Many residents were concerned and a little confused regarding their unique situation and the medications they were taking. They did not know why they were taking certain medications or what was wrong with their eyes. Some were wearing glasses but felt like the glasses they had were not doing a good job.

Their confusion was a reminder to me that many problems of this type start with the doctor not clearly communicating what is wrong, what needs to be done and why all this is happening. If a patient does not understand the doctor’s explanation, I feel that the onus is on the doctor to give a clearer explanation. Often doctors will speak in technical medical jargon or talk very fast. Neither will promote patient understanding. I always strive to speak in plain English at a pace patients can understand. This is especially important for seniors who can have hearing difficulties along with memory issues.

Overall, the experience was a positive one for me, and judging by the interest of the audience, it was positive for them as well. I do want to acknowledge Jamie who did a fantastic job in translation as did another staffer, Setsuo. Without their help many of the audience would not have come. My best wishes to all the fine seniors at JCI Gardens and best wishes to seniors struggling with the complexities of their medical conditions.

  • 08 Fri 2018
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Named Best Optometrist for the 9th Year in a Row!

We were recently told that our office has been named the Best Optometrist in the South Bay for the ninth year in a row!  The official announcement won’t come out in the newspaper until July.  We wanted to take this chance to say thank you to all of our patients who voted for us.  We are so grateful to you for voting and for giving us the opportunity to provide your eye care.  We realize that having you as our patients is a privilege and we take it seriously.

Some have asked us how do we keep winning the Best Optometrist award?  There is really no secret formula other than the fact that we take caring for our patients seriously.  We will always go the extra mile to provide our patients what is truly the best for them.  Our patient’s best interests are at the heart of all we do.  We also are continually working to bring you the best eye examination, using the latest technology while maintaining great customer service.  We want your experience to match up to our office mission statement: Unsurpassed Patient Care and Satisfaction.  To this end we have just purchased a new automated instrument that reads the power of glasses lenses and a new computer to run it.  In addition, we have recently made improvements to our air conditioning.  Some rooms were too cold and others too hot!  Also this year we will be purchasing a new system that takes the very precise measurements needed to fit high tech progressive lenses.   These changes are all being made to continue to provide you with the Best Optometrist experience and help us live up to the award you have given us.  Thank you again!  With your support we’ll be going for TEN in a row next year!

  • 06 Thu 2018
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Clear Choice Optometry Does a 5 K!

A few months ago,  we all decided to get more healthy.  How would we do that?  Let’s run (or walk) a 5K.  We did it on May 20th and had a good time.  We met at the office and carpooled to Santa Monica for the 7 AM start.  There were eighteen of us all together.  Some walked, some ran and others did both.  The weather was great and conversation and fellowship even better.   Most of us went out to breakfast after.  I think we may have eaten more calories than were burned off!   We had a great time doing something fun outside the office.

 

  • 06 Thu 2018
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This is the time of year to be thankful!

With Christmas around the corner and New Years coming, we often reflect on the year.  2017 has been a good year for our practice.  We officially adopted the name Clear Choice Optometry, we saw many new patients and we had a great staff to take care of them.  Dr. Fukunaga has been seeing many of our new patients and continues to get rave reviews.  I am particularly thankful to some of our long-term staff who have been with us for many years.    Many of you know Susan, Flor and Natalie.  Stephanie has also been with us for many years, but she works behind the scenes billing and working with insurances.  Having long-term employees makes for a stable work place and indicates to me that our practice is a decent place to work.  Of course, I am most thankful for you, our patients, who continue to trust us with your most precious sense: vision.  Thank you! Clear Choice Optometry wish you a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

  • 12 Tue 2017
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Christmas Party!

Christmas Party!

We had our office Christmas party this past Saturday.  The party is mainly a chance for me (Dr. Hirano) to say thank you to a wonderful staff that works incredibly hard to fulfill our office mission statement: Unsurpassed Patient Care and Satisfaction.  We usually pick a nice restaurant that has a private room, so we can play a few games, give out some awards and listen to me with a few reflections of the past year.  This year is it was at Brio, a relatively new restaurant attached to the Del Amo mall.  I’ll usually make up a game and it is always good for a lot of laughs.   The game this year had 3 teams trying to guess trivia answers about myself and Dr. Fukunaga.  It’s a time where the staff can get to know us a little better and where we can laugh at some of the silly things that have happened in our past.

One highlight of the evening is awarding a special prize to one of the staff.  All year long we have an internal reward system where staff members can recognize other employees for going above and beyond the call of duty to help other staffers or patients.  I keep track during the year and the person that was recognized the most gets the prize.  This year Evelia (Bella) Loza won and I could not be prouder of her. She has learned so many new technical skills since coming to Clear Choice Optometry.  This, coupled with her outstanding personal care to our patients, makes her a true asset to the office.  Congratulations Bella!

There is a Secret Santa gift exchange and we end the night with me expressing my gratitude for the incredible team we have and giving them a present.  This year the present was carry-on bag with our logo and name embroidered on it.  All in all, a good night, with fun and good fellowship outside the office.  Clear Choice Optometry wishes you and your family a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

  • 12 Wed 2017
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Thanksgiving is really about people

In our office we close for the long Thanksgiving weekend.  This year as always, we will take off Thursday and come back on the following Monday.  It is the longest time we are closed for the whole year.  All the staff look forward to this time of year.   We get to spend extended time with family and friends.  Dr. Hirano has an amazing dinner with his wife’s family and looks forward to his mother-in-law’s wonderful stuffing!  Dr. Fukunaga will enjoy her mom’s scrumptious homemade cranberry sauce and her sister’s famous cornbread.  And then, of course, she will be up at the crack dawn to get some Black Friday Shopping done.  Other staff will take a quick trip to see out of town relatives and loved ones.  Thanksgiving is an important time to reconnect with the people that mean the most to you in life.  We at Clear Choice Optometry hope that you and yours will get to reconnect with those that mean the most to you.  Wishing you a blessed Thanksgiving.

  • 11 Tue 2017
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Change!

Isn’t it funny how life is always changing!  You get a new job or car, meet an new friend. Or, if you are older, get a new ache or pain!  Things are always changing at my practice too.  Thankfully most of the changes are generally for the better.  Right now, one of my long-time employees, Alex Ramos has decided to pursue his dream of becoming an officer and pilot in the Air Force.  It’s a change that is good for him, but sad for us.  He is leaving us and we will miss him!  In his place, Yvonne Silva has joined our Clear Choice Optometry family as one of our opticians.  She started at the end of October and is a wonderful addition to our team.  Welcome Yvonne!

Another change is apparent by looking at the practice as a whole.  When I moved my practice to our current location in 2006, I had four employees and one computer.  Eleven years later, we have 14 employees, 14 computers and several new high-tech diagnostic instruments.  Dr. Fukunaga joined us in 2013 and together we have completed hundreds of hours of continuing education to keep our optometric knowledge sharp.  All these changes are meant to help us accomplish our mission statement: Unsurpassed Patient Care and Satisfaction.  Our goal is to do whatever it takes to serve our patients with state of the art technology and the personal care we would want our own family to receive.   We are thankful that hundreds of our patients have acknowledged our efforts by writing 5 star reviews for us on Yelp and Google.

Change is inevitable in a practice and in life.  It is our hope that the changes and improvements we make in our practice will benefit you with improved vision care and a smooth, pleasant patient experience.  We also hope that the changes in your own life will be positive and lead to much joy and contentment.  Socrates said, “The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building on the new.”  Here’s to all of us building on the new!

  • 11 Fri 2017
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Best Children’s Vision Care

Undiagnosed vision problems are a major factor in many children with poor educational performance, decreased attention spans and learning difficulties. It just is not enough that they can read the chart at the pediatrician’s office or at the school screening performed by the nurse. There are many times when the child’s previously undiagnosed vision problem is corrected, and other educational or behavioral issues decrease or resolve entirely.

Dr. Hirano and Dr. Fukunaga recommend that at a absolute minimum, all children should have a complete eye exam by 

Age 4. Sooner if there are any concerns that the parent may have. These concerns may include the child not looking at the parent’s face in infancy or with a crossed eye, a toddler unable to see the plane in the sky that is plainly visible, a preschooler that gets very close to look at a book or closes one eye to read. With any symptom like this, the child should be seen as soon as possible.

The eye doctors both have extensive training in taking care of children’s vision and eyes. Through decades of experience and thousands of examinations they have developed methods to accurately and thoroughly assess the eyes of children as young as infants. We look forward to taking care of your kids!

  • 07 Fri 2017
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Best Treatment Available

Undiagnosed vision problems are a major factor in many children with poor educational performance, decreased attention spans and learning difficulties. It just is not enough that they can read the chart at the pediatrician’s office or at the school screening performed by the nurse. There are many times when the child’s previously undiagnosed vision problem is corrected, and other educational or behavioral issues decrease or resolve entirely.

Dr. Hirano and Dr. Fukunaga recommend that at a absolute minimum, all children should have a complete eye exam by 

Age 4. Sooner if there are any concerns that the parent may have. These concerns may include the child not looking at the parent’s face in infancy or with a crossed eye, a toddler unable to see the plane in the sky that is plainly visible, a preschooler that gets very close to look at a book or closes one eye to read. With any symptom like this, the child should be seen as soon as possible.

The eye doctors both have extensive training in taking care of children’s vision and eyes. Through decades of experience and thousands of examinations they have developed methods to accurately and thoroughly assess the eyes of children as young as infants. We look forward to taking care of your kids!

  • 07 Fri 2017
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