Seeking an Ophthalmologist

Parent Q&A

Glaucoma specialist needed Aug 4, 2017 (4 responses below)
Ophthalmologist May 23, 2017 (2 responses below)
Looking for Eye Doctor May 23, 2017 (5 responses below)
  • Glaucoma specialist needed

    (4 replies)

    Looking for a very experienced glaucoma specialist preferably from large center like UCSF, Stanford, UCD etc. Asking for a friend. Her mother is loosing an eyesight and her opthalmologyst feels that no treatment options can help and that surgery would not help too. She is hoping to get a second opinion from a doctor with great reputation and experience in treating glaucoma who might know all newest treatments for it, surgical or not. If you or someone you know had sucess in treating glaucoma and can recommend the doctor who helped you, it would be very much appreciated. 

    Thank you in advance. 

    RE: Glaucoma specialist needed ()

    I strongly recommend Andrew Iwach, a wonderful seasoned ophthalmologist in SF and also the East Bay. When my MD retired from UCSF, he recommended I see Dr. Iwach, who focusses exclusively on glaucoma. Your mother will be in good hands!

    RE: Glaucoma specialist needed ()

    I don't know if this will be helpful but  at Kaiser Oakland the glaucoma specialist is Dr. Ingu Yun (Pretty sure that's it).
    I had an acute attack of narrow angle glaucoma a few years back and he was the guy I saw. He did my surgery and
    guided me thru my healing. He came highly recommended. I completely trusted hm especially after going to UCSF Pacific
    Heights Med Center for a 2nd opinion and THAT glaucoma specialist (can't remember his name) said If Dr. Yun is 
    treating me, I"m in good hands.  If you're not a Kaiser member this may not be useful, but thought I'd throw it out to you.

    Good luck.

    RE: Glaucoma specialist needed ()

    Second the vote for doctor Iwach and his group. I actually see Dr. radhakrishnan for my glaucoma and she has been an excellent knowledgeable caring physician. Their group specializes in glaucoma.

  • Ophthalmologist

    (2 replies)

    I have cataracts that are developing, and some preliminary signs of glaucoma, and may be looking at laser surgery, etc.  I'm looking for a high quality ophthalmologist: someone who is technically great, but who also understands the value of my time, and whose number one priority is my vision and health.  I'd prefer someone in the Berkeley Area, but I prioritize quality of doctor versus location.  It seems that all the recommendations for ophthalmologists are from a few years ago, so it would be good to get some more recent recommendations.

    RE: Ophthalmologist ()

    Robert Sorenson is who looks after my aging eyes. 

    RE: Ophthalmologist ()

    If you can get a referral to East Bay Retina Consultants, I would recommend them. I've had a good experience with Dr. Soraya Rofagha. 

    I have had to wait sometimes, and the appointments take a while because of the tests and dilation. They have very good equipment so they can get great images of your eyes.

    UCB Optometry has no respect for your time, but they are competent. On the other hand, my insurance covers the exams with them, but not the detailed imaging.

  • Looking for Eye Doctor

    (5 replies)

    Can someone recommend a very good ophthalmologist  in the East Bay, preferably Berkeley or Albany?  I no longer want to the UCB School of Optometry and have 2 to 3 hour appointments.  I am middle aged  and have bifocals.


    RE: Looking for Eye Doctor ()

    I recently needed new glasses and was unhappy with the ophthalmology department at Kaiser.  I went to Moderne Eye on College avenue and saw Dr. Susan Lin.  Both my parents had glaucoma and my mom has macular degeneration and I wanted not just a new prescription but someone to really check out my eyes for any potential issues.  Dr. Lin was everything I want in an eye doctor.  She was warm and thorough and I cannot recommend her strongly enough.  Good luck!

    RE: Looking for Eye Doctor ()

    Highly recommend Dr. Dacanay at Bellevue Eye Center, he's extremely knowledgeable and also cute as a button! I was literally going blind because of this weird, weird thing where my corneas were floating away from my ... um ... like they were constantly getting detached?? It was horrifying and he stuck with it until we beat it together. Really cannot recommend him highly enough.

    RE: Looking for Eye Doctor ()

    Try Solano Eye Care on Solano just east of Tacoma.  I've been going there for years [almost since they opened shop back in the 80s], and they're just great.  I prefer Dr. Woodring, but they're all excellent. 

Archived Q&A and Reviews



Opthamologist needed for corneal disease- Fuch's

July 2011

I need an opthamologist for my Fuch's dystrophy. When I search for one I can only find specialist for retinas and things, like glaucoma, etc. I have tried yelp and the BPN archives, Alta Bates website, etc. Can anyone recommend one? Thank you. anon

Two cornea specialists who come to mind are David Vastine, M.D. in Oakland and David Hwang, M.D. at UCSF. I have friends and family who have seen both and reports are excellent. You will likely need a referral from a general ophthalmologist. Good luck to you. Anon

Ophthalmologist for Pterygium

May 2011

My daughter needs to have a Pterygium removed from one of her eyes. Does anyone have any personal experience they can share and can anyone recommend a good Ophthalmologist either at Kaiser or elsewhere in the Bay area?

I had same removed from my right eye a number of years ago (actually had conjunctiva transplant as my pterygium was on the larger side). Mine never grew back and you can hardly tell it was ever there. That said, I highly recommend Dr. Dan Goodman who is based in San Francisco. He may have additional offices now, but where ever he is located it's worth the effort. Pterygium Free

My husband has pterygiums in both eyes. About 15 years ago, he saw Dr. Sanford Severin (who has now relocated to San Ramon, I believe) but it grew back rather quickly. Then we saw Dr. Daniel F. Goodman in San Francisco. He is awesome and after treatment, they did not grow back. We really feel that Dr. Goodman is one of the leading cornea experts in the Bay Area and he is very easy to talk to. Good luck!! Linda

Opthamologist for Glaucoma

April 2010

Greetings and Peace, I am looking for an excellent opthamologist in the east bay regardless of health plan/insurance taken. thanks, erika erika

My own opthalmologist, Stephen Post in Alameda, told me that Patricia Wong is the area's go-to for glaucoma. She has offices in Oakland on Pill Hill and in SF (downtown, I think.) Good luck.

Ophthalmologist for possible cataract surgery

Sept 2009

I am new in town and searching for a good opthamologist. I have very poor eyesight and might need cataract surgery and want someone in the East Bay. Thanks! East Coast transplant

I have been well served by Dr. David Vastine's office in Oakland on 30th St and Telegraph. Dr. Vastine himself worked with me at one time, and I am now being treated by Dr. Lim, who is new to the practice. Everyone there seems very thorough, professional, and caring. The office is rather far out of the way for me, but I would still rather go there than anywhere else. They have a Walnut Creek practice as well. Linda OD

I go to Dr. Stephen Cohen in Alameda. I am very, very myopic, and am thus a little extra careful with my eyes, and he's been great. My friend's daughter, who has amblyopia, also goes to him, with satisfaction. Wendy

Opthomologist for cornea implant

June 2009

I need a cornea implant and am looking for a very good optomologist in the East Bay. Pat

Dr. David Demartini is excellent. My husband had a very successful cornea transplant done by him. He has offices in both Oakland by Summit, and in Walnut creek. 925-947-0888 anon

Richard Litwin, Berkeley Ophthalmology

Feb 2006

Does anybody have any experience with Dr. Richard Litwin at Berkeley Opthalmology? I've checked the website and haven't seen anything. Thanks

OK, the good news first: I've been going here for probably 5 -8 years, and will probably continue going here. They are reasonably efficient, do a reasonably good exam, etc. Here's the mediocre endorsement part: 1. I've NEVER seen Dr. Litwin-don't even know what he looks like. My exams are always done by very very young junior optometrists, some of whom don't realize that what they are saying reflects a lack of experience. Only twice have I been seen by the same person in 2 yrs. I assume they don't pay their junior people well, and I am guessing the office is a stepping stone after optometry school to establishing your own practice. If I found another office that I loved (that my plan covered) I'd jump ship in a minute, but this is the best office on my plan (the other option is Dr Sorensen, who allowed a ''trained'' receptionist to do my eye exam--and yes, she admitted that she did not have any training or licensing other than what the doctors had shown her--which is not even legal, and it seemed like it was a routine since the patients are apparently seriously overbooked). Good news about Litwin's office is that the office is actually a relatively pleasant space.

I've seen Dr. Litwin and he's been fine -- the office is very busy, but they are thorough and I think they are likely to catch problems. I haven't had anything serious -- just pink eye, and routine care. They were good about giving me a Saturday appointment, when I had a problem that could have been serious. Carol

Corrective vision surgery - pros and cons

Oct 2005

Interested in whether BPNers have some thoughts about corrective vision surgery. I understand there are two types of surgery -- laser correction and corneal implants. What type of surgery is considered safest? About how much does it cost per eye at this point? I would be interested in hearing both positive and negative experiences with either type of surgery. tired of glasses

There is a failure rate with all medical procedures. I have heard that in 3% of lasix (etc?) surgeries there are complications. My friend is one of those 3% and is legally blind, having had several surgeries that attempted to correct the problem which has also been very painful. Dry eyes may occur in about 10% of cases (you should find exact figures) and visual problems at night also occur. Also, consider the long term effects, given that the symptom and not the cause (poor vision habits, stress, etc.) may be treated. Look into natural vision care, which has been around a lot longer than the surgeries. There still isn't a free lunch

I had LASIK vision correction surgery in fall of 2000 at the Aris Laser Institute in SF at St. Francis Medical Center. Since childhood I was extremely nearsighted (-8.00 in both eyes) with mild astigmatism. Five years post-surgery, my corrected vision is still 20/15---better than 20/20---with no side effects. I realize that not everyone experiences such a positive and trouble-free outcome, but if you are a good candidate and find a qualified surgeon, LASIK can be life-changing. Regarding cost, at the time it was $3500 per eye (ouch), but I have heard that prices have gone down somewhat. Some insurance carriers do cover a percentage of the fee. Hope this helps. Michelle (Rockridge)

Ophthalmologist in Oakland/Berkeley

Jan 2005

we are looking for people's current recommendations for an excellent opthamologist in the Berkeley/Oakland area. We want someone who is strong in diagnosis, as one of us has developed some symptoms that the optometrist we had been seeing cannot explain. Thanks, Loni

Erich Horn,MD is a great ophthamologist. I've had the most thorough exams, and he is an incredibly nice person as well. His office is near Summit Hosp. in Oakland...the number is 836- 2122. Address: 491 30th St. Happy Eyes

I highly recommend Drs. Sarver and Yokoi in Rockridge. I've gone to them for about 15 years. I sent my father there after he struggled with vision problems that couldn't be corrected by two other doctors and now he's been going to them for about 5 years with no complaints. 20/20 with my contacts

I highly recommend Harold Woodring on Solano (1600 block). Very thorough and knowledgeable. Spotted a potential problem I had (accurate diagnosis confirmed afer referral to specialist) that prior opthlalmologists had missed. Takes VSP if you have that insurance. 526-3937.

I know you were dissatisfied with your optometrist, but if you're willing to give optometry one more try, go to the UC Berkeley Optometry Center. They are thorough to a fault. Every exam seems to uncover some obscure (but fortunately not detrimental) condition. I am always examined initially by a student, but then the instructor (who is a bona fide optometrist) rechecks everything. (510) 642-2020 David

Not sure if this will work for you, but there is an opthalmology clinic at the School of Optometry on the UC campus (check out http:// Several years back, I had a relatively rare eye problem -- entirely missed by my opthalmologist, I might add -- and the folks at the Optometry School caught it when I went in to get a new pair of glasses. They sent me right over to the opthalmology clinic, where it was swiftly and effectively treated. I even got free treatment for agreeing to allow the students to look at my eyes, so they could learn about this particular problem.

I find that the School of Optometry provides really excellent care -- mostly because so many people are looking so carefully at your eyes for so long Karen

Opthamologist in Lafayette/Walnut Creek/San Ramon

Dec 2004

I am looking for an Opthamologist in the Lafayette/Walnut Creek/San Ramon area. Any suggestions? Susan

you didn't say whether or not you have a specific eye condition, but for general ophthalmology, i'd recommend maria fang, MD, at pacific eye care in walnut creek. suzie

Ophthalmologist in Albany/El Cerrito

September 2003

We are looking for a really good eye doctor/ophthalmologist who will give regular eye exams/check-ups but who is also knowledgeable about eye problems that might develop in someone who has high blood sugar/prediabetes. We would prefer someone in the Albany/El Cerrito area to cut down on travel time, but would be interested in other recommendations as well. We would also like to find an individual or practice where appointments don't involve hour-long waits, which has been a problem in the past. Thanks. Elaine We have seen two doctors (one retired) at Albany/Berkeley Optometry (next to Toy-Go-Round) and been very happy with both. Currently we see Dr. Verdon and have never had to wait more than a few minutes for an appointment. Valerie

He's not in Alb/ElC but I love my Ophthalmologist in Oaklnad by Summit Hospital. I first went to Doc Hilton, but when I needed my re-check a year later he had sold the practice to Dr. Eugene Lit. I was wary of seeing the new doc as I'd really been comfortable with Doc Hilton but Doc Hilton did a great job on choosing a successor. Doc Lit has a great ''bedside manner,'' explains things clearly, asks good questions, listens to mine. My two appts at that office were both on-time and the first appt was a last minute going-on-travel appointent. (510) 444-1600 cynthia

I've been happy with Dr. Mia Miller in El Cerrito Plaza. 526- 2242 Jennifer N.

Opthamologists for Adults

Nov 2003

Re: Walnut Creek/Lamorinda optometrist

My optometrist, Dr. Mark Drucker (he's actually an opthamologist) isn't in Lamorinda but he's close - he's in Walnut Creek by the Broadway Shopping Center. He does have an optometrist working for him who is also OK (but I like him better). I've seen him for almost 20 years, since he first started, and have been very satisfied. Colleen

March 2002

About 7 years ago, I had a procedure done for ''dry eyes.'' The opthamologist placed silicone plugs in my exit tear ducts, which helped my eyes retain more tears and stay lubricated. According to my optomotrist, the plugs are gone. The tear situation has gotten worse lately, and I'd like to find an opthamologist to do the procedure again. Unfortunately, I saw the doctor 7 years ago in Cincinnati, and I don't even know his name to call and get a referral. Has anyone ever had such a procedure done here in the Bay Area? Maria

ask your optometrist. he or she may be licensed to insert the plugs. if not, come to optima in hayward. we have several ophthalmologists and optometrists who perform the procedure. ( we also highly recommend the addition of flaxseed oil to your diet to help treat dry eyes. an optometrist

August 2001

I am looking for a good Ophthalmologist - an MD, not an Optometrist in the Berkeley/Oakland area for adults. I have looked at the past postings and there are only two doctors recommended. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Patricia

Hi--I have a great recommendation for an opthomalogist: Dr. Sorenson, at 3010 Colby St., Berkeley (behind Alta Bates). Phone # is 848.1413. There are three Dr. Sorensons in this practice, father and two sons, I think. I like going to Dr. Lionel Sorenson (the father). He's very sweet, caring and extremely knowledgeable Christine

I go to a practice in Oakland that has great eye doctors. I can recommend Scott Yokoi or Larry Sarver. 655 3797. The Sarvers (there is a brother and a father) are connection with Cal and are well-respected in the East Bay. Frances

In July 2000 I developed a serious eye infection and was referred on an emergency basis to David W. Vastine, M.D., 491 30th St., Oakland, 444-0603. I saw him about six times in two weeks and thought he was great -- knew what he was doing, explained everything, etc. His staff was also very helpful in sorting out the usual insurance/referral tangles. Jane

since you need to see an ophthalmologist instead of an optometrist, you might have a serious eye condition. depending on the actual problem, there are several MDs for recommendation. for glaucoma, try Todd Severin on solano in albany (he also sees patients at UCB); for a retinal disease, try Scott Lee in oakland or Shirin Barez (a woman!) at UCB; for LASIK, cataracts or corneal disease, Mark Mandel in hayward. for oculoplastics, Rona Silkiss (another woman!) in oakland or Chris DeBacker in hayward. UC Berkeley School of Optometry also has an ophthalmology clinic and the students who work with them are very eager to learn. good luck. suzie


ophthamologist: Lionel Sorenson, 3010 Colby, Berk (sorry, but it's close to Oakland, right near Alta Bates); 848-1413. The office is a father/son team. Linda

1999 I like Dr. Robert Sorenson in Berkeley. We all go to him yearly for eye exams thru Vision Services Plan. None of us wear glasses, so I might not be the best referral, but he was able to do an exam on a 3-year-old, which isn't easy! Also, he discovered an eye condition in me that is pretty rare and luckily, not serious. Nice bedside manner, too. Nancy

I have seen Dr. Robert Sorenson once for a standard eye exam (Dr. Lionel is his father) and found him to be quite nice, friendly, and competent. I will be seeing him again in a few weeks. As far as I remember, the staff was also good. Lucy

Opthalmologist: I recommend Dr. Mark Mandel. He's in Hayward, but he's the best, and worth the extra driving time. His office phone number is (510)886-3937. Judy

Regarding the Optometry School's Clinic on campus:
An Optometrist works on vision problems and can refer medical problems to an Ophthalmologist, who is an MD. The clinic at Minor Hall is mostly Optometrists and students training to be Optometrists. We do have an Ophthalmology unit several days a week and we have two excellent Optometry instructors who can solve 95% of the medical problems before referring to our Ophthalmologists. Tang Center also has Ophthalmologists on duty but they are not connected directly with the Optometry School. Barbara

You can't do any better than William Good, M.D. Offices in Walnut Creek and San Ramon on this side of the Bay. Offices in SF and Larkspur over the bridges. He is the best!! Anon

My daughter has been seeing Dr. Tamura at Kaiser Richmond since she was just over a year old (she's now about three-and-a-half) for strabismus. We really like him a lot. He is very good with my daughter; he's calm and quiet, very soothing. He is very patient and encourages my daughter when she is confused about what he wants her to do so he can evaluate her. He is very conscientious about making sure we understand what his proposed treatment is, and why he is suggesting it.

My only problem with Dr. Tamura is not with him as a person or as a physician, but with his apparent popularity. It can be quite difficult to schedule an appointment with him; if a postcard arrives in the mail with the next scheduled appointment (scheduled by computer), you'd better hope you'll be able to keep it because if you need to reschedule, there will be a long wait.

We have the opportunity to change insurance soon (new job for my husband), but I am seriously considering staying with Kaiser, so that we can continue to see Dr. Tamura. I recommend him highly

Holistic Opthamologist

Jan 2003

I have looked at the recommendations for opthalmologists on the web site, but I am looking for one who is open to, or even better actually practices, 'alternative' approaches to vision care. For instance, eye exercises, relating eye health to overall health, proper use of the eyes, diet, herbs, etc. Although my visual acuity is far from 'normal' I have functioned quite well for many years without glasses except for driving. Advancing age however has made me realize that consulting with a professional would be a good idea. But I'm not interested in someone who is going to say, ''Oh, you just need stronger glasses''. I'm looking for a more holistic approach. East bay would be preferable but I'd consider beyond. anonymous

try dr. august reader in SF. he probably would not call himself a holistic ophthalmologist, but he may be the closest thing. he is extremely easy to talk to and he does recommend certain dietary supplements for eye health. most of all, he is an excellent and reputable doctor. suzie