Category Archives: Causes of Blurry Vision

Local Miami Gorilla Undergoes Cataract Surgery

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Josephine is a 42 year old, 160 pound gorilla that lives in Miami at the MetroZoo.  She had severe cataracts that made her vision so blurry – they only allowed her to see shadows.  The cataracts were impairing her vision to the point where her quality of life was becoming severely diminished.

Recently, Josephine underwent cataract surgery – which is a very common surgery for humans (especially here  in South Florida) but, is extremely rare in gorillas (it has only been performed a handful of times).  The surgery was very risky due to Josephine’s advanced age of 42 (gorillas usually live to around age 50) and the necessity to administer general anesthesia.

Josephine had top ranking human and veterinary Eye Doctors attending to her pre-op and her surgery.   They were able to remove her cloudy lenses (cataracts) inside of her eyes and replace the old lenses with new, clear synthetic ones to hopefully restore the clarity of her vision once again.

Human Eye Doctor,  Dr Frank Spektor, described her cataracts as “hard as baseballs” once they were removed from Joespine’s eyes.  He also described the procedure as “Exhilarating….and exhausting.”

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Video: Martha Stewart Talks About Annual Eye Exam Importance

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Ask Dr Dawn Bearden… or any Eye Doctor or Staff member at Visionary Eyecare in Pembroke Pines or Sunrise….and they will always tell you that having an annual eye exam is very important.  But why?!?!???

Is it because your eyeglasses prescription changes every year and you need to get new glasses?!?!??!  Well, often the prescription can change from year to year BUT, there are MORE IMPORTANT reasons to have your eyes checked annually.

Martha Stewart recently interviewed Optometrist, Dr Rhonda Robinson, about annual eye examinations.  Dr. Robinson explained that the reasons to have an annual eye exam change as a person goes through each life stage.

Babies (6mo to 1 year old) need to have their eyes examined to screen for lazy eye, any visual system developmental problems and eye health issues like tumors inside of their eyes.

School age children need to have their eyes examined yearly for another important reason – for a child around 80% of learning is accomplished through vision.  Yearly exams can help determine if they are using their eyes together vs using one eye more than the other.

We are in a new age where the visual demands of children and teens are being stressed in completely different ways – iPods, cell phones, computers, Blackberries, MySpace & Facebook, texting….the list is endless.


Even SMALL changes in a prescription can make a  HUGE difference in visual comfort.

Adults need to have a yearly eye exam to ensure good eye and systemic health.  The majority of eye medical issues DO NOT cause any visual problems or blur…eye health issues like glaucoma, retinal holes and tears, tumors in and behind the eye etc  may be completely asymptomatic.  A comprehensive eye exam can also help detect systemic problems that you may be unaware of – like diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, multiple sclerosis, brain tumors and more…

Adults around 40 and over usually experience near vision blur called Presbyopia.  Now there are a multitude of options to help correct Presbyopia and give clear near vision while reading – reading glasses, multifocal/bifocal/progressive eye glasses, multifocal/bifocal contact lenses.

Its important for seniors to have yearly eye exams to help detect eye health changes associated with aging – such as cataracts, glaucoma and age related macular degeneration (ARMD / AMD).

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Poll: How Often Do You Throw Away Your 2 Week Disposable Contact Lenses?

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Diabetes and Eye Damage, Stroke, Heart Attack, Kidney Damage, Impotence and More…

Problems In The Body Caused By Diabetes

Problems In The Body Caused By Diabetes

According to a study published in  “Diabetes Care”  – almost 13 percent of all adults aged 20 or older have Diabetes and 40 percent of these people have NOT been diagnosed with either diabetes or pre-diabetes.

Non-Hispanic Blacks and Mexican Americans had TWICE the rate of  Diabetes than Non-Hispanic Whites.

So this demonstrates that you may have diabetes and you may not even know it – often there are no symptoms until the diabetic disease had progressed.

Yearly Eye Examinations with your eye doctor (Optometrist or Ophthalmologist) can often help detect early diabetic signs – even when you are not yet having any symptoms. When an eye doctor examines the inside of your eyes during a dilated retinal exam or through the use of retinal photography he or she can see signs of diabetes which include bleeding and swelling of the retina (the nerve layer that lines the inside of your eyes).

Bleeding And Leaking In Diabetic Eye Disease

Bleeding And Leaking In Diabetic Eye Disease

Common signs of diabetes include increase in hunger, thirst and an increase in urination frequency. If your blood sugar is very high – you can even see a sudden increase in blurry vision.

Diabetes can damage the eyes and cause a permanent decrease in vision… and also increase the risk for stroke, heart attack, kidney damage, impotence and numbness in your fingers and toes.

If you are over 20 and have not had a physical recently – now may be a good time to call your Primary Care Doctor and schedule one…especially if you have been very hungry, thirsty or going to the bathroom a lot!

If  it has been more than 12 months since your last visit to your Eye Doctor – pick up the phone and schedule an appointment….for yourself….. and your family members!

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Online Eye Test for Dry Eye

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CLICK HERE TO TAKE THE DRY EYE TEST


Do you think that you may have Dry Eye??

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Do you have a lot of burning in your eyes?
  • Do you have a lot of tearing in your eyes?
  • Do you experience a lot of itching in your eyes?
  • Do your eyes feel like there is something in them – like an eyelash or hair – even when there is not?
  • Do your eyes feel sandy or gritty?
  • Does your vision intermittently blur and when you blink it clears up?
  • Do you do a lot of work at a computer?
  • Do you do a lot of reading?
  • Do you do a lot of work outdoors?

If you answered YES to any of the questions above – then you may have Dry Eye.

Click on the “DRY EYE TEST” at the top of this post to help to determine if you do have dry eye.

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If you DO have dry eye or answered YES to any of the questions in the above list – schedule an appointment to see your eye doctor. Your eye doctor can help determine what treatment, if any, is best for you.

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Common treatments can include using artificial tears in your eyes frequently throughout the day, fish oil capsules or eye vitamins or capsules to be taken orally, punctal plugs to be inserted or a prescription for a medication like Restasis that can help you produce more tears.

restasis

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Video – Eye Anatomy: The Cornea…and Contact Lenses, Degenerations and Keratoconus

Your eye is like a camera.  There are 2 structures that focus light – much like the lens of a camera.  These 2 structures are the cornea and the lens.  The cornea is the clear front surface of your eye that is located in front of the colored part of your eye (called the iris).

If you are a contact lens wearer – the contact lens sits on the cornea.  Not all corneas are the same size.  Some are more curved or “steep” and others are more “flat”.  It is important to be properly fit for contact lenses by your eye doctor.  If a contact lens is not properly fit, the contact can cause serious problems for the wearer – including corneal distortion, corneal swelling, corneal ulcers, inflammation and more.

A corneal topographer is an instument that can detect any corneal distortions caused from a contact lens.  A contact lens may look and feel “fine” but, it can still be causing problems that you may be unaware of.  Many times sleeping in your contact lenses or overwearing your contacts (wearing a 2 week contact for more than 2 weeks) can cause corneal distortions.

Cornea With Keratoconus

Cornea With Keratoconus

At Visionary Eyecare in Pembroke Pines, Sunrise and Davie- we perform a corneal topography on ALL contact lens patients. During the contact lens eye exam we use the corneal topographer to monitor the health of the patient’s cornea before fitting with a new contact lens and also to monitor the corneal health year to year for established contact lens wearers.

Corneal Topography can also detect some corneal degenerations and corneal dystrophies like keratoconus.  Typically a person with keratoconus has a lot of astigmatistm, distorted vision and possibly sensitivity to light.  The cornea starts to protrude in a “cone-like” fashion.  Most of the time a specialty contact lens can help these patients see clearer and may prevent the corneal dystrophy progression.  In advanced cases, the apex of the cornea may thin so drastically from keratoconus that a corneal transplant may be necessary.

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Video – What is Astigmatism? A Video Description of Astigmatism

Astigmatism is a refractive error –  meaning that the light that is coming into the eye is not focused perfectly on the “film” in back of the eye (called the retina – which is a layer of nerve tissue).  The retina is much like a movie screen or the film in your camera – the image must be focused PERFECTLY on the retina for the eye to see clearly.  If the image is focused in front of the retina or behind the retina – much like a movie screen or camera film – the image will be blurry.  This unfocused image is sent by the retina to the brain – where it is perceived as blurry, cloudy or distorted vision.

Astigmatism is a refractive error caused when the front surface of the eye (the cornea) or the lens (which is located inside the eye behind the colored part of the eye – called the iris) is irregularly shaped and oblong – much like a football.  This irregular shape causes the light to be focused on 2 seperate points – either in front of or behind the retina.  This causes distortion of the vision and blur at all distances.  So objects at a distance and also nearby are blurry and/or distorted.  The higher the degree of astigmatism – the more distortion and blur you will have.

Several methods can focus the light perfectly on the retina for you.  Glasses, contact lenses (called astigmatic or toric contacts) or laser vision correction are aids that are available to help focus the light and images on the retina – which will get you to see clearly again!

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