Our Lead Technician, Carol Marsh-Urquhart and her very special friend, Corey
Two 11 year old kids – Corey and Alliston – came into the Visionary Eyecare Office in Pembroke Pines… they were selling candy TO BUY THEIR OWN school supplies when our lead tech, Carol Marsh-Urquhart, was in charge. Carol was so touched by their humbleness and exuberant entrepreneurial energy in finding a way to buy their own school supplies that she thought of ANOTHER WAY to help them get their supplies.
She contacted her church – Christ The Rock in Cooper City – and inquired about any program that would help kids in need. Carol was able to get 2 book bags filled with school supplies for the two youngsters. She then called the kids, Corey and Alliston, who were extremely happy to FINALLY have their school supplies!!!
During this encounter, Carol also had noticed that Corey had a very severe and cosmetically troublesome eye turn and thought about ways in which she could help him with his problem – maybe there was a way that she could help him get his eyes properly aligned….
Carol spoke with our Eye Doctor, then connected him with Nova Optometry Pediatric Department for his specialized optometrist eye exam and then connected him with the Lenscrafters OneSight Program so he was able to get a new pair of glasses.
Carol also was able to contact a local Pediatric Ophthalmologist, Dr Bruce Miller, for Corey. After a couple of visits to the Ophthalmologist, surgery is now scheduled to correct Corey’s eye turn. Corey’s mother had absolutely NO IDEA that her son’s eye turn could be resolved – she thought that Corey was just born that way and that nothing could be done about this very cosmetic eye turn problem. She thought that Corey would have to live with his eye turn forever.
Corey and his mother are now eternally thankful to Visionary Eyecare’s lead tech, Carol, for helping her son to be able to live his life without this troublesome eye turn – called strabismus.
Around 10 million school children in America have vision conditionsthat can negatively affect learning. This can be prevented by taking kids to get their first formal eye exam with an Eye Dr in an Eye Clinic BEFORE they enter school. A child’s first eye test with an Eye Doctor should be done between ages 3 and 4. At Visionary Eyecare in Pembroke Pines, Sunrise (Next to Lenscrafters) and Davie (Next to Pearle Vision) – our Optometrists, Dr Bearden, Dr Tenn and Dr McCulloh, begin to see children at age 4.
Allen Picture Cards
A child does NOT need to be able to verbalize or know their alphabetfor the examinerto perform a comprehensive eye examination.
There are numerous eye charts for children!!
Lea Flip Chart
Allen and Lea charts have pictures or shapes on them that youngsters can identify. The Broken wheel chartallows the child to tell the examiner which wheel on the car is “broken” . The Tumbling E chart (also known as the illiterate chart) allows a child to just POINT in the direction that the “legs of the E” are pointing in.
Allen Picture Eye Chart
Often our children can not express to us when they are having problems with their vision. They may not even realize that they are experiencing vision problems. Sometimes children will try to compensate for vision issues by closing one eye, rubbing their eyes excessively, squinting, skipping over words or loose their place when they are reading.
Kids may start having difficulty in school due to an “unknown” reason. A recent study indicated that up to 60 percent of youngsters that have been identified as “problem learners” or “learning disorder” actually suffer from an undetected visual condition.
Tumbling E Eye Chart
A vision problem is not suspected in many children because they were able to pass the school vision screening or the pediatrician vision screening. These children may still have visual issues but, they were not detected on the screening. Only a comprehensive eye exam, done by an Eye Doctor (Optometrist or Ophthalmologist) will be able to detect subtle vision problems.
Broken Wheel Eye Test
Vision issues need to be detected and corrected before age 7 to prevent lifelong problems such as lazy eye (amblyopia), eye turn (strabismus), learning disabilities and behavior problems.
This is a story of how an eye exam can actually change the course of a child’s life.
Jennifer is a loving mother of an 5 year old little boy. Her son is absolutely adorable and a really good child yet, in school he was being labeled a “difficult / problem child” and a “disturbance in the classroom”. He often did not want to pay attention in school, frequently “acted out” and even threw his books. He just did not seem to be interested in reading or learning – at ALL.
As a mother, she knew that this behavior in school seemed a bit odd and out of character for the sweet, loving boy that she knew her son to be at home. The comments from the school really alarmed Jennifer that something was definitely wrong.
Her young son had passed his Pediatrician’s vision screening, AS WELL AS the school vision screening but, acting on motherly instinct – she ignored the comments that “his vision is fine” and took him to see the Optometrist, Dr Dawn Bearden, for a routine eye exam. Eye Doctor, Dr Bearden, manages the Visionary Eyecare (Independent Doctor of Optometry) offices next to Lenscrafters in Pembroke Pinesand Sunrise and also next to Pearle Vision in Davie.
During the routine eye examination – Dr Bearden discovered that Jennifer’s son was able to read the eye chart with just a little bit of blur but, he needed eyeglasses to correct the strain that he was feeling while reading. Once the strain was relieved from wearing the glasses full time…the child suddenly became more attentive in school and began reading ALL THE TIME.
Actually, he loved reading SO MUCH that he won an award from his kindergarten teacher for reading!! He even received an award from the school’s Principal for “Most Improved Reader”…he actually read 26 books within 30 days. WOW!!
Jennifer is now a HUGE advocate to have children get eye exams from an eye doctor and for parents NOT to be lulled into complacency by their child passing a vision screening. Her child could have gone through life in the classroom being labeled a “problem” and a “disturbance” simply because he could not see well and his eyes were being strained in school.
Jennifer states the following in her video:
No matter how well a parent THINKS their child sees well or if a child is labeled a “problem” in the classroom because he does not pay attention…it may just be because he can’t see well.
The eye exam has made a HUGE difference and my son has excelled, he is doing wonderful and his behavior is like “night and day”!
“I’m a big ADVOCATE…get your child checked by a (eye care) professional!!”
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.
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.
As reported on Twitter by Prevent Blindness America and Prevent Blindness Florida (@PBFlorida), the Florida House of Representatives adopted HR 9095, a resolution recognizing the seriousness of sports-related eye injuries in children and the importance of sports eye safety to protect the children of Florida.
Eye injuries are the leading cause of blindness in children in the United States, and 90% of these injuries can be avoided with the use of protective eyewear. Prevent Blindness America applauds the Florida House of Representatives for their commitment to children’s eye health. For more information about sports eye injuries and how you can protect your child’s sight, visit the children’s sports eye safety section of the Vision Learning Center.
Dr Dawn Bearden, Dr Anna Kay Tenn, Dr Emily McCulloh and Dr Alyx Lin at Visionary Eyecare in Pembroke Pines and Sunrise routinely ask about children’s sports and hobbies during the medical and social history portion of the eye exam. Children under the age of 12 are routinely given a prescription for polycarbonate lenses for their eyeglasses. This polycarbonate material is more impact resistant – which is important for children due to their active lifestyle. If a child participates in any impact or ball sport – then the eye doctors at Visionary Eyecare will also recommend sports goggles for eye safety.
Sports goggles are excellent for protecting your eyes (in BOTH adults and children) while playing any type of impact or ball sport such as basketball, racquetball, soccer, baseball, softball, tennis, rugby etc. Many eye injuries can occur from a ball or racket hitting you in the face near the eye – or an impact with another player’s elbow, knee, head etc. while playing the sport.
Some serious eye health issues that can occurfrom these impacts include retinal detachment, subconjunctival hemorrhage (bright red blood spot on the white of the eye), ocular inflammation (iritis/uveitis) and even cataracts or glaucoma that can occur YEARS after the injury to the eye.
In persons under 25 years of age, ocular trauma is the number one cause of visual loss.
Parents: Don’t depend on a school vision screening or a Pediatrician vision screening as the only method of assessing your child’s vision. While screenings do help to pick up SOME vision issues – they do not pick up ALL of them. Your child may pass a screen and still have a significant vision problem.
Vision is the MOST important sense for learning. Unfortunately, if a child has a vision problem, has passed the screening and has not had a comprehensive eye exam with an eye doctor…there could be some problems in school . Often a child in this situation is labeled with a “Learning Disorder”. Another common issue is children that have Convergence Insufficiency (which is when the eyes can see clearly but, do not work well together to see near objects for reading) – they are often labeled “ADD”.
Parents be on the lookout for these issues in your child:
Complaints of Fatigue While Reading
Tilt of the Head to See or Read
Losing Their Place While Reading
Sitting Too Close To The TV or Computer
Be aware that vision problems can not only cause problems with learning…..they can also impact a child’s social, emotional and physical development.
This video has a great recommendation:
Get your child to take a 20 second visual break for every 20 minutes they spend on the computer or watching TV. A visual break means to look away – to a far away object. This can sometimes help to combat the rapid progression of nearsightedness (mypoia) in many children.
It is a day that we give back to our community in partnership with Lenscrafters and Pearle Vision to provide Free Eyecare and Free Eyewear to select members of our community.
Here are videos of three of our patients who came in for their eye exam with eye doctor, Dr Dawn Bearden, at Visionary Eyecare(Independent Doctor of Optometry Next to Pearle Vision) in Davie:
Our Patient Amber:
Our Patient Kandra:
Our Patient Corina….her Dad, Cesar, talks about Visionary Eyecare:
Luxottica is the parent company for Lenscrafters and Pearle Vision and they have created the Luxottica Group Foundation called OneSight (www.OneSight.org)
OneSight is dedicated to improving vision through outreach, research and education. Visionary Eyecare previously contributed to the community for the past 12 years through “The Gift of Sight” at our Independent Doctor of Optometry locations next to Lenscrafters in Pembroke Pines and Sunrise (INSIDE the Sawgrass Mills Mall). This year, the “Gift of Sight” has merged with “Pearle Vision Foundation” and “Community I Care” to form OneSight
Over 250 million adults and children suffer from poor vision because they do not have access to eye examinations and glasses. OneSight helps the world see through making a significant difference in the world for people who need them – locally and globally. Over 6.5 MILLION people have received eye care and eye wear all over the world from OneSight!!
Jacob is 5 years old. He came in today for his VERY FIRST eye examination.
Last year he saw his Pediatrician for a vision screening but, he was not too cooperative when it was time to read the eye chart so they really did not have any idea about the clarity of his right eye. This year he went to Kindergarten and had a vision screening. That day mom got a note back that he failed and needed to see an eye doctor.
Jake Having Fun at Visionary Eyecare
He came into Visionary Eyecare ( the Independent Doctors of Optometry Next to Pearle Vision in Davie) for his first eye exam. During his vision test we noticed that Jake could see fairly well with his left eye but, he was only able to see 20/80 (eight lines WORSE than 20/20) with his right eye. During the eye exam, Dr Bearden found that Jake has a high prescription in his right eye and was using only his left eye to see with. His right eye is a lazy eye (amblyopia) and is not able to be corrected to 20/20 – even WITH a glasses prescription.
But the good news is that a child’s visual system is not completely developed until around age 7. So he can still adapt to changes in the clarity of his vision – he is more likely to have great success with his new glasses and possible vision therapy to strengthen that vision in his right eye!
Jake Give Us the Thumbs UP!!!
So, Jake’s eyes are still growing and developing and with the proper glasses and visual therapy – hopefully, he will be able to get the vision in his right eye to be a lot better than 20/80….maybe even as good as 20/20.
The key learning for parents is to have your child’s eyes examined with a comprehensive eye examination as early as possible – by an Eye Doctor.
Jacob Gets Measured for His New Glasses
Jake Plays Star Wars
Jake Models His Frame Choice
Jake Returns to Pick up his new glasses….just in time for Thanksgiving!!
This is a great video (BEST VIEWED THROUGH YOUR FIREFOX WEB BROWSER) about a kid who is having his or her FIRST eye examination. When a child enters an eye clinic for the first time – there is usually some apprehension and fear (for both the child… and the parent!).
Viewing this great video with your child prior to having an eye exam can help explain some of the vision tests that the Eye Doctor and his/her support staff is doing. It will also help you and your child become more comfortable with what goes on during an eye exam. Believe it or not….an eye exam can be a lot of fun!
Visionary Eyecare provides eye exams for children at all 3 of our Broward County / Ft Lauderdale area Locations – Pembroke Pines (next to Lenscrafters), Davie (next to Pearle Vision) and Sunrise (Next to Lenscrafters and INSIDE the Sawgrass Mills Mall).
We are providers for EyeMed and this excellent video was provided by EyeMed Vision Care.
If you are having trouble viewing this video…
You can see the video on the right side of this blog under the sidebar category “Visionary Eyecare VODPOD videos” (It is called: Video – Child’s Eye Exam) ….you can find it if you look on the right side of the blog at the sidebar categories and scroll all the way down 🙂
Kudos to Illinois for leading the way in children’s vision care!!!
Illinois recently passed a law that intends for ALL children to receive a comprehensive eye examination from an Eye Doctor before entering school – so no child from Illinois will fall between the cracks of the “vision screen” system. Here in South Florida at Visionary Eyecare, we see WAY too many children that have significant visual problems that were simply NOT picked up on these school or pediatrician vision screenings. When a child has a vision problem and it is not detected and treated early enough – this can lead to a LIFETIME of vision problems.
Please click on the above picture to sign a petition to fully support this legistlation by incorporating a Vision First Exam Form. This exam form will insure that the children are receiving very thorough and comprehensive eye exams from an Eye Dr before they attend school.
We want to support Illinois every step of the way so hopefully they will support Florida on day in passing similar legislation one day for our children!!
Dr Bearden is currently on the Lenscrafters Optometric Advisory Council (LOAC) with other Doctors and Lenscrafters leaders from around the country. Dominque Simon is the Regional Director of Operations for Lenscrafters in New York and also a member of the LOAC. Dominique (she’s in the back row, farthest to the right in the above pic) informed Dr Bearden of this really cool Blogger event hosted by Lenscrafters in NYC…
In August, LensCrafters hosted a private in-store event for BlogHer bloggers in the NY area to teach parent bloggers about the importance of eye healthand style for themselves and their families. The event was held at the Lenscrafters flagship store in Manhattan on 5th Ave in New York City. Bloggers also received tips from LensCrafters on how to make the most out of eye exams and best practices in working with eye doctors.
The event was led by LensCrafters’ VP of Eyecare, Dr. Eliot Grossman and Dr. Shirlie Dowd. Additional LensCrafters’ Eye Doctors were on hand to mingle with Bloggers and conduct eye exams throughout the event. Style experts were also on hand to help Bloggers to select the right style frames for their face and the best lenses for them.
BlogHer Reviewers take a closer look at LensCrafters:
On the August night in Manhattan, BlogHer’s gathered with the folks from LensCrafters to enjoy some good company, learn some things they didn’t know about eye health, try on new frames with the help of stylists and basically have a pretty good time doing it. They’ve captured the event in their blogs and we think you’ll be surprised by what they each took away from the experience.
“Our rockstar pediatrician dropped the bombshell at her all important 5 year check up that Miss Natalie succeeded at failing her vision test; he also recommended a follow up exam elsewhere. Lovely. Minutes later I saw a Blogher ad announcing their event with LensCrafters…”
5 year old Sofia Talpos is Dr Bearden’s patient. She has come in to visit Dr Bearden at Visionary Eyecare several times in the past few months so Dr Bearden can fine tune her glasses while she is adapting to her very FIRST pair of prescription eye glasses.
Little Sofia REALLY enjoys visiting our office – she always has lots of fun while visiting Dr Bearden and often does not want to leave!!
The video ABOVE features Sofia’s mom, Laura Talpos, talking about her experience with Dr Bearden and Visionary Eyecare.
Laura is such a fan of Visionary Eyecare…..that she has even been telling ALL of her friends who have young children about the importance of early andyearly eye exams…..one friend has even come in recently with her 5 year old son to have his first eye exam with Dr Bearden as well.
In the video BELOW, Laura and Sofia give away Dr Bearden’s SECRET to her success with Children’s eye exams and Peidatric vision care!!
Here are some pictures of our youngsters having FUN and playing with the toys in our Visionary Eyecare Office in Davie, FL (Next to Pearle Vision) during our important ….. BACK TO SCHOOL EYE EXAMINATION Time.
School starts in just a FEW short weeks and it is CRUCIAL that all school age children have a comprehensive eye examination before school begins!! A Pedicatrician eye chart test or a school vision screening is NOT sufficient to ensure that your child’s has the clearest vision and healthiest eyes for ALL of their classroom tasks.
Here is some important information from the American Optometric Association (AOA):
The American Optometric Association (AOA) reminds parents that good vision is critical for many classroom tasks.” Children who do not have “healthy vision…can face unnecessary challenges not only in the classroom, but also to their mental, physical, social, and emotional well being.”
Some youngsters who “suffer from undetected vision problems…may even be misdiagnosed as having a learning disorder.” In fact, “[s]tudies indicate that 60 percent of children identified as ‘problem learners’ actually suffer from undetected vision problems.
According to the AOA’s American Eye-Q® survey, only 39 percent of adults understand that behavioral problems can be an indication of vision problems.” Optometrist Leonard Press, O.D., AOA’s vision and learning specialist, pointed out that “10 million school children in America have vision conditions that can negatively affect learning.”
Therefore, “[a] comprehensive eye examination for students is one of the most important ‘to-dos’ as children head back to school.”
Click on the above “Fuzzi” banner to see a Video for you
and your child to view together…
Often children can not express to adults that they may be having problems with their vision. They may not even realize that their vision is blurry or “Fuzzy”. They may be falling behind or having trouble in school…for an “unknown” reason. That “unknown” reason may be due to possible vision problems – even if they are able to PASS the Vision Screening at school or at the Pediatrician’s office.
Click on the “Fuzzi is having trouble at School” banner above and you can watch the video with your child. It may open up a discussion between you and your child about his or her vision. If your child can identify with the problems that “Fuzzi” is having at school – then its time for your child to have a comprehensive eye examination.