Category Archives: Children’s Vision Care

Carol Marsh-Urquhart (at Visionary Eyecare in Pembroke Pines) Helps a Local Child in Need…In More Ways Than One!

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.
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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!!!
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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….
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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.
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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.
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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.

Eye Charts for Children

Allen Picture Eye Chart

Allen Picture Eye Chart

Around 10 million school children in America have vision conditions that 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

Allen Picture Cards

A child does NOT need to be able to verbalize or know their alphabet for the examiner to perform a comprehensive eye examination.
There are numerous eye charts for children!!
Lea Flip Chart

Lea Flip Chart

Allen and Lea charts have pictures or shapes on them that youngsters can identify.   The Broken wheel chart allows 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

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

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

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.

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Video Testimonial – A Mother Speaks From the Heart About Her 5 Year Old Son and How an Eye Exam Changed His Life

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 Pines and Sunrise and also next to Pearle Vision in Davie.

During the routine eye examinationDr 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!!”

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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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Sports Eye Safety Resolution for Children is Adopted by the Florida House of Representatives

Children Wearing Protective Sport Eyewear

Children Wearing Protective Sport Eyewear

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.

Here is an excerpt from their website:

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.

For a copy of the adopted resolution, click here.

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 occur from 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.

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Fox News Video – Child Eye Exam Can Reveal The Cause of Learning Problems in School

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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:

  • Trouble Reading
  • 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.

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Hometown Day 2008 – Visionary Eyecare Gives the Gift of Sight in Partnership with OneSight!

Hometown day is a special day that happens every year – around the holiday season – at Visionary Eyecare. All three of our locations participate in Hometown Day – Pembroke Pines, Davie and Sunrise.

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!!

Check out the launch video for OneSight.org

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If you are interested in contributing a donation to OneSight – CLICK HERE

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