Category Archives: Eye Health

Video – Description of Cataracts. What Are Cataracts?

Cataract Description

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The above video is from EyeMaginations and gives a great description of what Cataracts are:

Cataracts are a normal and common part of the aging process but, they do not have to interfere with your lifestyle.   A cataract is a cloudiness of the crystalline lens inside of your eye.  As your lens gets cloudier, your vision will gradually become more blurred.

The human eye may best be compared to a camera.  When you take a picture, the lens in the front of the camera allows light through and then focuses that light on the film in the back of the camera.  When the light hits the film, a picture is taken.  The eye works in much the same way.

In  youth, the crystalline lens of your eye is clear and allows light to pass through.   Light is focused by your cornea and your crystalline lens onto a thin layer of nerve tissue in the back of your eye called – the retina.   Your retina works like the film in a camera.  When the focused light hits the retina – a “picture” is taken and sent to your brain.

While a dirty camera lens blurs a picture, any significant cataract or cloudiness  in your crystalline lens will blur the images that you see.

When a cataract becomes significant – your vision can become quite blurry.  It is suggested if your vision drops below 20/40 or so….then it is common to be told to see an eye surgeon to have cataract surgery.

This surgery involves taking out the cloudy crystalline lens (cataract) and replacing it with a clear implant.  Often your surgeon can even do a calculation that can place your current eyeglass prescription into the lens implant.  The result after the cataract surgery can be much clearer vision and often there is no need for glasses after the surgery!

For more information – see your local Optometrist or  Dr Dawn Bearden or Dr Anna-Kay Tenn in Pembroke Pines 954-430-3808 or Sunrise 954-851-9949 for your yearly eye exam and they will be happy to discuss cataracts and cataract surgery options with you!

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Video Testimonial: Starlene Carter Talks About How A Routine Eye Exam Pupillary Dilation Saved Her Vision

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Starlene Carter came into Visionary Eyecare (Next to Lenscrafters) in Pembroke Pines in January 2001.  She was in the area and decided to stop in to schedule an eye examination for herself the following week.   She was not intending to get an eye exam that day – her plans were to spend that day shopping!

Our Office Manager, Carol Marsh, was there that day and convinced Starlene to go ahead and get her eye exam that same day since the office was not busy and the Doctor (Dr Dawn Bearden) would be able to see her right away.  Starlene agreed but, was insistent that she would NOT have her pupils dilated that day.  Her shopping was waiting and she did not want to “mess up her day” with that “dilation thing”.  Carol told her that the Doctor would talk to her during the exam about the importance of dilation.  Still Starlene would just not be convinced….

When Starlene met Dr Bearden for the first time – Dr Bearden began to explain and stress the importance of pupillary dilation.  Dr Bearden  explained that this was Starlene’s  first eye exam in our Visionary Eyecare office, there could be a multitude of eye diseases or problems that Starlene may be unaware of (because most eye problems do NOT cause any symptoms like blurry vision, headache, eye pain etc) and that Dr Bearden may NOT be able to detect these issues if Starlene did not allow the Doctor to dilate her pupils.  Dr Bearden also explained that Florida laws requires your Optometrist to dilate your pupils on the initial eye exam when you have an eye exam with a new Optometrist.  Reluctantly…..VERY reluctantly….Starlene finally agreed.

This simple decision absolutely saved Starlene’s vision.

During the eye exam, all seemed very normal.  Starlene had no family history of eye disease, she was able to see 20/20 in each eye with her new glasses prescription, she had NO eye pain, NO headaches, NO discomfort, her eye pressures were normal, her blood pressure was normal, good color vision etc.  But, when Dr Dawn Bearden dilated Starlene’s pupils – she saw 2 very LARGE retinal tears (retinal detachments) in Starlene’s right eye that posed a HUGE threat to Starlene’s vision in her right eye.  These tears could have eventually caused blindness in her eye had they not been detected during the dilation and then properly treated.

Immediately,  Dr Bearden called Dr Jay Levy – who is a local ophthalmologist who specializes in surgery of the retina.  Dr Bearden sent Starlene to see Dr Levy – who did surgery on Starlene’s right eye to repair the retinal tears in her right eye.

Starlene is now a loyal patient of Dr Dawn Bearden’s. She is still able to see 20/20 in each eye and has had no further problems from the retinal tears that were surgically repaired by Dr Levy.  Each and every year during her routine eye exam with Dr Bearden, you can find Starlene out in the waiting room telling her story to ALL of the other patients in the office.  She does a GREAT job in educating people and everyone that she comes in contact with about the importance of yearly eye examinations and the VITAL importance of pupillary dilation.

It saved Starlene’s vision…..and it can do the same for you and for the people in your life who come in for their annual eye exam!

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Local Miami Gorilla Undergoes Cataract Surgery

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “Miami Gorilla Undergoes Cataract Surgery“, posted with vodpod

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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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Optomap Retinal Exam Can Help Detect Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, Retinal Holes, Eye Tumors and More…Featured on The Doctors TV Show

The Optomap Retinal Examination is currently available at Visionary Eyecare – the Independent Doctors of Optometry Next to Lenscrafters in Pembroke Pines and Sunrise (INSIDE the Sawgrass Mills Mall).

This incredible technology allows your Eye Doctor to scan the internal lining of your eye called the retina and save this image on the computer for year to year comparisons.  The retina has about 1 million nerve fibers in it and is an extension of your brain.   The retina is also the ONLY place in the human body where a doctor can observe working nerve fibers and blood vessels WITHOUT cutting into the body.  Subtle eye health changes can be documented, monitored and compared each year.

Your retina can show early signs of systemic problems that can cause damage to nerves and blood vessels such as Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, High Cholesterol and more.  Your retina can also demonstrate eye health issues such as Glaucoma, Retinal Detachment, Macular Degeneration and Eye Tumors and/or Eye Cancer.

Most of the time the patient does not need to have their eyes dilated in order for the Optometrist to obtain a good Optomap retinal scan – so this is a big benefit.

The TV show called “The Doctors” aired a segment discussing the Optomap Retinal Scan and the benefits of this technology during your yearly eye examination to preserve BOTH your eye health and your systemic health.

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Testimonial: Patient – Judy McNab – Looses Glasses, Gets Eye Exam in Pembroke Pines and Dr Dawn Bearden Finds A Tumor in Her Left Eye

Judy McNab shares her full story

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Judy McNab never really felt the need for yearly eye examinations until she started to need glasses in her 40’s and 50’s.  Like most people, she thought she did not need to see an eye doctor if she did not need to wear eyeglasses or contact lenses.

One day she came into Visionary Eyecare in Pembroke Pines for an eye exam because she lost her glasses.  She was not having any problems with her eyes, no eye pain or pressure, no headaches, no vision problems….nothing.  She just wanted to quickly get an eye examination so she could get a new prescription to buy a new pair of glasses at Lenscrafters.

During the eye exam at Visionary Eyecare  (the Independent Doctors of Optometry next to Lenscrafters in Pembroke Pines),  Judy was able to see 20/20 in the examination room, her eyes looked perfectly healthy during the dilated retinal examination and also on the digital photographs taken of the inside of Judy’s eyes.   During the examination, Eye Doctor –  Dr Dawn Bearden recommended that Judy get a visual field (peripheral vision) test as a baseline – because Judy was over the age of 40 (much like a baseline mammogram is done at age 40) .  This test is an advanced test that is not part of the routine eye examination and would take extra time and cost Judy extra money (unfortunately – unlike a baseline mammogram-  most medical insurances and vision plans and will NOT pay for this preventative testing as a baseline).  At first, Judy did not want to take the time to do the additional test but Dr Bearden explained that visual field testing could uncover early and subtle eye health issues that sometimes a routine eye exam could not.  Judy was convinced and did the additional visual field test… and the results came back positive – TWICE.

Dr Bearden immediately referred Judy to an ophthalmologist for a secondary evaluation. At first,  Judy did not really want to see the ophthalmologist…..she kept telling Doctor Bearden that her vision was fine and she was not having any problems or symptoms….but, Dr Bearden INSISTED that she go for the secondary evaluation.   Judy did see the ophthalmologist, who then referred her to Bascom Palmer in Miami to see an eye doctor that specializes in eye tumors and eye cancer.

Judy was diagnosed with a tumor in her left eye and had laser treatment to help destroy the tumor in her left eye.  This was in 2005.  Now in 2009 Judy still has good vision in her left eye (she is able to see 20/25 in that eye).  Luckily, the tumor did not spread to anywhere else in her body and the surgeon was able to treat the tumor without having to remove Judy’s eye.

Judy shares her experience in the above and below videos.  She reminds us all that YEARLY eye exams are very important to help detect eye health issues that you may be unaware of… since many eye health issues DO NOT CAUSE SYMPTOMS and can only be detected by a COMPREHENSIVE eye exam.

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Judy McNab – short video testimonial

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These videos and many more educational videos and testimonials can be found on the Visionary Eyecare YouTube Channel…..CLICK HERE to check it out!

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

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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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