Tag Archives: ARMD

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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Online Amsler Grid Test for Macular Degeneration and Other Macular Disorders

The Amsler Grid test is a simple screening test used to assess the area in the back of the eye that is responsible for your most detailed vision (used for reading, seeing facial details etc).  This area is called the Macula and it is located in the center part of the retina (the nerve lining inside the eye – used for sight).

If there are any diseases or degenerations (like Macular Degeneration) that are affecting the Macula – then the Amsler grid test will usually provide early detection that there may be a problem going on.

HOW TO USE THE AMSLER GRID:

Position yourself at about 14-16 inches (about 40 cm) away from the grid.

If you have glasses that you use to read with – make sure you are looking thru the reading part of your glasses

Cover the left eye and use only your right eye to see the grid.

Stare at the white dot in the center of the grid with your uncovered eye.  Keep your eye focused on the dot.  Don’t move your eyes around to see any other part of the grid except for the white dot.  Use your side vision (peripheral vision) to see all the other parts of the grid.  “Glue” your sight to that white dot – don’t move your eye around at all.

While staring at the white dot:

  • Can you see all 4 corners of the grid?
  • Can you see all 4 sides of the grid?
  • Are any of the lines WAVY or MISSING or DISTORTED?   (All lines should look perfectly straight, all intersections should form right angles and all the squares should be the same size.)
  • Are ther any holes or “missing areas” in  the grid?

Then cover the right eye and repeat the steps with using the left eye to see the grid.

If you answered “YES” to any of the above questions then you need to see your eye doctor immediately. The eye doctor will examine the back of your eye and your macula VERY closely to determine if there are any medical issues causing these changes on the Amsler Grid test.

If you have been told that you have macular degeneration or any other macular disorder, you should be doing the Amsler Grid test at home DAILY.

The Amsler Grid is a great way to monitor your macular health but you should always have yearly eye examinations with dilation when dictated by your doctor.

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