Tag Archives: Cataracts

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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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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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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Video – Sunglasses are like Sunscreen for your Eyes: Protection from Aging Changes and Some Forms of Eye Cancer

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CLICK HERE

TO SEE A FOX NEWS VIDEO ABOUT EYE CANCER AND PROTECTION WITH SUNGLASS WEAR

The sun can cause aging changes to your skin… and also to your EYES.

Macular Degeneration and Cataracts are aging changes that can be brought on earlier in your life by exposure to the sun its ultraviolet (UV) radiation.  Wearing sunglasses with good UV protection can be like wearing sunscreen for your eyes.

There are many different types of eye cancer that can affect any part of the eye.  A patient can get cancer on the Eyelids, the Conjunctiva (the “skin” over the white of your eye), the Iris (the colored part of your eye), the Optic Nerve (the nerve from the eye back to the brain), the Retina (the nerve layer inside your eye – responsible for your vision), the Choroid (the blood vessels beneath the retina) and more.

The types of cancers that usually affect the skin (aka on the eyelids….basal cell carcinoma, squamous cell carcinoma, melanoma etc.. ) can be the same types of cancers that particularly thrive in sunlight and UV exposure – just like any other type of skin cancer.

EVERYONE (including children) should be wearing sunglasses with UV protection any time they are outdoors. People who are particularly vulnerable are those with with blue eyes, light complexions, work outdoors, have had any PREVIOUS skin cancer or who are taking any medications that make them more light sensitive.

Routine yearly eye examinations are the KEY to early detection and treatment for any types of eye cancer and any other type of eye disease

Click on the FOX News link to see an informative Video about Eye Cancer and Protection Against Aging Changes with regular wear of good UV protection sunwear.  It tells a story of a man who found a weird eyelid freckle…

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