Tag Archives: Eye Disease

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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YouTube Video: If You Don’t Have Any Vision Problems…Why Should You See an Eye Doctor?

You don’t have any vision problems….your vision is perfect……so why should you get your eyes examined yearly…or at all??  Do you know anyone who has really good eyesight…and feels that there is no reason to go to the eye doctor because they don’t need eyeglasses??

Well, the above YouTube video is for YOU and THEM!

A common misconception is that the only reason to see an eye doctor is to get some glasses, contacts or to get their prescription updated.  Does this sound familiar??

A comprehensive eye exam is MOSTLY about checking the HEALTH of your eyes.  A lot of eye health problems – diseases and disorders of the eyes (like glaucoma, retinal holes and tears etc) – do NOT cause any kind of symptoms (like blurred vision, headaches, pain, feelings of “pressure” in and around eyes etc…).

Just because you can see clearly, see colors correctly and don’t notice any vision problems does not necessarily mean that your eyes are healthy.

Did you know that a comprehensive eye exam can ALSO provide early detection of some SYSTEMIC problems.  All sorts of systemic problems – like Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, High Cholesterol, Brain Tumors etc….can be detected during a comprehensive eye exam. If your eye doctor suspects that you may have a systemic problem then, he or she can refer you to your primary care doctor for further evaluation and testing to determine if you have the systemic disease.

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Optometrist, Ophthalmologist, Optician … What is the Difference?

Many people often ask – What is the difference between an Optometrist and an Ophthalmologist??

… OR …

What is the difference between and Optometrist and an Optician??

Well, HERE is the answer for you:

Optometrists are Doctors of Optometry.  They act as Primary Care Doctors for your eyes. They are experts in vision care, eye health and eye function. They prescribe glasses and contacts and can diagnose and treat eye diseases (like pink eye, glaucoma, eye allergies, eye ulcers, styes, eye inflammation etc.) with various forms of medication.  They are also trained to remove certain types of foreign bodies in the eye.  They usually have 4 years of college education, 4 years of Post-Graduate Doctorate work in Optometry School and some Optometrists elect to do a 1 year Post-Doctorate Residency.

Ophthalmologists are medical Doctors of Ophthalmology that deal primarily with the diseases of the eyes, which they are able to treat with medicine and surgery.  Most ophthalmologists act more as Seondary Care providers for your eyes – since most are eye surgeons.  They can also prescribe glasses and contacts – but, you’ll find that most ophthalmologists concentrate their practices primarily around eye surgery and treating various eye disease.  They usually have 4 years of college and 4 years of medical school and then they complete a Post-Doctorate 3 year Residency in Opthalmology to learn about the eye, eye disease and various ophthalmic surgical techniques.

Opticians are experts in optics, optical lenses and frames.  Opticians fill the prescriptions for eyeglasses and contact lenses that have been prescribed by Optometrist and Ophthalmogists.  They fit, sell, dispense and repair eyeglasses.  In some states they can also fit contact lenses.  Their education requires a high school diploma and 2 year Opticianary program (or a 3-5 year Opticianary apprenticeship).

Click on the above video from the American Optometric Association to learn more about the profession of  Optometry.

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