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.
A Visual Representation of the Visionary Eyecare Blog
Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words!!
And sometimes that picture is made from a thousand words…..
Here are some visual representations of the Visionary Eyecare Blog from Wordle.
It visibly shows that our blog talks about the Eye, an Optometrist, an Eye Exam, Pembroke Pines, Sunrise, Eye Dr, Contacts, Dr Dawn Bearden, Dr Emily McCulluh, Dr Anna-Kay Tenn, Lenscrafters, an Eye Doctor, Vision, Eye Care, Eye Health and more….
Just by scanning one of these images – a reader can immediately get a feel for what the Visionary Eyecare Blog is all about!!
Judy McNabnever really felt the need for yearly eye examinations until shestarted 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 intoVisionary 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 Beardenrecommended 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 butDr 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.
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:
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.
The above video is a report of the Annual AOA (American Optometric Association) American Eye Q Survey for 2008.
It states that 81% of Americans wear contact lenses, eyeglasses or both.
Unfortunatley 26% of them have not visited their Optometrist or other eye doctor in 2 or more years.
Many eye care professionals – including each Eye Doctor at Visionary Eyecare in Pembroke Pines, Davie and Sunrise – strongly recommend that you have a yearly eye exam because most eye and vision problems cause NO obvious signs or symptoms. Often there can be a serious eye health problem such as a retinal hole, retinal tear, glaucoma, eye cancer, tumors in or behind the eyes and many more that oftenDo NOT cause any noticeable vision blur, headaches, eye pain, eye pressure etc. Frequently these conditions easily go by unnoticedand you are unaware that there is any problem or issue without having a comprehensive eye exam done by your eye doctor.
Unfortunately, most Americans are unaware that eye examinations can detect more than just vision and eye health problems. Through comprehensive eye exams and optometrist can detect signs of diabetes, high blood pressure, brain tumors, cancer, heart and cardiovascular problems, high cholesterol, Mutliple Sclerosis (MS) and more…
We would like to wish everyone a Happy and Healthy Holiday season!!
Along with the holiday season comes the end of the year rush to get your eye exam and use your vision insurance benefits and/or your flex spending account. It gets REALLY busy the last week of the year…so don’t miss out on your opportunity to see the Eye Doctor this year…use your vision benefits today! You can use the links below to make an online appointment for your eye examination !
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!!
This is a great video (BEST VIEWED THROUGH YOUR FIREFOX WEB BROWSER) about a kid who is having his or her FIRST eye examination. When a child enters an eye clinic for the first time – there is usually some apprehension and fear (for both the child… and the parent!).
Viewing this great video with your child prior to having an eye exam can help explain some of the vision tests that the Eye Doctor and his/her support staff is doing. It will also help you and your child become more comfortable with what goes on during an eye exam. Believe it or not….an eye exam can be a lot of fun!
Visionary Eyecare provides eye exams for children at all 3 of our Broward County / Ft Lauderdale area Locations – Pembroke Pines (next to Lenscrafters), Davie (next to Pearle Vision) and Sunrise (Next to Lenscrafters and INSIDE the Sawgrass Mills Mall).
We are providers for EyeMed and this excellent video was provided by EyeMed Vision Care.
If you are having trouble viewing this video…
You can see the video on the right side of this blog under the sidebar category “Visionary Eyecare VODPOD videos” (It is called: Video – Child’s Eye Exam) ….you can find it if you look on the right side of the blog at the sidebar categories and scroll all the way down 🙂
Astigmatism is a visual condition caused when some surfaces of the eye are oval shaped….like a football or an egg. These surfaces in the eye that are oval shaped can be the cornea (the front of the eye) or the lens (inside the eye). Most often astigmatism is caused by the cornea being oblong or oval shaped.
This oblong shape causes the light rays that enter the eye to be distorted and not focus properly on the retina in the back of the eye. If you have uncorrected astigmatism, you can have various symptoms such as blurry vision, eyestrain, tired eyes, headaches or fatigue.
Here are several links to websites that have online testing for astigmatism. Check them out!!
Did you know that in 20AD a Roman named Seneca looked thru a globe of water in order to help him magnify the print in the ancient Roman Books?
Did you know that in 60 AD the Roman Emperor Nero wore eyeglasses with LENSES made of EMERALDS to view the gladiator games?
Did you know that in China (around 1430AD )judges used to darken their glasses for the purpose of concealing their eye expressions in court?
Did you know that in the late 1600’s they used to keep glasses on their noses by using silk ribbons tied to the rims of the glasses and then hung the ribbons over their ears….with weights on the end to help keep them in place?
Did you know that in the 1700’s wealthy American colonists would search through basketfuls of spectacles imported from Europe to find the ONE pair of glasses that had the right prescription in them? Did you know that they paid as much as $200 PER PAIRfor their glasses…in the 1700’s ?!?!?
Everyone has a BLIND SPOT in their vision of each eye.
Take this FUN test to check it out for yourself !!
Look at graphic of the cross and the circle at the top of this post.
Sit at your computer with your nose pointing in between the cross and the black circle.
Cover your LEFT eye and stare at the cross with your RIGHT eye.
Now SLOWLY move towards the computer screen while still staring at the cross with your RIGHT eye.
At somewhere around 10-14 inches from the computer screen – the black circle will disappear and the area where the black circle was…will now be all white – this is your BLIND SPOT.
If you move closer to the screen or farther away – the circle will re-appear. At just the right distance – the circle will disappear.
Now try the OTHER eye…but this time cover your RIGHT eye and look at the CIRCLE with your LEFT eye…..move closer and you will see that the CROSS now disappears!!
Your eye has an inner lining which is made of a sheet of nerves. This sheet of nerves is responsible for your vision and what you see and it is called the RETINA. There is a “hole” in the sheet where the Optic Nerve enters the eye. This area is called the Optic Nerve Head.
Photoreceptors are cells in the retina that detect light and allow you to perceive “vision”. On the optic nerve head there are NO photoreceptors. Thus, there is no light or vision detected at this spot in the retina. This is your “Blind Spot”. Every eye has a blind spot….your blind spot in your right eye is slightly on your right and your blind spot in your left eye is slightly on your left.
Your brain automatically “fills in” the blind spot area for you…..
Now try it AGAINwith the above green and yellow graphic….but this time you will notice that when you move to just the right distance , the circle will disappear and your brain will fill in your blind spot WITH YELLOW when you are looking with your right eye (left eye covered)….and your brain will fill in your blind spot WITH GREEN when you are looking with your left eye (right eye covered)!! Your brain automatically matches the surrounding colors when it “fills in” visual information for you.
Your brain can even “fill in” missing information for you…..in the above graphic, you’ll notice that when you cover your left eye and look at the cross with your right eye – the brain will “fill in” your blind spot (the area where the circle is). You will see that your brain fills in the line for you. Keep looking at the cross – don’t look back at the circle – or you will will see the circle again.
Try it AGAIN with the above graphic while looking at the cross with your right eye (cover your left eye) –your brain will put a red circle where your blindspot is….it is “filling in” the “missing information” !!
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 Ophthalmologythat 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).