Tag Archives: Yearly Eye Exam

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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Get Email or Text Message Reminders To Remind You When to Change Your Disposable Contacts and When To Have Your Yearly Eye Exam

Visit www.Acuminder.com to Sign Up!

Visit http://www.Acuminder.com to Sign Up!

Do you need help remembering when to discard your disposable contact lenses or when to see your eye doctor for your yearly eye exam?  Well you can go to www.AcuMinder.com and register for this FREE service to get reminders sent to you via Email, text message or a computer desktop widget to help you remember.  They even have a new Facebook application that will help you remember!

Getting an annual eye exam is very important in maintaining the health of your eyes as well as keeping your vision as clear and crisp as possible.  Also it is vital to discard your contact lenses every 2 weeks or when your doctor recommends the lenses to be discarded.

Here is a snippet from the www.Acuminder.com website:

A clip from the www.Acuminder.com website

A clip from the http://www.Acuminder.com website

Often contact lenses can feel “fine” and many patients come in and tell Dr Dawn Bearden or the other Visionary Eyecare Doctors that they don’t throw away their contacts until their vision gets blurry and/or their contact lenses start to bother them.  This can be very dangerous.

Contact lenses act like little sponges that can soak up bacteria, fungus, viral particles, mucus, debris, smoke and other environmental agents.  Even if you clean your contacts every night – these agents do build up on your contact lenses each and every day.  Cleaning them nightly often does not get rid of 100% of these irritants.  These irritants build up – day in and day out….so its important to discard the lenses and put in a new pair – even if your eyes feel “fine”.

Acuminder3

When contact lenses are not discarded on schedule – patients can come in with distortions on the front of their eye (on their cornea)  or develop allergies to the contacts.  Most of the time, patients are not yet aware that these issues are even happening until its too late.  Some of these issues can lead to lifelong problems with wearing contacts.

Ask Dr Bearden, Dr Tenn or Dr McCulloh in our Pembroke Pines or Sunrise (Sawgrass Mall) office for a free Acuminder.com information card.  We will fill it in with your most recent exam date, the brand of contacts that you are currently using, your correct discard schedule, your eye doctor’s name and telephone number.  You will need this information when you register at www.Acuminder.com

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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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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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Video – 2008 Eye Q Survey Shows That Most Americans Are Unaware That An Eye Exam Can Detect Signs Of Diabetes, High Blood Pressure, High Cholesterol, MS, Brain Tumors and More…

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 often Do NOT cause any noticeable vision blur, headaches, eye pain, eye pressure etc. Frequently these conditions easily go by unnoticed and 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…

For more information – visit www.AOA.org

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Sudden Vision Blur …… The Unbeatable Event and A Patient’s Funny Story

New Patient – Tracy

First time patient,  Tracy, came into our Pembroke Pines office (next to Lenscrafters) yesterday.  She was very upsettelling us that she woke up and her vision was fine but, then the vision in her right eye got suddenly VERY blurry….and she could barely see anything !! This happened right after she put in her colored contact lenses.  She almost went to the emergency room but,  just at that very moment she happened to look down at the newespaper in front of her…… and saw an advertisement for Lenscrafters UNBEATABLE EVENT that is going on right now. Right then she decided to come in to our office (the Indepependent Doctor of Optometry next to Lenscrafters) to see an Eye Doctor instead of going to the ER.

Ralph, the optometric technician, had Tracy take out her colored contact lenses and then did all of the pre-testing on her.  He was concerned because the vision in Tracy’s right eye was EXTREMELY blurry.  Dr Bearden also became very concerned after she spoke with Ralph about Tracy (before she went in to see Tracy).

Sudden vision loss and/or blur is often associated with VERY serious visual health problems – like retinal detachment, angle closure glaucoma or other neurological eye problems.

After Dr Bearden saw Tracy – something did not seem quite right.  Tracy was not displaying any symptoms or vision loss associated with a retinal detachment or any other SERIOUS eye problem – she was just VERY blurry in her right eye – for seemingly no reason.  Dr Bearden looked at Tracy’s right eye under magnification with the slit lamp….and saw….a clear contact lens on Tracy’s right eye!?!?!  This was after Tracy had already “taken out” her colored contacts….

Dr Bearden told Tracy “There is a clear contact lens on your right eye”…..Tracy did NOT wear CLEAR contacts – she wore COLORED contacts.  So this was VERY strange.  Where on EARTH did a clear contact lens come from?!?!?!

Suddenly Tracy exclaimed “Oh my GOD….that must be my HUSBAND’s contact lens!!! He must have put it in my case with my colored contacts by accident!!”.  Her husband’s clear contact lens must have been stuck to Tracy’s colored contact lens when she put in her contacts that morning – and then remained on her eye when she took out her colored contacts in our office.  Tracy had unknowingly been wearing her husband’s contact lens in her right eye – with her own colored contact lens on top of it!!  Tracy’s husbands contact lens presription is about 5x STRONGER than Tracy’s – so this was the cause of her mysterious sudden vision blur.  Mystery solved!

Dr Bearden and Tracy were both laughing at the incident and they were also both relieved that this was not a serious vision problem….

Tracy was due for her annual contact lens eye examination anyway, so she just had her routine contact lens eye exam while she was in our office and her trip was not wasted!!

This is a funny story but, Tracy did the RIGHT thing – she came in to see an Eye Doctor when her vision became suddenly blurry.  Anytime there is a  SUDDEN loss of vision or SUDDEN vision blur – always seek care IMMEDIATELY from your eye doctor!!

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Back to School Eye Exams

Here is some GREAT information about the Importance of Back To School Eye Exams…taken from an email sent by Luxottica Corporate Headquarters to all of the Doctors affiliated with Pearle Vision and Lenscrafters

Alabama’s Clanton Advertiser (8/12) reported, “As parents send their children back to school, one of the most important things they can do to help ensure their child’s ability to learn is to take them for an eye exam.

The American Optometric Association (AOA) recommends comprehensive eye exams especially for children entering preschool and kindergarten.” In particular, “children entering preschool or kindergarten benefit the most from comprehensive eye exams,” although “they rarely receive them early enough”.

Currently, only 14 percent of children under age six have received a comprehensive EYE EXAM, according to the U.S. Center for Health Statistics.” During an eye exam, an optometrist can detect “common vision problems, such as nearsightedness and farsightedness, as well as more serious conditions such as amblyopia (lazy eye).”

In an opinion piece in Tennessee’s Chattanoogan (8/12), Jenny Pomeroy, CEO of Prevent Blindness Georgia, wrote, “Since about 80 percent of learning in a child’s first 12 years comes through the eyes, it is very important to ensure that…school-aged children can see properly.”

Across the U.S., “five percent of preschool children have significant visual impairment,” Pomeroy noted, adding that “many of these children will develop amblyopia, or ‘lazy eye’ blindness, if their eye conditions are not diagnosed and treated early.”

Studies have shown that “sight can be saved in 98 percent of children if treatment is begun by age four. At age six, only 20 percent of children’s sight can be saved, and if treatment is delayed until age ten, these children may be blind in one eye for a lifetime,” Pomeroy pointed out.

Therefore, it is very important for parents to make sure that their children receive EYE EXAMS (not just vision screenings at school or at the Pediatrician’s office) at an early age and yearly throughout their lifetime.

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