Tag Archives: Dr Dawn Bearden

Online Amsler Grid Test for Macular Degeneration and Other Macular Disorders

AmslerGrid

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.  Below is an example of an ABNORMAL Amsler Grid Test (note the distortions in the lines):

AmslerGridAbnormal

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.

If you are in need of your annual eye exam in the Fort Lauderdale area – please call Fort Lauderdale Eye Care and Eyewear office at 954-763-2842 for an appointment with Dr Dawn Bearden (Our Optometrist) OR you can request an appointment with our Eye Doctor ONLINE at www.FLEyecareEyewear.com

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Online Eye Test: Find Your Blind Spot In Each Eye – From Fort Lauderdale Eye Care & Eyewear

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 AGAIN with 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.

Cool huh??

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” !!

Amazing.

If you need an eye exam in the Fort Lauderdale area – give us a call at 954-763-2842 or request an appointment ONLINE at www.FLEyecareEyewear.com   Our Optometrist is Dr Dawn Bearden – she has been an eye doctor for over 17 years!

 

Graphics fromSerendip….check out their very informative  website at http://serendip.brynmawr.edu/bb/blindspot1.html

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Online Eye Test For Astigmatism from Fort Lauderdale Eye Care and Eyewear

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!!

CLICK HERE for ONLINE ASTIGMATISM TEST #1

CLICK HERE for ONLINE ASTIGMATISM TEST #3

CLICK HERE for ONLINE ASTIGMATISM TEST #4

Astigmatism can be quickly and easily corrected with eyeglasses, contact lenses (called astigmatic or toric contacts) or Laser Surgery (called Lasik).

If you feel that you may have astigmatism and you need correction OR if has been more than 12 months since you have seen an eye doctor…..its time for you to schedule an eye exam! 

If you need an eye exam in the Fort Lauderdale area – you can call our office at 954-763-2842 or schedule an appointment ONLINE at www.FLEyecareEyewear.com

Our Optometrist is Dr Dawn Bearden.  She has been an eye doctor for over 17 years!!

Astigmatism Diagram courtesy of:

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ONLINE Appointments Available for Eye Exam or Contact Lens Exam in Fort Lauderdale

OnlineAppointment

Fort Lauderdale Eye Care and Eyewear now offers ONLINE APPOINTMENTS for eye exams and contact lens exams by Optometrist, Dr Dawn Bearden.   You can click the picture above or just go to our website at www.FLEyecareEyewear.com to request your appointment.

Dr Bearden is an eye doctor that has been practicing Optometry ince 1997 in the Fort Lauderdale Area.  Online appointments are easy and convenient for patients who need to get their annual eye exam or contact lens exam scheduled 24 hours per day / 7 days per week.  You can also call our office during office hours at 954-763-2842 if you need to speak to someone about any questions that you may have.

We look forward to seeing you soon!!

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Emergency and Urgent Eye Care for Red Eyes and Eye Injuries Now Available at Fort Lauderdale Eye Care and Eyewear

RedEye

Dr Dawn Bearden  is our Optometrist at Fort Lauderdale Eye Care and Eyewear  and she is highly skilled at handling emergency eye care and urgent eye conditions.  If you are having an urgent eye concern – please call our office at 954-763-2842 ASAP.

Often patients will come in with a RED EYE.  Red, irritated eyes, although can all look the same, they can be caused by a number of conditions.

One common condition is “pinkeye” which is conjunctivitis.  Conjunctivitis is an eye infection and it is usually highly contagious.  Often it can be caused by being in close contact with another person who has pink eye OR if the patient who has the conjuncitivitis has been recently sick with a cold or the flu.  Dr Bearden usually will prescribe antibiotic eye drops and also tell the patient to use artificial tears or eye lubricants often.  The patient must also use good “eye hygeine” and not touch their eyes, do not share pillows, face towels  or make-up and they must wash their hands often to help prevent the spread of conjuncivitis to others.

CornealAbrasion

Another cause of a red eye can happen when someone gets something in the eye (acually ON the eye or UNDER the lid), if someone gets a chemical into their eye or something scratches the eye.  This causes a corneal abrasion.  This can often occur when doing yard work, when at the beach on a windy day, someone may scratch their eye with a fingernail or eye make-up etc.  If there is something in the eye, Dr Bearden will find it and remove it and then treat the corneal abrasion with antibiotic eye drops and eye lubrication so the eye does not get infected.  Often the Doctor will use an orange dye in the eye to check for corneal abrasions.  If the cornea is scratched – it will glow bright green in the area of the abrasion (see above photo) when she shines a special blue light into the eye.  If you get a chemical into your eye – wash out the eye with eye wash or water for at least 15-30 minutes (AS LONG AS YOU CAN!!) until you can get in to see the Doctor ASAP!!!

One other cause of red eye is eye inflammation – called uveitis or iritis.  Even though this looks like pinkeye, this is NOT infectious.  It is usually caused by inflammation INSIDE of the eye.  The patient is usually very light sensitive and they report a lot of eye pain even in minimal amounts of light.  Many times eye inflammation can occur in systemic conditions like:

  • Autoimmune disorders, such as Arthritis, Psoriasis, Behcet’s disease, sarcoidosis or ankylosing spondylitis
  • Inflammatory disorders, such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis
  • Infections such as cat-scratch disease, herpes, syphilis, toxoplasmosis, tuberculosis, lyme disease or West Nile virus
  • Eye injury
  • Certain cancers, such as lymphoma, that can directly or indirectly affect the eye

Dr Bearden would treat the uveitis with several types of eye drops to calm the inflammation and decrease the eye pain.  If this eye inflammation has occured more than once – then she would have to investigate to see if there is any underlying systemic problem like those listed above that the patient may be unaware of.  Severe uveitis may have complications like glaucoma or cataracts so this would need to be managed also.

CornealUlcer

Another cause of red, painful eye can be a corneal ulcer.  These are often seen in patients who wear contact lenses.  Dr Bearden sees this A LOT in patients who sleep in their contact lenses and overwear their contact lenses (ex: keeping a two week disposable contact lens for 3,4,6,8 weeks or more).  Corneal ulcers can cause scarring of the front of the eye called the cornea.  If the ulcer is in the center of the cornea – a cornea scar in this area can cause permenant vision blur.  These corneal ulcers must be treated immediately and very aggressively – usually Dr Bearden will prescribe a very strong antibiotic eye drop and have the patient use this every 15-30 minutes!  She will also see these patients every day for follow up until the ulcer is under control and not vision threatening.

SubconjuncitvalHeme

Another common cause of red eye is a Subconjunctival Hemorrhage.  It is just caused by a bursted blood vessel.   When broken, these vessels bleed and spread out underneath the conjunctiva. Subconjunctival hemorrhage can be caused by sneezing, coughing, straining, vomiting, trauma, high blood pressure, diabetes and sometimes from certain blood disorders or in patients taking blood thinners (like Coumadin or Plavix) or aspirin.  Usually these will just resolve on their own in a few days to a few weeks – depending on how large they are.   Some investigation must be done into possbile systemic causes like a blood disorder, high blood pressure etc.

There are lots of other causes of red eye – including angle closure glaucoma (which is a is a serious medical emergency that must be treated immediately. This serious type of glaucoma causes painful redness that usually occurs in one eye.  Other non urgent causes of red eye can include: blepharitis, frequent use of “eye whitening” eyedrops (Like Visine, Murine, etc), dry eye and more.

If you have a red eye – it can be caused by a variety of different reasons – all of which require different treatments.  Call our office immediately if you develop any type of red eye or eye pain 954-763-2842.

Another eye emergency is retinal detachment or retinal tear.  These can often cause no symptoms and are frequently caught during a routine dilated eye exam.  So this is why it is important to get an ANNUAL eye exam – even if you do not need glasses!!  Sometimes patients DO get symptoms from a retinal detachment like flashes of light, floating spots or a “curtain” coming up or down over the vision.  Retinal detachments can be vision threatening so, if you ever have any of these symptoms – please call our office IMMEDIATELY  at 954-763-2842.

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Eye Charts for Children – Fort Lauderdale Eye Care and Eyewear

Allen Picture Eye Chart

Around 10 million school children in America have vision conditions that can negatively affect learning. This can be prevented by taking kids to get their first formal eye exam with an Eye Dr in an Eye Clinic BEFORE they enter school. A child’s first eye test with an Eye Doctor should be done between ages 3 and 4. At Fort Lauderdale Eye Care and Eyewear, our Optometrist, Dr Dawn Bearden begins to see children at age 5-6.

Allen Picture Cards

A child does NOT need to be able to verbalize or know their alphabet for the examiner to perform a comprehensive eye examination.  There are numerous eye charts for children!!

Lea Flip Chart

Lea Flip Chart

Allen and Lea charts have pictures or shapes on them that youngsters can identify. The Broken wheel chart allows the child to tell the examiner which wheel on the car is “broken” . The Tumbling E chart (also known as the illiterate chart) allows a child to just POINT in the direction that the “legs of the E” are pointing in.

Allen Picture Eye Chart

Allen Picture Eye Chart

Often our children can not express to us when they are having problems with their vision. They may not even realize that they are experiencing vision problems. Sometimes children will try to compensate for vision issues by closing one eye, rubbing their eyes excessively, squinting, skipping over words or loose their place when they are reading.

Kids may start having difficulty in school due to an “unknown” reason. A recent study indicated that up to 60 percent of youngsters that have been identified as “problem learners” or “learning disorder” actually suffer from an undetected visual condition.

Tumbling E   Eye Chart

A vision problem is not suspected in many children because they were able to pass the school vision screening or the pediatrician vision screening. These children may still have visual issues but, they were not detected on the screening. Only a comprehensive eye exam, done by an Eye Doctor (Optometrist or Ophthalmologist) will be able to detect subtle vision problems.

Broken Wheel Eye Test

Broken Wheel Eye Test

Vision issues need to be detected and corrected before age 7 to prevent lifelong problems such as lazy eye (amblyopia), eye turn (strabismus), learning disabilities and behavior problems.

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Video Testimonial: Starlene Carter Talks About How A Routine Eye Exam Pupillary Dilation Saved Her Vision

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Starlene Carter came into Dr Dawn Bearden’s Optometry office near Fort Lauderdale 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 staff 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”. Our staff members 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 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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