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Back to School Eye Health – Vision Warning Signs

POSTED ON August 12th, 2016  - POSTED IN Healthy Vision

Summer’s not over just yet, but back to school is just around the corner.

These are formative years for your child, personally and physically. If you have noticed a change in your child’s behavior it may be due to a change in his or her vision.

Below is a list of warning signs. If your child demonstrates any of these symptoms, it is advisable to consult your eye care professional.


  • Child holds reading material too close to face-fourteen to sixteen inches is recommended.
  • Child sits too close to TV-eight to ten feet is recommended.
  • Complains that writing on classroom blackboard is blurry or too small.
  • Missing the ball very often in sports may indicate a problem with vision.
  • Child rubs his or her eyes or complains of itching or burning. This could indicate a conjunctival or eyelid problem.
  • Child complains of double vision.
  • Child points to words while reading.
  • Writing words or letters backwards could indicate a problem.
  • Child complains of headaches.
  • Child skips or misses words while reading.
  • Child sees better out of one eye than the other.
  • Child complains of pain in or around the eye.
  • Poor hand-to-eye coordination.
  • Photophobia (bright lights bother eyes).
  • Dizziness or nausea.
  • Poor concentration while reading.
  • Abnormal head tilt while reading.
  • Closes or covers one eye to read.

Four out of five children do not receive vision screenings. A screening rarely takes more than an hour and presents no discomfort, but the comfort in knowing that you’ve made your child’s vision a priority, is something YOU should get extra credit for.  Call or click today for an appointment because the first school bell is about to ring!

Parent and Child Eye Exams

POSTED ON August 8th, 2016  - POSTED IN Eye Wellness

At Rand Eye Institute, we’ve been sharing helpful tips on getting your kids ready for back to school by reminding you that they should have their vision checked before the school bell rings.
Parent and Child Eye Exams

But here’s a good suggestion: Why not make a dual eye exam appointment? Consider having your vision and your child’s vision checked all in one visit, after all, August is “National Eye Exam Month”.

By scheduling a comprehensive eye exam at Rand Eye Institute, you could be heading off future vision problems now, especially if you have diabetes or have a family history of vision problems.

So with vision on our mind this month, keep good vision in the family. Call or “Click” to schedule a dual eye exam* for you and your son or daughter. From our family at Rand Eye Institute, to yours, have a safe Fall season and a successful jump-start to a successful school year.

Know your Rand Eye-Q: Did you know that ophthalmology care is covered under your medical insurance and not your vision plan, this is a common misconception. Please feel free to call us to see if our specialists are participating with your medical insurance.

*A dual eye exam appointment is considered two separate appointments. Ask our appointment specialist for more information when scheduling your appointments.

Back to School Eye Health

POSTED ON August 4th, 2016  - POSTED IN Healthy Vision

While you’re busy with enrollment forms, back-to-school shopping, schedules and immunizations for your child, August is busy being Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month, making it a good time to remind you to get your child’s eyes checked before that first school bell rings.

Most children have healthy eyes, but one in four, or 25% of school-aged children either have vision problems or suffer from some degree of visual impairment. What’s more concerning is that The American Academy of Ophthalmology estimates that 80% of preschoolers don’t receive a needed vision screening.

Because they’re young, your children may not have much history with their vision, so what they may perceive as “normal” vision might be something that needs to be addressed, and an eye exam is the best way to find out.

Before you know it, there’ll be homework, school projects, group activities, after-school club meetings and team sports to get them to and from.

So don’t wait for the first bell to ring, have your children’s vision checked now, so they can start the school year off with a clear slate and clear vision.

National Eye Exam Month

POSTED ON August 1st, 2016  - POSTED IN Eye Wellness

At Rand Eye Institute, we know how important it is for you to keep up with your Eye-Q, that is, knowledge about your vision and the understanding of how to keep yours at its brightest and best.

August is “National Eye Exam Month” and healthy vision starts with an eye exam. The American Academy of Ophthalmology recommends that you have a baseline eye exam at age 40, the time when the early signs of disease or changes in your vision may occur. A baseline screening can help identify signs of eye disease at an early stage, when treatment can have the greatest impact on preserving your vision.

If you’re 65 or older, it’s recommended that you have your eyes checked every year or two for signs of age-related diseases, like glaucoma, age-related macular degeneration and cataracts.

During a dilated eye exam you’ll be checked for the following:

  • Medical/family history
  • Pupil reaction
  • Side/peripheral vision
  • Eye movement, muscle balance and coordination
  • Focusing ability along with potential refractive errors (myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism, presbyopia) will be evaluated
  • Check prescription of eye glasses against new refraction testing
  • Eye pressure
  • Front part of your eye
  • Retina and optic nerve

One of our experienced ophthalmologists will then be checking on the general health of your eye, tracking any disorder that might impair your vision (cataracts, glaucoma, macular degeneration, diabetic retinopathy).

The doctor may suggest additional testing to further evaluate your vision using specialized testing equipment. These tests can be crucial in diagnosing a disease in its early stages and give the doctor an opportunity to suggest a treatment or cure. We are strong advocates of prevention through early detection.

To schedule a comprehensive eye exam, call us at 954-782-1700 and select the “appointment specialist” prompt, or to fill out our convenient appointment request form Click Here. We look forward to seeing you at the Rand Eye Institute, offering Excellence in Ophthalmology.

Greatest Benefit You Get From Your Vision

POSTED ON July 28th, 2016  - POSTED IN Cataract

It’s Senior Independence Month, and how well you see can make a world of difference in your level of independence.

What is the Greatest Benefit You Get From Your Vision?

Is it socializing with friends? Playing cards or doing needlepoint? Driving, or perhaps driving at night? How about seeing your grandkids? That might be everyone’s favorite.
All of these are fantastic reasons for wanting crystal clear vision, because the quality of your vision is directly related to your enjoyment of life and being more independent. Rand Eye Institute offers many vision options to bring back the independence as experienced back in the days of your youth.

Take a Fresh Look at Cataract Surgery

Cataracts are the leading cause of vision loss in adults 55 and over. A cataract is a clouding of the natural lens inside the eye. After the clouding of the eye, normal activities such as reading, gardening, golf or driving can become difficult.

But there’s good news! Rand Eye Institute offers modern cataract surgery, a simple, painless outpatient procedure to regain your vision, if no other diseases are found in the eye, other than the cataract, there’s a better than 98% probability that your vision will be comparable to what you enjoyed at childhood.

Cataract surgery at Rand Eye Institute is easy and virtually pain-free, and usually takes only 20 to 30 minutes or less, returning you to your normal activities the very next day, you know, those activities like golf, driving and seeing your grandkids!

So, see yourself clear to call us at 954-782-1700 and schedule a comprehensive eye exam. At Rand Eye Institute, we’ll do our best to get you back to doing what you do best.

Dry Eye Prevention Tips

POSTED ON July 26th, 2016  - POSTED IN Eye Conditions

The desert can be dry. Drinks can be dry. Jokes can be dry, but your eyes? That’s no laughing matter. They require a normal flow of moisture so they function properly for good vision and maximum comfort.

It’s Dry Eye Month, so here are four fab tips to help prevent dry eyes and give you more vision comfort here in the middle of summer.


  1. The easiest and fastest way to temporary dry eye relief is to pick up doctor recommended non-prescription artificial tears. These over the counter lubricating eye drops may help relieve dry eyes, though not permanently. Keep some handy in your purse or pocket for the times a day when you may need to refresh.
  2. A warm compress placed over the eye in the morning can wash out or melt the oily secretions blocking the flow of tears, which cause the eyes to feel dry. Just a face towel placed in warm water and held over the eye for 10 or 20 seconds, repeated a few times, may do the trick. If you find no relief then it’s definitely time to schedule an eye exam.
  3. Give up smoking. Smoking exposes your eyes to high levels of oxidative stress, plus dryness, smoke and heat.  Smoking increases the risk of developing a variety of conditions that affect your eye health.
  4. Are punctal plugs an option for me? Ask your ophthalmologist-dry eye specialist about punctal plugs: tiny stoppers that control the flow of tears from your tear ducts. This is a simple in-office procedure that may bring great relief to your eyes.

Contact our Dry Eye Specialist Dr. Allison Rand at The Rand Eye Institute for more details and to schedule your next eye exam.

How We Treat Dry Eyes

POSTED ON July 20th, 2016  - POSTED IN Eye Conditions

Punctal Plugs

We have glands that produce tears, an aqueous solution or oil secretions, and then we have drainage ducts. At the nasal aspect of both upper and lower lids is a small hole, the beginning of a tube that drains from the eye to the nose. If your eyes are very dry, we insert a tiny polymer stopper into the drainage duct to block it. If we block the lower duct, we cut approximately 50% of the drainage, so the tears that are produced last longer on the surface of the eye instead of being drained through the nose. If the dry eye is very severe, we can block both the upper and lower punctum so that whatever tears produced will have more of an effect.

Artificial, preservative-free tears

We lose tears from drainage and evaporation. Artificial lubricating tears and gels are available to add moisture to dry eyes. To lubricate the eye, there are different types of solutions available. There are watery solutions, and we have gel solutions, which are thicker and last longer on the surface of the eye, but may slightly blur vision. We have ointments, which are a greasy petroleum gel-like supplement. Adding a warm compress in the morning washes the ointment out, providing additional relief.

Warm Compresses

Warm compresses stimulate the dilation of the oil pores and make the oily secretions more fluid, similar to when you melt butter with heat. With the oil secretions more fluid, they find the bigger drainage duct and drain, resulting in more oil on the lacrimal surface. We recommend using a washcloth placed in warm water to hold over the eyes for 10 to 20 seconds as it cools off. Reheat it and bring it back to the eye and apply for two to three minutes, so that enough warmth is able to relieve your dry eye symptoms.

A Guide to Dry Eye Prevention

There is no guaranteed treatment to prevent dry eyes, but with the supplementation of omega-3 fatty acids, found in flaxseed oil, salmon, some cereals, walnuts, basil, broccoli and grape leaves, symptoms can be better controlled. Omega-3 fatty acids help the oil secretion from the lid glands. With a healthier oil layer, the evaporation rate and the friction from blinking are less. Artificial tears can also help. If you stare at a computer screen for hours, your blinking rate is diminished. We recommend periodic breaks with the use of an extra drop of artificial tears.

Come See Us

If you feel that you are experiencing symptoms of Dry Eye, schedule a comprehensive eye exam with Dr. Allison Rand, our Dry Eye Specialist. Call 954-782-1700.

Article source: Gabriel E. Velazquez, MD, Academic Director at Rand Eye Institute

National Dry Eye Awareness Month

POSTED ON July 18th, 2016  - POSTED IN Eye Conditions

What Causes Dry Eyes?

Our tears serve a purpose, they are designed to provide much needed moisture to our eyes. Later in life, some of us can experience dry eyes, a condition in which the eyes do not provide the moisture we need.
Dry eye is a multi factorial disease. Sometimes it can occur if the immune system attacks the lacrimal glands and our eyes fail to produce enough tears. It also may be secondary to chronic inflammation of the lids, when the oil glands in the lids don’t produce enough oil. It can also be a combination of both.

Who is most Likely to Experience Dry Eyes?

Dry eye is a condition more commonly found in females, especially those who are post-menopausal. It can, however, be found in either gender, typically after the age of 50 and more commonly after age 65. It is important to know that dry eyes can occur at any age.

How You Can Tell if You Have Dry Eye

Symptoms include eye irritation or the sensation of a foreign body in the eye. You might experience discomfort after a few minutes of reading, and strangely enough, even watery eyes. Your eyes may sting or burn. You may experience dry eye in specific situations, such as on an airplane, in an air-conditioned room, while riding a bicycle, in an open convertible or after looking at a computer screen for an extended period of time.

How Could Watery Eyes be a Symptom of Dry Eyes?

It seems counterintuitive, but tearing can be a sign of dry eye. We have two kinds of tears: the basal secretion tears that keep the eyes lubricated, and reflex tears, which are watery and abundant. Normally, reflex tears occur after a stimulus, such as a grain of sand that becomes trapped in your eye. The natural defense of the ocular surface is to try to wash it out. It can also be a reflex to an emotional stimulus, such as crying because you’re sad or if you are slicing an onion. If you have insufficient basal secretion tears, and your eyes get irritated, this can stimulate reflex tears.

How Often We See Dry Eyes at Rand Eye Institute

Dry eye is very common. Most people who have had eye exams know that artificial tears are available. Many patients come to Rand Eye Institute for other reasons, but during the eye exam we may find they have dry eyes in addition to other conditions such as cataracts or glaucoma. Many patients may have had symptoms for awhile, but have not been diagnosed with dry eye until we examine them and connect their symptoms with the correct diagnosis.

Article source: Gabriel E. Velazquez, MD, Academic Director at Rand Eye Institute

Senior Independence Month

POSTED ON July 5th, 2016  - POSTED IN Healthy Vision

We’ve SEEN your Independence, and we like what we see!

Rand Eye Institute celebrates Senior Independence Month. We salute our seniors who have the Vision to live in the new millennium in a positive and upbeat manner. As we get older, we realize that we need the help of friends and family in our day-to-day lives. Maybe we can no longer safely commute in rush hour traffic, carry groceries up three flights of stairs, or even see things as clearly as we used to. The truth is, no one wants to feel helpless and dependent upon others for everything, and while sooner or later we’ll have to surrender some of those tasks, there are still ways to feel independent and useful in your own life. Here are some of the ways when it comes to vision:

Take a Drive on Independence Road

We all enjoy a Sunday ride or a scenic road trip, navigating towards making new memories along the way and vision plays an important role in achieving this. If you love dinners out with friends or night-time entertainment, having restrictions on your driving will surely place a limitation on your fun. When you start to experience difficulty driving at night and seeing increased glare and halos from oncoming headlights, it’s time to visit your ophthalmologist. You may be experiencing the signs of cataracts, but great news, with the latest advancements in laser cataract surgery you may regain your independence and get behind the wheel in no time. So jump back in the driver seat, take control of your vision and buckle up-the road ahead awaits you!

Stay Connected and Up to Date

Do you remember the days when you had to get up from the couch to change the channel? Well, just like remote controls, technology is your friend and helps you stay in touch with friends and family. To be a most effective digital communicator you need clear vision, not just at a distance, but up close and clear intermediate vision helps you see your laptop or smartphone in focus. A small laptop with a wireless connection is all you need. You can download free video-chat programs so you can “connect” with your kids and grandkids, or one of the most popular “face-to-face” apps available on mobile phones. Your local technology stores even offer free group classes to teach you how to do it all. E-mail and texting are great ways to send and receive photos of the kids too. Connectivity promotes vitality and makes you feel good that you’re in touch with today, and with the exception of the purchasing a computer or mobile device, it’s virtually free. Many restaurants, coffee shops and malls offer free wireless “wi-fi” connections, while libraries have computers for use at no charge. So log on and live life with new connections!

Healthy Eating Can Equal Healthy Vision

Being independent means that YOU choose what you eat. And while your menu may be all your own, making informed food choices can help to improve your eye health. Here are five foods your eyes wish you would include in your diet:

  • Carrots, rich in beta-carotene. You SAW that coming!
  • Leafy-greens, which are packed with lutein and, lower the risk of macular degeneration and cataracts.
  • Eggs. The yolk is also a prime source of lutein and Zeaxanthin as well as zinc, which helps reduce the risk of macular degeneration.
  • Citrus and berries, which are packed with vitamin C. Can you say “smoothie”?
  • Almonds are filled with vitamin E and one ounce daily just about gets it done.
  • Fish, like tuna, salmon, mackerel, trout and even anchovies add the fatty acid, DHA, which is good for your eyes, see?

And Finally, your Independent Opinions Are All Your Own

We all have our own voice. While not everyone will agree with you and your opinions, you should still believe in yourself, after all, you come with a lifetime of experiences and no one can dispute that. You can offer your opinions without being confrontational. So say what you believe, believe what you say and believe in yourself, because you’re awesome!
So starting today: Get connected, take care of yourself, let others contribute to your well-being, express your opinions on the move and make healthy choices at the dinner table, and, before long, you’ll find that you’re much happier in your senior life.


Fireworks Eye Safety on the 4th of July

POSTED ON July 1st, 2016  - POSTED IN Eye Safety

We live in the land of the free, so we get to celebrate our love for America every year on the 4th of July. We barbecue, swim, play sports, get together with friends and family, and traditionally, we watch fireworks. Many of us take part in the setting off of fireworks. Know the law where you live concerning the use of personal fireworks, and know one other thing for sure: The law of averages could make you a statistic.
Thousands of people in the U.S. every year, many of them children, suffer eye injuries caused by fireworks. In the most severe cases, fireworks can rupture the globe of the eye, cause chemical and thermal burns, corneal abrasions and retinal detachment — all of which can permanently cause eye damage and affect vision.

In the year 2014, more than 10,500 fireworks-related injuries required treatment in an emergency room in the U.S., according to a recent fireworks injury report from the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission. Roughly 1 in 5 of those fireworks injuries was to the eyes and nearly half of those injured were bystanders, with children being frequent victims.

Here are Some Handy Fireworks Safety Tips

The best way to avoid a potentially blinding fireworks injury is by attending a professional public fireworks show rather than purchasing fireworks for personal use.

  • Respect safety barriers and view fireworks from at least 500 feet away.
  • Do not touch-unexploded fireworks; instead, immediately contact the local fire or police department to assist. You should never touch or pick up previously exploded fireworks debris.
  • Remember, pets don’t enjoy fireworks like people do. Explosions are much louder and more frightening to dogs and cats, so it’s best to leave your pet with friends in a safe environment rather than bringing them to a fireworks display.


For those who decide to purchase consumer fireworks in states where they are legal, we recommend the following safety tips to prevent eye injuries:

  • Never let young children play with fireworks of any type, even sparklers.
  • People who handle fireworks should always wear protective eyewear that meets the parameters set by the American National Standards Institute and ensure that all bystanders are also wearing eye protection.
  • The very best tip: Leave the lighting of professional-grade fireworks to trained pyrotechnicians.

What to do in the event of a fireworks eye injury:

  • Seek medical attention immediately.
  • Do not rub your eyes.
  • Do not rinse your eyes.
  • Do not apply pressure.
  • Do not remove any objects that are stuck in the eye.
  • Do not apply ointments or take any blood-thinning pain medications such as aspirin or ibuprofen.

Your doctor or eye professional is the most qualified, trained professional who can offer you the best assistance. Remember, safety is always first when it comes to your eyes. You have but ONE SET, so please take care of them.

**Should you experience a medical eye emergency, such as an injury or trauma to the eye or to the area surrounding the eye, infection, sudden eye pain or decreased vision, please call our office immediately at 954-782-1700. Our ophthalmologists are on-call 24/7 and will contact you as soon as possible.

In the event of severe trauma to the eye, or if you believe you have an extreme time sensitive eye emergency; call 911 or go to the nearest hospital emergency room while waiting for our doctor to return your call. This would avoid a delay in critical care in case for any reason our response is not immediate.

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