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CDC Communications

As of Tuesday evening, March 17, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have recommended all routine eye care be deferred until further notice in order to slow the transmission of COVID-19 throughout our community.We will remain available to triage eye emergencies as well as help you with routine matters during this challenging time.

During this period of social distancing and quarantine, we must all do our part by restricting activities outside the home except for getting medical care.• Routine Eye Exams: If you are scheduled for a routine eye examination appointment for the remainder of March and early April, we will reschedule your appointment. As of March 18, 2020, we will begin rescheduling routine eye examination appointments for April 15, 2020 and later.

  • I need to replace my glasses. What do I do? Please contact us at phone 954-430-7338, text 954-398-5894, email We may be able extend your prescription during this time and will help you with your eyewear needs.
  • I’m nearly out of contact lenses. What do I do? Please contact us at (phone number, text number, email address). We may be able extend your prescription during this time, and/or place an order for your contact lenses and have them shipped to your house.
  • I need a refill on the medication prescribed to me by the practice. What do I do? Please contact us at phone 954-430-7338, text 954-398-5894, email We can transmit a refill for your prescription directly to your pharmacy so that you have the medication that you need.
  • I have an issue. It cannot wait until you can see me in the office. What can I do? If you have an issue that cannot wait for an office visit, contact us at phone 954-558-5138, text 954-398-5894, email and we will schedule a FaceTime, Skype or Telephone appointment with one of our doctors for this type of care during the pandemic. Other insurers may follow suit and allow for reimbursement of virtual care costs. The consultation must be initiated at your request.
  • What about an eye emergency? What can I do? If you have an ocular emergency, we are, as always, available to help you at any time. Call 954-558-5138 and wait for instructions at the end of the message.

Dr. Iliana Toral OD & Dr Fallahzadeh OD will do their best to accommodate you in the office whenever possible. In some cases, a house call may be possible if you cannot leave your home. If not, we will direct you to the nearest eye emergency facility.

We have asked our staff to stay home until further notice to protect them, our patients, our community, our nation, and our planet. However, dispensing hours may be available, please call 954-430-7338 before showing up. Despite the financial and emotional hardships this will cause, we ask every one of you to do the same.

The Development of Your Child’s Vision

From the moment a child is born he/she has everything needed in order to see. Seeing properly is just a matter of learning how. From birth a child does not see in color. Rather, a child is only able to see in black and white, and shades of gray. The ability to see in color will not develop until four months of age. A baby can also only focus on objects within eight to twelve inches. From here, a baby slowly begins to learn to focus his/her vision further out. Slowly, he/she will begin focusing on faces and then eventually move out to objects of interest, such as brightly colored toys. By eight to twelve weeks, a baby should be able to start following people or objects with his/her eyes. “By four months your child should be reaching for objects as he/she works on two more very important parts of vision development, depth perception and hand-eye coordination.” adds Dr. Toral.

Dr. Toral relates, “Many parents come to me concerned that their two or three month old’s eyes seem not to be coordinated, and I advise them that this is perfectly normal. Usually it takes until the fourth or fifth month before your baby begins to master the coordination of his/her eyes.” By the end of the fifth month your baby should have learned to use both eyes together to interpret the world around him/her. This facilitates binocular fusion, the process by which the brain takes the two slightly different images sent to it by each eye and translates them into one unified, interpreted image. Depth perception is also made possible as your child becomes better at using both eyes in unison. By six months, your baby’s vision should be fully developed. From here, your child will continue to fine tune depth perception and spatial skills to more easily navigate and interact with the world as he/she grows.

Between six and twelve months, your baby will begin to crawl and then, eventually, walk. These require a new set of skills coordinated by the eyes to interact with the world successfully. Your baby will begin to be able to judge distance quite accurately, which is important to keep from bumping into things as they navigate their world. Perception skills such as visual memory and visual discrimination help your baby make sense of the world as well.

Throughout your child’s preschool years, eyesight will continue to develop. For toddlers it is very important to continue development of hand-eye and hand-body coordination, eye teaming, and depth perception. “Stacking blocks, rolling a ball, coloring and drawing are great examples of how to interact with your toddler in a way that will help improve these important skills in a fun and constructive way,” advises Dr. Toral. By the time your child is ready to enter school, he/she should have all the visual ability required for proper learning.

It is important to have regular comprehensive eye exams at all stages of development. This is to be sure that your child’s vision is developing as it should and to diagnose any eye conditions that may be effecting your child. There are many eye conditions, such as strabismus and amblyopia that can be corrected easily if caught early, but can do irreversible damage that will effect a child into adulthood if left undiagnosed and untreated for too long. It is also important to be sure that your child enjoys good eyesight for learning in school. An eye doctor will check whether your child needs vision correction for nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism and will check for basic skills that are important for your child’s success in the classroom, such as eye movement skills, peripheral awareness and depth perception.

Contact Lens Overuse

Contact lens overuse is an increasingly common eye condition that has significant potential to do serious damage to your eyes, and lead to major eye and vision issues in the future. Dr. NAME of PRACTICE in CITY,STATE comments “Contact lenses represent a great way to enhance how you look and feel while allowing you to maintain your best vision. But, they pose a very real risk of damaging your vision if you don’t know how to care for and use them properly. It is important to know what to do to allow safe wear of your contacts and avoid this increasingly prevalent and dangerous eye condition.”

The 18 Hour/Week Rule

Your eyes require oxygen just like a person, and denying them the opportunity to breathe properly by overwearing your contact lenses can cause severe damage to your eyes. But, how much is too much when it comes to contact lens wear? To answer this question, eye care professionals have come up with a standard benchmark: If you come in anywhere less than 18 hours a week with your contact lenses out, you are overwearing your contact lenses. When denied oxygen in this way, the eye may attempt to supply oxygen through neovascularization. This process involves the growth of new blood vessels into parts of the eye that should remain clear and unblocked for your best vision. This can seriously hinder your ability to see, and do serious long-term damage as well.

Spare Glasses: Your First, Best Tool To Protect Your Vision

In working on reducing your contact lens wear, a spare pair of glasses can be your best friend. Studies have shown that wearing your glasses instead of your contacts as little as once or twice every week can significantly reduce your chances of developing symptoms of contact lens overuse by allowing your eyes to rest from the strain put on them by consistent contact lens wear.

Even on days when you choose to wear your contacts, it is possible to take steps to reduce your chances of over wearing your contacts. One easy way to do this is to wait to put your contacts in when you wake up in the morning. Wear your glasses during your morning prep, and put your contacts in as the very last step before leaving for the day. Taking your contacts out as the pirst part of your bedtime prep is another great way to help yourself. These two methods combined can significantly reduce your chances of contact lens overuse without having to make much conscious effort to do so.

Never Sleep With Your Contacts In

Sleeping with your contact lenses in is among the leading causes of contact lens overuse. This practice is among the most dangerous and damaging of the many poor lens wearing choices a person can make. Overnight contact lens wear, or even wearing them for a short nap during the day, may deny the eyes essential oxygen and hydration, possibly leading to vision threatening infections and a painful scratch on the surface of the eye called a corneal abrasion, which can cause eye pain, light sensitivity and excessive tearing. Removing your contact lenses, even for a short nap, is an essential step toward guarding your long term eye health.

Follow Instructions, Save Your Eyes

Possibly the most important part of preventing contact lens overuse is paying close attention to the replacement schedule prescribed by your doctor. Time lines for contact lens replacement are established to protect your eyes from the potentially harmful consequences of contact lens deterioration and calcium deposits that build up on your contact lenses over time. Many people believe that as long as their contacts are comfortable to wear, there is nothing wrong and no need to replace them. Optometrists have fought against this harmful myth for years. By the time contact lenses are uncomfortable, they may have already begun to damage your eyes in ways that may affect your sight long term. Whether in an attempt to save money or through simple inattentiveness, wearing your contact lenses beyond their prescribed replacement date is an incredibly harmful practice that could have serious long term consequences.

For any questions and further tips, contact Eye Center of South Florida.

Computer Vision: Ways To Protect Your Eyes

In this day and age, computers, smart phones and similar technologies are everywhere. Many hours are spent by most of us, either during our leisure time or for work, looking at the lighted screen of a computer or smart phone. Recently, the incidence of Computer Eye Strain has gone up significantly. As much as 90 percent of all people who consistently work with computers suffer from eye strain and other symptoms. These symptoms often lead to physical fatigue, decreased productivity and increased work errors. Minor annoyances, such as eye twitching and red eyes, have also been reported.

Fortunately, one can take several steps to reduce his/her risk of computer eye strain and other common symptoms of computer vision syndrome:

Move your work space around a bit. With a bit of rearrangement, a new work space configuration can help your eyes more easily deal with strain associated with working all day on the computer. First, attempt to minimize the impact of light coming in from outside by simply closing the shades. Also, if possible, place your computer screen with windows to the outside off to the side, rather than behind or in front of it. This reduces strain on your eyes from bright sunlight that streams in through the window and may cause your eyes discomfort.

Set your monitor settings to maximize comfort. Monitor settings, when set incorrectly, can also do a great deal to detract from your visual comfort while on the computer. Dr. Fallahzadeh advises, “If you have an old tube-style monitor, get rid of it as soon as possible. This style of monitor has a noticeable, uncomfortable ‘flicker,’ and likely gives off glare that contributes to computer eye strain. LCD screens, by contrast, lack this flicker and very often include an anti-reflective surface. These are extremely important factors when trying to make computer use more comfortable on your eyes. As an added note, desktop computer displays must be at least 19″ diagonal to facilitate strain-free use. Adjust your computer’s display settings correctly as well. Brightness, text size, contrast and color temperature all add to or diminish your experience.”

Finally, regular eye exams are an absolutely essential. This is true no matter what eye condition is being treated or prevented. Those who work most of their days on the computer should have an eye exam before they start working, and every year after that, so that their eye doctor can keep track of changes, and treat symptoms as they are diagnosed. “Also, speak to your eye doctor about custom ‘computer glasses’ to help deal with computer eye strain.” notes Dr. Fallahzadeh.

For more information, contact Eye Center of South Florida today.