COA Vision Blog

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Dr. Derick and Dr. Litzinger are a valuable part of our team at Columbus Ophthalmology Associates. Their love for helping their patients and providing the best service possible is evident to everyone they see. On an average day, patients from Central Ohio trust both Dr. Derick and Dr. Litzinger with one of their most valuable possessions: their sight. Time and time again, patient after patient, we have seen success story after success story in patients regaining their vision and satisfied with their procedure. This is what they live for. Or is it? What you may not know about both Dr. Derick and Dr. Litzinger is that their passion for assisting patients’ regain their vision goes well beyond Central Ohio. These brilliant surgeons have been making a difference in the lives of people around the world, helping others regain their sight, one cataract or glaucoma surgery at a time. In order to learn more about their personal decision to give back in this way and about their passion, we’ve invited them to share their personal experiences with you!


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June 14, 2019 Eye care

With the talk of cannabis constantly growing, we get a number of patients who ask about marijuana and glaucoma. We would like to shed some light on the reality of the situation and have asked Dr. Orlando, founder of Columbus Ophthalmology Associates and expert cataract surgeon to shed some light on the reality of using marijuana to treat glaucoma.

But first, let’s start with what is glaucoma?

Glaucoma is a common sight-threatening disease that can cause damage to the optic nerve damage, the delicate cable-like structure that connects the eye to the brain. Most often, the damage is a result of chronic high pressure within the eye that slowly destroys the nerve fibers from the inside of the nerve outward. The loss of optic nerve fibers is not reversible but at detection and with treatment, the progression of the disease can be stopped.

 

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Now that we’re clear about glaucoma, we’ve asked Dr. Orlando to give us a glimpse of what he shares with his patients about glaucoma and the use of cannabis.

“Last year Ohio voted to legalize medical marijuana and almost immediately patients began to ask if it would help them with their glaucoma. So far, Ohio has not determined what medical conditions and in what clinical circumstance cannabis can be used. However, the drug has been studied for many years by ophthalmologists as public opinion has more or less approved it’s use for glaucoma. But the scientific reality is that it does not really work as treatment for this potentially blinding disorder. First of all, one must understand that glaucoma is a very multi-faceted and challenging disease that can present in a variety of ways. Basically, the internal pressure of the eye damages the delicate optic nerve which connects the eye to the brain where images are created. Eye doctors measure this pressure as part of their routine eye exam and look for elevation that is above the normal of 20mmHg. However, damage can occur even with pressure readings lower than 20 and so the optic nerve itself needs evaluation with a variety of tests that can pick up early signs of damage. When diagnosed, the glaucoma specialist will set a “target pressure” and begin the most appropriate treatment to lower the readings to that point. Follow up visits are required in order to make sure there is no further damage to the nerve with the initial medical therapy. In some cases, a special laser known as the SLT will open the internal canals and allow the pressure to drop if topical drops do not control the pressure readings at a safe level. In extreme cases, microsurgery will create a drain from inside to drop the pressure and prevent further damage.

Scientific research on the use of cannabis for glaucoma treatment has been done for over 30 years. Initial studies done with patients smoking the drug found pressure readings that dropped around 25% but the effect lasted only 2 to 4 hours. Other studies with oral administration of cannabis extract also showed only a short time frame for lowering of the intra-ocular pressures. Some case reports have showed variable response to the drug in lowering pressures and so the overall consensus is that cannabis is ineffective for long term treatment of glaucoma. There are far more proven effective therapies and the American Glaucoma Society has stated there is no form of cannabis that is recommended for treatment of this disease.  The University of Mississippi is currently the only approved site for cannabis research and we will await further studies to see if this can be an effective adjunct to our current treatment options.”

Hopefully this update from Dr. Orlando has helped shed some light on the use of cannabis for the treatment of glaucoma. If you are suffering from glaucoma and would like to speak with a specialist, please call our offices and we will be happy to assist you.


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June 7, 2019 Eye care

A number of our patients come to see us because they need to discuss next steps towards getting rid of their cataract. We realize that some people are nervous by this conversation but it’s nothing to fear. We want to ensure that you and your family are fully confident in knowing what a cataract is, how common it is, and how quickly we can help you get rid of it and begin enjoying your life with great sight!

What is a Cataract?

Everyone has a natural lens in both of their eyes. Cataracts form in the actual lens – not on top or underneath it. “I see a number of patients that think a cataract is something that is laying on top of their lens, as if we can simply go in and remove the covering. It doesn’t exactly work that way, but the actual procedure isn’t much more complicated. It’s so simple, the procedure of removing and replacing the lens is completed in 10 or 15 minutes” said Dr. James McHale, an Ophthalmologist and Managing Partner at Columbus Ophthalmology Associates who says he completes this procedure hundreds of times a year. Like Dr. McHale said, a cataract is when the lens, which is clear most of your life, becomes cloudy. At a point, that cloudiness can cause blurry or foggy vision, problems with glare from headlights or the sun, a dullness in color, and other issues. See photo below of what someone with normal vision versus someone with a cataract would see if they looked at the same photo:

Cataract before and after

 

How do you treat Cataracts?

Removal and replacement of the cloudy lens with an Intra-Ocular Lens is the only way to treat a cataract. But don’t worry, it’s not a difficult procedure at all! Cataract surgery is one of the most successful operations in all of medicine and it has excellent results. The actual procedure only takes up to 15 minutes – and there are no sutures to deal with. Your healing time is quick and most people resume normal activities in days! Cataract surgery is such a common procedure, that by the age of 80, half of all Americans have a cataract or have had cataract surgery. So if you have to have this procedure, we don’t want you to worry at all! We’re here to help you through it.

If you would like more information on Cataract Surgery, watch this quick video:
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If you are struggling with cataracts and this is a treatment you need to have, hopefully this will encourage you to further look into completing your cataract surgery. Remember, you are always free to call our office and speak with someone to ask questions and to schedule an appointment to see one of our Ophthalmologists. We would be happy to see you and discuss your options for a brighter, and clearer, vision future!


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May 31, 2019 Eye care

Springtime is here and along with the warm weather we all patiently waited for comes seasonal allergies. According to the CDC, over 50 million Americans will suffer from allergies this year. Seasonal allergies can cause a variety of unpleasant symptoms including, sneezing, sinus congestion, itchy throat, and eye irritation. With the pollen count around Columbus, OH averaging in the medium to high zone (5.3-12 )* for the past month, our doctors at COA have been seeing an influx of patients that have irritation, itching, and redness around the eyes. Find out how you can help protect your eyes from seasonal allergies and when to see a doctor for major eye issues that could easily be masked by allergies.


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May 16, 2019 Eye care
You may think the obvious answer to that question is no, but in sports such as basketball, you could possibly become an all-star with less than perfect vision. A recent article in the Wall Street Journal explains how Stephen Curry became one of the NBA’s best shooters despite having an uncommon degenerative condition known as keratoconus.


March 29, 2019 Uncategorized

By Brennen Yaquinto, OD, MS

They’re finally here! After being named one of Time Magazine’s Best Inventions of 2018 without even being on the market, Johnson & Johnson is releasing their Transitions™ line of Acuvue® Oasys contact lenses. That’s right, just like the glasses that change into sunglasses when you step outside, these contact lenses will do the same. Light inside, dark outside, all in the same contact lens.

on April 1st, Acuvue® Oasys Contact Lenses with Transitions™ will be available to try out and purchase from your local eye care physician. The lenses are designed to darken within 60 seconds of stepping outside into the sun and lightening within 90 seconds of returning inside. They are also the only contact lens to protect against 99% of UVA & UVB rays. While these are not a replacement for sunglasses, they do reduce the light and UV rays entering the eye in a seamless manner.

Two out of three people report that they are bothered by bright lights throughout the day. These lenses aim to reduce the burden of blaring light both inside and outside to alleviate squinting.

These lenses are great for all walks of life. The first advancement that comes to mind is with athletes. From baseball to running, contact lenses have many benefits over glasses. Transition contact lenses allow the darkening effect of sunglasses without the cumbersome nature of the frames. Major League Baseball player Bryce Harper is already excited about using these lenses to help improve his game. These lenses will also benefit those who are outside for other activities, or people who are not outside much at all.

For those who spend much of their lives indoors, Transitions™ contact lenses have been found to block up to 15% of the blue light off of digital surfaces.  This absorption will help reduce eyestrain and fatigue from computers, tablets, and phones ultimately reducing headaches.

While the glasses only change based on UV light exposure, the Transitions™ contact lenses change based on both UV and the temperature of the eye’s surface.  This means the lenses are 15% darkened while inside to help with bright rooms and light off of digital screens. The eye’s temperature also keeps the lens from ever fully turning black allowing great vision no matter the light or UV level.

The majority of the research and development studies were done right here at The Ohio State University College of Optometry.

For those who wear Acuvue® Oasys lenses, switching should be seamless; for those who do not, it should be just as simple. Ask your eye doctor today about making the switch!



June 27, 2018 Uncategorized

June 21st marked the first day of the summer season. Though the days are slowly getting shorter, they are still long and leave lots of hours of sun exposure. Our Summer Eye Care Tips will give you a few ways you can help protect your eyes and keep them safe from harmful sun rays and seasonal elements that may cause harm or discomfort. Enjoy the warm weather and remember to follow these eye care tips so you can be healthy and happy all summer long!

 

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Last month, Dr. Orlando was chosen to participate in a Johnson and Johnson new product trial. As a company, Johnson and Johnson has been receiving feedback from their customers who want their products to be created without the use of animal bi-products. They value their customers’ feedback and are making changes to fit social expectations. Because Dr. Orlando is a skilled and proven ophthalmologist, and has worked with Johnson and Johnson many times in the past, he was chosen to test a new synthetic product that is free of any animal products. The new product is a type of viscoelastic, a fluid used in cataract surgery. Dr. Orlando is one of the leading ophthalmologists and has performed thousand of cataract surgeries in his lifetime, so this new product trial was a great fit and experience for everyone involved.

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In the operating room, there were representatives from Johnson and Johnson as well as Dr. Orlando. The product trial they performed is called a Double Blinded Study (no pun intended!). There were 20 samples which were marked with numerical identifiers on them. No one in the room know which product was which. After the trial was complete, the study coordinator would analyze the results and determine the likeness of the new synthetic product to the current non-synthetic product. This meant that Dr. Orlando had to perform 20 cataract surgeries on synthetic eyes; 10 of the samples used the new viscoelastic product and the other 10 used the older version of the material.

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After each cataract surgery, Dr. Orlando would share his feedback with the Johnson and Johnson staff. He give them information about the ease of use, the qualities of the product that he liked or disliked, and whether it was similar to the current product.

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We are honored and thrilled to have relationships like ours with Johnson and Johnson. The world is ever-changing, as is the world of technology and medicine. Our physicians are some of the best in their field and love sharing their knowledge to help make the world a better place, whether it’s for our patients or for thousands of people who will be using products, from companies like Johnson and Johnson. You can rest in knowing that our physicians are highly valued in their profession and have your best interest in mind!

 



Today’s patient testimonial comes from Mr. Howard Wright. Howard was referred to our practice by Dr. Pittser in the Washington Courthouse area. He was suffering from severe cataracts, as well as astigmatism, and had blurred vision at every distance. There wasn’t a part of his life that wasn’t affected by his inability to see clearly. He had a growing difficultly with driving and light sensitivity. While he had worn prescription glasses, they were only masking the true problem. That’s when Howard and his doctor made the decision to not update his prescription and instead contacted Dr. Litzinger to talk to Howard about cataract surgery. Howard’s wife, Elizabeth, was a patient of Dr. Litzinger’s and had a wonderful experience. So the decision was very easy for Howard. After speaking with Dr. Litzinger, he decided to have cataract surgery. He knew he would have to wear readers, but that didn’t bother Howard at all. As long as he would be able to see clearly most of the time, he would be happy again.

Howard recently had a follow-up appointment with Dr. Litzinger and was given a glowing review! Howard no longer needs glasses for daily activities. His farsightedness and astigmatism are gone, and aside from needing mild reading glasses, his vision is 20/20. Dr. Litzinger also told him that his intermediate range is better than 20/20!

Howard and Elizabeth both expressed sincere gratitude to Dr. Litzinger for the amazing work he did restoring their vision. They trusted him from the beginning and are so grateful to be able to live their lives with their best sight ever. Thank you Howard and Elizabeth for trusting us to take care of you and your eyesight!

 

Howard and Elizabeth Wright. Happy patients of Dr. Litzinger!
Howard and Elizabeth Wright. Happy patients of Dr. Litzinger!

Click here if you’re interested in learning more about how we can help you have the best vision of your life!



It is almost spring. Technically, it is spring but it feels like it’s January in Central Ohio! We are looking forward to many spring days ahead with warmer weather, getting to enjoy the outdoors, and seeing more sunshine. Since winter is hanging on so tight, it has pushed allergy season back until Mother Nature decides to move forward. For now, we have our April Eye Care Tips to share with you, tips that are not related to the weather but are filled with things you can do and control to help you manage your vision. Following these eye care tips will help you in the long term to keep your vision in tact as long as possible. Cheers to good health, friends!

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