COA Vision Blog

November 15, 2019 Uncategorized

How Columbus Ophthalmology Associates came to be. Enjoy Dr. Orlando’s story of how Columbus Ophthalmology Associates got started!

Dr. Bob Murphy ( far right), head team physician at OSU for over 30 years. This is from 1978 and we are checking an assistant coaches ankle.
Dr. Bob Murphy ( far right), head team physician at OSU for over 30 years. This is from 1978 and we are checking an assistant coaches ankle.

“The first time I ever visited Dublin, Ohio was when I was in medical school back in the winter of 1977. After years of playing basketball, I wanted to continue to stay in the game and began to referee middle school and high school games. One of my first assignments was a game in Dublin at the 1909 Building on Bridge Street. I recall driving there from campus and thinking “wow, this is way out in the country” and as I crossed the bridge past the Historic area and pulled into the parking lot, it reminded me of Mayberry. Two lane roads, no street lights, one traffic signal and a school that had a basketball court that doubled as the stage!!! I recall making sure I would not fall off into the audience and prayed no one would get hurt doing the same. That spring one of my classmates told me they were looking for weekend caddies at Muirfield Village Golf Club so again I made the long drive up Riverside Drive, across that same bridge and up a two lane road to the course. There were some new houses being built along the fairways there but for the most part there was not much around. Someone told me the zoo was nearby but all I wanted to do was meet Jack Nicklaus, my golf hero. I caddied there off and on the rest of medical school and did get to see Jack every now and then when he was in town to fix something on the course and prepare for the Memorial Tournament. My hope was that someday I would get to play there. I never imagined that within five years I would establish a medical practice there, build a home and become a member at Muirfield Village and be part of the medical staff for the tournament!!

The Original Dublin, OH building
The Original Dublin, OH building

The road to Dublin was paved by a chance meeting the very first weekend I was on call as an intern at Riverside Methodist Hospital. It was July 4th weekend and a time with minimal hospital staffing. Since I was just out of medical school, I was pretty green at managing critically ill patients. Around 10 pm that night I got a call from the Emergency Department to come and admit a patient in acute kidney failure. After doing all the appropriate blood tests and starting IV’s, I was called to the phone to talk to the patients primary care physician, Dr. Ken Carpenter. We had never met but he explained the situation and that this patient was a farmer that had been a long time patient of his from Dublin. He wanted me to do some special tests and get the patient into the ICU where he would meet me around midnight. I thought, ‘what doctor is coming in at that time when there are plenty of physicians here to help stabilize his patients?’ Well, around 12:30 am, the curtain around the patient’s bed was pulled away and in steps a man that looks like he had just come from the disco. Braided pony tail, funky glasses, full beard, polyester flowered shirt unbuttoned with a gold chain adorned with a dollar gold piece, bell bottoms and leather boots. I recall thinking ‘who is this guy?’  He introduced himself as Dr. Carpenter and he talked to the patient for a long time telling him I was a great young doctor and would take excellent care of him. Then we went into the consultation room where he told me to make sure I stayed with him all night and call him in the morning. I did all he asked and we got the patient through his illness and from that point on Ken Carpenter would call me to go see his patients and he often would come in and meet them and explain their illness, how they were to be treated and what his expectations were of me. After a few months, he asked me what specialty I was going into and when I said ophthalmology he told me that he would check in on me from time to time and wanted me to come out to Dublin because he was going to open a multi-specialty clinic where he needed an eye surgeon. Over the next few years, he would have me come up to his office which was in an old house in the Historic District and we would talk about his plans. One spring day, we drove over to Frantz Road, which at the time was two lanes of country fields. He showed me the plot of land he had purchased where he was going to open The Dublin Medical Mall and it would have a pharmacy, lab, urgent care center, his family practice as well as specialists, including myself. He was also recruiting an OB GYN practice, allergists, dermatology, ENT and urology so that his patients would not have to drive miles to see their sub-specialist. His vision was remarkable as I had no idea how such a facility would work in the middle of nowhere.

Dr. Carpenter (L) at the Columbus Ophthalmology Associates 20 Year Anniversary Party
Dr. Carpenter (L) at the Columbus Ophthalmology Associates 20 Year Anniversary Party

In 1983, I completed my training and worked part-time in a downtown practice while Dr. Carpenter completed my office space and opened the Dublin Medical Mall. Our original office had two exam rooms, a waiting room with about ten chairs and a single staff member that answered the phones, checked patients in and out, filed insurance claims and got all the charts ready. On our first day, we saw two patients and that first week we were happy to have a total of twelve new patients. Dr. Carpenter reminded me that I should always be available as he had a large practice and the urgent care center would help grow my patient base over time. There were days I would sit for hours between exams. Slowly but surely he would bring over and introduce me to one of his long time patients that needed an exam or had an eye infection or that wanted cataract surgery. I was open the two Saturday mornings he was and those became very busy days for me. My wife would often work those days to cover the front office and on days we could not find a babysitter, patients had the added benefit of our infant daughter Kristen being behind the desk!! Dr. Carpenter always reminded me that Dublin was going to be a very large suburb and, indeed, his instincts were correct. We now have a full-service hospital and a medical school in our city but I am happy to have been a part of the very first full-service medical center in our great community. He passed away five years ago but his former patients, staff, and long-time Dublin residents still fondly recall his unique and caring relationship with them as well as his importance to the growth of our city. In 1999, we had outgrown our original office and moved to the Bradenton Building but if not for that chance meeting in the ER 20 years prior, Columbus Ophthalmology Associates may have never been founded.  Now, I hardly ever leave the city as we have wonderful parks, restaurants, medical care, shopping districts and the club where I caddied nearly 40 years ago. It has been quite a road to where we are now and I am so appreciative of the support of this wonderful community!”

Bradenton Avenue Building being built in 1999
Bradenton Avenue Building being built in 1999



November 8, 2019 Uncategorized

While COA specializes in eye surgeries for a variety of conditions we also offer services in custom contacts and scleral lenses. At both of our full-service optical locations, we are pleased to offer standard and specialty contact lens examinations and fittings. We recently had a patient so happy with her Scleral lenses; she wanted to share her story about her experience at COA.

Monae had 20/50 vision and wore contacts her entire life. “The one thing I hated most was driving at night. The glare I would see around lights made it pretty much impossible to drive.” Monae has a condition known as keratoconus. Keratoconus is an eye disease in which the usually spherical cornea thins and begins to bulge into a conical shape. The conical shape defocuses light as it hits the cornea causing distorted and blurred vision. Many people with this condition find it hard to wear contact lenses because of the discomfort it can cause to the person’s already thin cornea. “I didn’t really know anything about scleral lenses but Dr. Hartman encouraged me to try scleral’ s and when I found out I could get 20/20 vision I was all in.”

Scleral contact lenses are usually more comfortable to wear than smaller RGP contact lenses. The cornea is filled with thousands of nerve fibers that make it very sensitive to the environment. Because it is so sensitive, most people can feel a regular contact lens as it moves around on the eye. A scleral lens rests mainly on the conjunctiva and sclera. The conjunctiva is much less sensitive than the cornea, producing much less awareness and discomfort. A patient who finds a rigid gas permeable lens intolerable may be able to wear a scleral lens easily with little to no discomfort. This was perfect for Monae because of her condition; people with keratoconus cannot go under LASIK like many others with vision issues because it could actually make their vision worse. The only effective treatment is custom contact lenses.

Scleral lenses are a little bigger than traditional contacts, that may scare some people, Monae says, “If they’re going to allow you to see better than that is all that matters. I would tell anyone hesitant to try it, it may sound scary but overall it is nothing but comfortable.” Monae now says she has no problem driving at night and the glare has been reduced drastically. “I’m asking everyone if they want to take a road trip cause I’m finally comfortable driving at night!”

We are so happy to help patients like Monae improve their vision and make them more confident in their everyday tasks. If you have any questions about our specialty contact lens examination and fittings please feel free to schedule an appointment HERE! 


September 6, 2019 Uncategorized

Ophthalmologists have been using Botox to treat patients longer than any other physician. In the 1950s, scientists discovered that botulinum toxic could reduce muscle spasms. In the 1960s and 1970s, researchers studied its effect on patients with crossed eyes. In 1989, Allergan (a pharmaceutical company that specializes in products for the eye) introduced Botox, the first botulinum toxin approved by the FDA to treat blepharospasms (eyelid spasms) as well as crossed eyes. Botox was used by Ophthalmologists exclusively for over a decade. But after recognizing the impact Botox had on decreasing the appearance of wrinkles, the FDA approved Botox to minimize frown lines between the brows in 2002.

Botox works by blocking signals from the nerve to the muscles. The injected muscle can no longer contract which causes wrinkles to relax and soften. When injected into the eye muscles, it reduces their movement and can be very effetive in aligning in the eyes. They can also be injected for eye spasms, and can help with overactive blinking.

Since the FDA’s approval of Botox for cosmetic purposes, Botox use has exploded. It has been found to improve not only eye issues and wrinkles, but is now being used to treat severe underarm sweating and migraines. Botox is even being studied to measure its effects on treating depression. So while its uses continues to grow, Ophthalmologists will always be steeped in Botox history and will remain the physicians with the most experience.


August 22, 2019 Uncategorized
Between school, soccer and family activities it can be difficult for parents to keep everything in order. Since good vision is essential for academic progress, comprehensive eye examinations should be a priority for your child’s annual health care strategy.  While screenings at the pediatrician or school nurse can detect significant visual disorders, they are not a substitute for a comprehensive eye examination.

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!


Summer Eye Care Tips - JPEG for web

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.


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.


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.


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!

April Eye Care Tips - JPEG for web

March 15, 2018 Uncategorized

The greatest joy we have is when a patient is satisfied with their entire experience at Columbus Ophthalmology Associates. We’re happy to begin sharing patient testimonials from current patients, so you can see the real difference that is being made in the lives of people in our community through our caring staff and doctors. We’re excited to share James Gallo’s experience with you.

James Gallo has been a patient of Dr. McHale’s for a number of years. He has glaucoma and had been treating it with medication. He also had macular degeneration that was being treated with injections from another physician. James had a number of surgeries to help his macular degeneration and about a year ago, because of those surgeries, his cataract advanced. It advanced so quick and became very think that almost overnight he noticed a difference in his vision. “Before I went blind in my right eye, I could see there was a dullness. It was like looking through a fish tank with really dirty water in it,” said James. Until this point, James was able to go about his daily life, drive to work, help around the house, and spend time with his family. But the sudden decline of his cataract changed everything. His wife Mary adds, “Exactly one year ago…he was in the kitchen saying ‘I can’t see, I can’t see’. It was scary.” James went blind in his right eye and from that point on, their lives weren’t the same.

“For a year, we tried to adjust to his vision. With only one good eye, everything in our lives was affected,” said Mary. “His self-esteem was down because he lost his independence. He would get tired just trying to watch tv and he couldn’t drive anymore. As time went on, it caused a strain for both of us.”

And that’s when James discussed his vision with Dr. McHale and the decision was made that it was time for cataract surgery.

“I read that cataract surgery is the most successful surgery there is and I wasn’t really nervous. It wasn’t intimidating and I knew I was in good hands,” said James. Though his doctors prepared him to not expect much, what he received was truly a miracle.

Almost exactly one year from when his cataract made his eye blind, James Gallo had his cataract surgery. That was one month ago and today he had a follow-up appointment with Dr. McHale.

Today, James has near perfect vision. And in his right eye, his vision is better than before his cataract. “I was surprised at how quick the procedure was. And the recovery time was quick, too. I was back to living my normal life in no time,” James commented. Jame’s wife, Mary, trusted had faith in the work of the doctors. She commented, “It’s amazing the difference his cataract surgery made. In just one year’s time, he went from going blind in one eye and losing his independence to regaining his sight and his self-esteem, and helping around the house again!” James and Mary are beaming as they discuss the trials of the past year and the great victory of James regaining his vision. “One of our favorite things to do on the weekend is to go to the movies and for a whole year we couldn’t go,” said Mary. “But last week, we finally went to the movies. For the first time in a whole year. We were so excited. I took a photo of him in the driver seat and sent it to our kids with a text that said ‘Can I get a hallelujah? Can I get an amen? We’re going to the movies!” James is grateful for the work of Columbus Ophthalmology Associates for saving his vision and giving him his life back. We’re all happy for him and his wife and grateful that they trusted our doctors and staff with something so important.

Dr. McHale and James Gallo
Dr. McHale and James Gallo

Thank you, James and Mary!


Copyright by Columbus Ophthalmology Associates 2018. All rights reserved.