Since the day Dr. Orlando opened our office in 1983, our mission has been to preserve, protect, and restore vision in a caring atmosphere that always puts our patients and staff first. With that in mind, we must make some significant but short-term changes to allow us to continue this important calling. All elective surgery in the United States is being put on hold so we can protect patients, staff, surgeons, and the greater community—while also making sure vital equipment and medical supplies are available for those on the front lines of this crisis.
Having access to modern medicine is something that many of us take for granted. However, for millions of people around the world, living with treatable vision loss is often the reality.
At Columbus Ophthalmology Associates (COA), our doctors are passionate about making a difference—donating their time and specialized skills to help those most in need. Dr. Robert Derick, the director of glaucoma at COA, is especially passionate about giving back in this way.
Nicole is a member of our “behind the scenes” billing team at COA. And, this March marks her 6th year at Columbus Ophthalmology. We asked her some questions about what her experience has been like so far.
2020 is all about celebrating our employees. We would like to introduce Cindy Mark. Cindy has been greeting patients at the front desk now for over 20 years at COA! We asked Cindy some questions about her time here and what makes working at COA so special.
How Columbus Ophthalmology Associates came to be. Enjoy Dr. Orlando’s story of how Columbus Ophthalmology Associates got started!
“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 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.
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!”
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!
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.
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.
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!