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At Columbus Ophthalmology Associates, we have over 165 years of combined experience in ophthalmology and optometry. Our doctors and surgeons have been practicing for years in Ohio, across the country, and some around the world. We also love to give back to students by having our externship program. Many things have changed over the years, but the hard work and dedication it takes to complete the years of education and training to become a doctor or surgeon are still the same and it takes tenacity and dedication to get there. In light of recent college graduations, we asked a few of our doctors to share some of the wisdom they’ve learned through the years with you. Keep reading to learn what Dr. Orlando, Dr. McHale and Dr. Nolan would tell their younger selves!

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What advice would you give to your younger self, knowing what you know now?

Dr Orlando
“So, in regards to what advice I would give a young medical student or resident, I think there are a few things to help them on their journey.  First of all, I would recommend that they take care of themselves first and foremost. We as care givers, especially during training, can disregard our own needs such as eating well, getting regular exercise and finding outside activities that interest us and make us a well rounded person. I learned to paint back in college and it is something I enjoy a great deal. I like brilliant colors, large landscapes and flowers (as evidenced by the big paintings in the COA East dilating area) and landscapes that take me to a place of serenity and peace. I pretty much gave that up all during my years of training due to the time constraints and demands placed upon young residents. Even if I had twenty minutes, I could have done some sketches or water colors just to wind down the scientific side of my brain and develop the artistic portion. So I recommend they find that activity that stimulates their creative side so they can remain curious about the world and constantly asked questions. Every great discovery in medicine has come about because someone asked “what if we tried it this way?” So it is vital to ensure that we as physicians never lose that inquisitive nature by being bogged down in the day to day rituals of patient care. We must allow ourselves time to unwind, recharge our souls and re-engage with nature and all that is beautiful in this world. Likewise, I also feel they truly do need to make sure they pay attention to their own health so again, find the time to do yoga, stretching, run on a treadmill or play a team sport so they can keep their stamina and endurance during the long days in clinic and the operating room. Healthy eating is part of that process so do not take the easy way out by gorging on fast food or eat while “on the run”.  Sit down, have a nice salad with salmon or piece of fruit and some nuts. Drink a lot of water and stay hydrated. Simple things but truly will help them stay focused and provide better patient care. By developing these habits early in their careers, these doctors will have a balance all their lives. Caring for patients is a very serious business that demands our full attention and can take a lot out of us if we are not careful. Taking time for ourselves, finding creative hobbies that nurture our spirit and continuing to stay in touch with friends and family are critical to a long and happy career.”

Dr. Orlando received his bachelor’s degree in chemistry from Gannon University in Erie, Pennsylvania and his medical degree from The Ohio State University in 1979. He completed his residency training at The Ohio State University Medical Center in 1983 and founded Columbus Ophthalmology in Dublin the following year.

Dr. McHale

“‘You know what you have to do, now do it!’ I think it is something that many of us understand. In terms of becoming a physician, that means achieving a high level of academic success so you can gain entry into medical school. Of course, knowing what you should do and doing it are very different things. Sacrifice- not going out with your friends to finish your chemistry project, endurance- getting good grades this semester was great, but you need to do it next semester, and the next, and the next, focus- learning is not just about grades, it’s building blocks that will form your brain and your cognition that will enable you to make important decisions, in a complex arena, that will directly effect your future patients. In the end, doing the right thing is hard. It’s easier to procrastinate. It’s easier to give up.  But if you do it right, it will pay dividends: the first time you deliver a baby, when you alleviate someone’s pain, when you restore a blind person’s sight, you know it was all worth it.”

Dr. McHale was born in Cleveland, Ohio, James McHale, M.D. graduated cum laude from Miami University in Oxford, Ohio in 1995. His medical degree is from The Ohio State University. There he served as President of Student Council and graduated with the highest honors. He completed his ophthalmology residency at The Ohio State University Hospitals and joined Columbus Ophthalmology Associates in August of 2004.

Dr. Nolan

“Higher education will take many years to complete but it will be very rewarding and financially worth it. If you’re passionate about your career path, then learn all you can and enjoy the ride. Stay the course and have fun!”

Dr. Nolan was born in Cleveland, Ohio, Mark Nolan, O.D. received his bachelor’s degree from Baldwin-Wallace College in Berea, Ohio. He completed his optometry degree from The Ohio State University College of Optometry and joined Columbus Ophthalmology Associates in January 2001.

We hope you learned a little from each of our physicians!

 

 

June Eye Care Tips

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This week we will welcome the official start of Summer! With everyone soaking up the sun and being active outdoors, don’t forget to have healthy habits concerning your eyes. Little things, like wearing sunglasses or goggles, can go a long way in making sure your eyes are in good health and you’re able to have fun all summer long.

Take a look at our June Eye Care Tips and have a fun & safe summer!

June Eye Care Tips

And even your pooch can even be protected…

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Happy Summer, friends!

We are growing our team at Columbus Ophthalmology Associates and want you to meet some of our new staff members. Our staff prides ourselves in providing the best care for our patients and making sure they have the best experience possible. Meet some of our newer staff members – Jessica, Tricia, and Tiffany!

R to L: Jessica, Tricia, Tiffany

R to L: Jessica, Tricia, Tiffany

 

Jessica
Jessica has an addiction to prescription glasses and likes to match them to her outfits! She brings 13 years of optical experience to the COA team. When asked what she loves about working at COA, she shared this story:

“The best glasses dispense I have done so far at COA was to a 16 month old baby boy. When we put on his very first pair of glasses, he couldn’t stop smiling at everyone, especially his daddy. He was seeing everybody’s faces clearly for the first time and his happiness was contagious to everyone around!”

Tricia

Tricia enjoys cooking, spending time with family, and photography. She also loves shopping. Her favorite stores are Penzy’s Spices, cookware stores, and specialty markets. Here’s what Tricia had to say about working at Columbus Ophthalmology Associates:

“I love working at COA! I enjoy interacting with people from all walks of life and helping them alongside a team that is committed to the highest possible standards.”

Tiffany

Tiffany also loves matching her glasses to her outfits. She owns 10 pairs and wears them all frequently. She has 3 kids and 1 husband. Tiffany was employed with COA in the past and recently came back to work for The Optical Shoppe. We’re happy to have her back on our team!

 

You’ll be meeting more of our staff through the summer. If you’re in one of our offices, be sure to say hi! We love getting to meet COA patients!

 

 

Cataract Awareness MonthJune is Cataract Awareness Month and we’re here to help you learn more about this common eye issue.

Do you know what a cataract is?

Your eyes are very similar to a camera. Like in a camera, there is a lens in your eye that focuses light on your retina, much like a camera lens focuses light on film. From the retina, images are collected and transmitted to the brain. When the lens get cloudy, it is called a cataract; the images will appear blurry or distorted, as if you’re looking through a window that is covered with ice.

Cataract VS Normal Eye

What are signs that you may have a Cataract?

  • Foggy or blurred vision
  • Colors appear dull
  • Problems with glare from indoor lighting or the sun
  • Frequent changes in your eyeglass prescription
  • Your night vision has decreased or you see halos around headlights on cars

Here’s an example of how you may see with and without a Cataract:

tulips side by side CATARACT EXAMPLE
How are Cataracts treated?

Medically, there is no way to slow the progression of cataracts. Thankfully, surgical treatments have significantly improved in the past 50 years and is the best way to treat cataracts.

What happens when you have a Cataract removed?

A small incision (less than 3mm) is made in the eye. A small instrument is placed in the eye through the incision and breaks up the cataract using ultrasound technology while also removing the fragments. Once the cloudy lens is removed, a replacement lens (Intra-ocular Lens, or IOL) is inserted into the eye and set into permanent position. This process only takes about 15 minutes.

Cataract Facts:

  • By age 65, over 90% of people have a cataract
  • Half of the people between the ages of 75 and 85 have lost some vision due to a cataract
  • A cataract is not caused by overuse of your eyes
  • Cataracts do not travel from one eye to the other

 

If you’d like to test you knowledge of cataracts, click here to take the Cataract Quiz!


Today is National Senior Health & Fitness Day! You may or may not have known about this unofficial holiday, but we think this is important for our patients, and the general public, to be aware of. Whether you are an older adult or part of the sandwich generation, taking care of kids in the home and your older adult parents, it’s important that everyone has the opportunity to age gracefully. While there isn’t a magic trick or fountain of youth that is a one-stop shop for each of us, there are plenty of activities and daily health decisions we can make that will ensure we are as healthy as we can be as we age. Even your eyes are effected by your health and fitness so it’s important for every aspect of your life that you have healthy practices.

On National Senior Health & Fitness Day, over 100,000 senior adults participate in over 1,000 events throughout the US! The goal is to ensure that older adults have a focus on being active and making healthy choices.

We asked our own Dr. Orlando what his perspective is on National Senior Health & Fitness Day and if he had any suggestions on living a healthy lifestyle. This is what he had to say:

“No matter our age, it is important to follow proper nutrition and maintain a level of fitness to prevent disease. Something as simple as walking for a half hour will help reduce blood sugar levels, increase muscle tone and maintain strength in our bones. Even if it is winter, we can drive to an indoor mall and walk in the hallways. Swimming is also an excellent form of low impact exercise and most local communities have a discounted membership for those of us over 60. They also have multiple classes on stretching and flexibility, low impact aerobics and other activities to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Fresh fruit and vegetables are vital to a healthy digestive system and avoiding processed foods and those containing high amounts of sugar and sodium should be avoided. It is easier than ever to see what additives are in the foods we eat so become a label reader and learn what is in the things you put in your body.”

So, like we’ve always heard, an apple a day may keep the doctor away. But you’d have better chance if you took a walk around the orchard first!

We encourage everyone to be active and healthy. We only have one life, so live it to the fullest! You can check out some additional tips below on healthy living for older adults!

Click here for Fitness Tips for Older Adults

Click here for Health Eating Tips for Older Adults

May Newsletter

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It’s that time again. The time for sharing a few of the wonderful things happening at Columbus Ophthalmology Associates with our wonderful patients! Do you get our newsletter? Here’s a sample of the great information you could be receiving each month in your inbox. Great information on the latest technology, deals from The Optical Shoppe, and the latest from our staff! We love serving Central Ohio residents and want to make sure you have the most up-to-date information available and have the best possible vision at every stage of your life. Email info@coavision.com if you would like to join our mailing list!

May All-Patient Newsletter - cropped

 

This week, we were happy to welcome our OSU Externs to our offices!

Columbus Ophthalmology is proud to partner with The Ohio State University College of Optometry as an externship site for fourth-year students. As part of their Primary Care Extern rotation, our students spend 13 weeks at our practice with our ODs as their clinical instructors. They are able to see a wide range of pathology and observe how several specialties work together in a positive learning environment. Our OSU Optometry Externship is also an opportunity for students to attend our continuing education programs and they are sometimes called on to give case presentations. We try to convey to our students that education never ends and the importance of the fellowship among all eye care and other healthcare providers.

Here are the latest additions to the COA Family:

Meet Rebecca!

Rebecca is from Charlotte, North Carolina and is fluent in Spanish. She’s completed the 180-mile Pelotonia the past couple of years and is a dog mom to her 2 beloved beagles. Her future aspirations are to fit specialty contacts and become proficient in glaucoma management.

Rebecca

Meet Jenni!

Jenni grew up in Minster, Ohio. This past January, she married her undergrad sweetheart, Chris. She’s a recent dog mom to her adopted spaniel/border collie, Freddy. And she loves keeping busy outdoors – hiking, kayaking, and she recently climbed her first mountain.

Jenni

Meet Kim!

Kim was born and raised and Columbus, Ohio. She loves to eat at new restaurants and try new food. She also loves to cook and does so frequently. You can often find her in the kitchen trying new recipes. Kim is also excited to be an aunt for the first time this September.

Kim

We love having our externs in and around our offices! Welcome, ladies!

May Eye Care Tips

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May. It’s the transition from the end of spring into the beginning of summertime. School is coming to a close. Outdoor activities will begin to pick up with time spent outdoors during long nights where the sunshine lasts on and on. Through all of the changes that the month of May can and will bring, we want you to make sure you not only see well but that your eyes are healthy too!

 

May Eye Care Tips

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!

Dr. Derick: “I have been fortunate enough to visit Nepal, Dr. Ruit’s hospital in Kathmandu and meet Dr Tabin (in reference to the Himalayan Cataract Project). Their dedication is truly inspiring! I believe their experiences led me to become involved in Ophthalmic Surgical Missions.  I have been on 8 missions and able to help restore sight to thousands of poor people blind with cataracts. I can honestly say that the missions are some of the most fulfilling aspects of my practice of Ophthalmology. There are no words to express the special bond you make with a person who cannot see one day and can see well the next! I believe that some of the personal stories portrayed on 60 minutes about Drs Tabin and Ruit’s work in Burma depict this patient-doctor bond!”

Why did you become an Ophthalmologist?

Dr. Derick: ”One of the reasons I became an Ophthalmologist is because I believe that sight is the most precious of the senses. Losing your sight is life-altering. Think about trying to get through the day without using your eyes – cooking, cleaning, working, taking care of your family – without being able to see. That is the reality for thousands and thousands of people in Nicaragua.”

Tell us about your trip to Nicaragua

Dr. Derick: “Nicaragua is the second poorest country in Central America and access to health care is extremely limited. The health care system in Nicaragua is two-tiered: a government-sponsored tier that is free and a private pay tier. Only private pay patients have access to modern cataract surgery and those who can afford it are very few. Without access to modern surgery, thousands of Nicaraguans become blind every year. I knew the incredible impact our team’s surgical skills could have on the lives of these patients. Just a few minutes with us could change their lives forever and give them back the sight they lost. So when I was asked to return to Nicaragua again, I jumped at the chance. Our team of twelve—three surgeons and nine surgical assistants—carried 1,200 pounds of surgical equipment, instruments and microscopes down to the National Eye Hospital in Managua, Nicaragua. For four long days, our team of surgeons and scrub techs performed 152 cataract and glaucoma surgeries. The people of Nicaragua are incredibly kind and were so patient as they waited for their turn under the microscope. Watching someone see for the first time in months, even years, is something I’ll never forget. When the patches were removed, there were hugs, expressions of amazement and joy and many tears. Those are the moments as a surgeon you live for and I wouldn’t change it for the world. Sometimes I think I get more out of the experience than they do. I have loved giving back through my medical mission trips to Jamaica, India and Nicaragua. We are a self-funded group and all of our staff have to take vacation days to be a part of this team. Some people may feel that we are incredibly generous with our time and resources, but every single one of us feels lucky and fortunate to be able to participate in these life altering experiences and give back the gift of sight.”

On Dr. Derick’s last mission trip, his daughter was able to join him and be his interpreter!

How about that for an inspiration!

Dr. Litzinger has also given his time and talents to help those around the world.

Can you tell us about your experience?

Dr. Litzinger:  I first met Dr. Tabin when he was a visiting lecturer at my residency program in San Francisco, California. We saw patients together before his lecture and bonded over common interests including outdoor sports, international healthcare, and ophthalmology. We kept in touch, and he later arranged to have the Himalayan Cataract Project sponsor my course on small incision cataract surgery (SICS) in Kathmandu, Nepal at the Tilganga Institute of Ophthalmology. I spent five weeks in Nepal learning the SICS technique from Dr. Sanduk Ruit and other Nepali ophthalmologists, and also saw hundreds of patients in their bustling eye clinic. I wanted to learn SICS because it is low-tech but effective and does not require the expensive and heavy equipment that we use in the U.S., and therefore the technique travels well. I can perform it anywhere from a surgical tent in the Himalayas, to severe cases here at home. I look forward to employing the SICS technique again on my next medical mission and am forever grateful to Drs. Tabin and Ruit for helping me acquire the skill.As you can see, our Doctors love what they do and truly desire to bring the gift of sight to those here at home and abroad. You did hear about the Himalayan Cataract Project from both of our Doctors and we want you to learn more about that too. If you click on the image below, you will be taken to a video where you can see exactly what Ophthalmologists, like Dr. Derick and Dr. Litzinger, are about to do around the world to help provide vision for all.

As you can see, our Doctors love what they do and truly desire to bring the gift of sight to those here at home and abroad. You did hear about the Himalayan Cataract Project from both of our Doctors and we want you to learn more about that too. If you click on the image below, you will be taken to a video where you can see exactly what Ophthalmologists, like Dr. Derick and Dr. Litzinger, are able to do around the world to help provide vision for all.

Click here or click on the photo below to see a video on the Himalayan Cataract Project!

Himalayan Cataract Project

Himalayan Cataract Project

It doesn’t take a professional to see that we’re in the middle of allergy season. In addition to regular eye exams and visiting your ophthalmologist, there are things that you can do to help ease the pain of seasonal allergies. Use these April Eye Care Tips to protect your eyes and survive the pollen this spring!

April Eye Care Tips

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