Healthy Eyes Are in Focus at the Eye Center of Charleston

Protect Your Eyes with Help from an Ophthalmologist in Harleyville, SC

If there's one thing that most people can agree on, it's that our human senses are extraordinary. They help us interact with the environment around us every day of our lives. Our brain processes signals from various neurons associated with our senses of sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch to provide us with a meaningful perception of the world. The truth is, though, that we tend to take our senses for granted unless we experience a malfunction in any of them.

Humans have five senses and the same number of organs to complement those senses: a tongue to taste, a nose to smell, two ears to hear, skin for the sensation of touch, and eyes for sight. Of those senses and organs, our eyes are often considered the most essential, as they enable us to perceive up to 80% of all the impressions we encounter daily.

If other senses like taste or smell stop functioning, our eyes protect us from potential dangers. But they also help provide us with distinctly human memories. Think of all the picture-worthy moments that you have experienced over your lifetime. From seeing your baby smile or walk toward you for the first time to enjoying a memorable movie, it's safe to say that our eyes play an incredibly important role in our daily lives.

It makes sense, then, that we would want to protect our eyes and have them checked regularly to make sure they're healthy and functioning as they should. According to data by Ipsos, however, only 39% of Americans have been to an eye doctor's office in the last year. Fortunately, if you live in the Lowcountry, finding an eye doctor in Harleyville, SC, is easier and more convenient than ever when you visit the professionals at Eye Center of Charleston.

Service Areas

 Eye Surgeon Harleyville, SC

The Eye Center of Charleston Difference

Unlike some eye doctor offices in South Carolina, our team uses the most advanced technology paired with our esteemed clinical and surgical skills to precisely diagnose and treat a wide variety of eye conditions and diseases. We focus on a number of vision conditions, medical conditions, and physician services, including but not limited to:

  • Cataracts
  • Presbyopia
  • Nearsightedness
  • Farsightedness
  • Astigmatism
  • Styes
  • Diabetic Eye Disease
  • Glaucoma
  • Excisional Biopsies
  • Dry Eye Syndrome
  • Macular Degeneration
  • Flashes & Floaters

It all starts with an introductory appointment with one of our experienced eye doctors, who will take as much time as needed to get to know you, learn more about your needs, and better understand the symptoms you're experiencing. Once we know the extent of your eye care needs, our doctors will provide you with an effective, efficient diagnosis and plan of action to remediate any issues you're facing.

From nuanced eye surgeries to standard eye exams, we've got you covered. In fact, we offer the latest technology in Varilux Progressives, Transitions, Crizal Anti-Reflective Lenses, Prescription Polarized Sunglasses, and Thin Lightweight Lenses. With a wide selection of frames and sunglasses, you're sure to find the glasses you need in a style you love.

 Eye Doctor Harleyville, SC

What is an Ophthalmologist in Harleyville, SC?

When people think about eye doctors, they often think about professionals who conduct eye exams and prescribe contacts. They don't realize that an ophthalmologist is different than other professionals, like optometrists. So, what is an ophthalmologist?

An ophthalmologist is a vision health professional who plays a specific role in the field of eye care. Along with optometrists and opticians, they are part of a comprehensive eye care team. However, some patients may need clarification on the similar-sounding names of these three types of eye care providers. Each one has unique skills and training for the tasks they perform. You should understand these differences so you can choose the best professional to address your vision needs.

What are the Differences Between Ophthalmologists and Other Eye Care Specialists?

Opticians, optometrists, and ophthalmologists each have a separate role in the field of eye care.

 Eye Treatment Harleyville, SC

Optometrists

These professionals conduct eye exams, vision tests, and can prescribe corrective lenses that help address and solve eye conditions.

 Eye Surgeon Harleyville, SC

Opticians

Opticians are often labeled "eye doctors," but they focus mostly on filling prescriptions for contact lenses, glasses, and sunglasses. They're also experts at repairing glasses and adjusting frames as needed.

Ophthalmologist Harleyville, SC

Ophthalmologists

These medical doctors treat and diagnose certain eye diseases. However, it's not uncommon for ophthalmologists to provide vision services similar to those of optometrists.

At Eye Center of Charleston, we offer patients all three eye care specialists to provide the most well-rounded, effective eye care services in Charleston and beyond.

Are Optometrists and Ophthalmologists Basically the Same?

While optometrists have a four-year Doctor of Optometry degree and can provide primary vision health care, ophthalmologists are medical doctors who have received approximately three times the education and training.

They can perform all the same services as an optometrist but can also provide treatment, including performing surgeries such as cataract removal, vision correction, and eyelid lifting. Optometrists may detect signs of eye diseases during routine eye exams but are unable to treat them, so they often refer patients to ophthalmologists at The Eye Center of Charleston.

Surgical Specialties at The Eye Center of Charleston

While we serve many different types of patients with a wide variety of needs, many clients visit our eye surgeon in Harleyville, SC, for very specific procedures. Keep reading below to learn more about those surgeries and the conditions that necessitate an eye doctor's intervention.

While we serve many different types of patients with a wide variety of needs, many clients visit our eye surgeon in Harleyville, SC, for very specific procedures. Keep reading below to learn more about those surgeries and the conditions that necessitate an eye doctor's intervention.

In a young and healthy eye, light passes smoothly through clear ocular structures and is then focused on the retina, the light-sensitive lining inside the eye. The lens, which is a slightly flattened marble-shaped structure, helps to focus the eye. If the lens becomes cloudy, yellow, or limits the amount of light that travels through it, it is known as a cataract. Cataracts can occur at any stage of life, from birth to old age.

Some of the most common symptoms of cataracts include the following:

  • Blurry or Dim Vision
  • Lights Are Too Bright
  • Lights Give Off Halo Effect
  • Faded Colors
  • Vision at Night is Poor
  • Vision Distortion

Glaucoma is an eye disease that can cause damage to the optic nerve due to high pressure in the eye, leading to possible vision loss. Therefore, the primary focus of treatment is to control eye pressure. Early intervention is crucial in preventing severe vision loss. While most patients can avoid severe vision loss with the use of topical eye drops, some require additional treatment.

It should be noted that some patients prefer to have less dependence on eye drops. Along with medical treatment, several safe and effective procedures are available, including laser trabeculoplasty and minimally invasive glaucoma surgery. To learn more about these treatment options, talk to your eye doctor at The Eye Center of Charleston.

Glaucoma is a group of eye conditions that can damage the optic nerve. The optic nerve is responsible for sending visual information from your eye to your brain and is essential for good vision. While high pressure in your eye is often associated with optic nerve damage, glaucoma can occur even with normal eye pressure.

Although glaucoma can happen at any age, it is more prevalent in older adults and is one of the leading causes of blindness for people over the age of 60. Unfortunately, many forms of glaucoma produce no warning signs. The effect of the condition is so gradual that you may not notice a change in vision until the later stages of the disease.

That's why it's essential to have regular eye exams that include measuring your eye pressure. Early recognition of glaucoma is a very important part of that process because it can help slow down or prevent vision loss. If you have glaucoma, you will need to undergo treatment or monitoring for the rest of your life.

Some of the most common symptoms of glaucoma include the following:

  • Headaches
  • Eye Pressure & Pain
  • Low, Blurred, or Narrow Vision
  • Bloodshot Eyes
  • Nausea
  • Seeing Rainbow-Colored Haloes Around Light Sources

A pterygium is a non-cancerous growth that appears on the surface of the eye, causing blurry vision. It usually occurs in individuals who have a long history of exposure to sunlight or UV light. Should you need pterygium surgery at The Eye Center of Charleston, you can rest easy knowing that your eye doctor in Harleyville, SC, will be highly trained and experienced in the surgical treatment of pterygia.

Also called surfer's eye, a pterygium is an overgrowth of the conjunctiva, which is a thin and clear membrane on the surface of the eye. It can appear as a fleshy growth and is usually found growing from the inner corner of the eye, close to the nose. However, it can also appear on the outer corner or on both sides of the eye. The condition is not cancerous and does not spread to any other part of the face or body. It can cause redness and irritation in the affected area.

If left untreated, a pterygium can grow across the cornea, which is the transparent 'window' that covers the pupil and iris, further impacting vision. In such cases, surgical treatment may be necessary. However, it's important to note that pterygia may grow back even after successful surgery.

Some symptoms of a pterygium include the following:

  • Itching & Burning
  • Inflammation & Bloodshot Eyes
  • Minor Eye Pain
  • Issues with Blocked Vision

How Diabetes Can Affect Your Eyes

If you have diabetes, you may be wondering if the disease can affect your eyes and whether or not an ophthalmologist in Harleyville, SC can help. To provide the best answer, it's important that you understand how diabetes can affect your eyesight.

Diabetes is a condition in which your body fails to properly convert food into energy. This is because your body either cannot produce or does not respond to insulin, which is a hormone responsible for transporting glucose (blood sugar) to the cells in your body. When there is an excess of glucose in the bloodstream, it can cause damage to the blood vessels and nerves throughout your body, including the eyes.

Understanding Diabetic Eye Disease

When we refer to diabetic eye disease, we're talking about a group of eye conditions that stem from diabetes. Those conditions include the following:

3 Easy Ways to Protect Your Eyes Everyday

Eye problems can be easily prevented if you adopt some easy-to-follow habits for eye care in your daily routine. Even though these habits are practical and easy to accomplish, many people brush them off - until they have serious eye problems. To maintain good eye health and sharp vision, try incorporating these eye care techniques into your daily routine.

Eye Center of Charleston Pro Tip

Swing by one of our eye clinics to see our selection of fashionable and chic sunglasses. Our licensed opticians keep a number of popular sunglass options available at all times, like Costa, Kate Spade, and Juicy Couture. Protect your eyes and look great at the same time!

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Use Protection from the Sun

It's important to be mindful of the potential risks associated with exposure to sunlight and UV rays. These hazards include an increased risk of age-related macular degeneration, as well as the possibility of cornea sunburn or photokeratitis. To protect your eyes, try wearing sunglasses that have UV protection. If you don't like wearing sunglasses, you can opt for UV-protected eyeglasses or contact lenses instead. You can also try wearing caps, visors, and hats for added protection.

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Try Not to Rub Your Eyes

One of life's little pleasures is rubbing your eyes when you're tired or have had a long day. It may feel good, but we don't recommend doing it. Reason being, your hands come into contact with a great deal of dirt, dust, and bacteria on a daily basis.

Every time you touch or rub your eyes, these harmful particles can be easily transferred to them. If you avoid touching your eyes with your hands, you can better prevent infections and irritations.

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Try the 20-20-20 Rule of Thumb

To keep your eyes in the best shape possible, consider adopting this handy rule. It states that:

  • Look away from your computer screen or TV every 20 minutes and fixate your gaze on something that is 20 feet away.
  • Blink your eyes 20 times in succession. This helps prevent dry eyes.
  • Get up out of your seat or away from your desk every 20 minutes. Then, take 20 steps. Doing so helps you vision and also helps promote healthy blood circulation and posture.

See a Brighter Future with Help from An Eye Doctor in Harleyville, SC

At The Eye Center of Charleston, we're proud to offer a breadth of eye care services under one roof tailored to you and your whole family. From pediatric myopia management and treatment for dry eye to popular eyewear options and complicated eye surgery, we're ready to help. Regardless of the reason why you visit our eye care office, you can have peace of mind knowing that your patient experience will be comfortably curated for you.

Contact our eye care center today to learn more about our practice and to schedule an initial consultation with one of our expert eye doctors.

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Latest News in Harleyville, SC

Lowcounty rural town of Harleyville prepares for expected growth

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) — The Lowcountry's population is growing significantly, and it's not necessarily in areas you'd expect.Large corporations have planted roots in rural towns, and now developers are looking to follow suit.“I’m excited about the possibility of development,” Mayor Charles Ackerman said.Ackerman has been the mayor of Harleyville for 27 years and hasn’t seen a lot change within the town of less than 700 people.“We’ve had probably about 10 houses built in ...

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCIV) — The Lowcountry's population is growing significantly, and it's not necessarily in areas you'd expect.

Large corporations have planted roots in rural towns, and now developers are looking to follow suit.

“I’m excited about the possibility of development,” Mayor Charles Ackerman said.

Ackerman has been the mayor of Harleyville for 27 years and hasn’t seen a lot change within the town of less than 700 people.

“We’ve had probably about 10 houses built in that 27 years,” he said.

READ MORE: Strawberries ripe for the picking at new farm in Summerville

Perhaps not a number that jumps off the page, but changes could be just around the corner with the proposed construction of a 56-acre subdivision off N. Railroad Street.

It would hold anywhere from 80 to 150 homes, and is an addition, Ackerman said, that reflects growing interest in the area.

“There are a lot of new people in town,” he said. “I used to [be able to] tell you the name of every person in town but I can’t—not anymore!”

The lot is not the only area garnering interest of development.

Ackerman said other areas on the outskirts of town have the potential of being annexed into the town in the future.

“If all of this takes place, Harleyville would probably double in size, probably, from what we are now.”

RELATED: Ashley River Park in Dorchester County set to open Saturday

But Ackerman knows growth without a means to grow is not possible; enhancement of the town’s current infrastructure is a necessary endeavor.

“Our first upgrade would be on our treatment plant and on our No. 1 pump station, so those are in the process now.”

Ackerman said he knows growing pains are a part of the process.

He wants to see the town grow and reach a larger tax base in order to keep taxes low for current residents, pay town employees more for their services, and hopefully, attract a local grocery store to the area.

“We operate on a very, very short budget,” Ackerman said.

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The town of Harleyville has held several meetings with the developer of the subdivision.

Dorchester County will have to approve plans before the Planning Commission can step in and construction can begin.

Pioneer Boats cancels plans to move manufacturing facilities to Claxton

Last April, Carolina Composites, manufacturer of Pioneer Boats, announced it would relocate its entire boat-building operation from Harleyville, S.C., to Georgia, investing $2 million in a 40,000-square-foot speculative building in the Evans County Industrial Park near Claxton.Now the company that was slated to begin manufacturing its line of pleasure boats in its new location this month has done an about-face, announcing it will move its headquarters to Walterboro, S.C., instead.The announcement, sent last Frida...

Last April, Carolina Composites, manufacturer of Pioneer Boats, announced it would relocate its entire boat-building operation from Harleyville, S.C., to Georgia, investing $2 million in a 40,000-square-foot speculative building in the Evans County Industrial Park near Claxton.

Now the company that was slated to begin manufacturing its line of pleasure boats in its new location this month has done an about-face, announcing it will move its headquarters to Walterboro, S.C., instead.

The announcement, sent last Friday to South Carolina media outlets, took Claxton-Evans County Industrial Development Authority officials by surprise.

"This is the first I've heard that," IDA Chairman Randy Mayfield said Wednesday.

Mayfield said his organization knew the relocation was on hold but was given no indication the company was looking at other locations.

"Basically, they told us in October that they were concerned about the economy, especially as it related to the boating industry, and decided they couldn't go forward with their expansion plans now," Mayfield said.

In Friday's press release, however, Carolina Composites announced it would relocate the Harleyville facility to a 122,000-square-foot building in Walterboro.

"We are delighted to expand our operations to Walterboro," Pioneer Boats co-owner Roy McSwain said in the release. "Our larger facility will give our company the ability to expand its product lines and better serve its customers."

Also in the release, Pioneer co-owner Mike Holmes indicated the company expects to invest $5 million and employ an additional 100 workers during the next five years.

Some nine months earlier, McSwain told the Morning News he expected the Claxton facility to exceed 100 employees within three years, an estimate he called "very conservative."

"We have found a good fit for our family business in this community," he said in April. "Our ultimate goal is to build all of our boats in Claxton."

While no improvements had been made to the Evans County building when Pioneer put the brakes on its Georgia expansion, the Claxton-Evans County IDA had already received preliminary approval for approximately half a million dollars in state funding for the project and had hoped the company would be able to proceed with its plans at a later date.

"We invested a lot of time and effort into this project," Mayfield said. "We had a signed memorandum of understanding, we gave them significant tax abatements, the land and the building. We felt really good about this."

Now they're wondering what happened.

Carolina Composites offices are closed for the holidays until Monday and several messages left for McSwain at his home in North Charleston were not returned Wednesday.

But Peter Arnoti, executive director of the Colleton County Economic Alliance, had a simple explanation for the Charleston (South Carolina) Post and Courier - the company changed its mind.

"The short of it is, we got them back into our neck of the woods," he said in a story published Monday.

Arnoti said Pioneer was happy with its work force in Harleyville and a Walterboro location would be a reasonable commute for current employees.

"I think it was loyalty to the Lowcountry," Arnoti told the newspaper.

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