Healthy Eyes Are in Focus at the Eye Center of Charleston

Protect Your Eyes with Help from an Ophthalmologist in Pinopolis, 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 Pinopolis, SC, is easier and more convenient than ever when you visit the professionals at Eye Center of Charleston.

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 Eye Surgeon Pinopolis, 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 Pinopolis, SC

What is an Ophthalmologist in Pinopolis, 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 Pinopolis, SC

Optometrists

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

 Eye Surgeon Pinopolis, 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 Pinopolis, 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 Pinopolis, 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 Pinopolis, 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 Pinopolis, 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 Pinopolis, 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 Pinopolis, 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 Pinopolis, SC

Santee Cooper Contracts with Lowcountry Company to Replace 80-Ton Gate at the Pinopolis Lock

MONCKS CORNER, S.C. – For just the second time in the 81-year history of Santee Cooper’s Jefferies Hydroelectric Station, the 80-ton emergency Tainter gate at the Pinopolis Lock is being replaced – with the help of a local company.Santee Cooper has partnered with W International in Goose Creek, South Carolina, to fabricate and assemble a new emergency Tainter gate for the Pinopolis Lock, which connects Lake Moultrie to the Tailrace Canal and the Cooper River. W International, located in the Bushy Park Industrial area...

MONCKS CORNER, S.C. – For just the second time in the 81-year history of Santee Cooper’s Jefferies Hydroelectric Station, the 80-ton emergency Tainter gate at the Pinopolis Lock is being replaced – with the help of a local company.

Santee Cooper has partnered with W International in Goose Creek, South Carolina, to fabricate and assemble a new emergency Tainter gate for the Pinopolis Lock, which connects Lake Moultrie to the Tailrace Canal and the Cooper River. W International, located in the Bushy Park Industrial area, is an advanced metal fabricator specializing in large, complex structural fabrications.

“Consistent with our mission, our goal is to work with businesses and industry in the state to help South Carolina thrive,” said Jimmy Staton, Santee Cooper President and CEO. “W International has a strong reputation as an industry leader in large fabrications. We’re proud to be able to say the gate was made right here in the Lowcountry and that we, as South Carolinians, are working together to energize South Carolina.”

“Working hand-in-hand with Santee Cooper on replacing the emergency Tainter gate upstream of the Pinopolis Lock system has been an extraordinary journey,” said Jim Logan, President of W International. “Our team feels honored to have contributed to such a pivotal project, particularly one located a mere 22 miles upriver from our facility – a testament to the local community.”

“Teaming up with Santee Cooper has been nothing short of inspiring,” continued Logan. “Collaborating on critical infrastructure aligns seamlessly with our shared vision of supporting Santee Cooper’s mission to enhance the quality of life for every South Carolinian. Together, we have strived to deliver not just a gate replacement, but a testament to resilience and progress for the region. We are immensely proud to have been part of this milestone achievement.”

The fully assembled Tainter gate was loaded on a barge at W International on Dec. 9 and arrived at the Pinopolis Lock after about a six-hour journey up the West Branch of the Cooper River. Crews with Superior Cranes Inc., which has a Charleston-area location in Moncks Corner, are placing the gate in its final location this week, pending any weather delays. The previous gate was damaged in September 2022 when Hurricane Ian blew through the state. The original Tainter gate, installed in 1942, reached its end-of-life stage in 2003. Those gates now reside next to each other at a permitted fish attractor location in Lake Moultrie.

The Tainter gate allows Santee Cooper to safely perform maintenance on the lock's upper miter gates. The gate also is designed to mitigate an unlikely “free flow” incident and, in the event of such an emergency, it will raise to choke off the flow of water through the lock system.

W International has delivered approximately 50 products weighing as much as 600,000 pounds via barge shipment. Their team is devoted to supporting the nation’s armed forces, and they are especially proud to contribute to U.S. Navy submarines and surface vessels.

W International SC, LLC manufactures large, close-tolerance, complex structures for critical Aerospace, Defense, and Energy projects. W International’s manufacturing facility is located in Goose Creek, South Carolina, on the Cooper River, 12 miles north of Charleston’s port, on 45 acres, with 480,000 square feet of indoor heavy manufacturing space. The facility utilizes large CNC machining centers and sophisticated welding equipment to produce highly technical, complex components.

Santee Cooper

Santee Cooper is South Carolina’s largest power provider, the ultimate source of electricity for 2 million people across the state, and one of America’s Best Midsize Employers as named by Forbes. Through its low-cost, reliable and environmentally responsible electricity and water services, and through innovative partnerships and initiatives that attract and retain industry and jobs, Santee Cooper helps power South Carolina. To learn more, visit www.santeecooper.com and follow #PoweringSC on social media.

Honoring 80 Years of Santee Cooper Power Generation

MONCKS CORNER, S.C. – Santee Cooper’s Jefferies Hydroelectric Station has been generating electricity for 80 years. On Feb. 17, 1942, the station first generated electricity and continues today to provide clean, renewable energy to South Carolinians.Santee Cooper hydropower has a strong connection to wartime efforts and rural electrification. In April 1934, Governor Blackwood signed a bill to create the South Carolina Public Service Authority, known as Santee Cooper, to construct two reservoirs (Lake Marion and Lake Moultr...

MONCKS CORNER, S.C. – Santee Cooper’s Jefferies Hydroelectric Station has been generating electricity for 80 years. On Feb. 17, 1942, the station first generated electricity and continues today to provide clean, renewable energy to South Carolinians.

Santee Cooper hydropower has a strong connection to wartime efforts and rural electrification. In April 1934, Governor Blackwood signed a bill to create the South Carolina Public Service Authority, known as Santee Cooper, to construct two reservoirs (Lake Marion and Lake Moultrie) and a hydroelectric plant to serve the rural South Carolina population, which in turn would spark prosperity in the Depression-ravaged state.

Construction began in 1939. Just two years later, President Roosevelt named Santee Cooper’s Pinopolis Power Plant, now Jefferies Hydroelectric Station, a national defense project and accelerated its construction as America joined World War II.

When Jefferies began generating electricity in 1942, its first customer was Pittsburgh Metallurgical Co., a defense contractor in North Charleston that made ferrochromium, a key defense metal used to harden steel for ships and tanks. Santee Cooper later served the Charleston Naval Shipyard and the Charleston Naval Base and today still serves, Joint Base Charleston.

Along with the war effort, Santee Cooper supported the people of South Carolina.

“Santee Cooper was started along with a lot of other projects to pick up jobs for this country and, in particular, for South Carolina, to improve the quality of life for the residents overall. That is still the mission today,” said Jody Perry, a 39-year Santee Cooper employee who retired in 2018 as Superintendent of Operations at Jefferies.

Jefferies is named for Richard M. Jefferies, South Carolina governor from March 1942 to January 1943 and Santee Cooper’s General Manager for 21 years.

The Santee Cooper project became the nation’s biggest land-clearing effort and the largest federal Works Progress Administration project east of the Mississippi River during the New Deal. More than 12,500 workers toiled for 27 months, clearing swamps and woodlands, building dams and dikes, and constructing a powerhouse and navigation lock. The navigation lock at the Pinopolis Dam was itself a monumental construction. A 75-foot drop from Lake Moultrie to the Tailrace Canal, it was the highest single-lift lock in the world at the time.

With its giant gears and mammoth gates, the lock system would allow boats to travel from Columbia through the Santee Cooper Lake system and lock to the Cooper River and on to Charleston. Miles of dams and dikes were built to hold back the water for release through the turbines at the Pinopolis Power Plant.

The remarkable effort of constructing the massive Santee Cooper project was considered an engineering feat in its day, and more than 65,000 people from all over the country visited the site to marvel at its construction. From start to finish, it took a mere two years, two months and 22 days. What was created was one of South Carolina’s most resource-laden assets, an important source of energy, jobs and industrial development.

The hydro units can be brought online in about five minutes, making it an important source of reserve power and important in integrating intermittent renewables. Eighty years after it came online, Jefferies Hydro remains Santee Cooper’s most economical energy source.

“One of the reasons I think Jefferies has been around for 80 years is the people. We have an employee whose grandfather worked on the land clearing as a young teenager. When you have people like that, it’s personal to them. When they come to work every day, they understand the mission. They understand why this site is here. You see that in the work they provide,” said Carey Salisbury, Renewable Generation Manager.

Santee Cooper

Santee Cooper is South Carolina’s largest power provider, the ultimate source of electricity for 2 million people across the state, and one of America’s Best Midsize Employers as named by Forbes. Through its low-cost, reliable and environmentally responsible electricity and water services, and through innovative partnerships and initiatives that attract and retain industry and jobs, Santee Cooper helps power South Carolina. To learn more, visit www.santeecooper.com and follow #PoweringSC on social media.

Berkeley County native Gourdin honored with Order of the Palmetto

The Order of the Palmetto is the state's highest civilian honor, presented in recognition of a lifetime of significant achievements, service and contributions on a national or statewide scale. In order to receive the Order of the Palmetto, a citizen must be nominated. This once-in-a-lifetime award may only be presented to living natives or residents of South Carolina.Gourdin was born in Berkeley County Hospital in Moncks Corner in 1939 and has lived in Pineville ever since, with the exception of his time spent in military school and c...

The Order of the Palmetto is the state's highest civilian honor, presented in recognition of a lifetime of significant achievements, service and contributions on a national or statewide scale. In order to receive the Order of the Palmetto, a citizen must be nominated. This once-in-a-lifetime award may only be presented to living natives or residents of South Carolina.

Gourdin was born in Berkeley County Hospital in Moncks Corner in 1939 and has lived in Pineville ever since, with the exception of his time spent in military school and college at Clemson and Auburn.

Through several occupational changes during his working life, Gourdin considers himself blessed to have had several close friends who helped train and shape him towards his successes. He believes that God put him in these various positions for a meaningful purpose, and his goal has always been to make the best of each opportunity.

In his professional life, Gourdin has worked for C.R. Bard Inc., Charleston County Emergency Preparedness and Gates Rubber Co.

Additionally, Gourdin has been a part of the American Society of Safety Engineers, Sons of the American Revolution and the Berkeley County Soil and Water Conservation District.

Other organizations and memberships Gourdin supports include the Huguenot Society of South Carolina, Historical Society of South Carolina, Lord Berkeley Conservation Trust, the Berkeley County Library System, Berkeley County Museum, Col. Hezekiah Maham Chapter, Berkeley County Historical Society, Williamsburg Historical Society and Museum in Kingstree, The Village Museum at McClellanville, First Families of South Carolina, Changed Life Ministries of Moncks Corner and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.

Most recently, Gourdin has turned much of his work to honoring and preserving local history. He contributes a weekly history column to The Berkeley Independent.

“I don’t know how I had time to work,” said Gourin. “There is just too much to do, too much to learn about my ancestry and lands."

To help shine a light on history in the northern parts of Berkeley County, Gourdin and his wife formed a non-profit called Berkeley North Historical and Cultural Association. Berkeley North’s mission is the preservation and perpetuation of the county’s history, culture and heritage.

Several years ago, Gourdin struck out on his own to identify and map the American Revolution action sites in Berkeley County. He created the American Revolution in Present-Day Berkeley County Map, showing more than 30 action sites. Gourdin also compiled a book consisting of over 110 historical markers in and around Berkeley County that the government has made available to the public and prints as needed.

Outside of his professional, volunteer and historical endeavors, past hobbies of Gourdin’s include photography, learning how to fly, building and racing stock cars, motorcycles, go-karts, planting research tree plots as well as hunting and fishing.

When asked about his receiving such a revered award, Gourdin responded just as expected, with grace and humility.

“Helping people learn where they came from and how they got here (has been the most rewarding thing about working in Berkeley County and South Carolina),” said Gourdin. “We live in the greatest place in the world. Berkeley County history ... there’s much to tell, and so much yet to do ... today! Remember, God didn’t promise us tomorrow.”

“I don’t know exactly what they saw or heard that I was recognized with this award,” added Gourdin. “But they better not try to take it back! Before I go to bed tonight, it’ll be hanging, conspicuously, on the wall in my home.”

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