Healthy Eyes Are in Focus at the Eye Center of Charleston

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

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 Eye Surgeon Summerville, 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.

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What is an Ophthalmologist in Summerville, 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.

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

 Eye Surgeon Summerville, SC


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 Summerville, SC


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 Summerville, 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 Summerville, 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 Summerville, 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 Summerville, 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!


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.


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.


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 Summerville, 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 Summerville, SC

Halter to run for town council

Matt Halter, a local business owner and engineer, said he decided to run for office because he believes his resume qualifies him to tackle many of Summerville’s current problems.“I also believe your representative should be elected by you, not appointed by a select few elitists and those currently in power,” he said. “It’s time we had more than just figureheads in our local government – we need rock-solid leaders fighting for the best interests of our town and its taxpayers.”Halter said...

Matt Halter, a local business owner and engineer, said he decided to run for office because he believes his resume qualifies him to tackle many of Summerville’s current problems.

“I also believe your representative should be elected by you, not appointed by a select few elitists and those currently in power,” he said. “It’s time we had more than just figureheads in our local government – we need rock-solid leaders fighting for the best interests of our town and its taxpayers.”

Halter said that, over time, Summerville’s leadership “has bloated our government to the point of dysfunction” and has “recklessly allowed developers to overrun our town, bringing with them unmanageable traffic and a maze of red tape.”

“This is not leadership; it is a failure to serve the public interest,” he said. “While I support change and growth, the growth Summerville’s leaders approve needs to be in the best interest of our town. Some development can actually add to the value of our town, while apartment home communities, for example, add major traffic concerns, overrun our schools and produce housing that is not affordable, driving up the cost of rent and home ownership.”

A resume provided to the Journal Scene by Halter shows experience in government, the private sector and as a small business owner.

“I’m not an elitist in a line of politicians – I’m a regular citizen,” he said. “It’s time to bring strength and common sense back to our council. It’s time your family’s needs outweigh the wants of a privileged few. This is not about politics as usual; it’s about restoring a government that works for its people and bridges that gap between government and its citizens so that the government is ‘of the people, by the people and for the people. We need a government that listens, acts and delivers. I’m rock-solid and here to ensure Summerville thrives for all its residents.”

Halter has been married to his wife, Donna, for 32 years. She is an elementary school teacher in Dorchester School District 2 and manages the books for their business, Benchmark LDS.

Their son, Matt Jr., is a civil engineer, and their daughter, Lauren, is a registered nurse. Matt and Donna have two grandchildren.

Matt is a graduate of Stratford High School and The Citadel. He became a registered professional engineer, land surveyor and licensed general contractor. His career began in Charleston, where, as an engineer and stormwater superintendent, he led projects and managed a team of more than 80 employees.

Matt went to work for the town of Summerville in 1996 as the town engineer and public works director. During this time, he wrote the town’s first development standards and founded the South Carolina Association of Stormwater Managers.

Matt ventured into the private sector in 2004, applying his engineering, land surveying and project management experience as the owner and president of Benchmark LDS.

“One of my more notable contributions was the design and construction of the Summerville Miracle League field on South Laurel Street,” he said. “This project wasn’t just about building a field; it was about creating a space where everyone in the community, regardless of their abilities, could come together and enjoy the spirit of the game.”

As one of the founding board members and president of the Summerville Miracle League, Matt, along with a team of citizens, raised more than $500,000 for the field, which was a joint venture between the town and private entities, which he said showcases his ability to “lead, collaborate and deliver.”

He has served on the Dorchester County Transportation Authority and was a multiple-term member of the town’s Commercial Design Review Board.

“In every role, I have demonstrated a consistent commitment to the betterment of Summerville,” he said. “My actions and achievements speak volumes about my dedication, making me not just a candidate for the town council but a true steward of the community’s well-being and future.”

‘State-of-the-art’ sports complex on its way to Dorchester Co. despite delays

SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCSC) - Some big changes are coming to a more than $12 million sports complex in Summerville.The Oakbrook Sports Complex, which will be located at the current Oakbrook YMCA, will include “state-of-the-art” turf sports fields and more.“This is where, if you talk to anybody in our area, ‘I learned how to play baseball here, I learned how to swim here, ...

SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (WCSC) - Some big changes are coming to a more than $12 million sports complex in Summerville.

The Oakbrook Sports Complex, which will be located at the current Oakbrook YMCA, will include “state-of-the-art” turf sports fields and more.

“This is where, if you talk to anybody in our area, ‘I learned how to play baseball here, I learned how to swim here, I learned how to soccer here,’ so this is where we started, and now where we want to take to a whole new level,” Summerville YMCA CEO Joe Debney says.

The Summerville YMCA will contribute 17 acres of land, and the county will foot the bill, which has more than doubled in the last three years.

Right now, the fields have poor drainage, uneven turf, and chalk outlines for fields.

Once finished, the new complex will include two soccer fields and other multi-use athletic fields with subsurface drainage, lighting, parking, concessions, a playground, and restrooms.

“If you come out here our fields need rest,” Debney says. “Being able to dry these fields off quickly, being able to have a better facility for these kids, where we don’t have rainy days, where they don’t have to go somewhere else to play.”

Dorchester County Council Chairman Todd Friddle says the new complex will allow the county to host travel sports in an area where outdoor recreation is exploding.

“With a first-class facility, not only for the local community but travel tourism. People coming in here to bring teams to travel, stay spend money in the Summerville market, in the Dorchester area,” Friddle says.

This project is a part of the county’s broader goal to revitalize the Oakbrook area overall using TIF funds, which Friddle explained as tax revenue from the area being put back into it.

Friddle says they were partnered with a different organization for the project originally, but “couldn’t work out the logistics.”

They’re currently in the permitting process and hope to break ground on the project over the summer if all goes as planned, Friddle says. Once they break ground, he estimates the complex will take about 18 months to be completed.

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