Understanding Conjunctivitis

A fellow of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, Dr. William Martin currently treats patients at OptiVue in Toledo, Ohio. Dr. William Martin serves as the medical director and chief surgeon of the Toledo group practice, where he and his colleagues treat the full spectrum of eye conditions, including the infection conjunctivitis.

Commonly called “pinkeye,” conjunctivitis is an inflammation of the membrane lining the inside of the eyelid. Symptoms of the condition include watering, burning, and itching eyes, as well as redness in the whites of the eyes. Patients may also experience a white, green, or yellow discharge from the eyes that forms a crust during sleep. This common infection can be viral or bacterial in nature, and it can also be caused by allergens, such as dust or pollen, and chemical irritants, such as shampoo or smoke.

Treatment for conjunctivitis varies, depending on its cause. Bacterial pinkeye is easily treated with antibiotic eye drops or ointment. Viral conjunctivitis is akin to a cold in the eye and has to run its course like a common cold. If an irritant caused the condition, rinsing the eyes with cool water should remove the offending substance, but patients should see an ophthalmologist if the inflammation doesn’t clear up within a few hours. For allergic conjunctivitis, treating the underlying allergy with antihistamines or other medications will improve the eye condition as well.

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Technological Advancements Boost Success of LASIK

Dr. William Martin is the former chief of ophthalmology for the University of Toledo Medical Center. Dr. William Martin treats an average of 35,000 patients annually in the greater Toledo, Ohio, area. LASIK is just one procedure provided at his eye care center, OptiVue.

Over the past decade, advancements in the field of LASIK surgery have led to better outcomes and greater long-term safety. In fact, many LASIK patients report being given ‘high-definition’ vision, as opposed to the ‘standard-definition’ vision of recent years. Today, most LASIK surgery is between 90 percent and 98 percent effective in achieving 20/20 vision.

Both nearsightedness and farsightedness are the result of a misshapen cornea. LASIK uses lasers to reshape the cornea, thus correcting vision. When the surgery was first introduced in the mid 1990s, surgeons used a blade. Advancements in technology have not only introduced lasers as a replacement for a surgical blade, but also the introduction of more precise lasers able to achieve a higher rate of success. According to the American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, the 90 percent to 98 percent rate of success is a large increase from the estimated 65 percent effectiveness when the surgery was first introduced.

World Sight Day Challenge

A board-certified ophthalmologist with more than 25 years’ experience, Dr. William G. Martin serves the people of the Greater Toledo area as the medical director and chief surgeon of OptiVue, one of northwest Ohio’s premier providers of ophthalmic services. In addition, Dr. William Martin is concerned about the 600 million or so blind or vision-impaired people worldwide who do not have access to an eye exam or glasses. He participated in the 2013 World Sight Day Challenge by hosting a car wash fundraiser at OptiVue’s Navarre Avenue location in Toledo.

Designed to raise funds to pay for those exams and corrective lenses, the World Sight Day Challenge is sponsored worldwide by Optometry Giving Sight, a philanthropic organization established in 2003 by the global eye care industry to address the problems of preventable blindness and low vision. In 2013, the challenge took place from September 1 until World Sight Day, which was October 10 in 2013.

The issue of preventable blindness (that is, loss of sight due to an uncorrected refractive error) is particularly frustrating because, in most cases, prevention is so inexpensive. For example, $5.00 U.S. dollars is generally sufficient to cover the cost of an eye exam as well as a pair of eyeglasses.

Optician, Optometrist, or Ophthalmologist?

After earning his MD from the University of Maryland School of Medicine, Dr. William Martin completed his residency at Philadelphia’s Wills Eye Hospital and then undertook additional advanced training abroad at the Trousseau Eye Institute in Paris and the Moscow Eye Institute. Board certified in cataract surgery and laser vision correction, Dr. William Martin serves as the medical director and chief surgeon for OptiVue, an Ohio vision care center with three offices in the Greater Toledo area.

There are three different professionals in the eye care field: opticians, optometrists, and ophthalmologists. Opticians, sometimes called dispensing opticians, are technicians who help customers select eyeglass frames and then prepare the prescription lenses for them. Opticians have at least a high school diploma, as well as some formal training, often provided by a community college.

Optometrists earn a doctor of optometry (OD) at a specialized 4-year school; most ODs also have earned bachelor’s degrees. They are qualified to examine the eyes and other components of the visual system. In addition to prescribing corrective lenses, they diagnose and treat diseases and injuries of the eye.

Ophthalmologists are fully trained and qualified physicians, either medical doctors (MDs) or doctors of osteopathy (DO). In addition to four years of undergraduate education and four years of medical school, they also serve as interns for a year, generally in a hospital, followed by three or more years of residency, during which they learn their specialty. Ophthalmologists specialize in the medical and surgical treatment of disorders of the eye, including disease and injury, as well as manifestations of other systemic diseases. For example, people with diabetes generally visit an ophthalmologist annually to look for signs of diabetic retinopathy resulting from their disease.