Coastal Eye Group Blog

Cataracts – What To Look For

June 25, 2019

Did you know that Bay Microsurgical Unit, Coastal Eye Group’s ambulatory eye surgery center in Georgetown was the just the second such eye surgery center ever approved in the state of South Carolina? Since 1985 Bay Microsurgical Unit has provided a calm, reassuring setting for patients throughout the Grand Strand.

Good article from US News:



LRS – Lens Replacement Surgery

June 20, 2019

LRS? Lens Replacement Surgery is the removal of the natural lens in the eye and replacing it with a small artificial lens, also known as an implant, or intraocular lens (IOL). In adults with vision impairment stemming from cataracts, we simply use the term “Cataract Surgery”, not LRS. No surprise there. But did you know that LRS can be used in adults that don’t have cataracts? It can… and is often a better option than LASIK in patients who are deemed poor candidates for LASIK for a variety of reasons… corneal thickness and severe myopia being two common reasons. The eye surgeons at Coastal Eye Group are expert in the various forms of both cataract surgery and LRS in non-cataract patients. This article from Harvard Medical School does a great job of discussing LRS. – A Look At Better Vision


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Protecting Your Children’s Eyes This Summer

June 19, 2019

This article from France hits all the high points. Yes, protecting your kids’ eyes is a good idea. Research shows that a lifetime’s exposure to UV light, wind, dust, etc. are related to the development of various eye conditions including cataracts, macular degeneration, pterygium, and more. Never hurts to get them started early with quality eye protection.

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Sleep Apnea Can Cause Serious Eye Problems?

June 17, 2019

Sleep apnea can cause eye problems? It can happen. The low oxygen levels caused by sleep apnea can lead to a host of significant issues include vascular occlusion in the eye. Common? Branch and Central Retinal Vein Occlusions are frequently seen in our five offices. How many of them are related to sleep disorders? We really don’t know. The bottom line is if you’ve been diagnosed with sleep apea, wear your CPAP as instructed. If you’re a world-class snorer and haven’t had a sleep study, schedule one as soon as possible. Your eyes, or even your life may be at risk.…/sleep-apnea-eye-stroke-blind/

Yes, you can die from sleep apnea. Carrie Fisher did.

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Iowa doctors seeing more cases of rare painful, blinding eye disease among contact wearers

June 5, 2019

Poorly chlorinated swimming pools are a common source of Acanthomoeba. Wearing contacts in these risky pools are a bad combination. Private pool owners need to make sure they are properly maintaining their pools, and when using public pools make sure to check on their maintenance. If it looks sketchy, it probably is.  Check out this recent article from the University of Iowa Department of Ophthalmology:


Hepatitis A Outbreak in SC

May 16, 2019

From SC Department of Health and Human Services (May 15, 2019):

On Monday, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) announced that cases of hepatitis A across the state have reached outbreak level. Hepatitis A is a contagious liver infection that is transmitted through person-to-person contact with someone who has the infection or through eating or drinking food or water contaminated by an infected person.

Getting vaccinated against hepatitis A is one of the most important components of preventing the spread of this infection. Hepatitis A vaccination is covered by the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (SCDHHS) for Medicaid beneficiaries, as recommended by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) guidelines. Children covered by Medicaid are eligible to receive the Hepatitis A vaccination through the Vaccines for Children (VFC) program. For additional information on the VFC program you may visit the SCDHEC website at Vaccines for adult Medicaid beneficiaries are payable directly through the Medicaid program.

Additionally, SCDHEC is currently offering no-cost hepatitis A vaccines to individuals at high risk for infection who are not covered by Medicaid. To schedule an appointment for a vaccination at a local health department, residents should call (855) 472-3432 or visit

More information about this outbreak is available at

Relying on Dr. Google to Diagnose Eye Problems may be Dangerous to Your Health

November 23, 2018
OCT 29, 2018 – Academy of Ophthalmology

Study shows popular online symptom checker was incorrect 74 percent of the time, often assesses symptom severity incorrectly
CHICAGO –  Oct. 29, 2018 – A study examining the diagnoses generated by WebMD Symptom Checker showed the online tool was correct only 26 percent of the time. And the recommendation for the top diagnosis was often inappropriate, at times recommending self-care at home instead of going to the emergency room. The research will be presented today at AAO 2018, the 122nd Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. The researcher suggests ophthalmology-related symptom checkers have an inherent limitation because most eye diseases and conditions require an in-person examination.

Lead researcher Carl Shen, M.D., an ophthalmology resident at McMaster University in Canada, was inspired to conduct the study by his patients, who often come to appointments with an incorrect self-diagnosis or preconceived notions about their condition. He wants to help patients better understand and interpret the eye health information they find online.

To conduct the study, both medical and non-medical personnel input 42 clinical scenarios into the popular WebMD Symptom Checker. Results were then compared with the known diagnosis. The top diagnosis returned was correct in just 26 percent of cases. While the correct diagnosis did appear within the top three results 40 percent of the time, it wasn’t even an option in 43 percent of the cases.

The assessment of symptom severity was also often incorrect. In 14 of 17 cases, the online symptom checker made incorrect recommendations about what the patient should do next, such as self-care at home or getting immediate treatment.

While WebMD can arrive at the correct clinical diagnosis, a significant proportion of common ophthalmic diagnoses are not captured, Dr. Shen concluded.

“Sometimes doing research online can be helpful in identifying possible conditions, and it’s good to be an informed patient,” Dr. Shen said. “But it’s also true that often these online symptom checkers do not arrive at the correct diagnosis. And the wrong recommendation on what to do with that diagnosis could be dangerous. The technology used in these online symptom checkers still have a long way to go in terms of accuracy.”

Macular degeneration linked to aging immune cells

April 6, 2018

From the Washington University of St. Louis School of Medicine website:

As people age, their immune systems age, too. And new research at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis suggests that aging immune cells increase the risk for age-related macular degeneration, a major cause of blindness in the United States.

Studying mice and cells from patients, the researchers found that as immune cells called macrophages age, they are more likely to contribute to the inflammation and abnormal blood vessel growth that damage vision in macular degeneration.


Macular degeneration linked to aging immune cells

Welcome to Dr. Jenna Benson

March 16, 2018

We’re excited to have Dr. Jenna Benson join our practice. She’ll be providing medical and surgical care for patients in both our Georgetown and Murrells Inlet offices. To learn more about Dr. Benson, visit her profile page.