Tuesday, September 29, 2020

The EYES Have It

Submitted Photo: Dr. Timothy Quinn

Submitted Photo: Dr. Timothy Quinn

To Your Health

Scott Lowe 

As a culture, we seem almost obsessed about eyes. Just look at the various sayings and idioms we have associated with eyesight.

People often claim to go through life with their eyes wide open—or sometimes shut tight. Many of us can’t take our eyes off of someone or something. Nevertheless some seek out a bird’s eye view while others perform daily tasks without batting an eye.

Even though it would certainly be anatomically rare, there are also those who claim to have eyes in the back of their head.

Despite the fact that our eyes are responsible for enabling us to “enjoy the view” every day, they can easily find themselves in jeopardy when denied proper care.

Dr. Timothy Quinn of Physicians Regional Healthcare System certainly agrees that many take their eyesight for granted. When it comes to maintaining our eye health, too many are guilty of taking their eye off the ball.

In fact, regular eye exams are recommended every 2-4 years for patients ranging in age from 45 to 64. For those 65 and older, it is every 1-2 years. Conditions, such as diabetes or hypertension, may prompt more frequent need.

As the Market CEO of Physicians Regional Healthcare System, I am tasked with keeping my eye on practically everything. And that includes taking time to notice when an additional service line would benefit our patient population.

With the knowledge that East Naples lacked physicians skilled in ophthalmology, I am pleased to announce the addition of Dr. Timothy Quinn to our staff.

Board certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology, Dr. Quinn, a Cleveland native, is a graduate of Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine in Cleveland. He subsequently completed his residency at California Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco.

According to Dr. Quinn, a common question he receives is: What is the difference between an optometrist and an ophthalmologist? Though both types of eye health professionals receive extensive training, an optometrist attends optometry school and an ophthalmologist attends medical school, and then pursues residency training in ophthalmology—the medical and surgical management of eye disease.

Both an optometrist and an ophthalmologist can prescribe medications in the treatment of most eye ailments; however, ophthalmologists (such as Dr. Quinn) are licensed to perform surgical procedures too.

Considering most ophthalmologist’s offices have more diagnostic and therapeutic capability, high-risk patients would tend to automatically go to an ophthalmologist. Often, more complex care is coordinated between both optometric and ophthalmologic specialties and subspecialties.

Dr. Quinn advocates regular eye exams for a variety of reasons. At the top of his list is glaucoma detection. “With glaucoma, you can have absolutely no symptoms until you are completely blind. Early detection is critical.”

Naturally, he also supports the regular use of sunglasses. And yes, polarized lenses do provide an advantage. They block the horizontal polarization from reflections from water, glass, mirrors, and even from “the car in front of you.” Dr. Quinn explains, “Polarized lenses are great for boating, biking and driving.”

And if enough has not already been written about the benefits of diet, exercise and hydration, Dr. Quinn confirm that these “basics” have a positive effect on eye health too. After all, the eyes are organs too.

Dr. Quinn confirms that those who undergo LASIK can be more sensitive to light. “Their eyes tend to be drier. After all, nerves were severed in the process.” Those who have had the procedure don’t magically have perfect eyes either. Lasik patients must also undergo regular eye exams as well.

As an ophthalmologist and a surgeon, Dr. Quinn’s focus is caring for conditions that are a medical necessity. For example, his most common procedures are related to cataracts and glaucoma and include minor eyelid surgery. For older patients, Dr. Quinn often deals with diabetic eye disease, glaucoma and age-related macular degeneration.

And why did Dr. Quinn choose to focus on eye health? “Even 20 years ago when I decided to study ophthalmology, the field was constantly evolving with new advances in technology—even more so then than today,” he explains. “When you combine great technology and quality care, you also provide excellent outcomes for patients. That’s very rewarding.”

Dr. Quinn also was attracted to Southwest Florida due to “the location, the wonderful people and the great hospital system. My colleagues are hardworking and pushing the envelope to provide great care. My job is to fight for my patients’ quality of vision. Whoever is in the exam room at the time, their eyesight is the most important.”

Dr. Quinn’s office is currently located at Physicians Regional-Pine Ridge; however, beginning later this year, his home base will be on the Physicians Regional-Collier Boulevard campus. For information or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Quinn, please call 239-348-4221.

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