MIAMI VALLEY — A flurry of new technologies to help people regain their eyesight and prevent blindness have emerged and are available from a local doctor.
Dr. Christopher T. Johnson is leading the efforts of Ohio Vision, LLC, to offer new treatments for glaucoma and cataracts. Ohio Vision has offices in Sidney, Bellefontaine, Celina and Troy, and performs surgeries in Bellefontaine, Coldwater, Piqua, St. Marys and Tipp City.
“It is actually incredible,” Johnson said. “It changes their life dramatically.
“Some comments I’ve received is like, ‘I used to live to just put drops in, and now I have my life back.’ It’s great to hear that. It’s great to be able to help them, knowing that they’re not going to go blind now.”
Johnson, a Celina High School graduate, earned his bachelor’s degree from The Ohio State University. Prior to attending medical school at the University of Toledo, he shadowed Dr. John J. Wilding at Ohio Vision and developed a passion for eye surgery, which offered a greater chance to change people’s lives than his original plan to enter optometry.
Now that he’s completed medical school and his residency at Loyola University Chicago, Johnson has returned to work with Wilding at Ohio Vision and is expanding the practice’s surgical offerings.
“It’s nice and it’s refreshing to have someone with you who has some new ideas and you can discuss new treatments and distill those down to what is the best of everything,” Wilding said. “And that is what we want for our patients, nothing but the best.”
At Loyola, Johnson studied many cutting-edge eye surgery techniques and trained for nine months with a glaucoma specialist.
During his time in Chicago, he also learned from Dr. Malik Kahook, who developed the Kahook Dual Blade that is used in minimally invasive glaucoma surgery.
Another treatment Johnson is using, MicroPulse, is a top-of-the-line laser that provides noninvasive treatment of glaucoma.
Johnson recently started working with a PanOptix multifocal lens that was approved in 2019 by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and allows patients to see near and far without glasses after cataract removal.
He also just started working with Durysta, an implant designed to reduce pressure in the eyes of glaucoma patients that gained FDA approval in 2020.
“There’s lots of new minimally invasive surgeries coming out for glaucoma,” the Troy resident said.
“It is really exciting. And just coming out of, not too far off from residency, I’ve trained in a lot of the newest stuff, and I am very eager to try newer techniques, newer treatments.”
It was during his residency, when Johnson sent Wilding a Christmas card, that they reconnected and plans for him to return to Ohio began to form.
The card included a photo of Johnson, his wife, Jillian, and their three eldest daughters, Claire, Sophia and Madelyn. Wilding said he almost fell out of his chair when he received that Christmas card, recognizing the similarities between Johnson’s family and his own.
“When I saw his picture, it was kind of a flashback for me,” Wilding said. “It was like, ‘Hey, there’s me. Me and my three little girls.’”
Johnson already had made a strong impression on Wilding during his job shadow. And realizing he was approaching retirement, Wilding encouraged Johnson to join Ohio Vision after his residency with the goal of eventually taking over the practice.
Johnson, who now has a fourth daughter, Adeline, and a fifth child due in March, was excited about the opportunity to return to western Ohio.
“It was nice to come back home, and it was a perfect fit for us,” he said. “Being able to help the people that I grew up with is kind of cool, too.”
Having a second doctor at Ohio Vision has been a blessing and allowed both of them to provide better treatment for their patients, Wilding said.
“We make a good team,” Wilding said. “And that’s the neat thing about having another doctor in the practice. You always have someone you can get a second opinion from.
“It’s been nice to have him, and especially nice for me because I’ve been in practice for over 30 years and I’ve had such a huge commitment to the community with my patients and also with my staff. I wanted someone to come into my practice and kind of carry the torch.”
For more information about the practice, visit https://ohiovision.com/ or call (937) 492-8040.