To say that Dr. Helen Newton has had an eventful year would be a drastic understatement. The new ophthalmologist in Mount Pleasant of My Eye Wear moved here in May of 2020. Unfortunately, shortly thereafter, her husband fell ill and passed away.
After experiencing such a tremendous loss, Dr. Newton, who had been practicing ophthalmology since the 1990s in New York City, decided in the late summer of last year to pursue her dream of opening a practice in Mount Pleasant.
What initially brought Dr. Newton to the area is a long line of ancestry that she traces back to the 1700s.
“I wanted to come back to my roots. My mother grew up here, and she moved to New York City where I was born, along with my sister,” she explained.
Dr. Newton said that her grandmother had lived in the area, and that as a child, she would often come to South Carolina with her mother to visit and maintain family connections.
“I always loved it here, and I always wanted to move here one day,” she commented.
Dr. Newton attended Rutgers University and then Columbia at Harlem Hospital for medical school and ophthalmology training. She did a fellowship at State University of New York, studying anterior segment disease and glaucoma surgery.
Although Dr. Newton’s original draw to the area was to reconnect with family, she said that Mount Pleasant was always her most favorite spot to visit. “I just love everything about this community —friendly people, beautiful environment and the water. To me, it is perfect,” she exclaimed.
When she made the decision to open My Eye Wear on Coleman Boulevard, she said it was an “empty shell,” and it took about nine months to become an eyewear boutique offering a wide variety of eye wear and eye care services. The practice officially opened in May of 2021 and for Dr. Newton, this has truly been a dream come true.
“I always wanted to work in the medical field. I can remember I was 9 years old when I had such a curiosity for what happened to people when they were ill. I really wanted to help people.”
She said that her mother was the one that influenced her decision to become a doctor. “She was my motivator. She always told me that if I worked hard, I could do anything.”
With that support, she took a special interest in eye surgery while in medical school and received encouragement from her professors to pursue ophthalmology because they told her she had a “gift” for it.
Dr. Newton said that there are two areas of great importance to her practice at My Eye Wear — the first area is encouraging her patients to take preventive measures when it comes to their health.
“It is always better to prevent disease than to try and recover or cure a disease after you have it.”
She said she takes particular interest in advising her patients about prevention with diabetes since, she said, “so much can be controlled.”
“The more I have learned about preventive medicine, the more I have realized that so much can be controlled by diet, exercise, clean water and clean air.”
The second area that Dr. Newton takes special interest in is telemedicine. “I actually started getting heavily into telemedicine about five years ago. It became more popular last year with Covid. I find it to be a great tool for enhancing care.”
She said telemedicine is providing a way to give traditional eye exams remotely. “We can consult on x-rays, read test results and review charts virtually. We can then talk to the patient in real time when they might be far away. Additionally, we can interface with other doctors and technicians and order prescriptions by computer. It is pretty amazing.” She looks forward to future advancements in telemedicine.
Dr. Newton also serves as a missionary and is a mother and grandmother.
Visit us at 736 Coleman Boulevard, suite 110 Mount Pleasant, SC 29464 or call 843-654-9557.