LAURINBURG — The Bowling Eye Clinic, now known as MyEyeDr of Laurinburg, recently held a Business After Hours event to celebrate Dr. J. Earl Bowling and his successful 30 years in the optometry profession.
The event was hosted by the Laurinburg-Scotland County Area Chamber of Commerce to recognize the name change and honor Bowling’s three decades of service.
The Bowling practice merged with MyEyeDr in May. MyEyeDr was founded in 2001 by a group of optometrists. It is headquartered in Vienna, VA and throughout the years partnered with larger optometric practices and expanded across the East Coast.
“They are one of the fastest growing eye care companies and they stretch from Delaware to Florida with a main office in Virginia near DC and Raleigh,” Bowling said. “We weren’t asking or looking for it, but they have business people that care to grow their market and share our patient base, so they pursued us.”
Bowling explained that with the merger, there are better packages, specials and coupons.
“Ninety-five percent of the same staff is here,” he said. “You’re going to see the same doctor, you’re going to see the same staff and somethings have changed for the better.”
Bowling began his career as an optometrist by working four years with a multi-disciplinary eye clinic in Moore County. He opened the Bowling Eye Clinic in 1989 making 26 more years of experience.
“My professors in school always said I had a knack for attracting the most difficult cases,” he said referring to his years attending the Pennsylvania College of Optometry and the Eye Institute in Philadelphia. “There is so much you can pick up that’s wrong in the body through the eye and a lot of people don’t understand that, they’re just coming to the eye doctor to get a refraction for glasses or a prescription for contact lenses.”
Bowling said that while checking eyes, doctors can also check the interior of the eye for disease. They can pick up on hypertension, diabetes, brain tumors, glaucoma and vascular diseases.
“A lady came in and was one of four female patients in 2010 that came in for a routine eye exam and mainly out of their health history and asking questions we didn’t let any of the four leave the office until we had them going to a health specialist,” he said. “All four had heart surgery within the next week and they had just come in for routine eye exams.”
Bowling is grateful for the opportunity to help people with more than just their eyesight in his profession. One of the women even came in a week ago to give him a hug.
“I feel so fortunate that I found the Scotland County community and how supportive they have been,” he said. “It’s great to know how to help people and I hope to continue the practice for some time”
Abby Hackmann can be reached at 910-506-3171.