Retired Acworth Elementary School Principal Albert Price Shares His Story to Help Others Facing Similar Surgery
Golf ranks high on the list of hobbies for retired Acworth Elementary School principal Albert Price. And thanks to surgeries at Georgia Retina, the state’s largest retina-only private practice, he can keep his eyes on the ball all the way down the fairway.
Back in 2009, Price noticed that his vision was distorted. He went immediately to his ophthalmologist who referred him to Georgia Retina. Dr. Atul Sharma took his case and diagnosed a macular hole in Price’s right eye.
Following treatment, Price was assured of a good prognosis because the chance of developing a macular hole in the other eye was less than 5 percent. However, two years later, Price began experiencing vision problems in his left eye where another macular hole had developed, and he had another surgery in 2011.
Price, now 70, says, “If I could see this well the rest of my life, I would consider myself well blessed.”
On the golf course, Price can see “well enough to see my ball and see it way out there” on the fairway. “I feel blessed to see the way I can see. Dr. Sharma has been a great doctor.”
The Acworth resident plays golf at Creekside Golf and Country Club in Hiram.
Price is particularly grateful for his sight because the procedure to repair macular holes is relatively new. “Just ten or fifteen years ago, they didn’t have a procedure to correct macular holes. If you had one, you just hoped it wouldn’t get worse,” Price said.
A macular hole is a small break in the macula, located in the center of the eye’s light-sensitive tissue called the retina. The macula provides the sharp, central vision needed for reading, driving, and seeing fine detail.
Although Price calls the procedure “quite annoying” because it requires lying face down 50 minutes of every hour for the seven to ten days following surgery, he says it was “well worth the trouble to restore my sight.”
Price decided to share his story to help others facing a similar situation. “I told Dr. Sharma that anyone diagnosed with a macular hole would be fearful, and that I will be glad to talk to them about what they will have to go through and what they can expect afterwards.”
Price taught for 32 years in the Cobb County School System. He retired as principal of Acworth Elementary School. The Alabama native moved to Georgia after college “because at that time Georgia paid teachers better than Alabama.” He has three adult children and three grandchildren.
Dr. Sharma, a board-certified ophthalmologist, graduated with honors from the University of California at Berkeley, before attending Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston. His ophthalmology residency at the University of Pennsylvania Scheie Eye Institute was distinguished by his appointment as Chief Resident. Dr. Sharma completed a two-year vitreoretinal fellowship at the Harvard Medical School, one of the premier fellowship programs in the nation. He has been an active participant in a number of clinical studies, and his publications have appeared in prominent medical journals.
At Georgia Retina, patients’ vision needs are the top priority. As one of the largest retina-only medical practices in the southeastern United States, Georgia Retina specializes in treating diseases of the retina, macula, and vitreous. Its nine board-certified ophthalmologists have received special Fellowship training in vitreo-retinal diseases and surgery, and are engaged in clinical trials with the goal of advancing research into retinal diseases, their causes, and their cures.