Dr. Joseph Sowka received his Bachelor of Sciences Degree with Distinction from Cornell University, and his Doctor of Optometry degree from the Pennsylvania College of Optometry (PCO) at Salus University in Philadelphia, PA. He completed his residency at PCO as well. Following residency, Dr. Sowka accepted a university appointment at Southeastern University of the Health Sciences (now Nova Southeastern University). He served as full time academic faculty at the College of Optometry for 28 years, achieving the rank of Full Professor. He served as Chief of The Advanced Care Service and Director of the Glaucoma Service at the College’s Eye Institute. He was the Program Coordinator and Supervisor for the Ocular Disease Residency. He also served as Chair for the Department of Optometric Clinical Sciences. He taught courses in Glaucoma and Vitreoretinal Disease for 26 years and in his academic career has trained over 2,500 optometrists and residents.
Dr. Sowka has authored 113 peer-review manuscripts, abstracts, and book chapters as well as over 180 other publications including 19 editions of The Handbook of Ocular Disease Management. Dr. Sowka serves on the Editorial Review Board of numerous journals. Dr. Sowka is a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry and was the first Diplomate in Glaucoma within the Academy. He has held numerous Chair positions within the American Academy of Optometry and is currently the Written Examination Chair for the Glaucoma Diplomate Program as well as the Chair of the Neuro-ophthalmic Disorders in Optometry Special Interest Group. Dr. Sowka is a founding member of both the Optometric Glaucoma Society and Optometric Retina Society and has served on the Executive Committees of both organizations. He is also the Founder and Chair of the Neuro-Ophthalmic Disorders in Optometry Special Interest Group for the American Academy of Optometry. Dr. Sowka lectures extensively nationally and internationally.
Dr. Sowka’s clinical patient care has exclusively been in the area of glaucoma diagnosis and management as well as care for patients with neuro-ophthalmic conditions. Dr. Sowka will be providing care to patients with glaucoma as well as those with neuro-ophthalmic issues such as double vision and sudden vision loss. He is also available for emergency conditions such as eye redness, pain, and other acute issues.
Dr. Sowka lives in Sarasota with his wife, Dr. Lori Vollmer, who is also a provider for Center for Sight, as well as their numerous pets including a dog, cats, birds and reptiles. Most weekends, Dr. Sowka is away providing continuing medical education to practicing doctors throughout the US and abroad. Dr. Sowka enjoys working out, reading, writing, and music (playing piano and singing) and is thrilled to be part of the mission of Center for Sight to provide compassionate care to every patient.
Locations Served: Englewood, Jacaranda, North Port
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