Dr. Omar Punjabi is a board-certified ophthalmologist. He specializes in vitreo-retinal diseases and surgery at Charlotte Eye Ear Nose and Throat Associates (CEENTA) in Charlotte, North Carolina. He practices at the South Park, Matthews, and Concord offices.
Dr. Punjabi was born in Mumbai, India, where he received a Gold medal and the highest honor among more than 125,000 students competing for medical school. He graduated with honors from King Edward Memorial Hospital, which is the top medical school in Mumbai. He moved to the United States after medical school for further training. He spent two years as a post-doctoral research fellow involving retinal imaging at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute in Miami. Dr. Punjabi then went on to do his internship at the University of Miami, followed by residency training at Northwestern University in Chicago where he was selected as chief resident. After residency training, he completed his two-year fellowship training in retinal diseases and vitreo-retinal surgery at the prestigious Cole Eye Institute of the Cleveland Clinic.
Dr. Punjabi has published over 30 peer-reviewed articles and presented numerous scientific abstracts and textbook chapters. When he was a post-doctoral research fellow at the Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, he was part of the team that was involved in the groundbreaking development of the spectral domain OCT used for retinal imaging. He was the recipient of the National Eye Institute research grant in 2006 from ARVO. He has won several academic awards and scholarships during his residency training and during medical school. He received the best resident award in all three years of residency at Northwestern for his clinical, academic, and research performances. He secured 99th percentile in the Ophthalmology Knowledge Assessment Program (OKAP) and also in the Ophthalmology Board Examination. He also received several research awards, including the Beem-Fisher Award from the Chicago Ophthalmological Society in 2010 and the Research Award from Northwestern University in 2010. During fellowship training, he received the Best Fellow Teacher of the Year award from the Cleveland Clinic. He was also the recipient of the exclusive Heed Fellowship from the Heed Ophthalmic Foundation, which is given to only a few fellows with excellent clinical, academic and research potential. Dr. Punjabi was invited to deliver the prestigious Havener Memorial Lectureship at Ohio State University Havener Eye Institute in 2019. Dr. Punjabi participates in clinical research and serves in a leadership role with multiple clinical trials involving macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy, including the prestigious DRCR Retina Network trials. He is co-chair of the North Carolina Retina club, and serves on the early career section committee of the American Society of Retina Specialists which helps mentor young retina specialists across the country. Dr. Punjabi received the Charlotte Magazine Top Doctor award in 2020 which is a peer-nominated award.
Dr. Punjabi is a board-certified ophthalmologist and is an active member of numerous ophthalmological societies, including the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the American Society of Retina Specialists, the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology and the Society of Heed Fellows. He is an invited reviewer for multiple scientific journals.
His areas of interest include medical and surgical diseases of the retina and vitreous, including retinal detachment, age-related macular degeneration, retinal vascular diseases, diabetic retinopathy, ocular trauma and uveitis.
Dr. Punjabi has an active North Carolina Medical license and practices at the South Park, Matthews, and Concord offices.
During his free time, Dr. Punjabi enjoys spending time with his wife and two young kids. He often volunteers to help uninsured patients in Charlotte. He is an avid sportsperson, and enjoys playing tennis, hiking and traveling.
Dr. Punjabi practices in the following offices:
SouthPark (6035 Fairview Road, Charlotte, NC)
Concord (645 Amalia Street NE, Concord, NC)
Matthews (724 Aubrey Bell Drive, Matthews, NC)
To make an appointment with him, call 704-295-3000. You can also request an appointment online or through myCEENTAchart.
Education & Fellowship
D.G. Ruparel College, Mumbai, India, Gold Medal, 1999
King Edward Memorial Hospital, Mumbai, India, Honors, 2005
Retina Research Fellowship, Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, University of Miami, Miami, FL, 2007
Internal Medicine, University of Miami, Miami, FL, 2008
Ophthalmology, Northwestern University, Chicago, IL, 2011
Vitreoretinal Diseases and Surgery, Cole Eye Institute, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland, OH, 2013
Associations & Memberships
Board Certified by:
- American Board of Ophthalmology
- American Academy of Ophthalmology, Fellow
- American Society of Retina Specialists (ASRS)
- Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO)
- Heed Ophthalmic Foundation
- North Carolina Society of Eye Physicians and Surgeons
- North Carolina Retina Club
Leadership and Committee experience:
- Committee Member, Young Physician Section (YPS), ASRS, 2017-18
- DRCR Panelist/ Speaker at YPS luncheon at ASRS in San Francisco, 2016
- Panelist at DRCR Annual Meeting in Orlando, 2017
- Chief Resident, Northwestern University, 2010-11
- Administrative Chief Fellow, Cole Eye Institute, Cleveland Clinic, 2012-13
- Instructor, Veteran’s Administration (VA) Optometry Residents, July 2015-Present
- Involved in Ophthalmology Resident and medical student education at the Cleveland Clinic and Metrohealth Hospital, 2012-13; Best Fellow Teacher of the Year, 2013
- Northwestern University, Chicago, IL: Involved in Medical Student education, 2008-2011
Surgery for Vitreo-Retinal Diseases: This is an outpatient
surgical procedure commonly performed for management of multiple
retinal diseases, including retinal detachment, diabetic retinal disease,
bleeding in the eye, macular holes, epiretinal membranes, and other conditions. I
enjoy providing sight-saving surgery to my patients, and with today's technological
advances most cases are quick, highly successful and need no stitches,
leading to a quick recovery and excellent outcomes.
and Intravitreal pharmacotherapy for macular degeneration and diabetic retinopathy: These are in-office, minimally-invasive procedures that have
dramatically improved the prognosis of these common blinding eye diseases. Most
patients have a significant improvement in vision, which was not possible just
a few years ago.
2020-21: Castle Connolly Top Doctors
2020: Charlotte Magazine Top Doctors Award
2019: Havener Memorial Lectureship, Ohio State University Havener Eye Institute, OH
2019: DRCR Highest Recruiter Award, Protocol W, Tampa, FL.
2018: Best Medical Retina Case (audience poll), ASRS 2018, Vancouver, BC
2017: DRCR Site Research Award- Highest Recruiter, Protocol V, Orlando, FL
2016: Vitals Patients' Choice Award
2016: DRCR Site of the Year Retina Research Award, Tampa, FL
2013: Best Fellow Teacher of the year, Cleveland Clinic
2012: Heed Fellow 2011: Chief Resident in Ophthalmology, Northwestern University
2011: Academic Achievement Award, Northwestern University
2010: Academic Achievement Award, Northwestern University
2010: Best Resident Research Paper, Northwestern University
2010: Beem-Fisher Award for Best Research Paper, Chicago, IL
2010: Heed-Foundation Resident Retreat
2009: Academic Achievement Award, Northwestern University
2006: National Eye Institute Travel Grant Award, ARVO
Dr. Punjabi has given continuing education talks including:
"How to Approach the Retinal Patient"
"Think Like a Vitreo-Retinal Surgeon"
"Optical Coherence Tomography: Basics, Recent Advances, Its Application in Clinic"
I’ve never had vision in my right eye
, and one Sunday recently I experienced something I had never experienced in my left eye. I was seeing some flashes of light and some black spots, so the next day I called CEENTA, and that day I saw Dr. Spicola
and Dr. Punjabi
. - Sonya M.
When I first came to Dr. Punjabi
I couldn’t read the license plate on the car in front of me with that eye. Right now it’s cleared up so I can see almost as well as before I had the eye occlusion, so we’ll see how things look the next time I get an X-Ray. - Eric B.
Authored over 30 peer-reviewed papers and book chapters.
Presented research at national and international scientific meetings such as AAO, ARVO and ASRS.
Participating in and enrolling patients in clinical trials involving diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration and retinal vein occlusions. This includes "Effect of Adding Dexamethasone to Continue Ranibizumab Treatment in Patients With Persistent Diabetic Macular Edema," published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Nov. 11, 2017.
Dr. Punjabi and Dr. Andrew Antoszyk co-authored a paper about a rare case of a maggot that had found its way into the eye, and was swimming under the retina. Dr. Antoszyk immediately lasered and killed it in the office and the patient's eyesight was restored. Dr. Punjabi presented the case at the 2018 American Society of Retina Specialists meeting. It was described as one of the best cases of the year. The paper, "'Pacman' Invasion of the Retina," was published in Retina Today, November/December 2018.
Dr. Punjabi and Dr. Andrew Antoszyk co-authored a paper about new retinopathy treatment in diabetic patients. The paper, "Effect of Intravitreous Aflibercept vs Vitrectomy With Panretinal Photocoagulation on Visual Acuity in Patients With Vitreous Hemorrhage From Proliferative Diabetic Retinopathy: A Randomized Clinical Trial," was published in The Journal of the American Medical Association in December 2020.