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About Us

flexible appointment times

About Us

Welcome to Ascension Optical

The doctors and team at Ascension Optical welcome you to our practice. Our goal is to provide excellent eye health and vision care, guidance, and great service in our optical and serve you and your family for years to come. 

Dr. Edwin F. Adams and the team of doctors and eye care professionals at Ascension Optical provide expert, personalized eye health and vision care for children, adults, and seniors. Our doctors have decades of experience in medical eye care, and we have invested in the latest in technology to diagnose macular degeneration, glaucoma, cataracts, dry eye, and diabetic eye disease.  

Dr. Edwin F. Adams is one of the top contact lens specialists in the United States and is highly skilled at fitting contact lenses, even for people who have been told in the past they are difficult to fit in contacts. We offer many different options for contact lenses, including gas permeable lenses, scleral lenses, and toric lenses.  

We carry a diverse collection of designer frames in our optical and offer high-quality lens options for eyeglasses. Whether you need vision correction or not, the stylish sunglasses in our optical will ensure your eyes are protected from the sun, and that you experience comfortable, clear vision.  

Edwin F. Adams, O.D.

Doctor of Optometry 

Edwin Adams continues to be one of the top contact lens specialists in the country, able to fit even the hardest-to-fit clients with contacts. A longtime member of the Ascension Parish Chamber of Commerce, Dr. Adams along with our other doctors remain committed to the continued health and prosperity of our community.

More about Dr. Edwin F. Adams, O.D.


  • Post Graduate 1991 LA State Association of Optometrists
  • Pharmacology and Therapeutics
  • Graduate 1972-1976 Southern College of Optometry Memphis, TN
  • Graduate 1971-1972 Loyola University New Orleans, LA
  • Undergraduate 1967-1971 Louisiana State University Baton Rouge, LA
  • High School 1963-1967 Holy Cross High, New Orleans, LA


  • 1992 – Certified in Pharmacology and Ocular Therapeutics – LA State Board Optometry
  • 1976 – LA State Board of Optometry Examiners


  • 1976 – 1978 Captain, US Army at Fort Leonard General Army Hospital
  • 1978 – 1980 Captain, US Army Reserve Hospital in New Orleans, LA


  • 1976 – 1981 US Army Fort Leonard Wood Army Hospital, Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri
  • 1978 – 1981 Vision Center, Gonzales, LA
  • 1981 – 1990 Owner of Texas State Optical Franchises, Baton Rouge, Gonzales, Thibodeaux, and Denham Springs, LA
  • 1990 – Present Owner of Eyewear Unlimited, Incimages/Ascension Optical & Ascension Optical Lab
  • 1993 – Present Owner of Shenandoah Eye Clinic, Baton Rouge, LA
  • 1990 – Present Williamson Eye Center, Ascension Clinic, Gonzales, LA


  • 1999 – 2000 President, LA State Association of Optometrists
  • 2001 – 2002 Member LA State Executive Board


  • 1997 – Present Rotary Club. Gonzales, LA
  • 1995 Governor Appointee – Board of TeleMedicine
  • 1980 – 1985 Lions Club, Gonzales, LA


  • American Optometric Association
  • Louisiana State Association of Optometrists
  • Southern Council of Optometrists
  • New Orleans Contact Lens Society
  • American Optometric Contact Lens Section
  • American Public Health Association

Charles Williamson, M.D. 

Cataract and LASIK Surgeon 

Charles Williamson is a board-certified ophthalmic surgeon and the medical/surgical director of the Williamson Eye Center.

A former Academic All-American football player at LSU, Dr. Williamson went on to become the second generation of eye doctors in a family that has taken care of the eyes of Baton Rouge families for over 70 years. Dr. Williamson has been in practice for over 35 years.

More about Dr. Charles Williamson, M.D

Dr. Charles Williamson is one of the most experienced cataract and refractive surgeons in the world today. He is a pioneer surgeon who helped develop clear corneal cataract surgery under topical anesthesia which is now the technique most often used throughout the world.

Dr. Williamson is a noted lecturer who has taught thousands of surgeons in the world the art and science of modern cataract surgery. A noted author, Dr. Williamson has published a number of articles and monographs and contributed to textbooks on both cataract and refractive surgery.

He helped develop and founded the first outpatient surgery center for eye surgery in Louisiana and developed the first LASIK surgery center in the Baton Rouge area. Dr. Williamson remains at the forefront of cataract and refractive eye surgery.

A nationally and internationally known eye surgeon, Dr. Williamson enjoys sailing, scuba diving, and skiing and is an accomplished artist.

  • Medical Degree, LSU-Shreveport, 1977
  • Ophthalmology Residency, Birmingham Eye Foundation Hospital, 1981
  • Board Certified Ophthalmology, 1982
  • Member, Fellow American College of Surgeons, 1990
  • Member, American Academy of Ophthalmology and American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgeons
  • Associate Clinical Professor of Ophthalmology, Louisiana State University, School of Medicine

William R. Williamson, M.D.

Cataract and LASIK Surgeon 

William “Bill” Williamson is a board-certified ophthalmic physician and surgeon at the Williamson Eye Center. He is a member of the American Academy of Ophthalmology and the Outpatient Ophthalmic Surgery Society. He has performed thousands of cataract and refractive surgeries over the last 34 years and is the senior ophthalmologist and one of the founding doctors of the Williamson Eye Center.

More about William R. Williamson, M.D.
  • Medical Degree, LSU-New Orleans, 1972
  • Ophthalmology Residency, Ochsner Foundation Hospital, New Orleans, 1976
  • Board Certified Ophthalmology, 1977
  • Member, American Academy of Ophthalmology and the Outpatient Ophthalmic Surgery Society

Vincent O. Rachal, O.D. 

Doctor of Optometry 

  • High School: Moreauville High School, Moreauville, LA, Graduated 1971
  • College: University of Southwestern LA, Lafayette, LA, Graduated 1974
  • School of Optometry: Southern College of Optometry, Memphis, TN, Graduated 1978

Blake Williamson, M.D.

Cataract and LASIK Surgeon 

Blake K. Williamson, MD, MPH, MS is a third-generation eye doctor who continues the legacy of his family, which has been taking care of the great people of Louisiana for nearly 70 years.  Dr. Williamson serves as President Managing Partner for Williamson Eye Center. Within a few short years of private practice, Dr. Williamson has established himself as a nationally recognized surgeon, thought leader, and lecturer in the fields of advanced cataract surgery, laser vision correction, and micro-invasive glaucoma surgery.

More about Dr. Blake Williamson, M.D.

Dr. Williamson was born and raised in Baton Rouge and has placed a strong emphasis on education and academic achievement throughout his life, first as a graduate from the Episcopal School and later going on to earn Master’s degrees from both Columbia University in New York City as well as the world-renowned Johns Hopkins Medical Center where he completed an ophthalmology capstone. With a goal of taking care of the people of his home state, Dr. Williamson returned to Louisiana completing his medical school and ophthalmology residency training at LSU and Tulane respectively.  

Dr. Williamson remained devoted to research and education during his training and was awarded the highest honor at the annual Tulane O’brien Research Symposium two years in a row for his work on microscopic glaucoma devices and their role in corneal degeneration. Concern for those less fortunate and giving back has been a strong conviction throughout his career and as a Unite for Sight Global Impact Fellow, he has performed surgery on three continents and has participated in surgical missions around the world.

In his free time, Dr. Williamson enjoys music and works as a disc jockey for a local FM radio station. He is also passionate about LSU sports, wake surfing, and traveling the world with his wife and their three little boys.

Lawrence Pham, O.D. 

Doctor of Optometry 

Lawrence Pham is a graduate of the University of Houston where he earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and continued his education there to receive his Doctorate of Optometry. Dr. Pham specializes in comprehensive eye care, contact lens fittings, ocular diseases, and care for post-operative surgery cases. In his spare time, Dr. Pham enjoys tennis, racquetball, building computers, the theatre, and traveling with his family.

More about Dr. Lawrence Pham, O.D.
  • Received Doctorate of Optometry from the University of Houston
  • Received Bachelor of Science Degree in Biology from the University of Houston

Matthew Barnes, O.D. 

Doctor of Optometry 

Matthew Barnes was born and raised in Helena, Arkansas. At an early age, he knew he wanted to be in a profession where he could help others. He graduated from DeSoto High School in 2011, and from there attended the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. Dr. Barnes completed his studies at the University of Arkansas in 2015, receiving his Bachelor of Arts in Biology. Upon completion of his undergraduate studies, Dr. Barnes attended the Southern College of Optometry in Memphis, Tennessee where he received the degree of Doctor of Optometry (OD) in the spring of 2020.

More about Dr. Matthew Barnes, O.D.

During his clinical rotations in Memphis, Dr. Barnes received a strong background in ocular disease management, primarily focusing on ocular surface disease and long-term glaucoma management. Dr. Barnes also enjoyed his pediatric rotations where he was able to provide eye care to children as young as three months old. Dr. Barnes completed his externship rotations at Bond-Wroten Eye Clinic in Hammond, LA as well as Keesler Air Force Base in Biloxi, MS. At his externship sites, he excelled in the areas of multifocal contact lens fitting, pre and post-surgical management for cataracts, glaucoma, and refractive surgery, as well as chalazion and foreign body removal.

Dr. Barnes’ particular interests are in the areas of dry eye management, contact lens, pediatric optometry, and advanced optometric surgical procedures. During his free time, he enjoys spending time outdoors as well as hunting, fishing, boating, watching college football, and spending time with his wife Lauren.

Dr. Barnes is a proud member of the American Optometric Association (AOA) and the Optometry Association of Louisiana.

J. Brett Williamson PA-C

Cataract and LASIK Surgeon 

  • 1998: The Lancaster Course in Ophthalmology, Waterville, MN
  • 1998: Physician Assistant Program, Louisiana State University School of Medicine, Shreveport, LA
  • 1991: Bachelor of General Studies, History and English Literature, Louisiana State University, Baton Rouge, LA
More about J. Brett Williamson, PA-C


  • Physician Assistant – President, Class of 1998
  • Dean’s List – 3 years
  • Distinguished Scholar Award – 1987-1988, 1988-1989

Professional Organizations

  • Member, American College of Phlebology
  • Member, American Academy of Physicians Assistants
  • Member, Louisiana Academy of Physicians Assistants
  • Member, American Society for Laser Medicine and Surgery

Joshua Davidson, O.D. 

Doctor of Optometry 

Joshua Davidson grew up in Bay City, Michigan where, from the age of 11, he had his eyes set on optometry. Dr. Davidson graduated from All Saints Catholic Central and attended The University of Michigan in Ann Arbor as an undergraduate where he graduated with a degree in biology. He went on to complete his Doctor of Optometry (OD) degree at the Michigan College of Optometry. Dr. Davidson’s clinical rotations included the William Jennings Bryan Dorn Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Columbia, South Carolina, Anderson Eye Associates in Saginaw, Michigan, and the Duane L. Waters Hospital at the Michigan Department of Corrections maximum security prison in Jackson, Michigan.

More about Dr. Joshua Davidson, O.D.

Dr. Davidson’s interests are in the areas of dry eye treatment, specialty contact lenses, and ocular disease. In his spare time, he enjoys CrossFit, playing softball, traveling, watching college football (his beloved Michigan Wolverines and his adopted LSU Tigers), and spending time with his son, Brooks.

In October 2019, Dr. Davidson attained the highest status in the profession of optometry, that of a Fellow of the American Academy of Optometry (FAAO). In qualifying and maintaining this fellowship, individuals are evaluated against the highest standards of professional competence.

Dr. Davidson is also proud to be a fellow of the Scleral Lens Education Society (FSLS). He is currently the only certified “expert” scleral lens fitter in all of Louisiana, Mississippi, or Arkansas. His interests lie in fitting all specialty contact lenses for high prescriptions, multifocal “bifocal” contacts, keratoconus, post-radial keratotomy, post-LASIK, and dry eye, amongst countless other ocular issues.

Charles H. Williamson Jr.

Administrator, Williamson Eye Center
Co-owner, Williamson Management, LLC & Williamson Eyewear

Charles H. Williamson Jr. is the Administrator of Williamson Eye Center and co-owner of Williamson Management, LLC and Williamson Eyewear. After spending most of his college and graduate school years in investment banking, Mr. Williamson embarked on a career in healthcare management with his father’s business at Williamson Eye Center. A native of Baton Rouge, he earned his B.S. in International Trade and Finance with a minor in economics at Louisiana State University and a dual masters’s degree from the University of Houston in business and healthcare administration, graduating in December of 2001.

More about Charles H. Williamson Jr.

Mr. Williamson also works extensively in the entrepreneurship space in the area of synergizing healthcare benefit offerings with professional service software management platforms, new ophthalmic technology introductions to the US market, and biologic therapy offerings to eye care networks.

In 2007, he created a virtual optical dispensary called 25 Dollar Eyeglasses, whereby, customers from across the United States could purchase prescription eyeglasses at the most affordable prices available. At the same time, Mr. Williamson was a key contributing partner in developing US Hearing Plan, which provided the hearing impaired with access to hearing health professionals and hearing aid products at significantly reduced prices.

Recently, Mr. Williamson and several other partners created Marucci Eyewear for Marucci Sports, Inc, a brand leader in the sport of baseball. His company has global sales rights for the sale of Marucci Eyewear to physician practices, optical chains, and other retailers.