Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between an OPHTHALMOLOGIST, OPTOMETRIST, and OPTICIAN?

An OPHTHALMOLOGIST has graduated from medical school with either an MD or D.O. degree and has a minimum of three years of specialized training to diagnose and treat problems of the eye. In addition, an ophthalmologist performs eye surgery.

An OPTOMETRIST has graduated from college and then 4 additional years of specialized training to earn an O.D. (“Doctor of Optometry”) degree that prepares him or her to expertly prescribe for glasses and contact lens correction, treat and manage eye disease with drops and/or medications.

An OPTICIAN is trained to fit prescription eyeglasses and contact lenses and is an important member of an eye care team.

Visit aao.org, goaeyes.com or optometricsociety.org for more information.

When is BLEPHAROPLASTY considered a “medically necessary” procedure?

Most insurance companies consider an upper eyelid blepharoplasty medically necessary and consider it a covered service only if the patient’s eyelids are drooping to a level that impairs vision. A lower eyelid blepharoplasty is performed for cosmetic reasons and is not considered medically necessary.

Will I still need to wear glasses after cataract surgery?

Cataract surgery provides an opportunity to significantly reduce your dependence on glasses. The degree to which eye glass independence can be achieved following cataract surgery is highly dependent on a number of factors, including your pre-operative condition, occupational needs, degree of astigmatism, type of implant selected, and tolerance for glare and other possible side effects associated to varying degrees with all types of implants.

Will my cataracts come back after cataract surgery?

No. Following cataract surgery the clouded natural lens has been replaced with an artificial lens and so the eye cannot develop another cataract. However, months or years after surgery, some patients experience what is commonly called a “secondary cataract” (even though it’s not really a cataract at all) when the capsule of tissue that holds the artificial lens in place becomes cloudy. It takes only a few moments to correct this condition with a laser.

What types of IOL’s are available for cataract surgery?

An intraocular lens (IOL) is implanted during cataract surgery to replace the removed cataract-clouded lens and to restore focus after surgery. Cataract patients may choose between standard or premium IOL implants. Visit www.geteyesmart.org/eyesmart/diseases/iol-implants.cfm to learn more the various types of IOLs available. Explore the premium IOLs provided at Augusta Eye MD.

What is glaucoma laser surgery?

Laser trabeculoplasty is a painless outpatient procedure performed in order to enhance the natural drainage of fluid from the eye so that the pressure in the eye is reduced to enhance circulation to the optic nerve. A laser trabeculoplasty can improve this outflow for years, but it is not a “cure” for glaucoma.

Augusta Eye MD recently added the Ellex Solo SLT laser to our arsenal of treatment options for Glaucoma. Selective laser trabeculoplasty (SLT) targets the melanin cells of the trabecular meshwork to enhance outflow and reduce intraocular pressure. The Ellex Solo SLT Laser is the newest SLT technology available and offers patients a highly effective, non-invasive treatment option for Open Angle Glaucoma. SLT is a pain-free, low-risk, non-invasive outpatient procedure that can help reduce the need for eye drops and help prevent vision loss from glaucoma.

For more information visit glaucoma.org

What is “DSEK”?

DSEK is a relatively new type of corneal transplant surgery. In the past, a full-thickness graft of corneal tissue was needed, but DSEK involves only a very thin inner layer of the cornea. A DSEK transplant procedure is generally considered somewhat less risky than a traditional full-thickness procedure. The transplanted tissue is often more stable and can provide better vision.

What is aqueous tube shunt surgery for glaucoma?

Tube shunt surgery involves placing a flexible plastic tube with an attached silicone drainage pouch in the eye to help drain fluid from the eye, thus decreasing the pressure in the eye.

How does diabetes affect the eyes?

High blood sugar caused by diabetes damages the blood vessels that provide circulation to the retina in the back of the eye. These weakened blood vessels can leak, often stimulating the growth of new blood vessels that also leak. The leaks endanger vision by causing irreversible retinal damage. See diabetic retinopathy.

How does Botox work? Is it safe?

When injected into a muscle, Botox® can temporarily block nerve impulses and reduce activity within that muscle. This has the effect of smoothing the skin that covers that muscle. Botox is often injected around the eyelids to reduce “crow’s feet” and other lines and wrinkles associated with the natural aging process. Botox injections are considered to be cosmetic in nature and are not covered by health insurance.

Botox is not appropriate for everyone and should be administered only by a physician trained to use it. Your doctor will discuss possible risks and side effects before treatment.