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Refractive Disorders
Myopia (nearsightedness)

Type of vision in which seeing at far is blurry, although near vision may be clear.

Hyperopia (farsightedness)

Type of vision in which seeing at near is strained. Distance vision is often clear.


Distorted or blurred focus caused by irregular shape of cornea or lens.


A reduction of near focusing ability, usually beginning in the early 40’s.

A cataract is an opacity or clouding of the crystalline lens inside the eye. Normally this lens is clear and allows light to easily pass through it. Cataracts often occur as part of the aging process and are most common after age 65, but cataracts can occur at a much earlier age. We have had several patients in their late 30’s and 40’s who have developed cataracts that required surgery. Cataract surgery has advanced significantly in the last twenty-five years. Today we have no-stitch, clear cornea cataract surgery with intraocular lens implants. This is performed on an outpatient basis with follow up visits in the office. The surgery is easy on the patient and discomfort is often minimal. The result is usually immediate with an improvement in vision, but like any surgery there are always risks.

Macular Degeneration
This common eye disease is one of the leading causes of vision loss among senior citizens. It results from changes in central area of the retina called the macula that is responsible for detailed or critical vision. The peripheral vision is not affected by this disorder. The most common form is the milder version without hemorrhage and can have various degrees of vision loss. Unfortunately there is no current treatment, but this is an area of interest to researchers worldwide. The less common but more severe form is hemorrhagic or wet macular degeneration. Laser photocoagulation or intraocular injections are used to treat this form. Medical studies have shown that certain nutritional supplements may slow the progression of macular degeneration.

Diabetic Retinopathy
This is responsible for permanent vision loss among many adults. It is more common the longer the duration of diabetes and effects both Type I and Type II. The retinopathy is the damage inflicted by the leakage of the small blood vessels in the retina. There are classically three levels of severity based on clinical observation by the doctor performing funduscopy (looking at the retina through the dilated pupil of the eye with the aid of a special medical instrument). Treatment is performed by a laser when the leakage occurs in specific areas of the retina. Many patients never require laser treatment since they only have minimal leakage in non critical areas of the retina. It is paramount that all diabetics have annual dilated eye examination so we can determine if laser is needed before vision is lost permanently. This is one eye disease that intervention at the appropriate time can be extremely beneficial.

Dry Eye Syndrome
This eye disorder afflicts approximately twenty percent of people. Usually it is only irritating but rarely can be severe enough to cause vision loss. The tear film is a complex formation of three distinct layers across the front surface of the eye. The outer most layer is an oily layer over a middle watery layer over an inner mucus layer. If any of these layers is abnormal then the tear film breaks down and dry spots can form causing a sandy, gritty, and/or burning sensation. Dry Eye Syndrome can make wearing contact lenses extremely uncomfortable. In the past drops known collectively as artificial tear was the most common treatment recommended by all doctors. Today we have a newer treatment called "Punctal Occlusion" in which small plugs are easily placed in the existing opening of the drainage channels located on the margin of the eye lids. This painless procedure only takes about five minutes to perform in the office but can provide relief for most patients suffering from dry eye disease. There are also prescription drops that can be prescribed to treat this disorder.

Approximately three percent of all people have glaucoma or are glaucoma suspects with the majority being over age fifty. Glaucoma is a painless loss of vision resulting from damage of the optic nerve usually due to an increase of pressure inside of the eye. Some people also have normal eye pressure but still develop glaucoma. If this is untreated many people will become blind. Today with early detection and treatment vision loss can often be minimized. The severity of glaucoma is based on four main findings: appearance of the optic nerve head utilizing a confocal scanning laser and microscopic evaluation, the intraocular pressure, the automated visual fields, and the gonioscopic evaluation of the anterior chamber angle. Glaucoma is tested for during every one of our eye examinations. The majority of cases can be successfully controlled with eye drops that we prescribe. There have been many advancements in topical drops approved for treatment of glaucoma.

An infection or inflammation of the outer layer of the eye is called a conjunctivitis. The infectious variety is usually caused by bacteria and/or viruses. The white part of the eye becomes pink or red and the insides of the eyelid become more red also. It is often accompanied by a mucus or watery discharge from the eyes that can cause the lids to become stuck together before awakening. Most infectious conjunctivitis is self limiting and can last from a few days to three weeks. The ones caused by bacteria can be treated with topical antibiotics that speed the recovery. Inflammatory or allergic conjunctivitis can be treated with anti-inflammatory medications and antihistamines. Conjunctivitis is common with contact lenses wear and is a disorder we treat daily at our office. If the cornea is involved with a conjunctivitis it is known as a keratoconjunctivitis. The most severe of these are corneal ulcers that require immediate treatment by the eye doctor or vision loss can occur. This is considered a true eye emergency.

Retinal Detachment
The retina is a thin neurosensitive tissue lining the inside of the eye. When this lining becomes loose or is pulled loose from the layer it is adhered to and floats into the hollow central cavity of the eye it is known as a retinal detachment. Depending on the location in the eye of the retinal detachment ones’ vision can be either severely or mildly affected. Sometime flashes of light or new floaters are symptoms of a detached retina. This condition requires eye surgery to repair.