FAQs

What is an ophthalmologist? Are the DEC ophthalmologists Board Certified?

An ophthalmologist is an "Eye MD" or physician who has been trained to provide comprehensive ocular care including surgery of the eye. Both Dr. Hemmings and Dr. Tedder are Board Certified. Our physicians have over 30 years combined experience in ophthalmology.

How often should I schedule an eye exam? How about children?

We recommend adults come in for a complete eye exam annually, especially if one is over the age of 50. Children who need glasses should be examined every year. Otherwise, children may return for eye exams every 2 years.

What is a cataract? How do you treat cataract?

A cataract is a lens inside the eye that has some degree of cloudiness. As the lens becomes cloudier with time, the vision becomes more impaired. This may interfere with one's activities of daily living. Small incision topical cataract microsurgery (no stitch/ no shot) may then be necessary. The cloudy lens or cataract is replaced at the time of surgery with a "man-made" lens implant. A cataract cannot be removed with laser surgery, yet a laser may be necessary to open a cloudy capsule which may later develop behind the lens implant.

Do you perform cataract surgery in Douglasville?

Yes, we operate here in Douglasville at WellStar Douglas Hospital using state of the art medical equipment and excellent support staff. We typically operate Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday morning.

What is glaucoma? How do you treat it?

Glaucoma is a disease of the optic nerve which may cause loss of vision if not treated soon enough. The visual loss initially affects the peripheral vision but may affect the central vision in advanced cases. Elevated intraocular pressure (IOP) is often associated with glaucoma. Topical eye drops are the mainstay of therapy to lower IOP and help preserve vision. Laser or surgery may be necessary if drops are inadequate.

How can diabetes affect the health of my eyes? How often should I be examined?

Diabetes can affect the health of the eye through bleeding and leakage of the small retinal blood vessels and swelling of the retina. Ischemia or lack of oxygen may also lead to disease of the retina in diabetic patients. These retinal issues may require laser or surgery in advanced cases. Routine diabetic patients should be examined once a year.

What is age-related macular degeneration (ARMD)?

ARMD is a degeneration of the central area of the retina called the macula. It usually occurs in people over the age of 65. This disease typically affects the central vision more than the peripheral vision. Some researchers feel that antioxidant supplements may be beneficial in patients with ARMD.

What is a floater? Should it concern me?

A floater is a tiny clump of material in the vitreous gel which is inside the eye. One may see a floater as a small gray "spot" especially in bright light conditions. Several floaters and symptoms such as a "shadow" impairing one's peripheral vision may be warning signs of a potential tear or detachment of the retina. These conditions require prompt surgical attention.

Do you have an optical shop? Do you sell glasses and provide contact lens fitting?

Yes, we have a full service optical shop. Linda Beck is our Optical Manager who has been a highly skilled licensed optician for over 25 years. We have a wide choice of competitively priced frames and lenses for people of all ages.

What type of contacts lens do you suggest? How long can I wear my contacts?

We encourage most patients to be fit with disposable daily wear soft contact lenses. We suggest limiting contact lens wear to 12-14 hours per day. We discourage ever sleeping in contact lenses which may lead to corneal infections/scarring and permanent visual impairment.

What can I do for dry eyes? Who is at greatest risk for dry eyes?

We recommend frequent artificial tears/gel at night for mild dry eyes. Increased water consumption and omega-3 (fish oil and flax seed oil) supplements may be of benefit as well. One should also limit exposure to ceiling fans and air vents. Frequents breaks from computer work or reading may be of benefit. Medications such as antihistamines and diuretics may also exacerbate a dry eye condition. Postmenopausal women are most at risk for dry eye syndrome.