The doctors at Hattiesburg Eye Clinic have helped thousands of people enjoy better vision. When you have a problem with your eyes, you know you can turn to us for help. Leading the way with new medications and surgical procedures, Hattiesburg Eye Clinic can diagnose and treat a wide range of diseases and conditions. Advances in technology have impacted all aspects of vision care. Surgical procedures that once required a hospital stay and lengthy recovery are now performed by our doctors on an outpatient basis, with most patients returning to their normal activities within hours.
We continually invest in the most state-of-the-art diagnostic and surgical equipment. And our doctors go through rigorous, ongoing training to ensure that we’re doing everything we can to improve our patients’ vision and quality of life. We’re committed to providing the most advanced care available.
For your convenience, we’ve developed an overview of common eye conditions. Click on any of the conditions on this page to learn more about symptoms, causes and treatments.
- Open-Angle Glaucoma
- Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis)
- Retinal Detachment
- Retinal Vein Occlusion
Frequently Asked Questions:
What is retinal disease?
Retinal disease is an umbrella term for any condition that involves damage to the retina. The retina is a layer of cells on the back of the eyeball that trigger nerve impulses through the optic nerve and on to the brain. Damage to the retina can cause various forms of vision impairment depending on the damage. Types of retinal disease include retinal detachment, retinal bleeding, diabetic retinopathy or problems related to macular degeneration.
What is corneal disease?
The cornea is the front of the eye and serves as a kind of window for light to pass through to the back of the eye. If you were to reach up and touch your eye, you would touch the cornea.
The cornea can be affected by various diseases including infections, corneal ulcers or dystrophies that can damage it and cause it not to be clear. Depending on the condition, we would need to institute an appropriate treatment to relieve the symptoms.
If you are noticing unusual redness or are experiencing discomfort, pain or blurred vision, your cornea may be involved. You should have an eye exam as soon as possible.
What are corneal ulcers?
A corneal ulcer is a localized infection caused by bacteria or a virus that can arise on the cornea. It can appear as painful sore on the eye’s surface. This can develop into a defect of the cornea that could have a permanent effect on vision. If you have any pain, blurred vision, unusual redness or signs of infection, you should seek treatment immediately.
Are there any additional parts to an eye exam for someone who is diabetic?
An eye exam for a diabetic patient is much the same as for any other vision patient. With diabetics, though, it’s always necessary to dilate the pupils to examine the structures in the back of the eye, particularly the retina. Because of the propensity of problems that can be caused by diabetes regarding the retina, it must be examined thoroughly, often with a device called an ophthalmoscope that shines and magnifies a beam of light toward the back of the eye.
What is diabetic retinopathy?
Diabetic retinopathy (DR) is a progressive eye disease caused by conditions related to diabetes. In its various stages, blood vessels within the eye can develop tiny weaknesses called micro-aneurisms. These can cause bruising or bleeding in the retina, progressing to bleeding in the back of the eye. When this happens the fluid in the eye can contract (known as progressive diabetic retinopathy), which we must then treat with laser or surgery.
Diabetic retinopathy is one of a number of eye problems that can arise with diabetic patients. Anyone diagnosed with diabetes or who has a family history of the disease should have their vision checked at least once a year.
What is Fuchs corneal dystrophy?
Fuchs corneal dystrophy is an inherited condition that can damage the cornea. The cornea, the “window” at the front of the eye that allows light rays to enter, consists of five layers. With Fuchs, the cells of the innermost lining become damaged and enlarge, causing the cornea to become cloudy.
The traditional procedure for correcting Fuchs is to remove about two-thirds of the cornea and transplant a donor cornea in its place. Now, however, there’s a new transplant procedure called DSAEK that removes only the inside corneal lining and replaces it with a graft. This has shown great success since its inception, but like the older procedure does require a specialist in corneal surgery.
What is retinal detachment?
The retina is a layer of cells on the back of the eyeball that trigger nerve impulses through the optic nerve to create visual images in the brain. Ordinarily, it attaches to the back of the eye and lies somewhat flat against it. But if a weakness or tear develops in the retina it can detach from the back of the eye and greatly impair vision. A retinal detachment requires a surgical or laser-assisted repair by a retinal specialist.
What is Blepharitis?
Blepharitis is a very common inflammatory condition of the eyelid parts. Those with the condition can experience redness and irritation. It’s most often treated with medicated eye drops, along with warm compresses applied by the patient and additional hygiene measures to clean the eyelids.
What are floaters?
If you’ve noticed shadowy objects moving around in your field of vision you may have what are commonly called floaters. There’s nothing harmful about them, but you should still have them checked if you suddenly notice them to rule out more serious problems.
Floaters inhabit a space in the back of the eye filled with a fluid called vitreous. Within this space tiny tissue particles can exist that have been there all our lives but aren’t usually noticeable if the fluid doesn’t move. As we get older, though, these particles can grow larger while simultaneously moving within the vitreous that may be more active now than when we were younger. This creates the conditions for seeing the particle movement that we call floaters.
If you suddenly see floaters for the first time or flashes of light, you should have an eye exam. While floaters are more aggravating than harmful, these same symptoms could also indicate a detached or bleeding retina, both serious problems that could permanently affect your vision.
What can I do about dry eyes?
Dry eyes are typically caused by a lack of adequate tear fluid in the eyes. It can be a genetic disposition or caused by diabetes or thyroid disease, the aging process, or by certain medications.
If you have dry eyes, you can supplement the eye’s natural fluid with artificial tears solutions sold over the counter at stores or pharmacies. For certain dry eye conditions we may prescribe a drug like Restasis® to help relieve symptoms.
-Answers provided by: Stoney Williamson, M.D.
Treatment of many eye conditions is covered by insurance, including Medicare. If you have questions about what is covered by your private healthcare insurance, contact your plan provider, or provide us with a copy of your insurance card and we’ll check for you. We accept most major insurances.
If you have questions about your Medicare coverage, call 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227) to speak to a Medicare Customer Representative. You can also go to www.medicare.gov to find out more about Medicare coverage. Our staff is also available to help you determine whether the eye care you need is covered by Medicare. You can click here to send us a message via our website, or call us at 800-624-8254.
Your out-of-pocket expenses for Medicare or private insurance will depend of the type of insurance you have, whether you have supplemental insurance and whether you have a deductible on your policy. We’ll be glad to process all insurance claims for you. We also accept cash, personal checks, Visa and Mastercard.
Get in touch with us:
You know your eyes better than anyone. If they don’t see, feel or look as well as you’d like them to, click here to request an appointment with one of our doctors or call us at 800-624-8254.