A Clearer View

Latest treatment options and news about cataracts, dry eye syndrome and other eye care topics.

Tips for a Smooth Recovery After Cataract Surgery: Dos and Don'ts

by Damion Wasylow 25 May 2023 03:51 AM

senior woman wearing sunglasses outdoors following cataract surgery
Cataract surgery is one of the most common and safest surgical procedures in the world. When performed by an experienced cataract surgeon, complications from the procedure are quite rare. To make your recovery as smooth as possible, however, it’s important to keep these dos and don’ts in mind.

DO Take it Easy

Although cataract surgery is routine and minimally invasive, it’s still important to rest after the procedure. Take it easy for the first few days following surgery. It’s typically advisable to avoid:

  • Exercising
  • Lifting heavy objects
  • Swimming
  • Driving
  • Excessive bending over

Talk to your surgeon about when you can resume these activities. For now, give your body some much-needed time to recover.

DO Use Your Eye Drops as Recommended

After the procedure, you will be given special eye drops that will help with recovery and prevent infection. Make sure to use these drops as recommended by your doctor. You may need to use your eye drops a few times per day for two-to-six weeks after the procedure.

DO Protect Your Eyes When Outdoors

After cataract surgery, your eyes will be more sensitive to the sun’s rays, so it's important to protect your eyes while outdoors. Proper sunglasses can help protect against damaging UV rays.

No matter the weather, it’s a good idea to wear sunglasses outdoors during the recovery period. Wide-brimmed sunglasses are advisable if you’re going to be out at midday, when the sun is brightest.

DO Wear Your Eye Shield as Recommended

Following your cataract surgery, a plastic eye shield will be placed over the affected eye. The shield will help protect your eye from injury while you heal.

Be sure to wear the shield as recommended by your surgeon. You may be asked to wear this protective covering while you sleep, typically for a period of one week.

DON’T Rub or Put Pressure on Your Eye

During the healing process, your eye will be more sensitive than normal. It’s important to avoid rubbing or putting pressure on the eye. Rubbing can lead to an infection and pressure can cause discomfort and make it more difficult for the incision to heal.

Apart from applying your eye drops, it’s best to leave your eye alone to heal.

DON’T Allow Soap or Shampoo into Your Eye

When bathing, showering or cleaning your face, take care not to get soap or shampoo in your eye. Cleansers often have harsh ingredients that can irritate the eye or even cause the wound to open, increasing the risk of infection.

DON’T Wear Eye Makeup for at Least Four Weeks

Following surgery, you may be anxious to get back to your usual routine. For some, this may mean returning to their makeup routine. However, it’s important to avoid wearing any eye makeup for at least four weeks or until you get the “okay” from your doctor.

After cataract surgery, your eyes will be especially sensitive and need time to heal. Following your doctor’s recommendations and the dos and don’ts above will help ensure a smooth recovery.

For more information about cataracts and surgery, or to schedule your cataract consultation, contact North Florida Cataract Specialists and Vision Care today at 352-373-4300.



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Managing Preexisting Eye Conditions Alongside Cataract Surgery

by Damion Wasylow 25 May 2023 03:42 AM

ophthalmologist examines senior man's eye conditions

It's not uncommon for patients who need cataract surgery to also have macular degeneration, glaucoma, corneal disease or other conditions. Consideration of proper management across a wide spectrum of pre-existing eye conditions is therefore a must prior to surgery.

Macular Degeneration

Nearly half of people age 85 and older experience age-related macular degeneration. The condition can cause blood or fluid to leak from the retina, which must be addressed prior to cataract surgery.


For cataract patients with glaucoma, the eye surgeon may recommend pairing cataract surgery with microinvasive glaucoma surgery (MIGS). For those with mild-to-moderate glaucoma, this procedure can help reduce dependence on glaucoma eye drops.

Corneal Disease

Corneal disease is typically a focal point of a pre-surgical cataract examination, as its presence can create surgical complications. The exam helps the

ophthalmologist identify, understand and plan for any corneal issues that could otherwise pose a problem.

Fuchs' Dystrophy

Fuchs' Dystrophy is one of the most serious conditions that could potentially impact cataract surgery. In fact, the condition can be concerning enough to postpone moving forward with cataract surgery. Leveraging state-of-the-art cataract surgical technology, however, may allow the eye doctor to limit complication risks and confidently proceed.

Dry Eye

Dry eyes can result in inaccurate pre-surgical measurements. Artificial tears can often be applied to improve tear volume and allow for better ocular surface measurements. The resulting one-to-two-week delay is worthwhile to optimize surgical outcomes.

Discuss any pre-existing conditions with your eye doctor prior to cataract surgery. Small procedural changes can reduce the risk of making an existing eye condition worse or producing surgical complications.

To schedule your cataract consultation, contact North Florida Cataract Specialists and Vision Care today at 352-373-4300.



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Dr. Todd J. Endicott, Ophthalmologist, Joins North Florida Cataract Specialists and Vision Care

by Damion Wasylow 25 April 2023 05:23 AM

Dr Todd J Endicott Ophthalmologist outdoors with his dog
North Florida Cataract Specialists and Vision Care is thrilled to announce the addition of
Todd J. Endicott, D.O. to our team of expert physicians. Dr. Endicott is a board certified ophthalmologist and cataract surgeon who practices comprehensive ophthalmology with specialized interest in glaucoma management.

Dr. Endicott served in the U.S. Navy for 28 years, most recently as medical director for the Naval Hospital Jacksonville Ophthalmology Clinic and the Warfighter Refractive Eye Surgery Program, providing full spectrum comprehensive ophthalmology and cataract surgery to military service members, veterans and their families.

Dr. Endicott says he was attracted to join North Florida Cataract Specialists and Vision Care due to our practice’s long-standing reputation of providing the best cataract surgery experience and results.

“I wanted to be a part of a practice with such an outstanding reputation and to play a role in continuing that reputation. Plus, I greatly appreciate all the staff members at our clinic and surgery center. Their professionalism, competency and genuine joy and pride in a job well done are beyond compare.”

Before pursuing ophthalmology, Dr. Endicott served as a Naval Flight Officer, flying the Grumman EA-6B Prowler jet onboard the USS Kitty Hawk supercarrier and deployed throughout the western Pacific Ocean, Indian Ocean and the Persian Gulf. He then became a Naval Flight Surgeon and served with the U.S. Marine Corps in Okinawa, Japan, before pursuing his medical degree.

When he’s not treating patients, Dr. Endicott enjoys working on his farm, being outdoors with his dogs, fly fishing, competitive target shooting, cooking and barbeque, although, “admittedly, probably a little too much with the cooking and barbeque,” he says with a smile.

On a day off, you’ll likely find the good doctor, “with my toes in the sand, on a boat somewhere, or doing anything that fits well with wearing a cowboy hat, jeans, boots and work gloves.”

We are thrilled to have Dr. Endicott on our team and look forward to the exceptional care he will provide to you, our patients.

To schedule your appointment, contact North Florida Cataract Specialists and Vision Care today at (352) 373-4300.



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Tioga Town Center Location Now Open for Your Family’s Eyecare Needs

by Damion Wasylow 23 April 2023 02:03 AM

north florida cataract specialists and vision care tioga location exterior
After a brief hiatus, North Florida Cataract Specialists and Vision Care’s location in Tioga Town Center is once again open to serve your family’s eyecare needs.

From comprehensive eye exams and evaluation of vision challenges to fitting you for the latest prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses, our Tioga Town Center location makes it easy and convenient for you to meet with an eye doctor or licensed optician.

Optometrist, Dr. Ashley Seymour, is now accepting patients at our Tioga Town Center location. Dr. Seymour is a Gator alumnus who completed her residency at the Malcom Randall VA Medical Center. She’s an expert in ocular diseases and refractive challenges, and one of the nicest physicians you’ll ever meet.

Schedule an appointment at our Tioga location today by calling us at 352-333-1186. Or just walk in! Our office in Tioga Town Center (12921 SW 1st Road, Suite 107) is open Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays from 8:00am to 4:30pm. Friday office hours are also available by appointment.



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Macular Degeneration Risk Factors

by sdean 12 February 2023 08:02 AM

 elderly lady on couch with glasses

Macular Degeneration, commonly referred to as Age Related Macular Degeneration or ARMD, is the leading cause of vision loss and blindness in Americans aged 50 and older.  While the exact cause of ARMD is not yet known, there is plenty that we do know about this disease.  

Risk Factors:

  • Age – It seems like age is a common risk factor for just about every ailment, and macular degeneration is no different.  As we age, our risk for developing ARMD is significantly increased.  White adults in their 60s have a 1% chance of having ARMD, while those 80 and older have a 14% chance! 
  • Family History – It’s a good idea to check with your family to see if anyone has been diagnosed with ARMD as it has been shown to greatly increase your risk of developing it yourself.  If you do have family members with macular degeneration, pay close attention to other risk factors and be sure to get regular eye examinations.
  • Race – As mentioned when discussing age as a risk factor, caucasians are far more likely to suffer from macular degeneration than any other race.  While uncommon, it’s not impossible for other races to have this disease. 
  • High Blood Pressure/Cardiovascular Disease – It is widely believed that the same factors that contribute to hypertension and heart disease are some of the same factors that contribute to macular degeneration.  If you have either (or both) of these conditions, your likelihood of developing ARMD increases.
  • Obesity – While the reason isn’t exactly clear, it has been shown that being overweight may be associated with developing ARMD. 
  • Smoking – Smoking, in general, is detrimental to your health, particularly in increasing your risk of vascular disease.  Since a big part of the disease process of macular degeneration deals with blood vessel abnormalities, it’s no wonder why smoking is a major risk factor for ARMD.


  • Diet & Exercise– We’ve always been told to be sure our diets include a lot of fruits and green, leafy vegetables and for good reason.  These healthy foods are high in vitamins and minerals, including zinc and Vitamins A, C, and E.  These antioxidants can help protect your cells from oxidative damage which contributes to the aging process.  High fat diets have also been linked to a possible ARMD risk factor.  Eating healthier combined with exercise can help with weight loss as well as improving your cardiovascular health, both of which can decrease your risk of developing macular degeneration.
  • Sun Exposure – If you spend a lot of time outdoors, be sure to invest in a good pair of UV protective sunglasses.  Without ultraviolet protection, the development of ARMD can be sped up exponentially.
  • Smoking – It increases the risk of stroke, heart attack, heart disease as well as macular degeneration.  It can contribute to skin changes, including skin folds, lines, wrinkles, and color changes (skin having a yellow or gray tone).  Not to mention, you can start to develop coughing spells, shortness of breath, frequent headaches, an increase in mucus, and reduced physical fitness. 

    Bottom line: Smoking is bad.  Just don’t do it.

If you think you are at risk for macular degeneration, contact North Florida Cataract Specialists and Vision Care today at 352-373-4300 to make an eye appointment. 

How Do Cataracts Impact Vision?

by Damion Wasylow 17 October 2022 12:51 PM

senior man with cataracts struggles to read computer screen
More than half of Americans over age 80 have or have had cataracts, but even those in their 40s or younger can be affected by this condition. While changes in vision are common as you age, it’s important to understand how cataracts affect your sight. Knowing the signs and symptoms will help you determine whether you or a loved one should see an ophthalmologist.

Early Signs

Often, one of the first signs of cataracts is frequent changes to your eyeglass or contact lens prescription. The prescription that served you well in the past suddenly doesn’t provide the same clarity. At this stage, you may be able to simply work with your optometrist to update the prescription, but as symptoms progress, surgery will be necessary.

Cloudy or Blurry Vision

Cataracts start out small and may initially only have a minor impact on your vision. Things may seem only slightly blurry at first, but that blurriness will progress. Your vision may also become cloudy and dim.

Double Vision

As your lens becomes cloudier, light diffraction can make it seem like you’re seeing double. Cataracts are known to cause double vision, but it’s important to note that many other medical conditions can also have this effect, including brain tumors, stroke, multiple sclerosis and corneal swelling, among others. Don’t risk self-diagnosis. Talk to your doctor about any recurring issues with double vision.

Light Sensitivity and Halos

Light sensitivity is a common side effect of cataracts. Glares from bright lights can be painful, especially for those with posterior subcapsular cataracts. These cataracts start to develop at the back of the lens, blocking light and making it more difficult to read. 

Along with light sensitivity, many people begin to see halos around lights. These rings, which sometimes manifest in a variety of colors, can make it dangerous to drive at night. 

Lens Discoloration

Over time, cataracts darken, producing a brown or yellow tint on the lens. This discoloration may impact your night vision, making it more difficult to drive safely at night. In more advanced stages, it may also be visible to loved ones and others who look at your eyes.

Determining When to Have Cataract Surgery

It’s wise to see an ophthalmologist if you experience any of the symptoms outlined above. Your ophthalmologist will assess the progression of your cataracts to help you determine when surgery is necessary. 

Surgery may not be required at the time of your diagnosis, so long as your cataracts do not substantially impact your vision, and therefore, quality of life. A stronger eyeglass or contact lens prescription may be sufficient to get you back to your normal routine.

Cataracts inevitably get worse over time, however, and left untreated, will eventually rob you of your sight completely.

Generally, cataract surgery is recommended when a person’s cataracts cause significant vision loss or severely affect quality of life. Fortunately, cataract surgery is one of the most common and safest surgeries in the world, so there’s no reason to delay the procedure once it’s needed. 

If you or someone you love is experiencing cataract symptoms, contact North Florida Cataract Specialists and Vision Care today at 352-373-4300 to schedule an examination.



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6 Tips to Avoid Common Household Eye Injuries

by Damion Wasylow 17 October 2022 12:41 PM

man wearing eye protection while trimming hedges
Some eye injuries cause significant damage immediately, while others seemingly heal quickly but increase your risks of developing long-term eye conditions, such as cataracts. While 50% of eye injuries occur in the home, a few common sense precautions will limit your risks.

1. Use Grease Shields When Cooking

Hot oil and grease “pop,” allowing searing droplets to propel from the pan and hit your eye, causing significant damage and pain. Instead of risking this mishap, use grease shields to cover pans and greatly reduce the risk of oil splattering into your eye.

2. Wear Safety Glasses for Home Improvement

Home improvement projects often produce small flying debris. You can reduce your risk of eye injury by as much as 90% by simply wearing protective eyewear when engaging in potentially dangerous activities, such as drilling, hammering and any type of interior construction.

3. Use Chemicals Safely

125,000 people per year suffer eye injuries due to household chemicals. Two of the most common chemicals that cause injury are oven cleaner and bleach. You can avoid these injuries by thoroughly reading and following safety and usage instructions and never mixing potentially dangerous chemicals.

4. Secure All Flooring

Loose flooring is a tripping hazard. All it takes is a single slip and fall to hit your eye on something that can cause injury. You can avoid slips and falls by securing items, such as rugs and carpeting, with non-slip pads. Additionally, if you have any sharp edges around your home, pad them to reduce the risk of injury if you do fall. 

5. Perform Lawn Maintenance Safely

Always wear protective eyewear outside when performing any landscaping. Much like interior home maintenance projects, mowing, trimming and edging can send debris flying into the air, and potentially into your eyes. Safety glasses will reduce the risk of serious eye injury from any of these activities.

6. Guard Againsts Falling or Flying Objects

When working in the garage, a workshop or outside, you need to be cautious of your surroundings. Falling objects can easily hit your eye. If you’re using a bungee cord or a tightened rope, for example, they can easily fail, snap back and hit the eye. It’s well worth the few moments of prevention to wear safety equipment and protect your eyes.

Following the basic safety tips above will reduce your risk of eye injury, but if you do experience an injury, be sure to seek out medical attention. For relatively minor injuries, contact your local eye doctor to schedule an examination. More substantial injuries may require a trip to the emergency room, likely followed by a consultation with an ophthalmologist.

At North Florida Cataract Specialists and Vision Care, we treat patients with a variety of eye conditions, from traumatic eye injuries to specialized surgical needs to standard prescription eyeglass and contact lens prescriptions.

For all your vision needs, contact the eye experts at North Florida Cataract Specialists and Vision Care at 352-373-4300.



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What Happens if Cataracts are Left Untreated?

by Damion Wasylow 16 September 2022 11:22 AM

senior man pondering a question
More than 22 million Americans aged 40 and older have cataracts. By age 80, more than half of all Americans have experienced cataracts. It’s a condition that progresses over time, and one you should not ignore. 

Cataract Symptom Progression

Cataract symptoms may start off as a mild annoyance. You may notice slight cloudiness or blurry vision. Many people just put up with this at first, believing it’s just natural vision loss associated with age. Slowly but surely, however, symptoms progress, and can often lead to severe loss of vision and even potential blindness.

4 Stages of Cataracts

You'll go through four main stages of cataracts:

  1. Early: When cataracts first occur, the lens will still be clear. However, you’ll experience difficulty changing focus between near and far vision. Many people will start to see cloudiness or blurring. You may notice that light glares bother you and night vision suffers.
  2. Immature: Proteins begin to cloud the eye lens, leading to the lens becoming opaque in the center. During this stage, new prescription eyeglasses and even anti-glare lenses may help reduce symptoms.
  3. Mature: Your vision becomes “milky,” often casting a white or amber glaze over everything you see. The edges of the lens are greatly impacted at this point, and you’ll likely notice your quality of life decline. You may not any longer be able to confidently perform a variety of tasks.
  4. Hypermature: The milky film appearance in your vision is now very dense, potentially impairing vision to the point of blindness. Inflammation and pressure on the eye also increase, raising your risk of glaucoma.

Cataract Diagnosis and Treatment

Early cataract diagnosis through a comprehensive eye exam will enable you and your eye doctor to monitor the condition. Eventually, all cataracts require surgery to correct.  

Cataract surgery replaces the cataract-damaged lens with a new intraocular lens implant. When performed by a trained and experienced ophthalmologist, cataract surgery has one of the highest success rates of any surgical procedure.

If you suspect you may have cataracts, or if it’s just been too long since you had an eye exam, contact North Florida Cataract Specialists and Vision Care today at 352-373-4300.



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3 Serious Vision Problems that Often Come with Aging

by Damion Wasylow 16 September 2022 11:12 AM

group of senior citizens smiling together outside
As we age, our vision naturally declines to some degree, but three common eye conditions, in particular, can cause serious vision problems for older adults. Let’s explore three vision problems that are commonly found in aging adults.

1. Glaucoma

Glaucoma is an eye condition that damages the optic nerve due to abnormally high pressure in the eye. While it can affect people of all ages, glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness in adults over age 60.

Vision loss caused by glaucoma is irreversible, and if left untreated, can cause blindness, so it’s important to get regular eye exams that measure eye pressure to catch glaucoma early on. 


The symptoms of glaucoma depend on the particular type of glaucoma and how far it has progressed. Common symptoms include:

  • Patchy blind spots in your central or peripheral vision
  • Tunnel vision (in more advanced stages)
  • Eye pain
  • Severe headaches
  • Seeing halos around lights
  • Blurry vision
  • Redness and irritation 


Treatment for glaucoma involves lowering the pressure in the eye to prevent further damage. The most common treatments for this condition include:

  • Eyedrops
  • Oral medications
  • Surgery

Your eye doctor may also recommend lifestyle changes, including eating a healthy diet, sleeping with your head elevated, limiting your caffeine and staying active.

2. Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Age-related macular degeneration, or ARMD, is an eye condition that occurs when the macula, a part of the retina, is damaged. It’s is the leading cause of vision loss in people over age 50. 

There are two types of ARMD:

  • Dry: Most people who have ARMD have the dry type. As you age, your macula gets thinner while a type of protein called drusen builds up. Vision loss is slow.
  • Wet: Although less common, the wet type of AMD is much more serious. It occurs when abnormal blood vessels start growing under the retina. Vision loss progresses much more quickly with this type of AMD.


  • Common symptoms of AMD include:
  • Blurry vision
  • Loss of central vision
  • Blind spots at the center of vision
  • Difficulty seeing fine details, such as fine print


Currently, there is no permanent treatment for dry AMD. In early stages of dry ARMD, however, treatment may include low vision rehabilitation, which is designed to help you compensate for loss of central vision by adapting to better leverage your peripheral vision. 

3. Cataracts

Caused by clouding of the eye lens, cataracts are another common condition in older adults, occurring in more than half of adults over age 80

Cataracts develop slowly over time, and will eventually cause vision loss.


  • Common signs and symptoms of cataracts include:
  • Clouded or blurry vision
  • Sensitivity to light or seeing halos around lights
  • Poor night vision
  • Double vision in one eye


Initially, prescription glasses can help keep your vision clear. Eventually, the condition will progress to the point where surgery is necessary.

Cataract surgery is one of the most commonly performed surgeries in the world and one of the safest, and it’s the only effective treatment for cataracts.

Regular visits with your ophthalmologist and comprehensive eye exams can help detect these three serious eye conditions early, allowing for proactive treatment to maintain your sight.

For your next eye exam, trust the experts at North Florida Cataract Specialists and Vision Care. Our talented and experienced staff have helped thousands of aging adults, and we would be honored to help you, too.

Contact North Florida Cataract Specialists and Vision Care today at 352-373-4300.



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Overcoming Cataract Surgery Fears

by Damion Wasylow 7 August 2022 11:18 AM

eye doctor consulting with vision patient
More than 24 million Americans over age 40 have cataracts and surgery is the only effective treatment. The idea of having surgery, however, can be a little scary for some, particularly for patients who may be concerned about possible pain or the risks of undergoing a sensitive medical procedure.

Thankfully, cataract surgery is among the safest, most pain-free and most effective surgeries in the world.

The Safety and Efficacy of Cataract Surgery

While all surgeries carry some degree of risk, cataract surgery is very low risk. More than four million cataract surgeries are performed every year in the United States, and the results are overwhelmingly positive.

A study of 221,000 cataract surgeries found no serious complications after the procedure for 99.5% of patients, ranking it among the safest surgical procedures. And the Cleveland Clinic found 90% of cataract procedures successfully improve vision. Best of all, the benefits of cataract surgery are permanent. Once removed, your cataracts cannot return.

Procedure and Recovery: What to Expect

Cataract surgery should only be performed by a skilled and experienced ophthalmologist.

The process starts with a consultation to evaluate your symptoms and the cataract’s progression. If surgery is the best course of action, the next step is to determine whether traditional or laser-assisted surgery is the right choice for you.

With laser-assisted procedures, special software is used first to map the contours and structure of the patient’s eye. The surgeon then uses a laser to create tiny, precise incisions in the cornea. With a traditional procedure, the ophthalmologist makes these incisions by hand.

In either approach, a small probe is then inserted through the incision to create ultrasonic waves that break up the lens. Once the cataract-affected lens has been broken down into tiny pieces, those pieces are suctioned out and a new artificial lens implant is inserted and positioned.

The whole procedure takes just a few minutes to complete. 

Better Results with Laser-Assisted Procedures

While traditional cataract surgery is already safe and effective, laser-assisted cataract surgery can often offer even better outcomes, reducing side effects and improving recovery times. 

Laser-assisted surgical systems, such as LenSx®, can help remove cataracts using half the ultrasonic energy required by a traditional procedure. This produces a lower risk of inflammation and near-immediate improvements in vision. It can also mean a completely pain-free recovery with very few or no side effects.

If you or someone you love may need cataract surgery, contact North Florida Cataract Specialists and Vision Care. Our talented eye surgery team will gladly answer any and all questions and address any specific concerns you may have. And, when the time is right for your surgery, you’ll have the peace of mind of knowing you’re in the hands of specialists who have performed tens of thousands of successful cataract surgeries.

Call us today at 352-373-4300 to schedule your consultation.



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