A Clearer View

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

Common Causes of Blurry Vision

by Damion Wasylow 6 October 2016 05:54 AM

Blurred vision can result from everything from an early morning wakeup to cataracts. Short-term symptoms are not generally reason for concern, but longer-term blurred vision is certainly an indication to visit your eye doctor. Here are a few common causes to discuss with your ophthalmologist

Nearsightedness and Farsightedness

Near- and farsightedness are the most common reasons people seek vision care from an optometrist. Nearsightedness, also known as myopia, allows an individual to see nearby items clearly, but objects become blurry farther away. Farsightedness, also known as hyperopia, allows an individual to clearly see objects farther away, but nearby objects are blurry. Both conditions can generally be treated with eyeglasses or contact lenses.

Age-Related Macular Degeneration

Age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) is often a natural side effect of aging that involves a breakdown of the part of the retina that allows you to see details clearly. Blurred vision is a common symptom, along with dark areas or distortion in your central vision and less vivid color interpretation. While little can be done to improve the sight of someone with ARMD, early detection can slow the rate of vision loss.  

Diabetic Retinopathy

Diabetes affects many of the body’s systems, including vision. High blood sugar levels damage blood vessels in the retina, which adversely impacts the part of the eye that receives and converts light into neural signals. Diabetic retinopathy can even potentially cause the retina to wrinkle or detach. In early stages, retinopathy can be symptomless, but blurred vision may be an indicator. Laser surgery and medications may be applied to slow progression of diabetic retinopathy.


Cataracts are caused by a build up of naturally occurring proteins on the eye lens. By age 65, more than 90 percent of people develop a cataract in at least one eye. Cataract symptoms include blurred vision, double vision, lens discoloration, light sensitivity, glare and halos. The damage is permanent, requiring surgery to correct. Treatment options include traditional surgery and laser-assisted cataract surgery, with the latter being preferred by many patients and doctors.

Of course, multiple other vision issues can cause blurred vision, so be sure to talk to your eye doctor. North Florida Cataract Specialists and Vision Care offers complete vision screenings to accurately diagnose patients’ specific eye care needs. Schedule your consultation today to put yourself on the road to a clearer view.



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Gainesville Eye Doctor: What to Look For

by Damion Wasylow 6 October 2016 05:38 AM

What criteria should you use to choose the right eye doctor for your specific needs? Each patient is different, and your unique situation requires answering a series of questions to find the best eye doctor to diagnose and treat your vision problems.

What vision problems do you hope to overcome?

Some eye care practices are capable of diagnosing and treating simple vision challenges, while others are better equipped to handle the full breadth of vision issues. If you’re unsure what is limiting your vision, you’ll want to select a comprehensive ophthalmology practice capable of running all necessary tests to accurately identify the root cause of your vision limitations. 

Could you potentially need surgery?

Many vision issues can be addressed with eyeglasses or cataracts, but others, like cataracts, require surgery to correct. You’ll want to choose an eye care practice that offers comprehensive vision care, including both a full optical department and access to surgical options, in case your vision challenges require that level of intervention. The ideal eye care practice will offer access to a state-of-the-art eye surgery center to ensure all options are available to you.

Is there a practice location near you?

One can’t overstate the importance of convenient access. Traveling miles to your eye physician can preclude you from making regular visits. It’s easy to skip a scheduled appointment if it’s tough to get there. A practice with multiple locations, including one close to you, makes it more likely that you will keep up with follow up visits and maintain your vision care. North Florida Cataract Specialist and Vision Care has offices in Gainesville, Tioga, Lake City and Melrose to make life easy for our patients.

What level of personal service do you expect?

There are a lot of national eyeglass shops out there. Often, they take a one-size-fits-all approach – come in, order at the counter and they send you on your way. Vision evaluation, diagnosis and treatment should be treated just like any other medical care. At North Florida Cataract Specialist and Vision Care, we treat each patient as an individual. We’ll take time to listen to you and answer you questions before determining the best way to treat your symptoms.

If your vision isn’t what it once was, contact North Florida Cataract Specialists and Vision Care today



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How Do I Know if I Need Cataract Surgery?

by Damion Wasylow 25 August 2016 11:35 AM

By age 65, more than 90 percent of people develop a cataract in at least one eye. By age 85, more than half of all Americans have impaired vision due to cataracts. And cataracts always require surgery to correct, so it’s imperative that you have a cataract screening if you suspect you may be experiencing cataract symptoms.

So, how do you know when it’s time for a cataract screening? The simple answer is, if your vision diminishes as you get older, get a cataract screening. Seeking medical attention early can help you see clearly for the rest of your life.

The more complete answer is to watch for these cataract symptoms… 

Cloudy or blurred vision

Only a limited area of your visual field may initially be affected by the development of a cataract. Objects may be blurry when you look one direction, but not another. Cataracts are progressive, so eventually this cloudiness will overtake your vision completely.

Double vision

Double vision is often a dangerous effect of cataracts. Your mind can’t effectively process incoming visual cues, and that can result in balance issues, falls and hazardous driving.

Lens discoloration

Cataracts often cause lens discoloration that may or may not be apparent to others. If you’re experiencing dulled colors, as if looking through a brown or yellow film, it’s time to get a cataract screening.

Light sensitivity, glare and halos

Even typical amounts of light can be overwhelming to people suffering with cataracts. You may also experience disorienting glare or halos. If you consistently experience these symptoms, don’t hesitate, get a cataract screening as soon as possible.

Cataracts are treatable, and early intervention can help you avoid years of impaired vision. Your first step should be scheduling a consultation with an experienced cataract surgeon like Dr. Gregory Snodgrass.

Dr. Snodgrass and the staff at North Florida Cataract Specialists and Vision Care will talk through your cataract surgery options and answer any questions you may have. Schedule your cataract consultation today.



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Laser Eye Surgery for Cataracts

by Damion Wasylow 25 August 2016 11:19 AM

Laser surgery provides relief and improved vision for a variety of eye health issues. At North Florida Cataract Specialists and Vision Care, we specialize in laser cataract surgery to permanently treat cataract symptoms.

How Does Laser Cataract Surgery Work?

First, we evaluate the impact of your cataracts on daily quality of life. Correcting cataracts always requires surgery eventually, but you may not need surgery right away. We’ll meet with you to assess your cataract symptoms and determine if now is the right time for surgery.

If it is, indeed, time for surgery, we’ll schedule your procedure with one of the area’s most experienced cataract surgeons, Dr. Gregory Snodgrass, at our state-of-the-art eye surgery center.

There, Dr. Snodgrass will use the industry-leading LenSx laser cataract surgery system to map your eye and precisely replace your cataract-damaged lens with a new artificial intraocular lens implant.

What Should I Expect from Recovery?

Following your surgery, you’ll spend a short time in the recovery room, usually just 30-60 minutes. Patients often report improved vision during that time. Once you’re ready, a friend or family member will take you home.

At home, you’ll wear an eye shield off-and-on for up to a few days. You may experience some redness and blurred or cloudy vision during this time. You’ll then come into our office for a follow up visit. We’ll ensure the implant is positioned correctly and that you’re on the path to improved vision. 

Dr. Snodgrass has performed more than 20,000 successful cataract surgeries, so you’re in good hands when you choose North Florida Cataract Specialists and Vision Care.

Schedule your consultation today, to determine if now is the right time for laser cataract surgery. We’ll talk through your cataract surgery options and answer any questions you have along the way. Our number one goal is providing you a clearer view.



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We are Now North Florida Cataract Specialists and Vision Care

by Damion Wasylow 20 July 2016 07:39 AM

After months of careful planning and preparation, we are proud to announce that our practice name is now North Florida Cataract Specialists and Vision Care. It’s an exciting time for all of us here, as the name change highlights our unique expertise and better represents the geographic area we serve.

Dr. Gregory Snodgrass partnered in Gainesville Eye Physicians after completing his ophthalmology residency at Riverside Methodist Hospital and The Ohio State University, and then moving to Gainesville in 1987. Through the course of nearly 30 years, he built the practice into the area’s leader in vision care. 

As the practice grew, services expanded from general vision care to include comprehensive eye surgery, our on-site optical shops, our Dry Eye Center of Excellence and our specialty in traditional and laser-assisted cataract surgery. With locations in downtown Gainesville, Tioga Town Center, Lake City and Melrose, the practice now serves patients throughout the region.

Another exciting development is the ongoing construction of our brand new eye care center at the corner of Northwest 8th Avenue and 43rd Street in Gainesville. We broke ground on the new location in mid-April and plan to open the doors in spring 2017. Patients will benefit from the finest in vision technology, comfort and care.

Dr. Kyle Balch is going to continue on with the Gainesville Eye Physicians name, which we recognize may cause some confusion. But our patients can rest assured that the locations and staff you’ve come to rely on will continue – with Dr. Snodgrass at the helm – under the new North Florida Cataract Specialists and Vision Care name.

We know you will come to embrace our new practice name and look, just as we have. When friends and family ask you where to turn for the area’s best choice in eye care, tell them, “North Florida Cataract Specialists and Vision Care.”



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How Does Laser Cataract Surgery Work?

by Damion Wasylow 30 June 2016 17:59 PM

Laser-assisted cataract surgery is a delicate procedure that should only be performed by a specially trained and highly experienced ophthalmologist using state-of-the-art equipment. Understanding the steps involved can make you more comfortable leading up to the procedure and allow you to explain the recovery process to loved ones.

Step 1: Consultation

You will have a comprehensive eye exam including specialized cataract diagnosis. Your ophthalmologist will evaluate the progression of your cataract symptoms and recommend surgery if necessary at this stage. All cataracts eventually require surgery to correct.

Step 2: Surgery Preparation

When you arrive at the eye surgery center, you will be greeted by friendly staff, and asked to complete some basic paperwork. You are then brought to the surgical prep area where you will change into a surgical gown and then rest briefly in a hospital bed. The doctor will come in to greet you and answer any remaining questions. Surgery center staff will then apply sensors to monitor your well being during the surgery.

Step 3: Moving into the Surgical Suite

You will be taken to the surgical suite in your hospital bed. The surgeon, nurses and assistants will be waiting, dressed in scrubs, surgical gowns, caps and masks. Nurses will then administer local anesthesia. Laser cataract surgery only requires local anesthesia, so you will be awake throughout the brief procedure. Most laser cataract surgeries take just 10-15 minutes. 

Step 4: Mapping the Eye

The surgeon will move the laser-assisted cataract system’s camera into place above your eyes. It feeds detailed images and video of your eye lens to a specialized computer to precisely map the surfaces and allow the surgeon to identify the ideal location for the incision.

Step 5: Cataract Lens Removal

The surgeon will use the laser to make a tiny incision in the eye surface. He will then insert a small probe that uses ultrasonic energy (sound waves) to break up the cataract-damaged lens into small pieces. That probe is then removed and a second probe moved into position to suction out the lens pieces. This process is completely pain-free. 

Step 6: Artificial Lens Placement

Your new intraocular lens implant will be pre-loaded into another small probe. The artificial lens is rolled up inside the tip of the probe, making it slender enough to insert through the original incision. The surgeon then unrolls the lens and carefully positions it for optimal vision. This too, is pain-free. The incision used for laser cataract surgery is so small that it does not require stitches to close. A protective shield will be placed over the eye to block out excess light and allow your eye time to adjust.

Step 7: On-site Recovery

Following your surgery, you will be taken into the recovery room at the eye surgery center. There, nurses will make you comfortable while your eyes quickly adjust to the new lens. Your family can visit with you during this time. Many patients report improved vision while still in the recovery room. Once you feel ready, typically after just 30-60 minutes, you’re released to go home. You will need someone to drive you. You will be provided a pair of sunglasses to wear on the ride home.

Step 8: At-home Recovery

You may choose to rest for a few hours when you arrive home. Your surgeon will likely suggest you keep the shield on continually for several hours. You can later take it off, but it should be put back in place during sleep for the next several days. You may experience cloudy or blurred vision at first, and potentially some redness. These are normal short-term side effects. Each patient heals differently. Some see clearly almost immediately. Others require a week or two. 

Step 9: Follow-up Visit

Most surgeons will ask you to come into the office for a follow-up visit the day after surgery. The doctor will examine your eye to ensure there are no complications and that you’re healing normally.

Dr. Gregory Snodgrass has performed more than 20,000 successful cataract surgeries, and was the first local surgeon to use the LenSx laser cataract surgical system. If you or a loved one is suffering from cataracts, contact North Florida Cataract Specialists and Vision Care today to schedule a consultation.


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Is Cataract Surgery a Permanent Fix?

by Damion Wasylow 1 June 2016 20:47 PM

If you’ve been diagnosed with cataracts, you probably been told that surgery is the only treatment option to permanently improve your vision, and that’s true. Cataracts cannot heal by themselves, or with any sort of medication. Surgery is required to permanently correct your vision loss.

Why is surgery the only effective treatment for cataracts?

A cataract is a clouding of the eye’s natural lens caused by a build up of proteins on the lens. As new cells form, existing cells are compacted together, and clouding results. The damage is permanent and progressive, meaning they continually get worse over time. The only way to correct the problem is to surgically replace the damaged natural lens with an artificial intraocular lens.

When is the right time for cataract surgery?

Early cataract symptoms often include cloudy or blurred vision impacting a limited portion of the patient’s sight. In the initial stages, cataracts may not have a substantial impact on your vision. Over time, however, symptoms inevitably get worse, usually producing double vision, light sensitivity, halos, glare and a sense of seeing the world through a brown or yellow film. When these symptoms begin negatively impacting your quality of life, it’s time for cataract surgery.

What are my cataract surgery options?

Depending on the physician you choose, and the specifics of your cataract diagnosis, most cataract patients can select either traditional surgery or laser-assisted cataract surgery. Both procedures involve making an incision in the eye, and then applying ultrasonic energy to break up the damaged natural lens. The resulting pieces are then removed, and a new artificial lens put into place. With laser-assisted surgery, the procedure is substantially more precise and produces less trauma, resulting in a pain-free experience and faster recovery.

No surgical procedure is 100% guaranteed to deliver lifelong results. Physical trauma to the eye, for example, could displace an artificial lens, requiring a follow-up procedure, but these instances are quite rare.

The leading factor in determining the likelihood of success for any eye surgery procedure is the quality and experience of the surgeon you choose. Dr. Gregory Snodgrass has performed more than 20,000 successful cataract surgeries. He was also the first local eye surgeon to use the state-of-the-art LenSx laser cataract system.

Contact Gainesville Eye Physicians today to discuss your cataract surgery needs.

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How Can You Prevent Cataracts?

by Damion Wasylow 1 June 2016 20:39 PM

For most people, cataracts are a natural part of aging. By age 80, more than half of all Americans have experienced cataracts. By the year 2020, it is estimated more than 30 million people in this country will have cataracts. Still, there are steps you can take to limit your likelihood of developing cataracts early.


We’ve all heard about the negative health consequences of exposure to excessive sunlight pertaining to skin cancer, but the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) rays can also damage your eyes. Studies show that UV exposure can increase your chances for developing cataracts. The best prevention is wearing UV-blocking sunglasses to reduce the amount of UV rays that reach the eye lens.


Doctor-prescribed medications play a critical role in improving health and maintaining quality of life, but certain medications have also been linked to promoting cataract development. Corticosteroids, miotics and triparanol, for example, can all induce or increase your risk for cataracts. Talk to your doctor about the short- and long-term impact of these medications.


Smoking may be the worst thing you can do for your overall health, and it also increases your odds for developing cataracts. Smokers are twice likely to develop nuclear sclerotic cataracts and three times as likely to develop subscapular cataracts. While it’s easier said than done, quit smoking immediately if you want to reduce your chances of developing cataracts.

Even with the best preventative measures, cataracts may one day be a fact of life for you or someone you love. When and if that happens, cataract surgery is the only effective treatment option.

Cataract surgery replaces the damaged natural lens with a premium lens implant. This new artificial lens is not susceptible to future cataract development, so your cataracts cannot return. Any form of eye surgery is delicate work, so be sure to select an experienced surgeon like Dr. Gregory Snodgrass for your cataract procedure.

Contact Gainesville Eye Physicians today to discuss your cataract treatment options.

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What Kind of Doctor Performs Cataract Surgery?

by 352admin 11 April 2016 12:55 PM

Cataract surgery is a delicate procedure performed by a specially trained ophthalmologist, preferably one with years of experience. Ophthalmologists undergo years of advanced training to master the tools and techniques that produce successful cataract surgery results.

Like all physicians, ophthalmologists must first earn their medical degree (M.D.). They then gain specialized experience through a three-year residency in ophthalmology, the medical specialty dealing with the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of eye diseases and the overall visual system. That residency is followed by a one-year internship.

Gainesville Eye Physicians ophthalmologist Dr. Gregory Snodgrass received his bachelor’s degree from the West Virginia Institute of Technology before going on to earn his medical degree from the West Virginia University School of Medicine. He completed his residency and internship at Riverside Methodist Hospital and The Ohio State University, where he served as Chief Resident.

Dr. Snodgrass has performed more than 20,000 cataract surgeries since moving to Gainesville in 1987 and becoming a partner in Gainesville Eye Physicians. With nearly 30 years of experience, he is known as one of the area’s premier eye surgeons. As such, he was recently invited to join the International Association of HealthCare Professionals (IAHCP), a community of elite healthcare providers.

Dr. Snodgrass was the area’s first surgeon to use the LenSx laser-assisted cataract surgery system. LenSx allows Dr. Snodgrass to precisely map the surfaces of the eye and make more exact incisions than traditional surgical methods. And because it requires less ultrasonic energy to break up the affected lens, LenSx cataract surgery reduces side effects and speeds recovery. This completely bladeless and pain-free cataract surgery option is increasingly popular with Gainesville Eye patients.

When selecting the right surgeon for your cataract treatment, it’s important to do your homework. Only trust your eyes to a physician with the best credentials and proven experience. You’ll want to ask several questions, and be sure your doctor and his staff take time to talk through all the implications of cataract surgery.

With locations in Gainesville, Tioga Town Center, Lake City and Melrose, Gainesville Eye Physicians serves patients throughout North Central Florida. Contact us today for a comprehensive cataract evaluation or just to ask questions. We’re here to help you achieve a clearer view.

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Frequently Asked Questions About Cataract Surgery

by 352admin 4 April 2016 13:31 PM

As North Central Florida’s leading cataract specialist, we talk to hundreds of patients about cataracts and treatment options each year. Often, they have very similar questions, and we’re happy to help answer them. If you’re concerned about cataracts, reading this article is a good first step. Then, schedule a consultation with Gainesville Eye Physicians to diagnose your vision needs and determine if cataract surgery is right for you.

Q: What are cataracts?

Cataracts occur when a clouding of the eye lens prevents light from being properly focused onto the retina. When this happens, vision can be highly impaired or rendered virtually non-existent. Most cataracts develop as a result of age, but other factors including injury, genetics, sunlight, medications, alcohol and smoking can also contribute. Read more.

Q: What are the symptoms of cataracts?

Most patients first notice cloudy or blurred vision that initially impacts just a limited portion of their sight. Double vision is another early cataract symptom. More advanced cataracts are often characterized by lens discoloration, causing the patient to see the world through a brown or yellow film. Light sensitivity, glare, halos and double vision are also cataract symptoms. Read more.

Q: How do I know when it’s time to get a cataract screening?

If you’re experiencing any combination of the symptoms described above, or if any one symptom is negatively impacting your quality of life, it’s time to get a cataract screening. As a natural part of aging, cataract screening should also be included as part of regular annual eye exams for older individuals. By age 80, more than half of all Americans have experienced cataracts. Read more.

Q: Are cataracts treatable?

Yes. Cataracts can be treated, and your sight restored, potentially making your vision better than before you had cataract symptoms. The key is accurate diagnosis and timely treatment from an experienced ophthalmologist. Read more.

Q: Is surgery the only effective treatment option for cataracts?

Yes, surgery is the only effective treatment for cataracts. Cataracts permanently damage the natural lens, making surgically replacing it with an artificial lens the only way to restore a patient’s vision. There are no known medications or supplements that will prevent or cure cataracts. Read more.

Q: What are my cataract surgery options?

Most patients can choose between traditional or laser-assisted cataract surgery. In either case, the physician makes an incision in the eye, breaks up the affected lens and replaces it with an artificial lens. The biggest difference is that with laser-assisted surgery, the procedure is far more precise and requires less ultrasonic energy to break up the affected lens, resulting in less trauma to the eye. That translates to faster, pain-free recovery. Read more.

Q: What are the benefits of LenSx laser-assisted cataract surgery?

The LenSx system captures high-resolution images to map the eye and provide the surgeon detailed measurements, delivering significantly more accuracy than traditional procedures. With LenSx, a computer-guided laser replaces traditional surgical blades, making cataract surgery completely pain-free. LenSx delivers better vision and faster healing. Read more.

Q: What is recovery like after cataract surgery?

Your vision may be temporarily blurred, but generally improves within a few days. Many patients who choose laser-assisted cataract surgery report improved vision almost immediately. Regardless of surgery type, some patients experience short-term grittiness, redness or irritation, residual halos, faint floaters and/or discharge. You will be prescribed eye drops and a protective shield to help these symptoms pass quickly with proper care. Read more.

Contact Dr. Snodgrass at Gainesville Eye Physicians today to schedule a consultation.

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