Daphne : 251.410.9000


Frequently Asked Questions


  • Is cataract surgery done with a laser?

    Cataract surgery is just that – a surgery. A cataract cannot be completely removed with a laser; however, there is technology that allows a laser to assist with the cataract surgery. Both approaches, conventional and laser-assisted, require access into the eye and removal of a cloudy lens and implantation of a new artificial intraocular lens (IOL).
  • Do cataracts ever come back?

    NO – once a cataract is properly removed, it will never “regrow.” However, there can be a membrane that forms near the back surface of the implanted intraocular lens (IOL) that may need to be removed. This can be removed with a laser, and often it is called a “second cataract.” This term is misleading as it is completely different from the original cataract.
  • Do I need a premium or special IOL for my cataract surgery?

    There are a number of different types of IOLs for cataract surgery. Some of them are not fully covered by insurance and these are termed “premium IOLs.” These IOLs offer visual upgrades, such as near & far vision or astigmatism correction. These IOLs are not for every patient and our eye surgeons will discuss each patient’s options and whether they are a candidate.
  • How long does the surgery take?

    Cataract surgery typically takes 8-20 minutes depending on the density of the cataract, the pupil dilation, and the type of IOL chosen. The laser-assisted cataract surgery may take about 5-10 minutes longer.
  • Will I need glasses after cataract surgery?

    a. Every patient is different with regard to needing glasses after cataract surgery. It is very likely that you will be less dependent on glasses after the surgery, but you still may need reading glasses or even bifocals. Much of this depends on how much you wish to be glasses free. This may require using the premium IOLs and setting the eyes for monovision (one eye for distance, one eye for near). So there are a number of options to get you nearly or completely out of glasses, but remember that EVERY patient is different and has different visual needs. Be sure to discuss your expectations with your doctor so that he/she can explain all the options.


  • How do I know if I am a candidate for LASIK?

    Dr. Turner will need to perform a full evaluation to determine if you are a candidate. You may gain more information through one of his free LASIK seminars or by scheduling an appointment.
  • If I cannot afford LASIK all at once, are there payment options available?

    YES – Premier Medical offers the option of interest-free financing up to 24 months for those patients that qualify.
  • How long do I need to be out of my contact lenses before LASIK?

    Dr. Turner prefers that you be out of your contacts 5-7 days prior to the evaluation and the same time prior to your surgery. He is typically able to schedule patients for the LASIK within 1-2 weeks from the evaluation, and sometimes even same week.
  • What if I need a touch-up after the LASIK?

    The average LASIK enhancement within the first year is 2-3%. This is included in the cost of the procedure during the first year.
  • If I am not a candidate for LASIK, are there other options to get out of glasses or contacts?

    Yes: Other options include PRK - which is similar to LASIK but without the flap; Refractive lens exchange – where the natural lens is removed and an intraocular lens (IOL) is placed. Implantable Collamer Lenses (aka Implantable Contact Lens) - this is a procedure where a thin plastic-like lens is placed into the eye (without removal of your natural lens) to allow you to see clearly. This is typically for young patients that have no sign of cataracts, but are not good candidates for LASIK or PRK due to very high glasses prescriptions. Each patient is different and Dr. Turner will review all options with patients that do not qualify for LASIK.
  • If I am over 40 years old, will LASIK get rid of reading glasses?

    Around the age of 40, presbyopia begins to set in. This is where we lose our ability to change our focus point easily. So if you are seeing clearly at the distance with contacts or glasses, you may be having more problems reading without some extra help. LASIK cannot reverse the clock and eliminate presbyopia. We can set one eye for distance and keep the other eye slightly near-sighted to allow for more “depth” of focus. Again, each patient is different and have different visual needs. It is important to discuss all these with Dr. Turner during a free consultation.
  • How long does the procedure take?

    The day of the surgery, you will have additional testing to make absolutely sure that all the numbers are perfect and your treatment will be absolutely accurate. This may take up to one hour. The surgery itself last around 10-15 minutes per eye. Dr. Turner likes his patient to wait about 15 minutes after the surgery to ensure all is in perfect position before leaving.


  • Are there different types of corneal transplants?

    Yes – until the last 10 years, there was really only a Full-Thickness corneal transplant. No matter what type of corneal disease you suffered from, everyone got basically the same procedure. Now we have “Posterior or Partial” corneal transplants, called Descemet Stripping with Endothelial Keratoplasty (DSEK). This procedure is used most commonly for patients with corneal edema (swelling) usually from Fuchs Corneal Dystrophy or previous surgical trauma. With this surgery, only the posterior portion of the cornea is replaced, as the anterior cornea is typically still healthy. This procedure yields quicker recovery and less overall risk to the eye
  • Can all corneal transplants be done as DSEK or partial thickness?

    No – while this has been a significant advance in the treatment of corneal disease, many corneal problems have caused permanent scarring and distortion on the anterior portion. This will usually require a full-thickness corneal transplant. Results are still very good for this procedure, though the healing process takes longer.
  • How long does the surgery take?

    A full-thickness corneal transplant usually takes 1-1.5 hours, depending on the severity of scarring and damage. A partial thickness transplant (DSEK) usually takes 30 – 45 minutes.
  • Will I see better the next day, like with cataract surgery?

    Both of these surgeries are much more complex and involved than cataract surgery, and there is significant healing and recovery time. It may be a few weeks to months before you notice improved vision over where you started.
  • If I need a corneal transplant, do I have to wait for a donor match?

    NO – because the corneal is an avascular (no blood vessels) organ, we do not have to blood match a donor to the patient. The Alabama Eye Bank provides the corneas and rarely is there ever a delay in obtaining the necessary tissue.
  • Are there any artificial corneas, so I don’t have to use a donor cornea?

    The short answer is NO. Donor corneas are the only tissue that have shown to last and not be riddled with severe complications. There is a device, called a keratoprosthesis, but it still requires donor corneal tissue to be sustained on the eye.


  • What is glaucoma?

    Glaucoma is damage to the optic nerve due to elevated eye pressure.
  • How do I know if I have glaucoma?

    Often you will have no symptoms. High eye pressure typically does not produce pain unless it is very high. Optic nerve damage results in gradual peripheral visual field loss, so you may never notice that anything is “wrong” with your vision. The ONLY real way to know if you have glaucoma is to see an eye doctor and have them (at least) check eye pressure and look at your optic nerve (preferably with a dilated eye exam).
  • If my eye hurts, should I be worried about glaucoma?

    Typically high eye pressure does not hurt. In fact, dull eye pain is often not related to the eye at all – it may be due to sinus problems. The eye orbit (socket) is surrounded by our sinuses, and if there is inflammation in these sinuses, if can cause dull pain behind the eye. Sharp eye pain is often due to a corneal issues. So you should still see an eye doctor for eye pain, but it is likely not a sign of glaucoma.
  • How do you get glaucoma?

    There are multiple factors, but the main two are age and family history. While some babies are born with glaucoma, most patients develop this later in life. Many forms of glaucoma have a hereditary component, so if anyone in the immediate family suffers from glaucoma, relative s need to get screened. Some other forms of glaucoma are related to previous trauma, infections, inflammation, or surgery. Steroids also can cause the eye pressure to rise if taken for an extended period of time.
  • What are the treatment for glaucoma?

    There are 3 basic treatments of glaucoma: 1. Drops 2. Laser 3. Surgery. We often will try a single drops to get the eye pressure under better control. If this is not sufficiency or the patient cannot tolerate the medication, then a repeatable laser procedure may be an option. Finally, if multiple drops and laser treatments are not able to reduce the eye pressure to an acceptable level, surgery may be indicated.
  • Can I go blind from Glaucoma?

    YES – while glaucoma takes away the peripheral vision first, it can encroach on the central vision and even completely destroy the optic nerve, leaving patients blind. This is almost always preventable, so a screening eye exam is essential.


  • What causes macular degeneration?

    The exact cause is not 100% known. It appears to be a number of factors including: Race, Age, Sun Exposure, Smoking, and diet. The biggest factor is age, as it is rare to see this disorder in patients under 50 years old.
  • What is the difference between “Wet” and “Dry” macular degeneration?

    Macular degeneration is a premature breakdown of the vision center in the retina, called the Macula. The early changes cause small yellow deposits called drusen to arise along with some pigment changes. This is called Dry Macular Degeneration. As this progresses, fluid or blood can accumulate, and this is termed We Macular Degeneration.
  • Why do some macular degeneration patients get shots in the eye?

    When a patient develops Wet macular degeneration, this may be due to leaking blood vessels underneath the retina. We now have a series of injections that block a signal causing the blood vessels to leak. This medication can prevent further leakage of the blood vessels and improve vision. This is not a therapy for patients with Dry macular degeneration.
  • What causes a retinal detachment?

    There are different types or retinal detachments. Most commonly this occurs in patients that are very near-sighted. This is often preceded by flashing lights or a shower of floaters. When a tear is formed in the retina, fluid can accumulate under the retina and lift it up, thereby detaching it. Diabetics with severe eye disease may have a retinal detachment caused by scarring or traction.
  • Do I need surgery emergently if I have a retinal detachment?

    Not all retinal detachments are emergencies. If it is a very small area involved, we may be able to use a laser and “wall-off” the detachment from progressing further. Other detachments may need to go to the operating room same day or may wait for a few days. Each patient and detachment is different. There are also different types of surgeries to repair an RD – some enter into the eye while others use a band or buckle on the exterior of the eye.
  • What are the signs of a retinal detachment?

    A retinal detachment is usually preceded by flashes and often a shower of new floaters. If a true detachment is occurring, one may notice a curtain or veil coming over a portion of the peripheral vision. Flashes and floaters are common and may be the sign of a vitreous separation (benign and normal in everyone at some point in his/her life) or a retinal tear without detachment. It is very difficult to determine which one of these may be occurring, so it is essentially that you get seen ASAP with a dilated exam by an eye doctor.