Eye Specialists

Medical and Surgical Treatment of the eye

doctor checking patients eyes

Eye Specialists-Great River Medical Center treats medical conditions of the eye and eye injuries. Our ophthalmologists use high-tech equipment found in larger eye clinics nationwide. Although we don’t make glasses or fit for contact lenses, we can give patients a prescription for glasses that they can take to a retail location of their choice.

Conditions treated

  • Amblyopia (lazy eye)
  • Cataracts
  • Chronic dry eye
  • Conjunctivitis (pink eye)
  • Corneal abrasions
  • Eyelid surgery
  • Foreign-body removal
  • Floaters
  • Glaucoma
    • Conventional surgery
    • Laser surgery
    • Medical management
  • Retina conditions – diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, retinal vein occlusion
    • Injections
    • Laser surgery
    • Medical management

In-Office Laser Treatment

A single type of laser can't be used to treat multiple eye problems, so our clinic has three: Argon, YAG and SLT. They are used for treating:

  • Diabetic retinopathy
  • Post-cataract vision problems
  • Specific types of glaucoma

We also perform some procedures in the operating room at Great River Medical Center.

Make an appointment

You don’t need a referral to schedule an appointment with us. Our clinic accepts medical insurance only – no vision insurance. We will submit your claim for you.

Your first office visit will last between one and two hours. We will obtain your medical history, dilate your eyes and perform a complete eye examination, which may include additional testing.

Please bring these to every appointment:

  • Insurance cards
  • Photo ID
  • List of medicines you are taking, including prescriptions, over-the-counter medicines, vitamins, herbal remedies and any other supplements

Learn About Eye Conditions


Our ophthalmologists can remove excess skin from droopy eyelids. Only medically necessary procedures are covered by most insurance companies.


A cataract is a cloudy area in the natural lens of your eye. It develops slowly over years. You probably didn’t have symptoms at first. But now, you may have noticed one or more of these changes:

· Your vision is cloudy or blurry.

· Colors look faded.

· You can’t see well at night.

· You see halos around lights.

· You have to change prescription glasses often.

Do I have to remove my cataract?

Not removing a cataract may lead to blindness. Cataracts are common. Most people in the U.S. age 80 and older either have cataracts or have had them removed.

How is a cataract removed?

Surgery is the only treatment for removing a cataract. Cataract removal surgery is safe, and it corrects vision problems caused by the cataract. Some people have a cataract in only one eye, and others have them in both. If you have two cataracts, surgery is performed on different days, usually several days to two weeks apart.

How long does the procedure last?

Cataract surgery is a short outpatient procedure. Most of your time in the hospital will be spent in the recovery area. You will return to the Eye Specialists clinic for a followup appointment the next day.

Choosing a lens

During cataract surgery, your eye’s cloudy lens will be removed and replaced with an artificial lens called an intraocular lens. Like prescription glasses or contact lenses, these lenses come in different strengths. You have a choice of lenses.

We offer a basic lens, toric lens and multifocal lens. For each lens, there is a page in your folder with information and a photo simulation of how you would see with that lens without the aid of glasses.

After surgery:

· If you choose a basic lens, you likely will need glasses even if you didn’t need them before surgery.

· If you choose a toric lens (and your ophthalmologist determines you are a candidate), you will need reading glasses for near vision even if you didn’t need them before surgery.

· If you choose a multifocal lens (and your ophthalmologist determines you are a candidate), you most likely won’t need glasses after surgery, but you may want reading glasses for very small print.

Do you like wearing glasses?

If you are used to wearing glasses, you may not mind continuing to wear them. But if you don’t like wearing glasses or don’t want to begin wearing them, choosing multifocal lenses may be your once-in-a-lifetime chance to to enhance your vision! Most people who choose multifocal lenses don’t have to wear glasses.

Do you have astigmatism?

People with moderate to high astigmatism usually are happier with toric lenses because it helps remove distortion caused by the corneas’ irregular shape.

Is night driving important to you?

Glare and halos around lights may occur with multifocal lenses (5% to 10% of cases). Most people adapt to these effects, but if this wold be bothersome may be happier with basic lenses.

Do you have glaucoma, macular degeneration or other eye diseases that cause vision loss?

Multifocal lenses generally are not recommended for people with these conditions. If avoiding glasses is important and you have eye damage, monovision (described below) may be a better option.

Is there an option for not wearing glasses with basic lenses?

If you have cataracts in both eyes, a technique called monovision may be an option. A basic lens set for distance vision is inserted into one eye and a lens set for near vision is placed in the other eye. The brain adapts and provides adequate vision at all distances. However, distance and near vision are not as good as they would be if two basic lenses were used for one focus.

If you are interested in monovision and have never used the monovision technique with contact lenses, you may be required to wear contacts for a period of time before surgery to see if you can adapt to it.

Paying for specialty lenses

Insurance covers the cost of basic lenses. If you choose toric or multifocal lenses, payment is due before surgery. If you cannot pay the entire amount at once, you may apply for CareCredit or our Medical Expense Loan Program. For more information, please call Patient Financial Services at 319-768-3625, option 2.

Diabetic retinopathy

This occurs from a complication of diabetes that causes damage to the retina’s blood vessels. Treatment includes laser treatment or surgery. If you have diabetes, controlling your blood sugar and scheduling yearly eye examinations is the key to prevention.


Glaucoma causes increased pressure in the eye leads to optic nerve damage. There are two types:

  • Open-angle (chronic) glaucoma is the most common type. Gradual loss of peripheral vision is a symptom. Treatment includes eye drops, laser therapy (iridotomy) or surgery.
  • Angle-closure (acute) glaucoma requires immediate treatment. Symptoms include a sudden, painful rise in pressure in the eye. Laser treatment is performed in the clinic.

Macular Degeneration

Age-related macular degeneration is a disease that destroys sharp, central vision. There are two types of macular degeneration:

  • Dry - The most common symptom is slightly blurred vision. Treatment can delay progression of the disease. It includes taking a specific high-dose formulation of antioxidants and zinc. Close monitoring of the disease is crucial.
  • Wet - Straight lines that appear wavy is an early symptom. Early treatment is important. Treatment includes eye injections which can be given in our office. Our physicians will discuss with you different types of medicines that are available for injection.

Retinal Vein Occlusion

This is a blockage of the small veins that carry blood away from the retina. The symptom is a sudden blurring or vision loss in part or all of one eye. Laser therapy or eye injections are given for treatment.

Our Medical Staff