Clinical Specialties

Patients come to Wake Forest Baptist Health Eye Center for specialized care in these areas of Ophthalmology:

  • Cataracts
    For patients with even the most complex cataract conditions — including those who have had unsuccessful cataract surgery before.
  • Comprehensive Ophthalmology
    The first stop for patients who need a routine exam or have an undiagnosed vision problem.  No referrals needed.
  • Cornea and External Diseases
    Provides care for dry eye, Fuch's dystrophy, herpes keratitis, keratoconus, pterygium, and other corneal and external diseases. Available treatments include corneal transplants and artificial implants.
  • Glaucoma
    Offers medicinal, laser and surgical treatments for patients with any type or stage of glaucoma.
  • LASIK/Refractive Surgery
    Includes LASIK and other laser vision correction surgeries. 
  • Neuro-ophthalmology
    Diagnoses optic nerve disease, unexplained vision loss, double vision and other visual problems associated with nervous system disorders.
  • Ocular Immunology
    Treats patients with various types of cancers affecting the eye and eye socket (orbit).
  • Oculofacial Plastic Surgery
    Restores eye function and appearance with reconstructive and cosmetic procedures.
  • Pediatrics, Including Adult Strabismus
    Manages all eye care in children from birth to age 18, plus eye muscle disorders in adults.
  • Retinal Diseases
    Provides leading-edge treatment for diabetic retinopathy, macular degeneration, uveitis and other retinal diseases.
  • Tumors
    The Tumor service provides care for patients with benign and malignant tumors that arise in the eye or elsewhere in the body.  It is critical that a tumor specialist decides the prognosis and approach of therapy for these conditions.
  • Uveitis
    Treats patients with this condition, which is a leading cause of blindness in the U.S. and the world.


Specialty Descriptions



Cataracts are the leading cause of vision loss in older adults, although cataracts can occur in patients of any age. Almost everyone develops cataracts.

A cataract may seem like a “film” over the eye that causes blurry vision, but it’s actually a clouding of the lens inside the eye.

Early on, people with cataracts can correct their vision with glasses or contacts. Later, when their vision is no longer correctable, they can opt for cataract surgery.

Ophthalmologists at Wake Forest Baptist Health Eye Center help patients determine when it’s time for cataract surgery. It’s often when patients can no longer pass the vision test for their driver’s license, when they can’t see at night or when they need a magnifying glass to read.

WFBH Eye Center ophthalmologists are skilled at treating patients with even the most complex cataract conditions, including patients who have had unsuccessful cataract surgery before.

Cataract Surgery at WFBH Eye Center

Cataract surgery is the most frequently performed surgery in the U.S. And it’s the most successful. More than 95 percent of surgeries have no complications, and all result in improved vision.

At WFBH Eye Center, we use the latest ultrasonic surgical equipment to delicately remove the cloudy lens. It requires only the tiniest incision. Then we insert one of three types of artificial, or intraocular, lenses (IOLs):
1.  Monofocal lens — A standard lens that improves distance vision. Patients may still need glasses to read or see closely.
2.  Toric lens — For patients with astigmatism. Sharpens distance vision, but patients may still need reading glasses.
3.  Multifocal lens — Like having a bifocal lens inside the eye: Part of the eye is for near vision, part is for distance vision.

Our cataract specialists help patients choose the best IOL for them.

The whole procedure takes about 15 minutes. Patients typically have little to no pain. They go home soon after surgery and can return to normal activities the next day. 

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Comprehensive Ophthalmology

Comprehensive Ophthalmology is the first stop for patients at Wake Forest Baptist Health Eye Center if they don’t have a referral to an Eye Center specialist.

Comprehensive ophthalmologists provide a full range of eye care, from routine exams to diagnostic evaluations to medical and surgical treatments. Many times, patients with cataracts, glaucoma, common retinal and corneal diseases, and other conditions can get complete treatment from comprehensive ophthalmologists without seeing a specialist. Comprehensive ophthalmologists can refer patients to Eye Center specialists if further testing or treatment is needed.

Part of Comprehensive Ophthalmology is our Comprehensive Eye Service, a walk-in clinic staffed each afternoon by Eye Center residents in training. Patients with urgent issues may be treated the same day. Others may be scheduled for a later visit.

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Cornea and External Diseases

For patients with corneal or other external eye diseases, WFBH Eye Center provides one of the widest ranges of leading-edge treatments.

Our cornea specialists care for thousands of patients each year with conditions including:

• Corneal graft failure or rejection
• Corneal scarring
• Corneal ulcers
• Dry eye
• Fuchs' dystrophy
• Herpes keratitis
• Keratoconus
• Ocular surface abnormalities/malignancies
• Pterygium

Corneal Transplants at WFBH Eye Center
WFBH Eye Center is a national leader in corneal transplants, particularly Descemet's stripping endothelial keratoplasty (DSEK). For this procedure, our ophthalmologists developed the FDA-approved EndoSerter, a hand-held instrument that transplants tissue more quickly, with smaller incisions and no sutures.

Also, we’re one of few eye centers in the U.S. that perform corneal keratoprosthesis — artificial corneal implants. It’s sometimes the best option for patients with difficult-to-treat corneal diseases, after standard corneal transplants have failed.

For patients not ready for a corneal transplant, WFBH Eye Center specialists also offer Intacs® corneal implants, for when vision can no longer be corrected by glasses or contact lenses. 

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Glaucoma is a group of many eye conditions that increase pressure in the fluid of the eye. That pressure can damage the optic nerve.

Called the “sneak thief of sight,” glaucoma typically has no symptoms. Vision loss happens gradually — and it cannot be restored.

At the Wake Forest Baptist Health Eye Center, we have specialists who will care for patients of all ages who have any type or stage of glaucoma. We have vast clinical experience in evaluating patients who run the gamut of glaucoma issues: from evaluation of the patient who has such subtle, mild findings that that patient should just be observed as a glaucoma suspect, all the way to the patient who has severe loss of vision from glaucoma and needs high-risk surgery.

Our Eye Center has a long history of participating in national clinical trials. We were one of only 14 sites nationwide that participated in the Collaborative Initial Glaucoma Treatment Study, which was sponsored by the National Institutes of Health. This study evaluated whether treatment with medicines or treatment with surgery is safer and more effective for some patients with certain types and stages of glaucoma. The point is that our specialists are continually critically evaluating treatments and thinking carefully and deeply about what is the best way to take care of each individual patient who walks through our doors. At the Wake Forest Baptist Health Eye Center, your glaucoma care plan will be developed based on input from you, and tailored to your particular type of glaucoma and your individual, unique situation.

Glaucoma Treatment at WFBH Eye Center
We offer a range of medicinal, laser and surgical treatments for glaucoma patients.

• Diode cyclophotocoagulation
• Trabeculectomy
• Tube-shunt surgery 

Exam room procedures
• Diode laser trabeculoplasty
• Laser iridoplasty
• Laser iridotomy

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This area of WFBH Eye Center combines ophthalmology and neurology.

The neuro-ophthalmologists at WFBH Eye Center care for patients with complex visual problems associated with neurologic disorders such as: brain tumors, multiple sclerosis, strokes and other disorders of the nervous system. Patients with unexplained vision loss, double vision or headaches often visit our neuro-ophthalmologists for diagnosis.

Conditions we treat include:
• Anisocoria
• Cranial neuropathies affecting eye movement
• Double vision (diplopia)
• Headaches involving vision (e.g., migraines)
• Optic neuritis
• Optic neuropathy
• Transient vision loss

The neuro-ophthalmologists at WFBH Eye Center diagnose patients and then consult with their referring physicians, who can provide treatment. Or, our neuro-ophthalmologists may personally treat eye conditions in patients who also are being treated in Neurosurgery, Otolaryngology or other departments at WFBH.

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Ocular Immunology

Ocular Oncology specialists treat patients with various types of cancers affecting the eye and eye socket (orbit).

At Wake Forest Baptist Health Eye Center, we have a direct link to medical oncology and radiation oncology specialists at WFBH. That allows patients to have expert eye cancer care, including surgery, chemotherapy and radiation therapy, coordinated in one location.

Our ophthalmologists are always exploring the newest forms of eye cancer treatment. Chemotherapy eye drops for ocular surface malignancies is one treatment recently pioneered at WFBH Eye Center.

Eye cancers we treat include:
• Lymphomas involving the eye socket
• Ocular surface malignancies
• Orbital tumors
• Skin cancer on eyelids
• Uveal melanomas 
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Oculofacial Plastic Surgery

Plastic surgeons at Wake Forest Baptist Health Eye Center help restore the appearance and function of patients’ eyes with a variety of reconstructive and cosmetic procedures.

Whether caused by injury, disease or natural aging, changes in or around the eye are best cared for by trained ophthalmologists, who understand eye function as well as eye appearance. Wake Forest Baptist Health Eye Center ophthalmologists can help relieve pain and correct damage, vision loss and disfigurement caused by eyelid problems, orbital fractures, orbital tumors, tear duct abnormalities and other conditions.

Even for elective procedures, such as BOTOX® injections and brow lifts, Wake Forest Baptist Health Eye Center ophthalmologists have the training and experience to ensure patients’ eyes and adjacent areas are protected while being enhanced.

They provide personalized care for children and adults. And they coordinate treatment, as needed, with specialists in Neurosurgery, Otolaryngology and other areas of Wake Forest Baptist Health.

Our specialists also help fix adverse effects of other surgeries in and around the eye — even complications from previous cosmetic treatments. 

Reconstructive Services at Wake Forest Baptist Health Eye Center
Reconstructive treatments help correct eye form and function lost due to disease or injury, including:
• Bell’s palsy
• Dermatochalasis (excess skin on the eyelids)
• Graves’ disease (thyroid eye disease)
• Orbital fractures
• Orbital tumors
• Ptosis (droopy eyelids)
• Skin cancer
• Tear duct blockage

In addition, our oculofacial plastic surgeons can perform enucleation or evisceration for patients who need an eyeball removed and replaced with an implant.

Cosmetic Services at Wake Forest Baptist Health Eye Center
Cosmetic procedures for brows and eyelids can help patients look more youthful. Some of the many services offered by our oculofacial plastic surgeons are:
• Brow lift
• Eyelid surgery, including revisional surgery to correct previous cosmetic procedures
• Fat injection
LATISSE™ eyelash growth  
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Pediatrics, Including Adult Strabismus

Wake Forest Baptist Health Eye Center has one of the largest and fastest growing pediatric ophthalmology practices in North Carolina. From glasses prescriptions to advanced eye surgery, we manage all eye care in children from birth to age 18. 

WFBH Eye Center pediatric ophthalmologists are eye muscle experts. That’s why they also treat adults with eye muscle disorders, such as strabismus (crossed eyes).

Other common pediatric conditions we treat are:
• Amblyopia (lazy eye)
• Cataracts
• Glaucoma
• Retinopathy of prematurity
• Tear duct blockage
• Thyroid eye disease (Graves’ disease)

We make exams as easy as possible, with toys and videos to make children feel at home, and diagnostic imaging devices specialized for children. We provide the latest treatments available, and are actively researching new methods for treating pediatric cataracts and strabismus. As part of the national Pediatric Eye Disease Investigator Group, we offer trials not available at other eye centers. 

Wake Forest Baptist Health Eye Center ophthalmologists perform a variety of pediatric eye surgeries, with support from expert pediatric anesthesiologists at WFBH Brenner Children’s Hospital. Most are outpatient procedures and take one hour or less. 
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Retinal Diseases

Wake Forest Baptist Health Eye Center is home to some of the most experienced specialists in the retina field. As part of the World Health Organization’s Global Burden of Disease study, WFBH retina specialists exchange knowledge among the field’s top experts and share advances in medical and surgical treatments.

Patients with even the most challenging retinal conditions seek out our ophthalmologists for leading-edge therapies — some we’re helping develop right now.

Learn more about our progress in treating:
• Diabetic retinopathy
• Macular degeneration
• Uveitis

WFBH Eye Center ophthalmologists use state-of-the-art equipment, including one of the latest spectral domain optical coherence tomography (OCT) machines, run by leading photographers. OCT provides high-definition, three-dimensional images of the back of the eye. That helps our ophthalmologists diagnose retinal diseases faster and easier.

Retina conditions treated at the WFBH Eye Center include:
• Diabetic retinopathy
• Epiretinal membrane (macular pucker)
• Macular degeneration
• Macular edema
• Macular hole
• Retinal detachment or tear
• Trauma
• Uveitis
• Vein occlusion
• Vitreous hemorrhage

Retina specialists are available 24/7 at WFBH Eye Center to care for urgent needs.

Diabetic Retinopathy at WFBH Eye Center
Diabetic retinopathy is damage to the retina as a result of diabetes. 

Wake Forest Baptist Health Eye Center retina specialists collaborate with other physicians and dietitians at Wake Forest Baptist Health to ensure patients get complete care for their diabetes. We understand that the first step to healthy eyes is healthy living and nutrition.

Within WFBH Eye Center, state-of-the-art laser devices provide patients with the latest surgical treatments. Our lasers can treat the effects of diabetic retinopathy more quickly and comfortably than conventional lasers.

But surgery isn’t the only option. As part of the Diabetic Retinopathy Clinical Research Network, WFBH retina specialists have access to the newest treatment innovations. For example, one treatment uses injections of proteins and antibodies to help reverse the effects of diabetic retinopathy. This “intravitreal anti-VEGF therapy” is more effective than conventional laser therapy in some patients.

Macular Degeneration at Wake Forest Baptist Health Eye Center
Macular degeneration, or age-related macular degeneration (AMD,) is the death of cells inside the eye. This causes vision loss. Treatments can slow vision loss, but not restore vision. 

Wake Forest Baptist Health Eye Center is part of multiple nationwide studies, which means we use some of the newest treatments available for controlling macular degeneration. In one study, we’re learning how high levels of antioxidants and zinc can slow the disease. In another, we’re learning the effect of protein injections.

AMD treatments at Wake Forest Baptist Health Eye Center often incorporate nutrition and supplements with more conventional medical and surgical treatments. With newer approaches like these, WFBH retina specialists frequently rehabilitate AMD patients who have had unsuccessful treatment elsewhere.

Exudative macular degeneration is a more rapid process in which abnormal blood vessels grow and then leak or bleed under the macula. At Wake Forest Baptist Health Eye Center, we have been on the forefront of clinical trials using intra-ocular injections for the treatment of “wet” AMD. Many patients have been able to maintain or even improve their eyesight using our technology and therapeutic agents.
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Uveitis at Wake Forest Baptist Health Eye Center

Uveitis is swelling and irritation in the middle layer of the eye. It’s caused by a malfunction in the immune system, not the eye.

At many medical centers, patients with uveitis must see both a rheumatologist and ophthalmologist for treatment. But at Wake Forest Baptist Health Eye Center, patients get complete care from a single source. Our uveitis specialists handle everything from diagnosis to therapy to follow-up care.

Part of the International Uveitis Study Group, WFBH Eye Center is on the forefront of uveitis treatment. We offer some of the newest therapies, including drug injections, drug implants and oral medications not available elsewhere.

Although uveitis is typically treated with steroids, WFBH ophthalmologists try to avoid prescribing steroids whenever possible. Rather, we recommend steroid-sparing drugs to reduce eye inflammation. These drugs help patients avoid some undesirable effects of steroid use, such as weight gain, heart palpitations and bone loss.

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Last Updated: 10-30-2014
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