Patient Information

The patient information provided here will help you prepare for your visit and allow you to get acquainted with Piedmont Retina Specialists.

Dr. Jason Sanders and Dr. Charles Richards are board certified and fellowship trained retina surgeons. Because they know how stressful eye treatment can be, they are dedicated to providing the highest quality patient care and personal service while using the most advanced diagnostic and therapeutic equipment available. Dr. Sanders and Dr. Richards specialize in the treatment of diseases affecting the back of the eye, specifically those of the retina, vitreous, and macula. If your physician or ophthalmologist suspects a retinal issue, you will need a referral to see Dr. Sanders or Dr. Richards.

A retina specialist is a medical doctor trained as an ophthalmologist, who has received additional fellowship training in diseases and surgery of the vitreous and retina. Dr. Sanders and Dr. Richards commonly treat diabetic eye disease, vitreous hemorrhage, macular degeneration, retinal detachments, uveitis, and ocular tumors.

The retina is the thin sheet of nerve cells including the light-sensitive cells which you may know as "rods and cones." In the retina, light is converted into electrical signals, processed by the brain, which allows "seeing" to take place.

Retina illustration

  • Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)
  • Diabetic Retinopathy
  • Retinal Vein and Retinal Artery Occlusions
  • Retinal Tears and Retinal Detachment
  • Floaters & Light Flashes
  • Macular Hole Surgery
  • Macular Pucker
  • Uveitis

Appointments may be arranged during the hours of 8:00 AM — 5:00 PM. (336-369-7100). After hours emergencies are routed to the physician on call. When you call our office for an appointment, briefly tell the receptionist about your eye problem so that the proper amount of time can be allotted for your appointment. Also, please tell the receptionist if you will require any special help for your visit. Typically, your first visit will take at least two hours and will consist of a complete eye examination. Because your eyes will be dilated, it is necessary for someone to drive you home after your appointment.

Please be sure to bring:

  • All insurance information
  • An insurance referral
  • A list of all medications you are taking
  • Names and addresses of any other physicians you are presently seeing
  • Any prescription eyewear
  • Any eye drops you are currently taking
  • Sunglasses to wear home after your visit

Your first appointment with us will involve a comprehensive eye evaluation, including a detailed examination of your vitreous and retina.

You will have drops applied to your eyes which dilates the pupils so that Dr. Sanders or Dr. Richards can examine the retina. It takes at least twenty minutes for the drops to work, so you will be asked to return to the waiting room until your eyes are ready for examination.

Please set aside at least two hours for your initial consultation. If additional tests are required, your visit could be prolonged.

Please Note: The dilation of the pupils can affect your vision for several hours after the procedure, especially in bright light so remember the following:

  • Make sure you bring sunglasses
  • You may wish to have someone with you to help drive you home
  • Avoid activities that require perfectly clear vision until your eyes are back to normal

Photography of your eyes may be required. This procedure takes twenty minutes. The images are developed quickly on-site, and Dr. Sanders or Dr. Richards will discuss the results with you.

Bring a light snack and something to drink. Patients with diabetes should bring their medications with them. Depending on the results of the eye photos, it is often possible for immediate treatment to be applied. If not, the doctor will discuss further management with you before you check out.

Most surgeries are performed as an outpatient procedure under local anesthesia and may not require an overnight stay in the hospital. We are fully equipped to perform in-office laser procedures.

For your convenience, if you are a new patient, you can download our new patient forms from this site prior to your visit, complete them and just bring them with you when you come.

We want you to get all of the benefits you are eligible for from your health insurance coverage. We accept most health insurance plans, including Medicare. Please be sure to bring your insurance cards and referral forms for your first visit. If you are a member of an HMO, you must have an authorization number and/or your physician referral with you. Otherwise, your examination could be cancelled or delayed. Also, expect to pay your co-payment and any deductible amounts at the time of your appointment. If special payment arrangements are necessary, please contact our office staff prior to your appointment.

Most plans also require preauthorization before any type of surgical procedure. If you are uncertain about your coverage, please call your plan's customer service representative. If you need assistance, we would be glad to help you.

Because we also file all private insurance forms for the convenience of our patients, it is important that you bring your insurance cards with you at every visit so that we have accurate information about your coverage. Medicaid patients need to bring their current card along on each visit as well. We work with these insurance companies on a regular basis:

  • Aetna
  • Beech Street
  • BCBS of NC
  • BCBS of SC
  • Blue Choice Health Plan
  • Carolina Crescent
  • Choice Care/Humana
  • Cigna Healthcare
  • Multiplan/PHCS
  • United Healthcare

This simple screening test is used to detect vision changes by assessing the macula. You can test your vision on your own daily by using the grid shown here. You can also print out your own copy of the Amsler Grid for use at home.

If you need reading glasses, please wear them while you use the Amsler grid. The grid should be at about the same distance from your eyes that any other reading material would be.

A small dot is located in the center of the grid for fixation. While focusing on the dot in the center, look for wavy lines or missing areas of the grid and look to make sure you can see the corner and sides of the square. You can test both eyes at once or you can cover one eye at a time and repeat the test.

If you notice any irregularities, mark areas of the chart that you're not seeing properly and bring it with you to your eye exam.

Retina illustration

Print out the grid