What are Cataracts?

A cataract is the clouding of your eye lens due to the build-up of natural proteins in the eye. As a result, light entering the eyes has to pass through the cloudy areas to reach the retina, thus altering vision. This condition can start slowly: you may not realize you have cataracts in the early stages. As the condition progresses you will experience symptoms such as:

  • Cloudy, blurry vision
  • Double vision
  • Halos around bright lights
  • Yellow or brown tint to your vision
  • Difficulty seeing at night
  • Difficulty distinguishing colors
  • Blindness if not treated

Types of Cataracts

Cataracts can form in one or both eyes and they can affect different parts of your eye lens:

  • Nuclear cataract, affecting the center of the lens
  • Cortical cataract, affecting the edges of the lens
  • Posterior subcapsular cataract, affecting the back of the lens

As the cataract grows, vision becomes worse.

Cataract Surgery in Knoxville

It’s important to note that you can live with cataracts for years if they are not adversely affecting your life. However, if you start having trouble driving at night, reading fine print or enjoying your hobbies, we encourage you to contact us.

Cataract surgery is the only way to restore clear vision, but there are many different options within the surgical process that you should be aware of – not all eye doctors offer the same cataract technologies that we have invested in.

Cataract Microsurgery

During our cataract microsurgery procedure, we first apply anesthesia drops to your eyes.
Through a small incision, we insert a tiny probe to gently break up and remove the cloudy lens using ultrasound waves. This process is called phacoemulsification. Then we insert a replacement lens to restore clear vision. (Read about replacement lens options below.) The incision will heal naturally, without stitches. Only one eye is treated at a time; the second eye can be treated after the first eye has fully healed, typically within 2 weeks.

Dropless Cataract Surgery

After cataract surgery, patients must use prescription eye drops 3-4 times a day for 4-6 weeks to promote healing and reduce the risk of complications. Dropless cataract surgery is an option that can be implemented during your procedure to eliminate the need for drops after surgery. A combination of medications is introduced into your eye after your replacement lens has been inserted. The correct dosage of medications is absorbed by your eye over time so you don’t have to worry about adhering to a strict eye drop schedule every day. This option is convenient, reliable and more affordable for our patients.

Cataract Surgery Location

All of our cataract procedures are performed on an outpatient basis at the Eye Surgery Center of East Tennessee, located inside our main office on Weisgarber Road in Knoxville. This is our ambulatory surgical facility dedicated to total eye care.

Our Replacement Lens Options

Your cloudy eye lens is removed during cataract surgery and replaced with a clear artificial intraocular lens (IOL). Many different lens options offer varying levels of vision clarity. The traditional IOL, a monofocal, will provide you with clarity, but may not completely eliminate the need for glasses. You may benefit from a toric lens to correct astigmatism or choose to see clearly at all distances without glasses with an advanced technology IOL. We offer many options of IOLs to customize your surgery for the best possible results.

We can explain each of these in detail during your cataract evaluation so you can choose the right one for your lifestyle, hobbies and budget.

Multifocal IOLs

Multifocal IOLs have multiple focusing points built into the lens

TECNIS Symfony® Extended Range of Vision IOL

TECNIS Symfony® Extended Range of Vision IOL can address the problem of presbyopia (the need for reading glasses) as well as offering clear distance vision

AcrySof® IQ Vivity™ Extended Depth of Focus IOL

AcrySof® IQ Vivity™ Extended Depth of Focus IOL is the first non diffractive IOL that stretches and shifts light entering your eyes for a continuous range of vision at all distances

AcrySof® IQ PanOptix® Trifocal IOL

AcrySof® IQ PanOptix® Trifocal IOL offers a full range of vision

Toric IOLs

Toric IOLs correct astigmatism, reducing the need for glasses after surgery

TECNIS Eyehance™ Monofocal IOL

TECNIS Eyehance™ Monofocal IOL to slightly extend the depth of focus

ORA™ System

Optiwave Refractive Analysis (ORA) technology allows our doctors to make adjustments to the power of your new replacement lens during cataract surgery, if necessary. After your cloudy lens is removed, we will take real-time measurements of your eye prescription (your refractive errors – such as astigmatism) so we can make any interoperative adjustments necessary to provide you with the best vision possible. This is a completely tailored approach to the IOL process and patients are typically very happy with their results.

Why Choose Us?

Drs. Campbell, Cunningham, Taylor & Haun have been serving the East Tennessee community with cataract surgery procedures since 1952. Over the years, we’ve performed thousands of these procedures, helping our patients restore clear vision to their lives. We want to be a trusted resource for you and your loved ones.
We understand that having surgery on your eyes can be very scary. Our doctors take all the time necessary to fully explain how the cataract surgery process works, describe what to expect and help you set realistic expectations for your vision outcome. If you’re feeling anxious, we will do everything we can to set your mind at ease and help you feel comfortable with your decision. You’ll receive premium treatment every step of the way. If you’re considering cataract surgery, we’re simply the best choice in East Tennessee.

Our Cataract Doctors in Knoxville

Our fellowship-trained cataract doctors in Knoxville are local specialists in their field of expertise. They are fully ingrained in the East Tennessee community and are committed to bringing modern, premium eye care to our area. We feel very lucky to have the opportunity to form very strong bonds with our cataract patients.

  • C. Tobin Taylor, M.D.
  • A. Kirk Haun, M.D., F.A.C.S.
  • Jake C. McMillin, M.D.
  • Eric Sollenberger, M.D.
  • Andrew Johnston, M.D.

C. Tobin Taylor, M.D.

A. Kirk Haun, M.D., F.A.C.S.

Jake C. McMillin, M.D.

Eric Sollenberger, M.D.

Andrew Johnston, M.D.


While cataract surgery is typically covered by insurance and Medicare, some of the options such as advanced IOLs will incur some out-of-pocket costs. To help you afford your very best vision, we accept financing through CareCredit®. We can help you apply for financing without affecting your credit score. If you qualify, you could have your procedure with no money down and pay it off over time! Here are some details about this program:

  • 0% interest for 12 months
  • Longer term programs with low interest
  • Low monthly payments
  • No pre-payment penalties

Cataract Evaluations

Our cataract evaluations are designed to fully assess your eye health to identify the presence of cataracts. Please plan to spend 2-3 hours with us so we can perform a variety of painless tests and have conversations about our findings and a recommended course of action. This is a great opportunity for you to ask any questions you have about your eyesight, treatment options and what to expect after surgery. This time is especially for you!

“I had cataract surgery here. Dr Jake McMillin is the surgeon that I had. I couldn’t be happier with the outcome. I See clearer and not to mention how vivid colors are now. Dr. McMillin is a very friendly and caring Dr. Also have to give all the associates involved are great as well. Thanks Dr. McMillin for everything.”
– Ray S.

“An amazing experience from beginning to end, from my initial assessment process through cataract surgery on both eyes. Everyone I came in contact with from the receptionist to the technicians conducting my exams to Dr Sollenberger himself, was very professional and caring. Dr Sollenberger even called me the evening after both my surgeries to make sure I was doing ok. Who does that? I am now 20/20 in both eyes and really enjoying seeing again. I would encourage anyone that needs this type of treatment to call, schedule an appointment and get it taken care of with no pain. Best thing I have ever done in my life.”

– Edward J.