At St. Luke’s Medical Center, the physicians on the medical staff offer a wide range of eye care services — from routine eye exams and treatment of a variety of eye conditions, to more complex and delicate eye surgery, including corrective and cataract surgery.
Do You Have a Cataract?
Cataracts are the leading cause of blindness in older adults in the United States, according to Prevent Blindness America. More than 20 million Americans age 40 years and older have cataracts and more than half of all Americans have cataracts by the age of 80 years. As defined by the American Academy of Ophthalmology, a cataract is a clouding of the normally clear lens of the eye. A cataract alters the eye’s vision, so that it appears as if a person is looking through a frosted window. A cataract is a condition, not a disease, and cannot spread from one eye to the other.
Answer the questions below to help determine if you should seek medical treatment for your eye condition. You can also call 1-877-924-WELL (9355) for information about the ophthalmologists on the medical staff at St. Luke’s.
Please note, this questionnaire should not substitute a medical checkup or consultation with an eye care professional. Only a physician, surgeon or other qualified eye care provider can accurately diagnose and treat cataracts.
- Is your vision clouded, blurred or dim in one or both eyes?
- Do you have difficulty with eyesight at night?
- Are your eyes sensitive to light or glare?
- Do you see “halos” around lights?
- Do you experience prolonged exposure to sunlight on a regular basis?
- Do you have double vision?
- Are your more than 40 years of age?
- Does anyone in your family have cataracts?
- Have you been diagnosed with diabetes?
- Do you smoke?
If you answered “yes” to one or more of these questions, you may be at risk for cataracts. Please contact your insurance company to determine if you need a referral from your primary care physician for ophthalmology services.
Eye Health Tips
Your eyes are an important part of your overall health. The following are a few tips to keep your eyes healthy and to lower your risk of eye injuries:
Wear protective eyewear.
Wear protective eyewear when playing sports or doing activities around the home or workplace.
Wear sunglasses when exposed to the sun.
Protect your eyes from ultraviolet (UV) exposure by wearing sunglasses that block at least 99 percent of UV radiation.
Have routine eye exams.
Even if you believe that your vision is fine and that your eyes are healthy, it’s beneficial to have your eyes examined on a routine basis by an eye care professional, such as an optometrist or ophthalmologist.
Eat right to protect your sight.
Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables—especially dark leafy greens, such as spinach, kale or collard greens, and fish high in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, tuna and halibut — are beneficial for eye health.
Maintain a healthy weight.
Being overweight or obese increases your risk of developing diabetes and other health conditions, which may lead to vision impairment or loss.
In addition to being detrimental to your health overall, smoking is bad for your eyes. Research has linked smoking to an increased risk of developing age-related macular degeneration, cataracts and optic nerve damage — all of which can lead to vision impairment or loss.
Give your eyes a rest.
Eye strain is a result of spending a significant amount of time focused on one thing, such as a computer. For general eye health, follow the 20-20-20 rule: every 20 minutes, look away approximately 20 feet in front of you for 20 seconds.
Clean your hands and your contact lenses properly.
To avoid the risk of infection, always wash your hands thoroughly before putting in or taking out your contact lenses. Also, disinfect contact lenses as instructed and replace them as appropriate.
For more information or for a physician referral, please call 1-877-924-WELL (9355).
- Blood in the eye
- Blurry vision or loss of vision
- Crusty eyelid or eyelashes or discharge from the eye
- Dark spots or curtains in vision
- Drooping eyelid
- Eye pain
- Flashes of light
- Floating objects in vision
- Grittiness, itchiness, or tearing