News & Events

June cataract blog

Three Facts You Didn’t Know About Cataracts

The start of summer and warm weather begins this month, but June also marks Cataract Awareness month! The goal of this month is to bring a better understanding of cataracts, a common eye disease that affects millions. While you have probably heard of cataracts, here are some key facts you may not know about them.

The most common cause of cataracts is age.

While younger people can develop cataracts, they tend to develop more frequently in people aged 55 and older. Cataracts generally slowly develop overtime, so their presence may be detected in a person’s 40s, but may not need removal until that person is in their 60s. Interestingly, about half of all Americans have cataracts or have undergone cataract surgery by age 80.

Everyone will eventually develop cataracts.

While science and technology is helping us learn more about cataracts, complete cataract prevention still remains a mystery. However, research suggests that slowing the formation of free radicals in the eyes and body in turn slows down the development of cataracts. Here’s some tips that may slow down the process:

  • Abstain from smoking.
  • Wear sunglasses with UV ray protection.
  • Take daily vitamins or consume foods rich in Vitamin C and E.
  • Drink alcohol only in moderation.
  • Maintain a healthy weight.
  • If you are diabetic, keep your blood sugar levels under control.

Typical first symptoms of cataracts are blurry vision and difficulty driving at night.

As we mentioned, cataracts are oftentimes slow to develop, and do so over a longer period of time. In fact, people can have cataracts for years and not realize it until symptoms actually begin to show. Most commonly, people have complaints about difficulty driving at night, as cataracts can cause a halo and/or glare around lights. Additionally, increasingly blurry vision and rapid changes in glass prescriptions may also indicate cataract formation.

Once a cataract has formed, the only way to remove it completely is to undergo surgery. While many believe this procedure is extensive, removing cataracts is a fairly simple surgery. The best place to begin your cataract journey is to visit one of our qualified and experienced physicians. For cataract monitoring, management, and information about surgery, please contact us for a consultation today!

What is Recovery Like after LASIK

What is Recovery Like After LASIK?

What is Recovery Like after LASIK

When it comes to LASIK and other vision correction procedures, one of the most frequently asked questions is what is recovery like following surgery. While most patients notice significant improvement in the vision as early as the next day, LASIK recovery time can typically take a few weeks, ensuring that your eyes heal as well as possible. Here are some factors to consider and expect for recovery after LASIK.

Initial Recovery Period

Following the brief 10- 15 minute procedure, your surgeon will provide you with a few tools to aid in the initial recovery time. Eye drops will be instrumental in relieving any discomfort that comes along with the common dry, itchy sensation following surgery. Using these drops as prescribed will alleviate the urge to rub your eyes, which could otherwise be detrimental to proper healing.

You will also experience sensitivity to bright lights and the sun, so strong sunglasses are suggested for the ride home. Also, your vision will be very blurry so finding someone to drive you home is absolutely necessary. You will be given eye shield to tape over the eyes when napping and at bedtime to protect your eyes from the motions of adjusting in bed throughout the night. Typically, we recommend these are worn for a period of several nights following the procedure.

One of the best things you can do for your eyes following LASIK surgery is to get some rest. Your initial recovery period may cause discomfort, so it’s best to ride out this phase with a long nap or restful sleep. This will also give your surgeon a clear look into how your eyes are responding to the procedure when you see them for your first post-operative appointment.

Resuming Normal Activity Following LASIK

Because of the simplicity of the procedure, most patients can return to work within a day or two, and begin resuming normal activities not long after. Here are a few tips to aid healing in the few weeks following LASIK.

  • Keep Screen Time to a Minimum. While it is completely safe to use electronics such as cell phones, computers, and television following LASIK, you’ll want to limit your time in front of a screen. Prolonged screen time will cause dryness and irritation to your normal eyes, and those feelings will only intensify after your procedure. Rest your eyes after LASIK as you would your body following any other surgery.
  • Ease Back Into Your Workout Routine. Non-strenuous activity such as walking can begin again typically two to three days after surgery. However, more aggressive workouts like weight-lifting and tennis should be postponed for at least one to two weeks. Swimming and hot tubs should be avoided for at least two weeks. The more cautious you are with resuming any physical activity helps to reduce the risk of irritation, eye strain, and most importantly- injury.
  • Reduce Irritation Factors. As we mentioned, it is normal for your eyes to feel dry/ itchy following LASIK. In addition to using your drops, try to avoid routines and activities that could further aggravate these symptoms. It is best to postpone aspects like smoking and wearing makeup for at least a week after your procedure.

Follow Your Surgeon’s Post-Operative Care Plan

The absolute best thing you can do following LASIK surgery is to stick to the specific instructions given by your surgeon, including attending all post-operative appointments. Since your eyes and your procedure are unique, your doctor will gauge how your recovery period is going and how well your vision responded to surgery, which will help them determine the length and limitations of your recovery period. Until then, schedule a free LASIK screening with St. Cloud LASIK to discover if you are a candidate for this life-changing procedure.

lifestyle changes and cataracts

Lifestyle Changes and Cataracts

lifestyle changes and cataracts

While cataracts may be one of the most common eye health issues in the world, sometimes the symptoms can be hard to identify. For the most part, cataract formation occurs over a longer period of time, so we tend to adjust to their progression. When common lifestyle factors and activities become increasingly more difficult to navigate, it may be time to be evaluated for cataracts. Here are some common signs that cataracts are affecting your lifestyle.


Activities such as crocheting, tennis, and golf require an attention to detail, and a decrease in vision may pose as an obstacle to enjoy these activities. Similarly, reading and watching television may be limited in that smaller print is more challenging to see. If you find your beloved interests are becoming increasingly difficult to navigate, it may be a sign that your cataracts have developed to the point of removal.

Household Maintenance

A cataract forms when protein deposits build up on the lens of the eye. When a cataract forms, the light is blocked from passing through the lens and causes images to appear cloudy and blurry. When it comes to simple household tasks like cleaning, cooking, and paying bills, cloudy and blurry vision will certainly interfere with completing normally easy tasks. Additional symptoms of cataracts such as dulled colors and blurred vision can render these obligations more time-consuming or confusing.


Difficulty driving tends to be one of the most common complaints of cataract patients pre-surgery. Traffic and street signs become increasingly more challenging to read, and lines on the road more difficult to distinguish. Furthermore, many patients decline driving at night all together, as cataracts can create glare and “halos” around headlights, streetlights, and the like.

When you find your normal tasks and favorite pastimes become more problematic, it may be time to consider cataract surgery. Cataract surgery is one of the most common procedures in the country and is generally quick, painless, and simple to undergo. St. Cloud Eye Clinic is one of the most experienced clinics in the country, having performed more than 50,000 surgical procedures in the last 25 years. We are also the only practice in the region to maintain our own surgical centers. St. Cloud Center for Ophthalmic Surgery provides you access to all your vision needs in one location, with the convenience of remaining local. Our leadership, experience, comprehensive care, and ongoing investment in the most advanced technology result in one thing: the best possible care for your vision. Learn more about our surgical center or schedule a cataract surgery consultation today!

4 reasons spring

4 Reasons Why You Need LASIK This Spring

4 reasons spring

In spring, we say goodbye to the cold and snow and say hello to warm sunshine and blooming scenery. So what better time than now to also bid farewell to glasses and contacts? Spring is the perfect time to finally make the leap and choose LASIK surgery! Here are some reasons why.

Warm Weather Activities

Nothing gives a Minnesotan more relief than to finally get out in the fresh air after an oppressive winter. From biking and hiking to sports and gardening, let’s face it- everything is easier when you don’t have to worry about glasses and contacts. By choosing LASIK, you can finally enjoy all of your outdoor activities with nothing to hold you back!

Alleviate Allergies

One of the only downfalls of spring are itchy and watery eyes that accompany springtime allergies. And if you’re a contact lens wearer, this discomfort can sometimes make it impossible to keep your contacts in. But when you rely heavily on contacts, the last thing you want to do is put on your glasses. By eliminating both all together, LASIK can make things a little easier on your eyes and you can enjoy the season to its fullest.

Heal Before Vacation

With summer around the corner, chances are you are planning a getaway for the warm months. LASIK boasts a fairly easy recovery period, so getting LASIK in the spring will put you on the right path to being healed before you go away this summer. Follow your post-operative instructions and seeing your surgeon for all follow up care and you’ll be well on your way to fun in the summer sun!

Use Your Tax Return

With the holidays under your belt and warm weather activities still on the horizon, now is the perfect time to put your tax return to good use! What better way to reward yourself for all of your hard work throughout the year than to give yourself freedom from glasses and contacts by going forward with LASIK. And even if you didn’t receive a return this year, we still offer amazing financing options.

With cutting-edge technology and experienced and knowledgeable surgeons, St. Cloud LASIK is the premiere choice for giving you the gift of vision to help you enjoy this spring, and many springs to come! Schedule a FREE screening today to see if you are a candidate for LASIK.  

Questions to Ask About the Cost of LASIK

Questions to Ask About the Cost of LASIK

Questions to Ask About the Cost of LASIK

While LASIK surgery is an extremely wise choice for any candidate, the decision to proceed with surgery and a particular surgeon should always be approached with an inquisitive mind. The facility, the surgeon’s experience, and your individual goals following the procedure should all be greatly considered. Above all else, one of the most pressing topics we get asked about are questions related to the cost of LASIK. Check out some of the most popular questions to ask your surgeon about the cost of LASIK.

Does insurance cover LASIK surgery?

This is probably the most asked question when it comes to LASIK. Overall, LASIK is not a medically necessary procedure, meaning there are other options (like contacts and glasses) that can be explored to correct one’s vision outside of LASIK. Because of this, insurance does not cover the cost of the procedure, in the traditional sense. However, if your plan offers an HSA or an FSA, there is a good chance that those funds can be used towards the cost of LASIK! Always check with your insurance provider prior to scheduling to see what is covered under these add-on policies.

Are there financing options for the cost of LASIK surgery?

While the total cost of LASIK may seem high, chances are a good provider offers some form of payment plan. Sometimes they may make payment arrangements internally within their office, while others allow payments through third-party financing companies, like Care Credit. Plans can vary greatly in interest and fee schedules; some boast 0% interest, some can spread payments out over several years. Regardless of the plan, the great thing is that LASIK is more affordable than you may have previously thought!

Is there an Assurance Plan for LASIK surgery?

A good LASIK surgeon will offer all patients an assurance policy incorporated into the total cost of LASIK. An assurance plan is usually limited to a specific time frame and it covers any type of fine tuning that may be needed when specific criteria are met. This will give patients a great peace of mind, and it also gives them the best possible outcome.

St. Cloud LASIK’s Answers

St. Cloud LASIK is the region’s premiere LASIK provider, offering unsurpassed vision care and the industry’s leading laser technology. Our commitment to technology and comprehensive vision care ensures you receive the best possible outcome for your vision.

Continuing this standard of excellence, at St. Cloud LASIK we pride ourselves on going above and beyond the industry norm in regards to the financial side of LASIK. We believe everyone who is a candidate for LASIK should be able to go forward with the procedure, which is why we offer many financing plans all the way up to 48 months! We also believe continuing care is vital to a successful outcome, so we offer a complimentary assurance plan for 2 years following your surgery, when all routine post-operative criteria is met.

For more information on the costs associated with LASIK through St. Cloud LASIK, and to determine if you are a candidate for the procedure, please request your free LASIK screening online.