Lexington Clinic puts patient care first, and "Ask the Physician” is just another tool we use to help us care for you!

Below you will find posts on various questions our patients may have, along with answers from one of our highly-qualified Lexington Clinic physicians. We hope you find this resource helpful, and if you have a health-related question for one of our physicians, just let us know, and we will try to get that answered. Just send an email to editor@lexclin.com.


What Every Parent Needs to Know About Flu

with Agata M. Toborek, MD
Lexington Clinic Pediatrician
As the weather cools down and flu season approaches, parents can take steps to protect their young children from the flu.

The flu is caused by the contagious influenza virus. The flu virus is passed by respiratory droplets that are released by sneezing or coughing. It is so contagious that one can also catch the flu virus by touching a surface containing these droplets and then touching his/her their  eyes, mouth, (omit comma) or nose. 

Why should I get the flu shot this year? 

with John P. Ziegler, MD
Lexington Clinic Family Physician
Each year, flu vaccines are recommended for all patients by physicians, pharmacists, providers and nurses everywhere. While a flu vaccine does not guarantee a patient protection against the flu (studies have shown they are 50-60% effective among the general population), they still offer many benefits that help patients stay healthy during flu season.

Halloween Safety

with M. Rachel McGuffy, MD
Lexington Clinic Pediatrician
Children love Halloween! They love getting dressed up and going out to collect "treats.” The following are tips to help your child have a safe holiday:
  • Make sure your child’s costume is bright and reflective. For dark costumes, attach something bright to help cars and people see your child...


What is RSV?

by Casandra Kendrick, DO
Lexington Clinic Richmond
Common colds and the flu aren’t the only sickness making the rounds to start the New Year. Recently, RSV has been popping up in pediatrician offices here in the Commonwealth and around the country. But what is RSV and why is it potentially so dangerous?

RSV, clinically known as Respiratory Syncytial Virus, is a common and very contagious respiratory virus that can potentially be dangerous in young children. RSV symptoms are typically very similar to a cold and start with a runny nose, cough and low-grade fever. RSV is very common and most children will be diagnosed with the virus at least once before their second birthday. 

Whooping Cough, What Parents Should Know

Whooping Cough - What Parents Need to Know

with Jordan M. Prendergrast, DO
Lexington Clinic Family Medicine

Whooping cough, or pertussis as it is officially named, is hitting Central Kentucky hard. Nearly 30 children have been diagnosed with the highly contagious respiratory disease just since the start of February, and that number could climb. Part of the problem is symptoms start out looking just like a common cold before the dangerous coughing fits set in.

Lexington Clinic Center for Breast Care, Screening Mammogram, Schedule My Mammogram

Importance of Screening

by Eleanor Broaddus, RN, CBHN, CN-BN
Lexington Clinic Center for Breast Care
Each year thousands of women decide to put-off their annual mammogram. Many think missing just one year isn’t that bad and they will simply make it up next year. But that decision isn’t just dangerous, it can be deadly!
Better Technology, Better Detection, 3D Mammography, Tomosynthesis

Better Technology, Better Detection

By Chad Harston, MD
Lexington Clinic Center for Breast Care
Research over the last 40 years has proven that yearly breast cancer screening with mammography saves thousands of lives. The goal of mammography is to find breast cancer as early as possible when it is most curable. With this in mind, Lexington Clinic now offers advanced mammography technology with higher sensitivity. This includes 3-D mammography, also known as tomosynthesis, and contrast-enhanced mammography. These technologies allow a radiologist to detect breast cancers that may be hidden on a traditional mammogram...
Lung Cancer In Kentucky: A Deadly Direction, Lexington Clinic Pulmonary, Lung Cancer, Kentucky Lung Cancer rates

Lung Cancer in Kentucky: A Deadly Direction

By Matthew J. Craig, MD
Lexington Clinic Pulmonologist

Being No. 1 in the month of November in Kentucky is usually a good thing. November marks the start of basketball season and the long road to the NCAA tournament and hopefully another national championship. But being No. 1 in a different category this time of year is also a reminder of a deadly direction our state is headed.

Should I get screened for lung cancer? 

with Debbie Smart, LPN
Lexington Clinic Lung Program Nurse Navigator
In 2016, approximately 225 thousand new cases of lung cancer were expected to be diagnosed. In Kentucky alone, lung cancer kills more people than the next eight most common cancers combined.  It has become not only the most common, but also one of the most deadly, cancers in our society. And the state of Kentucky has the highest rates in our nation.

What are common breast cancer myths, and what is the truth? 

with Dr. Chad Harston
Lexington Clinic Center for Breast Care Mammographer
Unfortunately, breast cancer is common in developed countries like the USA.  Therefore, breast health should be a high priority for women here.  Early detection of breast cancer plays an important role in managing the disease.  I think it would be helpful to clear up a few myths and misunderstandings related to breast cancer.

What is the fastest I can be seen for my orthopedic injury?

with the Lexington Clinic Orthopedic Pros
Orthopedic complaints are one of the most common reasons Americans seek medical care each year. And when orthopedic injuries occur – quick treatment is essential to ensure the patient heals properly.

That’s why the orthopedic pros at Lexington Clinic are proud to introduce the new Orthopedic Walk-In Clinic. This clinic provides treatment for any orthopedic injury a patient may suffer and allows Lexington Clinic Orthopedics – Sports Medicine to offer high-level care more efficiently to patients with an urgent orthopedic need. Walk-in hours are 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.
Lexington Clinic Pediatrics

Childhood Obesity Awareness

By Agata Toborek, MD
Lexington Clinic Pediatrics

One in five children in the United States are considered overweight or obese, and the extra weight doesn’t just affect them while they are young. Unhealthy habits can cause long-term health impacts that stretch into adulthood.

Children who are overweight or obese are at risk for a host of health problems that were once mainly seen in adults.

New Juice Recommendations for Children

by Agata Toborek, MD
Lexington Clinic Pediatrics
Fruit juice for babies has been recommended for years as a great source of vitamins and nutrients, but now experts are saying slow-down to parents. A new study shows that parents should avoid giving juice to their children until they are at least 1-year-old, and then limited amounts after that.
Dr. Andrew Usery, Jessamine Medical and Diagnostics Center, Pediatrics, Internal Medicine/Pediatrics

Start the Day the Right Way

By Andrew R. Usery, MD
Internal Medicine/Pediatrics
Jessamine Medical and Diagnostics Center

Mornings can be hectic, especially once kids head back to school. Parents are rushing around, trying to get students in the car or to the bus stop on time and typically eating a healthy breakfast is the last thing on your mind during this mad-dash.

Lexington Clinic Cardiology, Heart doctor, Lexington heart doctor, cardiologist

Keep Your Heart Healthy

By Dr. Suresh Rekhraj
Lexington Clinic Cardiologist

Keeping your heart healthy is one of the most important things you can do for your overall health and there is no better month than February, National Heart Month, to start thinking about heart health.

Are back to school physicals really necessary?

by Dr. M. Rachel McGuffey, Lexington Clinic Pediatrician
The time has come for children to prepare for the upcoming school year. Notebooks, pencils, binders and backpacks are a necessity for most students – but what about a back-to-school physical?

How can I best manage my joint pain during the winter months?

with Dr. Peter Hester
Lexington Clinic Orthopedic Surgeon

Winter has arrived, and with it comes a drop in outside temperature! For some people, this drop in temperature affects them more than just a chill. The drop in temperature can cause swelling in the body’s already inflamed joints and this swelling causes increased joint pain.


Lexington Clinic Family Medicine, Dr. Michael Eaton, Lexington Clinic Richmond

Dangerous Tick Disease Cases on the Rise

By Matthew Eaton, DO, Family Medicine

Lexington Clinic Richmond

Summer and warm temperatures are great for getting out and enjoying the weather but it also marks the start of tick season, and this year could be one of the worst.

Lexington Clinic Cardiology, Hypertension Prevention

What can I do to lower my risk of developing hypertension? 

by Lexington Clinic Cardiology

Hypertension, or high blood pressure, if left undetected and untreated, can lead to cardiovascular disease, the number one killer in America. As high blood pressure contributes to more than 350,000 deaths in the US, each year, one of the best ways to protect against this disease is to take control early and work to prevent it from developing...

Should I get a Colonoscopy?

By Dr. Matthew D. Ashmun
Lexington Clinic Gastroenterologist
Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most commonly diagnosed cancer in the United States and the second leading cause of cancer death for men and women combined. The American Cancer Society estimates that this year alone nearly 137,000 people will be diagnosed with the disease and more than 50,000 will die because of it.
Lexington Clinic Dermatology, Skin Cancer Prevention and Detection, skin cancer, wear sunscreen

Skin Cancer Prevention and Detection

with Lexington Clinic Dermatology
The cold of winter is finally gone and the warm sunshine of summer is almost here! That means fun, family activities outside, but it also means increased exposure to the sun.

Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the United States and ultraviolet (UV) radiation from the sun is the main cause of skin cancer. 

Keep An Eye On Your Health, John W. Collins, MD, Lexington Clinic Ophthalmology, Eye Doctor

Keep An Eye On Your Health

By John W. Collins, MD

Lexington Clinic Ophthalmologist

When it comes to your health the first thing that often comes to mind is regular visits to the doctor to make sure our heart, lungs and other vital parts are working properly. But could you be forgetting a key part of your body?

Get a jump on spring allergies, lexington clinic allergy and asthma, Lexington clinic allergy doctor, allergy doctor

Get a Jump Start on Allergy Season

By Dr. Shuya Wu
Lexington Clinic Allergy and Asthma

Spring is officially here! Trees and flowers around the Bluegrass are blooming, and that means seasonal allergies will soon begin to take their toll.

Caring for Your Health This Summer

by Marisa Belcastro, MD, Family Medicine
Lexington Clinic Veterans Park
Before you hit the door for your family vacation this summer it’s important to make sure you are prepared and have all the essentials. A week at the beach without your swimsuit, sunscreen or comfortable shoes would be a hassle but there’s one thing people often don’t prepare for that can quickly ruin a family vacation – an unexpected injury or illness.
Lexington Clinic Sleep Center, Loosing Sleep, Health benefits of sleep

Benefits of Restful Sleep

By Craig Knox, MD, PhD
Lexington Clinic Sleep Center

Getting ready for work, getting the kids ready for school or even just getting out of bed in the mornings can seem like a chore if you don’t get enough rest the night before. A good night of sleep can go a long way in making you feel better but the benefits are much more than just boosting your mood. Good rest is a key part of a healthy lifestyle...


Why are mammograms important?

by Eleanor Broaddus, RN, CBHN, CN-BN
Lexington Clinic Center for Breast Care Nurse Navigator
1 out of every 8 women (12%) will develop invasive breast cancer in their lifetime.  This year alone, more than 40 thousand women will die from breast cancer. However alarming those numbers may be, the good news is that many of these deaths can be prevented with yearly screening mammograms. 

Keeping Your Child Safe During Sports

By Dr. Peter W. Hester
Lexington Clinic Orthopedics – Sports Medicine

Spring and summer are great times for kids of all ages to get out and play sports while enjoying the beautiful weather, but those sports can also pose some injury risks.


When are children too sick for school?

with Agata M. Toborek, MD
Lexington Clinic Pediatrician

My child doesn’t feel well today.  When are they too sick to go to school?

Sometimes it is tough to decide whether your child needs to stay home and rest or when they should press on and go to school.

Lexington Clinic Veterans Park, Primary Care, Lexington Doctor

Getting Kids Back To School Ready

by Craig W. Irwin, MD, Internal Medicine/Pediatrics
Lexington Clinic Veterans Park
Getting your child ready to head back to school can be a busy process. Shopping for supplies and looking for new clothes can keep you running all over town, but a trip to your child’s pediatrician should also be on your to-do list. Back to school season is a perfect time for your child to have his or her yearly visit to the doctor. This allows the pediatrician to assess physical development and provides an opportunity to address any emotional, developmental or social concerns.

What should I know about contact lens health?

by Lexington Clinic Optical Shop
Millions of people use contact lens as corrective eyewear, and do so safely. However according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, between 40-90 percent of those who wear contacts do not follow proper instructions for wearing – which can lead to serious eye infections.
New Year Dietiing, Lexington Clinic Dietitian Services, Getting Healthy in the New Year, How to safely diet

New Year Dieting

By Erin Morris, RD, LD
Lexington Clinic Dietitian Services

A new diet can be a great way to shed some unwanted weight, but with all of the trendy new diets that are available which way is the best?

At what point should I consider hearing aids?

by Dr. Melissa L. Siemer, Lexington Clinic Audiologist
When a person begins to experience a loss in hearing, they begin to experience a loss in quality of life as well. Studies show that those with untreated hearing loss often show signs of irritability, fatigue, stress, anger, depression and reduced alertness. Additionally, untreated hearing loss can impair memory, reduce job performance and diminish psychological and overall health.

Can chocolate really benefit my health?

by Dr. Eiyad Alchureiqi, Lexington Clinic Family Medicine
A common misconception people have when trying to eat healthier is that chocolate is completely off limits. While it is true that this delicious treat isn’t among the healthiest foods a patient should consume, chocolate, particularly dark chocolate can help boost a patient’s health.

Why are annual exams important for men?

by Dr. Marisa Belcastro, Lexington Clinic Family Medicine
Some men operate under the impression that they only need to see a doctor when they are sick. In fact, according to a national survey, men are three times less likely to see a healthcare provider on a regular basis, compared to women. The reality is, everyone, including men, should see a primary care provider at least once a year for an annual exam.

At what point should I consider having my cataracts removed?

by Dr. Michael T. Newcomb, Lexington Clinic Ophthalmologist
Cataracts occur when the lens of the eye becomes clouded causing blurriness, and sometimes nearsightedness, for the affected patient. They occur more frequently with age. According to the National Eye Institute, more than half of all Americans will develop at least one cataract before age 80.
Lexington Clinic Orthopedics-Sports Medicine, Dr. David Dome, David C. Dome, MD, ATC

Why should I be stretching?

by Dr. David C. Dome, Lexington Clinic Orthopedic Surgeon
Stretching is often overlooked or only considered as something to do before workout. However, stretching with cold muscles can result in lower performance quality and sometimes injury. In reality, stretching is most beneficial when done alone or after an exercise.

How common is osteoporosis? Should I be concerned?

by Dr. Walaa Ayoub, Lexington Clinic Endocrinologist
About one in every in two Caucasian women will have an osteoporosis-related fracture at some point during her lifetime. Osteoporisis can affect all pateints age 50 and older and older women after menopause are at the highest risk of developing this condition.


A visit to the Lexington Clinic Heart Station, what should you expect?

with the Lexington Clinic Heart Stations
If your cardiologist has referred you to one of two Lexington Clinic Heart Stations, you will be undergoing diagnostic tests to help monitor the health of your heart...
Lexington Clinic Gastroenterology, screening colonoscopy, colorectal cancer screening

Why should I schedule a screening colonoscopy?

by Scott A. Merkley, MD, Lexington Clinic Gastroenterologist
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), more than 50,000 Americans die from colorectal cancer each year.  In the U.S., colorectal cancer (CRC) is the third most common cancer diagnosed among men and women and the second leading cause of death from cancer...

What do I need to know about cancer prevention?

by Dr. William D. Camp, Lexington Clinic Oncologist
While it should be noted that cancer is not 100 percent preventable, there are certain steps a patient can take to lower their risk of developing this disease. Most importantly, patients should be aware of early signs of cancer, as early-detection is key when fighting this disease.
Lexington Clinic Internal Medicine, L. William Roberts, MD, Mount Sterling

Adult Food Allergies

with L. William Roberts, MD, FACP
Lexington Clinic Mount Sterling
When we think of developing allergies to certain foods we typically associate it with children, but the truth is food allergies can start at any age.

Foods that people have eaten for years, without a problem, could suddenly start to cause an allergic reaction. This can be concerning and confusing but there is no need to worry, developing food allergies later is life is not uncommon.

What is Folic Acid, and why is it important for me and my unborn child?

What is Folic Acid, and why is it important for me and my unborn child? 

by Dr. Tamara James, Lexington Clinic OB/GYN

Folic Acid is a vitamin that helps prevent birth defects, particularly in the brain or spine, called neural tube defects (NTDs). NTDs occur in about 3,000 pregnancies each year...


"I have been considering cosmetic eye surgery to kick off the new year. Are there certain things I should look for when considering where to have the procedure? 

by Dr. John W. Collins, Lexington Clinic Ophthalmologist

Any time a patient has a procedure, no matter how minor, there are certain risks associated with it - cosmetic eye surgery is no different... 
Lexington Clinic Pediatrics Holiday Toy Safety

Holiday Toy Safety

By Agata Toborek, MD
Lexington Clinic Pediatrician

For a child it doesn’t get much better than a brand new toy for the holidays, but how do you know that toy that you’re gifting is safe?

Lexington Clinic Gastroenterology, How to Avoid Holiday Overeating

How to Avoid Holiday Overeating

By Matthew Ashmun, MD
Lexington Clinic Gastroenterology

During the holiday season, many people will over-indulge on available treats. This can lead to several gastrointestinal (GI) issues including heartburn, upset stomach, diarrhea or constipation – not to mention unwanted weight gain. However there are some tips to help keep your GI system healthy while still enjoying your favorite holiday snacks.

Lexington Clinic Cares, Dealing with Holiday Stress and Depression

Dealing with Holiday Stress and Depression

By Cammual Suttor, MD
Lexington Clinic Mount Sterling

The Christmas and holiday season is known as the most wonderful time of the year. From songs on the radio, to shows and movies on TV and even advertisements, we’re told this is when we should be the happiest. But the reality is, for many people, the holidays really aren’t that happy.


New Year New You

By Marisa Belcastro, MD
Lexington Clinic Veterans Park

2019 is finally here!
The New Year is all about a fresh start and is a natural a time to set new goals. Every year millions of people set out on their New Year’s Resolution in an attempt to be healthier, happier or improve in some other area of their life. And while we may all start out with great intentions, it’s usually around the end of January when we start to hit speed bumps in our journey.


What should I know about hearing health during the holidays? 

with Dr. Andrea Reynolds
Audiologist with Kentucky Ear, Nose and Throat, A Part of Lexington Clinic
The holiday season is a time for gathering with family and friends. During these gatherings, it is essential your hearing health is at its best – you don’t want to miss out on any conversation!