Monday, April 14, 2014

Dry Eyes, Contact Lenses & Birth Control Pills

“What does having dry eyes have to do with wearing contact lenses and birth control pills?” asked Baltimore Washington Eye Center eye doctor and contact lens specialist Dr. Asifa Shafi. As it turns out there is indeed a relationship between dry eye symptoms in woman using oral contraceptives who wear contact lenses. A study published in the journal Cornea examined the relationship among oral contraceptive pill (OCP) use, contact lens wear and dry eye signs and symptoms in healthy young women. As it turned out, there were no differences in dry eyes between the phases of the menstrual cycle and no evidence that tear osmolarity-or saltiness-was affected by OCP or contact lens use in the young women. However, the study found that the combination of OCP use and contact lens wear together may increase the severity of dry eye symptoms.

If you or someone you know has questions about birth control pills, contact lenses and dry eyes, you are encouraged to schedule an eye examination at Baltimore Washington Eye Center by calling 800-495-3937, visiting Baltimore Washington Eye Center or facebook.com/baltimorewashingtoneyecenter.

Baltimore Washington Eye Center is a leading eye care practice with office locations at 200 Hospital Drive, Suite 600, Glen Burnie, Maryland 21061 and River Hill Professional Center, 6100 Day Long Lane, Suite 207, Clarksville, Maryland 21029, serving the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Baltimore Ophthalmologist on Sports Eye Protection

Baltimore Washington Eye Center Ophthalmologist & Corneal Specialist Brad Spagnolo, M.D. provided helpful information about sports eye protection and the risk of eye injuries for athletes.

“The range of sports eye injuries that we see is pretty broad and includes corneal abrasions, bruises of the eyelids, retinal detachments and even internal bleeding. The more serious risks can involve infection along with permanent vision loss. April is Sports Eye Safety Awareness Month and the American Academy of Ophthalmology asks eye doctors to remind our community that 40,000 people a year suffer from sports-related eye injuries. These eye injuries can be devastating, and the only way to prevent them is by wearing protective eyewear,” said Dr. Spagnolo.

Athletes need to use the eye protection that is available for most sports, including basketball, baseball, hockey, football, lacrosse, fencing, paintball, water polo, golf and others. Tens of thousands of sports and recreation-related eye injuries occur each year. The good news is that 90 percent of serious eye injuries are preventable through use of appropriate protective eyewear. The risk of eye injury can vary depending on the activity. Make sure the level of eye protection you or others in your family use is appropriate for the type of activity. Regular eyeglasses do not offer proper eye protection. Athletes need to wear appropriate, sport-specific protective eyewear properly fitted by an eye care professional. Lenses made from polycarbonate materials provide the highest level of impact protection; they can withstand a ball or other projectile traveling at 90 miles per hour.

If you or someone you know has questions or would like help in selecting, fitting or choosing sports protective eyeglasses, you are encouraged to schedule an eye examination at Baltimore Washington Eye Center by calling 800-495-3937, visiting Baltimore Washington Eye Center or facebook.com/baltimorewashingtoneyecenter.

Baltimore Washington Eye Center is a leading eye care practice with office locations at 200 Hospital Drive, Suite 600, Glen Burnie, Maryland 21061 and RiverHill Professional Center, 6100 Day Long Lane, Suite 207, Clarksville, Maryland.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Baltimore Cataract Surgeon on Critical Retina Exam for Surgery

Baltimore Cataract Surgeon Brad Spagnolo, M.D. of Baltimore Washington Eye Center counseled that patients with cataracts and contemplating cataract surgery should expect their cataract surgeon to perform a thorough and critical retinal exam in order to carefully correlate the degree of vision loss with the density and position of the cataract. “When cataract patients report a decrease in vision, it is important to correlate the visual symptoms and visual acuity to the degree of cataract present. If you have a considerable amount of vision loss but only mild cataracts, the actual cause of the vision loss must be identified. In many cases, a careful examination of the retina can reveal underlying pathology such as epiretinal membranes, retinal wrinkling or macular pucker with edema,” noted Dr. Spagnolo. In fact, some studies report a prevalence of epiretinal membranes in 7% of patients older than 60 years and in 20% of patients aged 75 years or more-the prime demographic for cataract surgery. “Therefore, before you have cataract surgery expect to have whatever level of examination and testing your cataract surgeon requests in order to help you achieve the best results,” summarized Dr. Spagnolo..

If you or someone you know is concerned about their risk of cataracts, or wishes to learn more about laser cataract surgery & lens implants, you are encouraged to schedule an eye examination at Baltimore Washington Eye Center by calling 800-495-3937, visiting Baltimore Washington Eye Center or facebook.com/baltimorewashingtoneyecenter.

Baltimore Washington Eye Center is a leading eye care practice with office locations at 200 Hospital Drive, Suite 600, Glen Burnie, Maryland 21061 and RiverHill Professional Center, 6100 Day Long Lane, Suite 207, Clarksville, Maryland.

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Be brave and may you receive your miracle!

From age 47 to 50, my presbyopia worsened dramatically. I had dime store reading glasses at my desk, in my car, at work and every room in the house. I could read nothing without them. At the same time, my far vision had gotten so bad, I had to make one of my kids ride shotgun when I drove on the highway to read the road signs to me.  It took me a while to get the courage to look into LASIK as a solution and I am so glad I did. Dr. Spagnolo is a skilled physician with excellent bedside manner, insight to each individual patient’s condition and is a gifted technician with cutting edge equipment for these procedures. His patient liaison, Sharon, will walk you through every step of the process from first interview, exam, pre-op, procedure and post-op visits. She will answer all questions, help you with prescriptions and payments and most of all make everything as easy as possible for you and your procedure. She is one of the most caring and supportive assistants I have ever known and she is a sweetheart!

I received LASIK monovision, with one eye contoured for near vision and the other for distance. No more reading glasses. None! And I don’t even have to kidnap my children to read the roadsides any more. I am two months out from my procedure and I would say my eyes are 10 years younger. I can see details I had no idea I was missing. I can read fine print, work at my computer, read the newspaper and identify birds high in the sky. My first miracle was the day after my LASIK procedure. I sneaked to the kitchen before anyone else in the house had awakened. I made myself a cup of tea and when I spooned up some sugar, I suddenly realized I could see each and every sugar crystal. I marveled at the sparkling white crystals, like snowflakes in my spoon. I had no idea what I had been missing.  Suddenly my eyes became filled with tears as I realized the modern miracle I had just received.

If Dr. Spagnolo recommends a procedure to improve your eyesight, don’t wait. Do it now. I am a believer. My only regret is that I did not do it sooner. You will not find a better doctor or staff to perform your procedure and there is only one Sharon.

I invite any one with doubts, reservations or questions to contact me. I am a family physician, but when you call me, we will talk patient to patient. Be brave and may you receive your miracle!      


Dr. Joan

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Cataract Surgery & Multifocal Lens Implants

John H. had cataract surgery with Dr. Spagnolo using one of the advanced technology multifocal lens implants we offer at Baltimore Washington Eye Center.  Here is what John had to say:

“To anyone who is considering or has been told they need cataract surgery, my advice is for your own sake, do not delay. There is absolutely nothing to fear with the surgery. After I had the first eye done and the multifocal lens implanted I realized that the sky really is blue and the trees are really green. It has been seven days since I had my second surgery. For the first time in 60 years I do not need any glasses even for reading or for using the computer. Dr. Spagnolo and his team are absolutely superb, as far as their clinical skills and their patient communication skills are concerned. I’ve already told several friends that Baltimore Washington Eye is the place to go for all ophthalmic concerns, especially cataract surgery.  Dr. Spagnolo is an excellent surgeon and establishes very quickly a caring relationship with his patients. He is one of the few doctors I have absolute confidence in and respect his decisions regarding my eyesight. As Larry the Cable Guy would say- Getter done!”

Rich had cataract surgery with Dr. Betancourt, also with a multifocal lens implant at Baltimore Washington Eye Center.  Here is what Rich had to say: 

“My name is Rich Jenkins and I had multifocal lenses replacing my eyes’ old lenses. This was a life changing decision. I had one eye on July 8th and the second done on July 17th. It is as easy as coming in, getting some drops in your eyes-1 hour later you are on your way home with a patch that you remove later in the day.  My eyesight was better than perfect by the next day. 4 months later and I can see with 20/20 vision both near and far. If you are tired of wearing glasses, go to Dr. Betancourt and his fine staff.

It is a decision that you won’t regret!”

Monday, March 10, 2014

Omega 3 Supplements & Age Related Macular Degeneration

Taking diet supplements with antioxidant vitamins C and E, Beta Carotene and Zinc has been shown to reduce the risk of progression in age-relatedmacular degeneration (AMD) in the Age-Related Eye Disease Study (AREDS). In addition to this “AREDS Supplement Formulation”, some data suggests that increased dietary intake of lutein + zeaxanthin (carotenoids), omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (docosahexaenoic acid [DHA] + eicosapentaenoic acid [EPA]), or both might further reduce this risk. Researchers from the Age Related Eye Disease 2 (AREDS) Research Group reporting in the  Journal of the  American Medical Association concluded that the addition of lutein + zeaxanthin, DHA + EPA, or both to the AREDS formulation did not further reduce risk of progression to advanced AMD but lutein + zeaxanthin could be an appropriate carotenoid substitute in the AREDS formulation for former smokers who were at risk for lung cancer. More recent recommendations involve the removal of Beta Carotene from the AREDS formula.

If you or someone you know is concerned about their risk of age related macular degeneration (AMD) and also have questions about dietary supplements, vitamins or the  AREDS Study, you are encouraged to schedule an eye examination at Baltimore Washington Eye Center by calling 800-495-3937, visiting Baltimore Washington Eye Center or  facebook.com/baltimorewashingtoneyecenter.

Baltimore Washington Eye Center is a leading eye care practice with office locations at 200 Hospital Drive, Suite 600, Glen Burnie, Maryland 21061 and River Hill Professional Center, 6100 Day Long Lane, Suite 207, Clarksville, Maryland 21029, serving the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area. 

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Baltimore Cataract Surgeon on Reducing Risk with Running or Walking


Baltimore Cataract Surgeon ArturoBetancourt, M.D. noted “Your risk of developing cataracts might be reduced with either moderate exercise such as walking or more vigorous exercise such as running according to a study published in Medicine and Science in Sports.” In previous studies the risk of cataracts formation was found to be lower in runners over time. In this Berkeley study when the incidence of cataracts was adjusted for sex, race, age, education, smoking, and intakes of meat, fruit and alcohol, a significantly lower cataract risk was associated with both running and walking with no significant difference in risk reduction between running and walking, or between men and women. Further, the cataract risk appears to decrease linearly with increasing exercise energy expenditure.

If you or someone you know is concerned about their risk of cataracts, or wishes to learn more about laser cataract surgery & lens implants, you are encouraged to schedule an eye examination at Baltimore Washington Eye Center by calling 800-495-3937, visiting Baltimore Washington Eye Center or facebook.com/baltimorewashingtoneyecenter.

Baltimore Washington Eye Center is a leading eye care practice with office locations at 200 Hospital Drive, Suite 600, Glen Burnie, Maryland 21061 and River Hill Professional Center, 6100 Day Long Lane, Suite 207, Clarksville, Maryland 21029, serving the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area.