LASIK & Laser Cataract Surgery at Baltimore Washington Eye Center

Baltimore Washington Eye Center, Maryland

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Cataract Risk & Body Mass Index (BMI)

A high Body Mass Index (BMI) may increase your risk of cataracts according to some recent research. Body Mass Index (BMI) is recognized as a well known risk factor for some common diseases, such as diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular diseases but the relationship between BMI and risk of cataract is controversial and not completely obvious. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines a normal weight with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of18.5-25 kg/m2, excess body weight and being overweight as BMI of 25-30 kg/m2, and obesity as BMI of ≥31 kg/m2.


Researchers conducted an extensive Meta analysis and statistical review of BMI and cataracts and found that being overweight or obese were significantly associated with an increased risk of cataracts, especially those called “posterior subcapsular cataracts” which typically cause the greatest vision decline. This relationship was independent of sex, alcohol intake, diabetes and hypertension. A number of other studies have already identified several factors associated with an increased risk of age related cataracts including age, smoking, alcohol consumption and ultraviolet radiation. Now we have to consider BMI as a possible factor that increases the risk of cataracts.

If you or someone you know is concerned about cataracts and weight or body mass index (BMI) please share this information with them and ask them to schedule an eye examination at Baltimore Washington Eye Center by calling 800-495-3937, visiting Baltimore Washington Eye Center, Google+ 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. 

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Cataract Surgery Lowers Eye Pressure

If you have glaucoma, or are at risk for glaucoma and have a higher than normal eye pressure, there is good news if you have a cataract and are considering cataract surgery. Researchers reporting in Current Opinion in Ophthalmology reviewed the effect that cataract surgery had on eye pressure-or intraocular pressure (IOP). This is important as it is believed that some 20% of patients with cataracts either have somewhat high IOP or actually have glaucoma. From their review, there are sufficient data to suggest that cataract surgery provides a lowering effect on IOP in the long term and the amount of the lowering is proportional to the preoperative IOP. That is, eyes with higher preoperative IOP have the greatest average lowering, whereas eyes with IOP in the lower range of statistically normal tend to have an IOP that is unchanged from before cataract surgery, or even higher following cataract surgery.

If you or someone you know has glaucoma or a high eye pressure and has cataracts and is thinking about cataract surgery, please share this information and ask them to schedule an eye examination at Baltimore Washington Eye Center by calling 800-495-3937, visiting Baltimore Washington Eye Center, Google+ 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. 

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

July 4TH Fireworks Eye Safety


The July 4th holiday is a great time to celebrate and enjoy family, friends and fireworks. The important consideration to note is “enjoy fireworks”. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, each year there are more than 9,000 fireworks injuries with 1 in 8 being fireworks eye injuries including burns, lacerations, abrasions, retinal detachment, optic nerve damage and even ruptured eyeballs. These injuries often affect bystanders in 50% of the cases and not just those using the fireworks. More troubling is that children are frequently injured with some 30% of those experiencing a fireworks injury around the 4th of July actually being under age 15.

FIREWORKS ARE NOT TOYS

So, fireworks should not be thought of as toys, but devices that can cause third degree burns and everyone who wishes to enjoy them should be vigilant and take precautions to avoid the risk of serious eye injury.

Fireworks Safety Tips
The best advice to avoid a potentially blinding fireworks injury is by attending a professional public fireworks show rather than purchasing fireworks for home use. For those who attend professional fireworks displays and/or live in communities surrounding the shows there are some common sense tips to enjoy the show and avoid eye injury:
  • Respect safety barriers at fireworks shows and view fireworks from at least 500 feet away.
  • Do not touch unexploded fireworks but instead, immediately contact local fire or police departments to help.

If however you live in state where it is legal to purchase and display your own fireworks, please consider the following suggestions:
  • Never let children play with fireworks of any type, even sparklers.
  • Adults handling fireworks as well as bystanders should always wear proper protective eyewear that meets the parameters set by the American National Standards Institute.
  • Leave the lighting of professional grade fireworks to trained pyrotechnicians. 

What to Do If You Have a Fireworks Eye Injury
In the event you or someone around you does experience a fireworks eye injury you should seek immediate medical attention and do not rub, rinse or apply pressure to your eyes. Do not attempt to remove anything from your eyes and please do not take ANY medication such as aspirin or ibuprofen that might thin your blood.

If you or someone you know suffers a fireworks eye injury take them to the emergency room at once and ask the doctor to call Baltimore Washington Eye Center at 800-495-3937 as we always have a member of our medical staff on call.

If you or someone you know would like to learn more about fireworks eye safety please contact Baltimore Washington Eye Center by calling 800-495-3937, visiting Baltimore Washington Eye Center, Google+ 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. 

Monday, June 22, 2015

LASIK Patients Say This……


Laser Vision Correction at Baltimore Washington Eye Center was by far the best choice in getting help, questions answered, and outstanding treatment for my vision correction. There was never a single moment I questioned anyone’s integrity, the service, the facility upkeep, or Dr. Spagnolo’s knowledge and expertise. I would recommend anyone and everyone to visit this eye center whether for basic/yearly eye check-ups or for LASIK.  Dr. Spagnolo and the rest of the staff were so helpful and supportive.  Thank you for giving me my vision back!

D. R. C.

If you or someone you know would like to learn more about LASIK or schedule a Free LASIK Consultation at Baltimore Washington Eye Center, please contact us by calling 800-495-3937, visiting Baltimore Washington Eye Center, Google+ 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. 

Monday, June 15, 2015

Eye Infection: What You Should Know!

If you’ve experienced red, itchy eyes, you may have wondered whether it’s a symptom of allergies or dry eyes or a more serious condition, such as an eye infection.  Here is an overview of allergies and dry eye as compared to an eye infection.

About Allergies & Dry Eyes
Symptoms of Allergies or Dry Eyes


  • If you work at a computer for an extended time or have allergies to products or airborne substances, you may experience dry, red or irritated eyes.
  • Generally allergies and dry eyes affects both eyes.
  • Treatment options usually include resting your eyes or using an over-the-counter or prescription eye drops, as recommended by your eye doctor.

About Eye Infections
Symptoms of Eye Infections

  • Frequently occurs when bacteria, fungi or viruses attack any part of your eye, including the surface, membrane lining of the outer eye and inner eyelid, interior portions or the soft tissue of the eyelid. 
  • Infections inside the eye or in the soft tissue of the eyelid are the most dangerous and if left untreated, the condition may spread throughout the eye.
  • Symptoms usually include redness, pain, discharge, watering and sensitivity to light; usually occurs only in one eye; if symptoms are detected, immediately contact your eye doctor for an evaluation. 

Types of Eye Infections

  • Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis) – A common infection that is highly contagious.
  • Viral Keratitis –Can be simply related to a respiratory virus or cold or more serious such as Ocular Herpes that occurs when exposed to the Herpes Simplex Virus.
  • Fungal Keratitis – A fungus commonly found in organic matter such as soil, leaves or branches of a tree.
  • Acanthamoeba Keratitis – A parasite that attacks the eye more often in individuals wearing contact lenses and swimming in pools, lakes, ponds, hot tubs or streams who are at increased risk for contracting this infection.
  • Trachoma – Usually found in underdeveloped countries. Typically infects the inner eyelid along with eyelashes touching the area can infect the cornea and cause permanent blindness.
  • Endophthalmitis – Occurs with a penetrating eye injury or complication following eye surgery and if left untreated, may lead to blindness.
Preventing Eye Infections   
  • If you experience symptoms associated with an eye infection, contact Baltimore Washington Eye Center immediately. Prompt treatment is necessary to reduce the risk of permanent blindness. 
  • To avoid eye infections, wash your hands throughout the day, especially if you are near an individual with a red eye or other signs of infection. Contact lens wearers should follow care and handling instructions provided by their eye doctor.

If you or someone you know is concerned about having an eye infections please contact Baltimore Washington Eye Center by calling 800-495-3937, visiting Baltimore Washington Eye Center, Google+ 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. 

Monday, June 8, 2015

Stop Smoking to Reduce Cataract Risk

Good news for smokers who want to reduce their risk of cataracts. Researchers studying the risk of cataracts among smokers reported in JAMA Ophthalmology found that stopping smoking decreases the risk of cataracts over time. The researchers followed a total of 44,371 men, 45 to 79 years old over a 10 year period and the participants filled out questionnaires on their smoking habits and lifestyles and were then matched with the Swedish National Day-Surgery Register and local records of cataract extraction.


The researchers found that smokers of more than 15 cigarettes a day had a 42% increased risk of cataract surgery compared with men who had never smoked. It also found that men who smoked an average of more than 15 cigarettes a day but had stopped smoking more than 20 years earlier had a 21% increased risk. Thus, they found a positive association between cigarette smoking and cataract surgery in men, with a significant increase of cataracts among smokers compared to those who never smoked.

Also, stopping smoking was associated with a statistically significant decrease in risk with increasing time from stopping smoking. Even heavy smokers had some benefit from quitting smoking. Further, a previous study from 2005 detailed the relationship between smoking cessation and cataract risk in women. In this study, they found that after cessation of smoking, cataract risk in women decreased with time. Women who smoked 6 to 10 cigarettes a day but had ceased smoking 10 years earlier, and women who smoked more than 10 cigarettes a day but had ceased smoking 20 years earlier were found to have a relative risk of cataracts not significantly different from women who had never smoked.

Smoking cessation seems to decrease the risk of cataract development and the need for cataract surgery with time, although the risk persists for decades. The higher the intensity of smoking, the longer it takes for the increased risk to decline. These findings emphasize the importance of early smoking cessation and, preferably, the avoidance of smoking altogether.

If you or someone you know is a smoker and is concerned about their risk of cataracts, they are encouraged stop smoking and also to schedule an eye examination at Baltimore Washington Eye Center by calling 800-495-3937, visiting Baltimore Washington Eye Center, Google+ 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, June 2, 2015

Cataract Awareness & Information

Since June is Cataract Awareness Month, the cataract surgeons at Baltimore Washington Eye Center want to remind seniors to have regular eye exams and be aware of the symptoms of cataracts which may include a clouding or blurring of vision, sensitivity to light and glare, double vision or shadowing in one eye, fading or yellowing of colors and poor night vision, sometimes with haloes around lights. We encourage anyone experiencing these symptoms not to ignore these symptoms of cataracts or vision loss as delaying diagnosis and treatment of age-related cataracts can increase seniors' risk of both physical and psychological problems.



At Baltimore Washington Eye Center we try to make sure that patients know when we perform cataract surgery and lens implants, we are not simply concerned about vision correction, as vision loss among seniors has much greater impact than just seeing. Unfortunately, vision loss in seniors often leads to social isolation, depression, mental decline and can even increase the risk of falling and hip fracture. That is why when we are providing eye exams for seniors-and we see the formation of a cataract, or the patient expresses the symptoms of cataracts-we spend time to carefully explore the quality of life impact that this may be having on the patient. We are very sensitive as to whether the patient is starting to experience compromise in their mobility, safety and personal living and care status-and we encourage them to share this with us. If and when they indicate a decline in their quality of life we can offer them cataract surgery and lens implants as a solution-which makes a huge improvement in their vision and ability to continue to walk, drive, read, exercise and just be out and about with family and friends.

If you or someone you know has questions about cataracts, laser cataract surgery or 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, Google+ 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.