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Sunday, May 22, 2016

Field Hockey Eye Injury Reduced with Mandatory Eyewear



Avoid Sports Eye Injury with Protective Eyewear
According to research on data from the High School Reporting Information Online database and from a Virginia school district that includes 25 high schools, recorded between 2009 and 2013, analyzed and published in the journal Pediatrics, the use of mandatory protective eyewear by female field hockey players has reduced incidences of eye and orbital injuries, as well as severe face and head injuries. Among female U.S. high school field hockey players, a national mandate for protective eyewear has been associated with a greater than threefold reduced risk of eye and orbital injuries and a decreased incidence of severe eye and orbital as well as head and face injuries. This information supports a policy change and implementation of the mandatory use of protective equipment in field hockey at all amateur levels.

If you or someone you know have questions about protective eyewear for sports, or need to be fitted with protective eyewear to avoid the risk of sports eye injury, please call Baltimore Washington Eye Center at 800-495-3937, visit 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, 2391 Brandermill Blvd., Suite 200, Gambrills, 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, May 16, 2016

Lazy Eye or Amblyopia: What is it?

Lazy Eye Amblyopia: What is it?

Amblyopia or “lazy eye” is a very common vision problem that we see in children. In fact it is responsible for more vision loss in kids than all other reasons combined. Amblyopia is a decrease in the child’s vision that occurs even without any structural problem being present. The decrease in vision results when one or both eyes send a blurry image to the brain. The brain then “learns” to only see blurry with that eye, even when glasses are used. Only children can get amblyopia. If it is not treated, it can cause permanent loss of vision. There are a number of types of amblyopia including strabismic amblyopia which is caused by an eye alignment or eye turning problem, deprivation amblyopia which is caused by cataracts or other condition that “deprives” the eye of a visual image and refractive amblyopia which is due to an uncorrected refractive error such as farsightedness or astigmatism.

Depending on the cause of the amblyopia and whether there is an underlying uncorrected refractive error sometime glasses can help but will not correct the vision to 20/20. With amblyopia, the brain is “used to” seeing a blurry image and it cannot interpret the clear image that the glasses produce. With time, however, the brain may “re-learn” how to see and the vision may increase. Remember, glasses alone do not increase the vision all the way to 20/20, as the brain is used to seeing blurry with that eye. Because of this most of the time the normal eye is treated with patching or eye drops to force the amblyopic eye to be used and make it “stronger.” to make the amblyopic (weak) eye stronger.


If you or someone you know wishes to learn about “lazy eye” or amblyopia or has questions or concerns about amblyopia or needs a kids eye exam, please call Baltimore Washington Eye Center at 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, 2391 Brandermill Blvd., Suite 200, Gambrills, Maryland 21061 and Turf Valley Town Center, 11089 Resort Road, Suite 206, Ellicott City, MD, 21042, serving the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Eyes Can Help Monitor Huntington’s Disease

About Huntington’s Disease
We now know that certain eye tests may help serve as “biomarkers” for the progression of Huntington’s Disease as well as help understand whether some of the new medications prescribed might be helping to slow its progress. Huntington's Disease is an inherited disease that causes the progressive breakdown and degeneration of nerve cells in the brain. Huntington's disease has a broad impact on a person's functional abilities and usually results in movement, thinking and psychiatric disorders. Most people with Huntington's Disease develop signs and symptoms in their 30s or 40s, but the onset of disease may be earlier or later in life. Medications are available to help manage the symptoms of Huntington's Disease, but treatments can't prevent the physical, mental and behavioral decline associated with the condition.

Eye Problems with Huntington’s Disease
One of the earliest and most recognizable eye problems of Huntington’s Disease is a change in eye movements or “saccades” where there is a lag initiating an eye movement to look at something and/or an involuntary reflex saccadic movement that the person can’t control. This loss of eye movement control is quite common. Recent research using Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) testing that we do right in our offices allows us to study the health of the retinal nerve fiber layer and the health of the nerve fibers around the center of vision, called the macula. What we know is the thinning of the nerve fiber layer on OCT, along with a loss of the macular volume is an indicator of the progression of the disease and can serve to monitor that progression.

If you or someone you know has Huntington’s Disease or questions about eye problems with Huntington’s Disease please call Baltimore Washington Eye Center at 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, 2391 Brandermill Blvd., Suite 200, Gambrills, Maryland 21061, River Hill Professional Center, 6100 Day Long Lane, Suite 207, Clarksville, Maryland 21029 and Turf Valley Town Center, 11089 Resort Road, Suite 206, Ellicott City, MD 21042 serving the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area.

Monday, May 2, 2016

Spring & Pollen Means Itchy, Watery Eye Allergies

Spring is beautiful, except for pollen and itchy eyes! While many people enjoy the spring, millions of others live with hatred of those times when the trees, grass and weeds begin to pollinate. People who are sensitive to these allergens experience seasonal allergic conjunctivitis, the most common type of eye allergy. Allergic conjunctivitis-which causes red, itchy, watery eyes-results in the conjunctiva, the clear membrane like skin that covers the eye, becoming inflamed when triggered by an allergen. It is estimated that in the United States, some 20 percent of the population suffers from eye allergies making them anything but unusual. Further, the incidence appears to be on the rise. Some researchers believe that our increasingly clean, modern society which no longer requires our bodies to fight off multiple childhood infections has caused our immune systems to shift from an infection-fighting stance to more of an allergic stance. When the body's immune system becomes sensitized and overreacts to substances such as seasonal pollens and pet allergens, an allergic reaction can occur whenever they come in contact with your eyes.

If you or someone you know suffers when pollen season and spring arrives, resulting in red, itchy, watery eyes, 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, 2391 Brandermill Blvd., Suite 200, Gambrills, 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, April 25, 2016

Eye Problems from ADHD Medication

If you, your child or someone you know takes ADHD medication it is important to understand the possible side effects that might impact eyes, cause eye problems and alter vision. The most common prescription medication we see children and even adults taking for treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is methylphenidate which has a number of trade names such as Ritalin, Concerta, Adderall, Methylin and Daytrana. While the common side effects of loss of appetite, nervousness and difficulty sleeping are easily recognized, researchers reporting in the Journal of the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus raised some concern that this treatment may be associated with increased risk of angle closure glaucoma and a disturbance of eye refraction and optical prescriptions. They initiated a study to investigate the effects of methylphenidate treatment on refraction, intraocular pressure (IOP), and the anterior chamber in children with ADHD. This was a pilot study where children diagnosed with ADHD were examined before the start of methylphenidate treatment and again 3 and 9 months after the start of treatment. Their examinations included an eye exam with ordinary as well as cycloplegic refraction-one performed with eye drops and high resolution imaging study of the anterior chamber of the eye where the delicate structures related to glaucoma could be viewed and measured.

ADHD Medication Eye Study Conclusions
The researchers found that methylphenidate does not seem to affect refraction, or optical prescription in most children with ADHD. But, after 9 months of treatment there was a reduction in the eye anterior chamber depth, which has been described as a powerful predictor of angle closure glaucoma. As this was a pilot study more work is needed to really understand any increased risk.

What You Need to Know and Do
If you, your child or someone you know is taking methylphenidate of any type for ADHD, it would be worthwhile scheduling a routine eye examination so that we can measure the refraction, the intraocular pressure (IOP) and anterior chamber angle and depth. We do this regularly during your eye exam. BE SURE TO TELL US YOU ARE TAKING METHYLPHENIDATE. If your eye exam is normal we will most likely ask you to have a repeat exam in a year. BUT, if at any time there s a change in your vision, pain, redness, glare or light sensitivity we want you to call right away and schedule an immediate appointment for that day.

If you or someone you know is being treated for ADHD with methylphenidate medications such as Ritalin, Concerta, Adderall, Methylin and Daytrana, it is important to have a routine eye exam to avoid any risk of eye problems. 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, 2391 Brandermill Blvd., Suite 200, Gambrills, 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.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Contact Lens Eye Problems: Avoid Risky Behaviors

Eye health and vision problems from contacts lenses can be prevented by avoiding known risky behaviors. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention almost all of the 41 million estimated contact lens wearers in the United States may be engaging in at least one behavior known to increase their risk of eye infections. Nearly one-third of contact lens wearers who participated in a national survey reported going to the eye doctor for red or painful eyes related to wearing contact lenses. More than 99 percent of survey respondents reported at least one risky behavior. The majority of wearers reported:
  • Keeping their contact lens cases for longer than recommended (82.3 %)
  • “Topping off” solution in the case by adding new solution to the existing solution instead of emptying the case out fully before adding new solution (55.1%)
  • Wearing their lenses while sleeping (50.2 %)
Each of these behaviors has been reported in previous studies to raise the risk of eye infections by five times or more!

An online survey was administered to a sample of contact lens wearers to determine how often contact lens wearers engaged in behaviors that could put them at risk for an eye infection. CDC collaborated with the Contact Lens Assessment in Youth (CLAY) group, a multi-university group of researchers, to conduct the survey. A separate survey was used to estimate the number of contact lens wearers – about 41 million adults. Taken together, the survey results indicate that millions of Americans could be at risk for serious eye infections because of poor contact lens hygiene behaviors.

We know that contact lenses can be worn safely if wearers are mindful of using good hygiene. To prevent eye infections, contact lens wearers should:
  • Wash hands with soap and water and dry them well before touching contact lenses
  • Take contacts out before sleeping, showering or swimming
  • Rub and rinse contacts in disinfecting solution each time they remove them
  • Rub and rinse the case with contact lens solution, dry with a clean tissue and store it upside down with the caps off after each use
  • Replace contact lens cases at least once every three months
  • Avoid “topping off” solution in lens case (adding fresh solution to old solution)
  • Carry a backup pair of glasses in case contact lenses have to be taken out
If you or someone you know have questions about contact lens care, hygiene, safety and how to avoid eye infections from contact lens wear, or wish to have a contact lens consultation or fitting, please call Baltimore Washington Eye Center at 800-495-3937, visit 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, 2391 Brandermill Blvd., Suite 200, Gambrills, 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.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

Prevent Nearsighted Progression

Anyone who has a child or teenager who is becoming more and more nearsighted each year wants to know if there are ways we can prevent the progression of myopia. Over the years there has been discussion of trying to under correct the nearsightedness, rather than prescribing the full correction, in order to slow down nearsighted prescription changes. Researchers reporting in Grafe’s Archives for Clinical and Experimental Ophthalmology studied the effects of undercorrection of myopia on myopia progression and eye length elongation in a population of 12-year-olds. They followed more than 2,000 children for 1 year and used careful analysis to consider the effects of how much near work, how much outdoor activity and the amount of time glasses were actually used as well as the degree of nearsightedness. They tested them by measuring their cycloplegic auto refraction, axial length of the eye, visual acuity and near vision focusing lag. The results demonstrated that over a period of 1 year, prescribing an undercorrection or full correction of myopia by wearing spectacles did not show any differences in myopia progression. Whether this would be the same result for younger children, or if the correction was prescribed in contact lenses or over a longer period of time is not certain but initially suggests that it is not helpful to under correct nearsighted children with glasses to slow myopic progression.


If you or someone you know have questions about nearsightedness, types of correction for nearsightedness including glasses, contact lenses of even LASIK, 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, 2391 Brandermill Blvd., Suite 200, Gambrills, 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.