Bladeless LASIK & Laser Cataract Surgery at Baltimore Washington Eye Center

Baltimore Washington Eye Center, Maryland

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Baltimore Eye Doctors Recommend Solar Eclipse Eye Safety


On Monday, August 21, 2017, all of North America will be treated to an eclipse of the sun, or a “solar eclipse.” “When you see this phenomenon, you will quickly appreciate that it is one of nature’s most awe-inspiring sights. However, it must be viewed safely and certain precautions are necessary so as not to be exposed to potentially serious eye injury,” commented Arturo Betancourt, M.D., Medical Director of Baltimore Washington Eye Center. 

What is a Solar Eclipse?
During a solar eclipse the moon will pass between the sun and the earth, actually blocking the sun either partially or completely depending on where you are viewing it from. The blocking of the sun will last for up to three hours from beginning to end depending on your viewing location. The last time the contiguous U.S. saw a total eclipse was in 1979. This event turns day into night and makes the normally hidden solar corona-the sun’s outer atmosphere- visible! Bright stars and planets will become visible as well. This is one of nature’s most awesome sights. In the Baltimore, Maryland area, we will have a partial eclipse, about 83%. The start time is 1:18 pm, the maximum eclipse view will be at 2:42 pm, with the end of the event occurring at 4:01 pm.

How Can You See It?
Beware of the risk that viewing a solar eclipse can present if you do not take the necessary eye safety precautions. You never want to look directly at the sun without appropriate protection except during totality. “Retinal burns, called “solar retinitis” or “solar retinopathy” can be produced by direct gazing at the sun. This rather serious problem is caused by the thermal effects of the visible and near infrared rays focused on the pigment structure behind the retina. “We almost never see patients with solar retinopathy because the normal eye will tolerate only fleeting glances at the sunbut it can be fairly common during a solar eclipse,” explained Brad Spagnolo, M.D. of Baltimore Washington Eye Center.

The only safe way to look directly at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun is through special-purpose solar filters, such as “eclipse glasses” or hand-held solar viewers. Homemade filters or ordinary sunglasses, even very dark ones, are not safe for looking at the sun. “To be safe to view a solar eclipse, the eclipse gasses must meet the ISO 12312-2 international standard for such products,” explained Dr. Spagnolo.

To learn more, please call Baltimore Washington Eye Center at 800-495-3937, visit Baltimore Washington Eye CenterGoogle+ or facebook.com/baltimorewashingtoneyecenter.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Dry Eye & Overactive Bladder


What does having an overactive bladder have to do with your eyes? Although you may be able to get to the toilet in time when you sense an urge to urinate, unexpected frequent urination and nighttime urination can disrupt your life. Overactive bladder (OAB), also known as overactive bladder syndrome, is a condition where there is a frequent feeling of needing to urinate to a degree that it negatively affects a person's life. The frequent need to urinate may occur during the day, at night, or both. Overactive bladder is estimated to occur in 7-27% of men and 9-43% of women. It becomes more common with age. Management of overactive bladder often begins with behavioral strategies, such as fluid schedules, adjusting the timing of urination and bladder-holding techniques using your pelvic floor muscles. If these initial efforts don't help enough with your overactive bladder symptoms your doctor may prescribe medications to help. BUT, these overactive bladder medications can cause dry eye symptoms. Researchers reported in the International Urogynecology Journal on108 women suffering from OAB who were started on oral medications to help with their symptoms. The researchers carefully evaluated their tear film and symptoms over three months of starting the medications. They found that there was a continuing worsening of the sensation of eye dryness, grittiness and burning along with observable decrease in the quality and quantity of the tear film. Thus, if you suffer from OAB and your doctor prescribes oral medications to help you, please bring this to our attention so we can offer help for your dry eyes before the symptoms become too uncomfortable.

Overactive bladder medications are known to cause or worsen dry eye problems. If you suffer from OAB and start one of these medication please call Baltimore Washington Eye Center at 800-495-3937, or 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 Turf Valley Town Center, 11089 Resort Road, Suite 206, Ellicott City, Maryland 21042, serving the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area. 

Monday, July 24, 2017

Increased Risk Factors for Cataract Surgery in Postmenopausal Women



According to a recent study reported in the journal Ophthalmology, smoking, diabetes and obesity may increase the risk of cataract surgery in postmenopausal women. The results of the

“UK Million Women Study” included more than 1.3 million postmenopausal women who had not previously had cataract surgery. The women were followed for cataracts treated surgically and studies with powerful statistics to calculate the adjusted relative risks for cataract surgery in terms of use of hormonal therapies, reproductive history, lifestyle factors and diabetes treatment. Two percent of women had diabetes, which was the strongest risk factor for cataract surgery. Additionally, both past and current smoking was found to elevate the risk for cataract surgery. Obesity, with a Body Mass Index of 30 kg/m² or greater, was also found to have a small increase in risk of cataracts treated surgically.

If you or someone you know has been told they have a cataract or is concerned about cataract symptoms of cloudy vision, glare sensitivity or night driving problems and wishes to schedule a cataract & lens implant exam please call please call Baltimore Washington Eye Center at 800-495-3937, or 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 Turf Valley Town Center, 11089 Resort Road, Suite 206, Ellicott City, Maryland 21042, serving the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Progressive Lenses



Today we need to be able to look from far, or near, and to anywhere in between effortlessly. Computer screens, tablet and smartphones have changed the way we use our eyes. This is why progressive lenses are a better choice.

Progressive lenses allow you to see all ranges of vision clearly. There's no taking off one pair of glasses to put on another. There is a seamless transition when going between the top and bottom half of the lens. Progressive lenses appear clear throughout, unlike the distracting lines of a bifocal lens. A progressive lens is an amazing piece of engineering, allowing multiple vision fields to be incorporated into a single lens without any clear distinction between the fields themselves. The power in the lenses "progressively" changes from far to intermediate to your full reading power. This is why progressive lenses are often referred to as "no-line" bifocals or trifocals. Progressives make the transition between prescriptions much smoother by eliminating the obvious lines between prescriptions, this technology helps you see better in more instances.

If you or some you know would like to see or be fit with the latest in high quality designer eyeglass frames or learn about digital high definition eyeglass lenses please call Baltimore Washington Eye Center at 800-495-3937, or 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 Turf Valley Town Center, 11089 Resort Road, Suite 206, Ellicott City, Maryland 21042, serving the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Easy Cataract Surgery with Dr. Betancourt



Cataract Surgery with Dr. Betancourt
“I recently had cataract surgery and lens implants in both eyes to correct my vision. Dr. Betancourt and his entire staff were truly helpful and very professional. I am a senior male patient and was quiet concerned and somewhat nervous before the surgery. It really was so very easy and simple for me. My procedure was done 7/6/16 and 8/3/16. Both eyes had cataracts removed as well as the Advanced Technology Toric Lens to correct my astigmatism. Glad to have perfect vision 20/20 and 20/25 and do not need glasses. Recovery was easy for me. Good luck.” -Anonymous

If you or some you know is experiencing cataract symptoms such as cloudy foggy vision, glare or difficult night driving and would like to learn more about cataract surgery & lens implants please call Baltimore Washington Eye Center at 800-495-3937, or 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 Turf Valley Town Center, 11089 Resort Road, Suite 206, Ellicott City, Maryland 21042, serving the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

AMD Risk from Sunlight Exposure


There has been discussion about whether sun exposure can be a risk factor for developing AMD-a common senior eye problem. We know that excess exposure to sunlight can cause many untoward effects on the delicate tissues of the eye and the surrounding facial skin. Sun exposure is a known cataract risk factor, too much UV exposure can cause a “cornea sunburn” or “solar keratitis” and even damage the retina by causing a “solar retinitis”. Researchers reporting in the journal Retina evaluated the effects of current and past sunlight exposure and iris color on early and late Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD). Their conclusions were that sunlight exposure during working life is an important risk factor for AMD, whereas sunlight exposure after retirement seems to have less influence on the disease development. Therefore, preventive measures, for example, wearing sunglasses to minimize sunlight exposure, should start early to prevent development of AMD later in life.

If you are concerned about senior eye health and specifically your risk of AMD please consider wearing sunglasses to limit your exposure to sunlight beginning EARLY in life to preserve your eye health and vision. If you have not had a recent eye exam please call Baltimore Washington Eye Center at 800-495-3937, or 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 Turf Valley Town Center, 11089 Resort Road, Suite 206, Ellicott City, Maryland 21042, serving the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area.

Sunday, June 11, 2017

Children and Computer Vision Syndrome


Computer use has become a routine part of kids' lives. About 90% of school-aged children in the U.S. have access to a computer. And kids are starting to use computers at a younger age.In fact, the use of computers and other digital devices has become so common during childhood that a 2015 report by The Vision Council revealed that nearly one in four kids spend more than three hours a day using digital devices.

Many eye doctors who specialize in children's vision say sustained computer use puts kids at higher risk for childhood myopia (nearsightedness). They point out that, though myopia affects approximately 25% of the U.S. population, nearly 50% of adult computer users with a college education are nearsighted. Computer use, especially among youngsters whose eyes are still changing, may be the reason for this disparity.

Sitting for hours in front of a computer screen stresses a child's eyes because the computer forces the child's vision system to focus and strain a lot more than during any other task. This can put children at an even greater risk than adults for developing symptoms of computer vision syndrome. Computer use stresses the eyes more than reading a book or magazine because it's harder to maintain focus on computer-generated images than on printed images. This is especially true for young children, whose visual system is not fully developed.

To prevent your child from developing eyestrain and other CVS symptoms (including increasing myopia), follow these tips:
  • Before they start school, make sure your kids have a comprehensive eye exam - including an assessment of their near-point (computer and reading) vision skills. 
  • Make sure your child's computer workstation is arranged to suit body size. For children, the recommended distance between the monitor and the eye is 18 to 28 inches to avoid risk of eyestrain with closer viewing. Also, the screen should be a few inches below the child's eyes. The chair should be adjusted so your child's arms are parallel with the desk surface and his feet rest comfortably on the floor. These adjustments help avoid posture problems and strained muscles. 
  • Be aware of the signs and symptoms of vision problems, such as eye redness, frequent rubbing of the eyes, head turns and other unusual postures or complaints of blurriness or eye fatigue. Avoidance of the computer or school work may also indicate a vision problem. 
If you or some you know would like to see or be fit with the latest in high quality designer eyeglass frames or learn about digital high definition eyeglass lesnes please call Baltimore Washington Eye Center at 800-495-3937, or 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 Turf Valley Town Center, 11089 Resort Road, Suite 206, Ellicott City, Maryland 21042, serving the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area.