Baltimore Washington Eye Center, Maryland

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Transition into Photochromic Lenses

Photochromic lenses for eyeglasses offer a nice transition for patients bothered by glare and sunlight. Bright sunlight can cause glare when light scatters off reflective surfaces, this glare causes discomfort and dull washed out images. Did you know there are four types of glare?
1-      Distracting glare
2-      Discomforting glare
3-      Disabling glare
4-      Blinding glare

Do any of these bother you?  Then photochromic lenses may be your answer.

The photochromic lens is the first and only everyday lens that is clear indoors and then provides polarized UV protection as it darkens in the sunlight. 

The traditional transition lenses you love now have an added variable polarization that increases as the lenses get darker.  This lens gives you options.

See the difference for yourself and try this new solution for your eyes.

            *Outdoor vision is noticeably clearer and crisper.
            *Glass and water look more transparent outdoors.
            *Glare is reduced even in the brightest sunlight.

Please, stop by our optical shop for a demonstration of this new product and see the difference it can make in your outdoor vision.

Guest Blogger: Chris Spake, A.B.O.C. at the Baltimore Washington Eye Center-Optical Center

If you or someone you know wishes to learn more about color changing eyeglass lenses please 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 serving the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area staffed by a team of Ophthalmologists, Optometrists, Opticians, technical and administrative staff who provide eye examinations for adults and children, diagnosis and treatment of cataracts including cataract surgery and intraocular lens implants (IOL), laser vision correction such as LASIK, diagnosis and treatment of cornea disease, care for diseases of the retina including diabetes and age related macular degeneration (AMD) and diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma as well as contact lenses, eyeglasses, eyewear  and optical services. Baltimore Washington Eye Center is conveniently located for patients from Arbutus, Carney, Clarksville, Columbia, Dundalk, Edgemere, Essex, Ellicott City, Ferndale, Glen Burnie, Kenwood, Laurel, Linthicum, Lutherville, Millersville, Odenton Owings Mills, Reisterstown, Towson, Parkville, Randallstown, Rivera Beach, Pasadena, Severna Park, South Gate and Woodlawn Maryland.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Baltimore Surgeon on LASIK & Dry Eyes

Baltimore Washington Eye Center LASIK Surgeon Brad Spagnolo, M.D. commented on LASIK and dry eyes. “In my experience as a corneal specialist who is a LASIK surgeon, I find that the most common side effect of LASIK is dry eyes. In fact, it is pretty much expected and pretty normal for all LASIK patients to have temporary dry eye symptoms after their treatment. The critical thing to know is that the dry eye symptoms should be temporary,” said Dr. Spagnolo. Here is what you should know about LASIK and dry eyes. LASIK is corneal surgery. ANY time we do corneal surgery we typically sever some corneal nerves and we often temporarily disturb the delicate cells on the surface of the eye. By the way, during Cataract Surgery and any other eye surgery procedures that involve the cornea we do the exact same things. These corneal nerves connect to the Lacrimal Gland which is responsible for producing tears. When the nerves are temporarily interrupted there is a decrease in the amount of tears that are produced-making your eyes feel dry and gritty. To make you more comfortable during the time it takes for the corneal nerves to heal and regenerate we may do one of more of the following for you:
  • Prescribe Artificial Tear Eye Drops
  • Insert Tiny Tear Duct Plugs
  • Prescribe Restasis® Eye Drops
  • Prescribe Dietary Supplements with Omega-3 Oils

Each of the above acts to either retain the tears that you have, supplement the tears that are lacking or help you produce more of your own tears so that you will be most comfortable and heal properly. Each person will regenerate the fine corneal nerves at a DIFFERENT RATE and thus will need to use one or more of the above tear helpers for different amounts of time. A very important consideration is how healthy your tear film was BEFORE your surgery. A critical part of your LASIK consultation will be a careful examination of your tear film. Sometimes, in order to make you the most comfortable and make the healing and visual recovery process as quick and easy as possible for you, we may actually prescribe one or more of the above BEFORE your surgery.

If you or someone you know has questions about LASIK and Dry Eyes or would like to schedule a Free LASIK Evaluation please call and schedule an appointment at Baltimore Washington Eye Center-800-495-3937, visit Baltimore Washington Eye Center or facebook.com/baltimorewashingtoneyecenter.
Baltimore Washington Eye Center is a leading eye care practice serving the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area staffed by a team of Ophthalmologists, Optometrists, Opticians, technical and administrative staff who provide eye examinations for adults and children, diagnosis and treatment of cataracts including cataract surgery and intraocular lens implants (IOL), laser vision correction such as LASIK, diagnosis and treatment of cornea disease, care for diseases of the retina including diabetes and age related macular degeneration (AMD) and diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma as well as contact lenses, eyeglasses, eyewear and optical services. Baltimore Washington Eye Center is conveniently located for patients from Arbutus, Carney, Clarksville, Columbia, Dundalk, Edgemere, Essex, Ellicott City, Ferndale, Glen Burnie, Kenwood, Laurel, Linthicum, Lutherville, Millersville, Odenton Owings Mills, Reisterstown, Towson, Parkville, Randallstown, Rivera Beach, Pasadena, Severna Park, South Gate and Woodlawn Maryland.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Eyes, Vision & Driving in Maryland



Baltimore Washington Eye Center Medical Director Arturo Betancourt, M.D., shared a common question about eyes, vision and driving in Maryland. “Doctor, why do I need glasses to drive? I can see fine.” “We hear this comment from our patients on a weekly basis,” noted Dr. Betancourt.  “The answer is simple. You no longer meet the requirements to drive without correction in the state of Maryland,” he further explained.  

The standard is 20/40 in each eye, UNCORRECTED.  If you do not meet this standard you are required by law to drive wearing corrective lenses, glasses or contact lenses. So why are you sitting there perplexed?
It is likely that the vision in one eye is in fact 20/40 or better.  Since we see binocularly, this "good eye", allows you to drive without apparent problems. It is likely that in the past, you in fact had good vision in both eyes.  Possibly equal, but as you have aged, so have your eyes. You might have early cataracts, or some other ocular condition.  We would prescribe glasses or contacts to correct your vision to your best potential. If you had an underlying disease, this would be treated. Remember, we did not make the law. We are informing you of its requirements and providing you with the means to comply.  We are responsible to inform and help you to comply.  As you, we also adhere to it.  We are not trying to punish you!

Guest Blogger: Arturo E Betancourt M.D., F.A.C.S. Medical Director-Baltimore Washington Eye Center

If you or someone you know has questions or concerns about their eyes, vision and driving, they 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 serving the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area staffed by a team of Ophthalmologists, Optometrists, Opticians, technical and administrative staff who provide eye examinations for adults and children, diagnosis and treatment of cataracts including cataract surgery and intraocular lens implants (IOL), laser vision correction such as LASIK, diagnosis and treatment of cornea disease, care for diseases of the retina including diabetes and age related macular degeneration (AMD) and diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma as well as contact lenses, eyeglasses, eyewear  and optical services. Baltimore Washington Eye Center is conveniently located for patients from Arbutus, Carney, Clarksville, Columbia, Dundalk, Edgemere, Essex, Ellicott City, Ferndale, Glen Burnie, Kenwood, Laurel, Linthicum, Lutherville, Millersville, Odenton Owings Mills, Reisterstown, Towson, Parkville, Randallstown, Rivera Beach, Pasadena, Severna Park, South Gate and Woodlawn Maryland.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Tinted Optical Lenses for Baltimore Eyeglass Wearers


Tinted optical lenses for eyeglass wearers can have many important advantages. The purpose of tinting a lens is to reduce reflections from the lens surface.  Light reflects from the surface of the lens because the refractive index of the lens differs from that of the air, and the reflection is formed at this interface of different refractive incidence. Sun glare and UV exposure over a long period of time is not an ideal condition for your eyes. Driving in a blinding glare without proper protection for your eyes can cause temporary night blindness.  Some medical conditions such as chronic uveitis, clinical macular degeneration and photosensitivity can benefit from certain shades of brown tint.

Other lens tints are simply added to give the frame and wearer a more fashionable look. Tinted lenses are an easy way to provide your eyes with protection. Modern tint solutions were at their peak though the 1950's to 1980. Colors and processes were refined and a whole new world of color was introduced with plastic lenses. Tints are applied by immersing the optical lens in a solution until it reaches the desired color. Tinted lenses will fade after a period of time. Plastic lenses are the easiest type of lens to tint and you can choose different color variations. Grays are good if you want a dark sunglass with true colors when you look at different objects. Brown will give you detail and people like to use that for golf which helps you read the greens and slopes of a course.

Please feel free to contact us at the optical center with all of your tint questions.

Guest Blogger: Mike Murphy, A.B.O.C. at the Baltimore Washington Eye Center- Optical Center

If you or someone you know would like to learn more about tinted optical lenses for eyeglass wearers they 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 serving the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area staffed by a team of Ophthalmologists, Optometrists, Opticians, technical and administrative staff who provide eye examinations for adults and children, diagnosis and treatment of cataracts including cataract surgery and intraocular lens implants (IOL), laser vision correction such as LASIK, diagnosis and treatment of cornea disease, care for diseases of the retina including diabetes and age related macular degeneration (AMD) and diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma as well as contact lenses, eyeglasses, eyewear  and optical services. Baltimore Washington Eye Center is conveniently located for patients from Arbutus, Carney, Clarksville, Columbia, Dundalk, Edgemere, Essex, Ellicott City, Ferndale, Glen Burnie, Kenwood, Laurel, Linthicum, Lutherville, Millersville, Odenton Owings Mills, Reisterstown, Towson, Parkville, Randallstown, Rivera Beach, Pasadena, Severna Park, South Gate and Woodlawn Maryland.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Preventing Infections Starts in YOUR Hands


Baltimore Washington Eye Center offered thoughts about why preventing infections may start in your hands with the precautions we all take. As the Nurse Manager for the Ambulatory Surgery Center (ASC) at Baltimore Washington Eye Center I find, as any other managers do, that I have many hats to wear.  One of those hats is as Infection Preventionist.  Germs make a difficult adversary. They hide in so many places. We really need to be diligent in our efforts to minimize the potential for infections. Soon we will be entering the flu season and it seems a good time to think about those things we can do to help prevent infections from occurring.  The first I can’t stress enough. Clean Hands, Clean Hands, Clean Hands!  Hands are the #1 source of most of our infections. For those of you who have seen the movie, “Contagion” you know what I’m talking about.  I’ll say no more or I’ll have to do a spoiler alert.  Everyone should practice good hand hygiene every day.  Sing Happy Birthday to yourself as you wash your hands to help be sure that you are scrubbing your hands for an appropriate length of time to get them clean…and don’t forget about scrubbing around the nails…lots of nasty bacteria like to hide there.

One of the many procedures that we do in our Ambulatory Surgery Center (ASC) is cataract surgery.  We are very proud that our procedures flow flawlessly from the start of surgery throughout the recuperation, but that doesn’t mean we don’t take extra precautions to prevent infections.  Our doctors insist on our patients using antibiotic drops anywhere from 3 to 7 days pre-operatively so you stand a better chance of not having any post-operative infections.  And, as many of you may already know, the drops continue for several weeks.  We take no chances.  But the patients are a big part of this program because before you use your eye drops, it is very important to……guess what???...WASH YOUR HANDS!  There are some pretty nasty germs you can transfer to your eye.  Once you have chosen to have your eye surgery done at our center, why take the risk of causing an infection when the solution is so easy. 

Of course, there are other things you can do to help yourself stave off infection this winter.  Get your flu shot.  Most doctors and pharmacy type facilities are offering the flu vaccine as early as September.  All of our staff in the ASC will receive a flu shot annually so we can try to stay healthy for our patients.  Remember to cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze and try not to sneeze into your hand.  Use the crook of your arm or your shoulder to catch those germs and keep your hands clean.  Carry the convenient to use small bottles of hand sanitizers with you to use in public places where hand-washing isn’t immediately available.  We keep hand sanitizers located throughout Baltimore Washington Eye Center for staff and patients to use.  If you don’t see one, just ask any staff member and they will be happy to locate one for your use.

We care about your health and your eyes at Baltimore Washington Eye Center.  Stay happy and healthy for the rest of the year!

Guest Blogger: Katie Guglietta R.N., ASC Manager at Baltimore Washington Eye Center
If you or someone you know wishes to learn more about preventing infection please contact 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 serving the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area staffed by a team of Ophthalmologists, Optometrists, Opticians, technical and administrative staff who provide eye examinations for adults and children, diagnosis and treatment of cataracts including cataract surgery and intraocular lens implants (IOL), laser vision correction such as LASIK, diagnosis and treatment of cornea disease, care for diseases of the retina including diabetes and age related macular degeneration (AMD) and diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma as well as contact lenses, eyeglasses, eyewear and optical services. Baltimore Washington Eye Center is conveniently located for patients from Arbutus, Carney, Clarksville, Columbia, Dundalk, Edgemere, Essex, Ellicott City, Ferndale, Glen Burnie, Kenwood, Laurel, Linthicum, Lutherville, Millersville, Odenton Owings Mills, Reisterstown, Towson, Parkville, Randallstown, Rivera Beach, Pasadena, Severna Park, South Gate and Woodlawn Maryland.

Monday, November 19, 2012

LASIK in Baltimore: Can I Afford the Cost?

Baltimore Washington Eye Center LASIK Surgeon Brad Spagnolo, M.D. comments on the discussions with patients about the cost of LASIK. A lot of people really want to have LASIK but get stuck when they ask themselves whether they can afford it. “With the economy being tough it can be unnerving to think about spending money on anything-no less something that seems a bit frivolous. For folks who consider their eyes and vision correction frivolous-LASIK is not for them. For people who can imagine doing the kinds of things they do each day-or would like to do each day-without the hassle of having to wear glasses or contacts-LASIK can be something to be had at any cost,” said Dr. Spagnolo.

Many people who decide to have LASIK think they should shop for the best price. We’re not sure what would possess folks to think about price shopping for surgery. Oh, maybe because they forgot that LASIK is surgery? Maybe it’s because they see a bunch of deceptive advertisements and hype. It’s tough to believe that folks would shop around for LASIK like they shop for a brake job for their car-but it happens every single day. It’s also tough to believe that folks would shop price for LASIK RATHER than shop for the best LASIK Surgeons to whom they are entrusting their eye health and vision.

LASIK is about three things…..First, LASIK is about safety and results. Second, LASIK is about safety and results. Third, LASIK is about safety and results. Safety and results depend on the skill, experience and judgment of surgeon and the staff.

Almost ALL practices today have ways of making LASIK affordable. This can be through the use of monthly payment plans, the use of employer Flex Plans and special offers that can help you use your tax refund or bonus. Shop surgeon quality-NOT price……find the best LASIK surgeon with whom you can develop TRUST. One who gets to know you and one who you can get to know. You may already know them based on their reputation in the community or by the fact that they have taken care of a family member, co-worker or friend. There is no way of setting a best price on empathy, trust, comfort, safety and results.

If you or someone you know is thinking about LASIK please call Baltimore Washington Eye Center for a Free LASIK Evaluation at 800-495-3937, visiting Baltimore Washington Eye Center or facebook.com/baltimorewashingtoneyecenter Let us tell you if you are a good candidate for Laser Eye Surgery for Laser Vision Correction. Then let us help make LASIK affordable.

Baltimore Washington Eye Center is a leading eye care practice serving the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area staffed by a team of Ophthalmologists, Optometrists, Opticians, technical and administrative staff who provide eye examinations for adults and children, diagnosis and treatment of cataracts including cataract surgery and intraocular lens implants (IOL), laser vision correction such as LASIK, diagnosis and treatment of cornea disease, care for diseases of the retina including diabetes and age related macular degeneration (AMD) and diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma as well as contact lenses, eyeglasses, eyewear and optical services. Baltimore Washington Eye Center is conveniently located for patients from Arbutus, Carney, Clarksville, Columbia, Dundalk, Edgemere, Essex, Ellicott City, Ferndale, Glen Burnie, Kenwood, Laurel, Linthicum, Lutherville, Millersville, Odenton Owings Mills, Reisterstown, Towson, Parkville, Randallstown, Rivera Beach, Pasadena, Severna Park, South Gate and Woodlawn Maryland.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Anisocoria: Unequal Pupils-Cause for Concern?

Is Anisocoria or unequal pupil size a cause for concern? It may be said that the eyes are the window to the soul, but to get there, one must go thru the pupil first. The pupil can tell us a lot about different types of diseases, both ocular and systemic. Pupil size, shape, reactions to light, dark, and different medications each provide information that our doctors can use to determine what, if anything, might be wrong with a person.

When a person’s pupils are of different sizes, this is called anisocoria. Anisocoria has a number of causes, ranging from benign to life threatening. It has been estimated that 1 in 5 people in the US have what we call physiologic (normal) anisocoria. Other conditions that cause anisocoria include migraines and cluster headaches, trauma, ocular inflammation (either previous or current), multiple sclerosis, ischemic optic neuropathy, significant retinal disease, certain eye drops, certain medications (i.e. inhalers), and certain chemical substances that get placed in the eye from the fingers. Serious conditions that can cause unequal pupils include oculomotor cranial nerve palsy and a dissecting carotid artery aneurysm.

The nerves that cause your pupils to constrict exit from the midbrain, travel just beneath the brain, enter the orbit and continue on to the eye and ultimately the pupil. The nerves that cause your pupils to dilate have a much longer course, starting in the brain, coursing downward thru the spine, exiting in the superior thorax, and traveling back up to the eye following the course of certain blood vessels. Anywhere along these pathways, the nerves can be injured by any number of disease process and/or trauma.

Often times a patient with anisocoria has no other signs or symptoms associated with their anisocoria. Sometimes, patients may have other symptoms such as lid droop, headache, increased light sensitivity (photophobia), double vision, decreased vision, restricted or diminished eye movement, bulging of the eye(s), or pain with eye movement. Not uncommonly, anisocoria is noticed during routine examination in a patient who has no complaints.

Old pictures, i.e. a driver’s license can help to determine how long anisocoria has been present. Depending upon the suspected underlying cause, blood tests, imaging studies (MRI), and certain pharmacologic tests can be performed. Drugs like cocaine can be used to help further define the reason for anisocoria in a given patient.

Fortunately, very often anisocoria is transient and harmless. However, if you notice for the first time different sized pupils and this lasts for more than 24 hrs, or it resolves only to recur, you should have your eyes examined by your local eye care professional to ensure that nothing more worrisome is causing the pupils to be different sizes.

If you or someone you know is concerned about Anisocoria they 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, so that we can help identify the possible causes and recommend an appropriate treatment plan.

Baltimore Washington Eye Center is a leading eye care practice serving the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area staffed by a team of Ophthalmologists, Optometrists, Opticians, technical and administrative staff who provide eye examinations for adults and children, diagnosis and treatment of cataracts including cataract surgery and intraocular lens implants (IOL), laser vision correction such as LASIK, diagnosis and treatment of cornea disease, care for diseases of the retina including diabetes and age related macular degeneration (AMD) and diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma as well as contact lenses, eyeglasses, eyewear and optical services. Baltimore Washington Eye Center is conveniently located for patients from Arbutus, Carney, Clarksville, Columbia, Dundalk, Edgemere, Essex, Ellicott City, Ferndale, Glen Burnie, Kenwood, Laurel, Linthicum, Lutherville, Millersville, Odenton Owings Mills, Reisterstown, Towson, Parkville, Randallstown, Rivera Beach, Pasadena, Severna Park, South Gate and Woodlawn Maryland.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Baltimore Veterans’ Eye Health & Vision Problems

This Veteran’s Day Baltimore Washington Eye Center wishes to acknowledge and thank those who have served our country to protect our freedom and liberty. Our eye doctors and staff also want to remind military veterans about some things to consider some regarding eye health and vision. Veterans of the Iraq or Afghanistan wars are more likely than those who served in earlier wars to have vision loss as a result of traumatic brain injury (TBI). Higher rates of TBI in these recent wars can be attributed to two factors: explosive devices have been a major cause of injury, and improved body armor has enabled soldiers to survive more serious injuries. Veterans of the Vietnam, Korean, or early wars are in or entering life stages when eye disorders like cataracts, glaucoma, age related macular degeneration (AMD) and diabetic retinopathy are more likely to occur. Also, like everyone in mid-life and beyond, Veterans may find their near vision decreasing due to Presbyopia or “aging eyes”. So, our nation’s guardians and protectors should make sure to preserve and maintain their eye health and vision in order to take the fullest advantage of the freedom they have provided for all of us. Learn more about eye health and vision by scheduling an eye examination at Baltimore Washington Eye Center at 800-495-3937, visiting Baltimore Washington Eye Center or facebook.com/baltimorewashingtoneyecenter.

Baltimore Washington Eye Center is a leading eye care practice serving the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area staffed by a team of Ophthalmologists, Optometrists, Opticians, technical and administrative staff who provide eye examinations for adults and children, diagnosis and treatment of cataracts including cataract surgery and intraocular lens implants (IOL), laser vision correction such as LASIK, diagnosis and treatment of cornea disease, care for diseases of the retina including diabetes and age related macular degeneration (AMD) and diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma as well as contact lenses, eyeglasses, eyewear and optical services. Baltimore Washington Eye Center is conveniently located for patients from Arbutus, Carney, Clarksville, Columbia, Dundalk, Edgemere, Essex, Ellicott City, Ferndale, Glen Burnie, Kenwood, Laurel, Linthicum, Lutherville, Millersville, Odenton Owings Mills, Reisterstown, Towson, Parkville, Randallstown, Rivera Beach, Pasadena, Severna Park, South Gate and Woodlawn Maryland.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Safety in the Eye Surgery Center & Surgical Setting


Safety in the eye surgery center at Baltimore Washington Eye Center is something we don’t want out patients to worry about. There are so many things that patients worry about when they have surgery! We, at Baltimore Washington Eye Center recognize that surgery can be a very stressful event in one’s life and so we do everything we can to minimize the worry. We strive to provide a caring, compassionate, and comfortable environment to all of our patients to help alleviate as much of their anxiety as possible. Our surgical staff has long been recognized by patients as professional, courteous and calming, not to mention, we do it with a shot of humor whenever we can! Laughter always seems to be the best medicine!

What kinds of things do we think patients worry about? Well, for one, there is always someone who has heard of, or knew someone who heard of surgeries done on the “wrong side”. Wrong side would refer to any part of the anatomy for which there is a right and a left.

I would like to tell our readers about the steps we take at our center to minimize the possibility of such errors. Patient safety has been and will always remain at the forefront of our goals in surgery. This seems like a timely topic to bring up because starting in October, 2012, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services will require all Ambulatory Surgery Centers to report on specific criteria that help to ensure the safety of patients during the surgical process. One of these is “wrong site, side, patient, procedure and implant”.

So, what exactly do we do to be sure we have all the right information? Let me break down each step for you!
  1. Each patient has a consent form that he/she has signed after conferring with their doctor that identifies which eye they have agreed needs surgery. With regard to cataract surgery, the patient is put through a series of tests that help to gauge the appropriate lens implant for that eye.
  2. On the day of surgery, a mark is placed above the operative eye by either the physician or the nurse after reviewing the chart and having the patient confirm that it is the correct eye. The nurse will then place an identification bracelet on the wrist of the patient that corresponds with which eye is being operated on. So, before surgery even begins, there are two identifiers that are put into place for the patient’s safety!
  3. Your physician and nurses will review the chart on which the appropriate lens has been chosen, visually look at the lens to be sure it is the same one that was selected and then compare it with our schedule. And, of course, once again your doctor and nurse verify the correct side for surgery on the consent.
  4. Prior to the beginning of the surgery, a “time out” is performed so that all team members have the opportunity to identify which patient is in the room, which eye is being operated on, and which lens is to be used.
Safety is our number one priority for all of our patients. We appreciate all of our patients and do everything we can to ensure the outcome of the surgery provides the excellence for which we strive. As always, if you ever have any questions about this or any other issue regarding your surgery, you are encouraged to contact us. We want your surgical experience to be the best ever for you!

Guest Blogger: Katie Guglietta, R.N., ASC Manager at Baltimore Washington Eye Center
If you or someone you know has questions about safety in the eye surgery center, please call 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 serving the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area staffed by a team of Ophthalmologists, Optometrists, Opticians, technical and administrative staff who provide eye examinations for adults and children, diagnosis and treatment of cataracts including cataract surgery and intraocular lens implants (IOL), laser vision correction such as LASIK, diagnosis and treatment of cornea disease, care for diseases of the retina including diabetes and age related macular degeneration (AMD) and diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma as well as contact lenses, eyeglasses, eyewear and optical services. Baltimore Washington Eye Center is conveniently located for patients from Arbutus, Carney, Clarksville, Columbia, Dundalk, Edgemere, Essex, Ellicott City, Ferndale, Glen Burnie, Kenwood, Laurel, Linthicum, Lutherville, Millersville, Odenton Owings Mills, Reisterstown, Towson, Parkville, Randallstown, Rivera Beach, Pasadena, Severna Park, South Gate and Woodlawn Maryland.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Baltimore Doctor on Diabetes & Eyes

Baltimore Washington Eye Center eye doctor Brad Spagnolo, M.D. commented on why diabetes can have a significant effect on your eyes and vision. “Diabetes is a disease that affects your body’s ability to produce or use insulin to control blood sugar levels. Too much glucose in the blood for a long time can cause damage in many parts of the body, including the heart, kidneys, blood vessels and the small blood vessels in the eyes,” stated Dr. Spagnolo.

When the blood vessels in the retina swell, leak or close off completely, or if abnormal new blood vessels grow on the surface of the retina, it results in diabetic retinopathy. “Those most at risk for developing diabetic retinopathy are those who have poor blood sugar control, women who are pregnant and people with high blood pressure, high blood lipids or both,” noted Dr. Spagnolo.

Also, people who are from certain ethnic groups, such as African-Americans, Hispanics and Native Americans, are more likely to develop diabetic retinopathy. Diabetes can cause vision in your eyes to change even if you do not have retinopathy. If your blood sugar levels change quickly, it can affect the shape of your eye’s crystalline lens, causing blurry vision, which goes back to normal after your blood sugar stabilizes. Maintaining good control of your blood sugar helps reduce episodes of blurry vision.
If you or someone you know has diabetes or even high blood sugar, especially if there is a family history of diabetes-you should have regular eye exams to help protect your eye health and vision. Please feel free to phone Baltimore Washington Eye Center at 800-495-3937, visit Baltimore Washington Eye Center or facebook.com/baltimorewashingtoneyecenter, to schedule an appointment for an eye exam.

Baltimore Washington Eye Center is a leading eye care practice serving the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area staffed by a team of Ophthalmologists, Optometrists, Opticians, technical and administrative staff who provide eye examinations for adults and children, diagnosis and treatment of cataracts including cataract surgery and intraocular lens implants (IOL), laser vision correction such as LASIK, diagnosis and treatment of cornea disease, care for diseases of the retina including diabetes and age related macular degeneration (AMD) and diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma as well as contact lenses, eyeglasses, eyewear and optical services. Baltimore Washington Eye Center is conveniently located for patients from Arbutus, Carney, Clarksville, Columbia, Dundalk, Edgemere, Essex, Ellicott City, Ferndale, Glen Burnie, Kenwood, Laurel, Linthicum, Lutherville, Millersville, Odenton Owings Mills, Reisterstown, Towson, Parkville, Randallstown, Rivera Beach, Pasadena, Severna Park, South Gate and Woodlawn Maryland.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Baltimore Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month

Baltimore Washington Eye Center wishes to announce that November is National Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month. This is an important time to spread the word about this potentially blinding disease. We need to work to help patients avoid the complications of diabetic retinopathy, which blinds over 8,000 Americans each year. The vision loss from diabetic retinopathy can be prevented if it's caught and treated in time. A recent study found that more than one third of those diagnosed with diabetes do not adhere to vision care guidelines recommending a dilated eye exam every year.

As part of Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month we are urging people with diabetes to have a dilated eye exam every year. The longer a person has diabetes, the greater his or her risk for developing diabetic retinopathy. However, diabetic retinopathy does not only affect people who have had diabetes for many years, it can also appear within the first year or two after the onset of the disease.

Patients can help to reduce the risk of developing diabetic eye disease  by not smoking, controlling their cholesterol and lipid profile and blood pressure, as well as working to eat a heart-healthy diet rich in fish, fruit and green leafy vegetables and exercising.

The key to successful treatment of diabetic retinopathy is early detection and intervention. If you or someone you know suffers from Diabetes please make sure that they are getting regular eye exams to help preserve their eye health and vision. Feel free to call Baltimore Washington Eye Center at 800-495-3937, visit Baltimore Washington Eye Center or facebook.com/baltimorewashingtoneyecenter for an appointment.

Baltimore Washington Eye Center is a leading eye care practice serving the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area staffed by a team of Ophthalmologists, Optometrists, Opticians, technical and administrative staff who provide eye examinations for adults and children, diagnosis and treatment of cataracts including cataract surgery and intraocular lens implants (IOL), laser vision correction such as LASIK, diagnosis and treatment of cornea disease, care for diseases of the retina including diabetes and age related macular degeneration (AMD) and diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma as well as contact lenses, eyeglasses, eyewear  and optical services. Baltimore Washington Eye Center is conveniently located for patients from Arbutus, Carney, Clarksville, Columbia, Dundalk, Edgemere, Essex, Ellicott City, Ferndale, Glen Burnie, Kenwood, Laurel, Linthicum, Lutherville, Millersville, Odenton Owings Mills, Reisterstown, Towson, Parkville, Randallstown, Rivera Beach, Pasadena, Severna Park, South Gate and Woodlawn Maryland.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Baltimore Contact Lens Specialist on Convenience & Care

Baltimore Contact Lens Specialist Dr. Shari Strier of Baltimore Washington Eye Center shared information about contact lens convenience and care. “Contact lenses provide exceptional vision for patients and new designs provide increased convenience and a healthier profile as well,” said Dr. Strier. “However, contact lenses and their associated solutions and cases can be costly. For patients looking for economy it becomes tempting to try to reduce these costs by decreasing the frequency of contact lens and storage case replacement and by using inadequate amounts of solution,” she warned.

Dr. Strier cautioned contact lens wearers regarding some shortcuts that might look tempting.”Often patients will leave used solution in the case and merely “top off” the solution when removing their lenses in the evening. This technique greatly decreases the effectiveness of the antimicrobial properties of these solutions. Also, despite that fact that most eye care providers recommending rubbing and rinsing lenses in solution prior to soaking this is often a step that is skipped by wearers. Studies have shown that the antimicrobial properties of commercially available multipurpose solutions are greatly enhanced if the lenses are rubbed in solution before they are soaked,” emphasized Dr. Strier.

According to studies published in Ophthalmology the risk of moderate to severe microbial keratitis-a severe eye infection that can lead to scarring and loss of vision-in contact lenses wearers went up 6.4 x in patients that did not clean their storage cases well and 5.4 x in patients who infrequently changed to a new case. In a study reported in Contact Lens and Anterior Eye it noted that over 60% of patients wore their lenses longer that both the manufacturers and their optometrist recommended. Poor compliance with replacement schedules resulted in complaints consistent with potential contact lens related complications in approximately 20-30% of respondents.

The small amount of savings associated with these behaviors is overshadowed by the increase risk they pose to eye health.

Guest Blogger Shari E. Strier, O.D., Optometrist & Contact lens Specialist at Baltimore Washington Eye Center

If you or someone you know has questions about contact lenses, contact lens problems or contact lens fitting please feel free to schedule an eye examination at Baltimore Washington Eye Center by calling 800-495-3937, visiting Baltimore Washington Eye Center or facebook.com/baltimorewashingtoneyecenter so that we can recommend an appropriate treatment plan.

Baltimore Washington Eye Center is a leading eye care practice serving the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area staffed by a team of Ophthalmologists, Optometrists, Opticians, technical and administrative staff who provide eye examinations for adults and children, diagnosis and treatment of cataracts including cataract surgery and intraocular lens implants (IOL), laser vision correction such as LASIK, diagnosis and treatment of cornea disease, care for diseases of the retina including diabetes and age related macular degeneration (AMD) and diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma as well as contact lenses, eyeglasses, eyewear  and optical services. Baltimore Washington Eye Center is conveniently located for patients from Arbutus, Carney, Clarksville, Columbia, Dundalk, Edgemere, Essex, Ellicott City, Ferndale, Glen Burnie, Kenwood, Laurel, Linthicum, Lutherville, Millersville, Odenton Owings Mills, Reisterstown, Towson, Parkville, Randallstown, Rivera Beach, Pasadena, Severna Park, South Gate and Woodlawn Maryland.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

LASIK for Astigmatism & Vision Correction

“Astigmatism is something that is often confusing to patients. Besides being confused by what astigmatism is, a lot of people are under the incorrect impression that having astigmatism means you can’t have Laser Eye Surgery such as LASIK to correct your vision,” commented Corneal Specialist and LASIK Surgeon Brad Spagnolo, M.D. of Baltimore Washington Eye Center. “LASIK for astigmatism is not only possible-but we use it all the time as an excellent way to correct vision,” said Dr. Spagnolo.

Here is what you need to know about LASIK and astigmatism. First, astigmatism is one of the common types of refractive problems that cause blurry vision. Common refractive-or eye focus problems-include nearsightedness or myopia, farsightedness or hyperopia, astigmatism and presbyopia.

Astigmatism usually results from an unequal curvature of the cornea-the outermost clear dome in the front of the eye-that causes the eye to have two different curvatures and thus two different focal points. This can make images look more blurry at a specific orientation so that things horizontally are blurred or things vertically are blurred, depending on the direction of the astigmatism. Astigmatism can be very annoying visually and can even cause headaches and many visual symptoms apart from the blurriness itself. The visual distortions caused by astigmatism in healthy eyes are correctable with eyeglasses, contact lenses and Laser Vision Correction such as LASIK. “Today, as LASIK surgeons, we are able to accurately measure and treat all types of astigmatism with high degrees of precision and predictability”, said Dr. Spagnolo.

If you or someone you know has astigmatism and would like to be less dependent or possible even free from the hassle of glasses and contact lenses for seeing at distance, please call Baltimore Washington Eye Center for a Free Evaluation for Laser Eye Surgery for the Laser Vision Correction of astigmatism at 800-495-3937, visit Baltimore Washington Eye Center or facebook.com/baltimorewashingtoneyecenter, so that we can help and recommend an appropriate treatment plan.

Baltimore Washington Eye Center is a leading eye care practice serving the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area staffed by a team of Ophthalmologists, Optometrists, Opticians, technical and administrative staff who provide eye examinations for adults and children, diagnosis and treatment of cataracts including cataract surgery and intraocular lens implants (IOL), laser vision correction such as LASIK, diagnosis and treatment of cornea disease, care for diseases of the retina including diabetes and age related macular degeneration (AMD) and diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma as well as contact lenses, eyeglasses, eyewear and optical services. Baltimore Washington Eye Center is conveniently located for patients from Arbutus, Carney, Clarksville, Columbia, Dundalk, Edgemere, Essex, Ellicott City, Ferndale, Glen Burnie, Kenwood, Laurel, Linthicum, Lutherville, Millersville, Odenton Owings Mills, Reisterstown, Towson, Parkville, Randallstown, Rivera Beach, Pasadena, Severna Park, South Gate and Woodlawn Maryland.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Eye Exams with OPD Scan III at Baltimore Washington Eye Center


OPD Scan III  

Baltimore Washington Eye Center is please to offer eye exams with the OPD Scan III  testing device which improves efficiency in the eye clinic and efficacy in results. Whether through the use of new surgical techniques and devices or the use of improved diagnostic tools, we are always striving to improve our patients’ experience and results at Baltimore Washington Eye Center.

We are happy to tell you about a device that will complement and improve what we do for our patients in the eye clinic. The OPD Scan III is a diagnostic workstation that allows us to take incredibly accurate measurements in a matter of seconds. The OPD can tell us whether a person is farsighted, nearsighted or has astigmatism. The instrument determines the shape of the cornea, the size of the pupil, and the amount of aberration in an eye’s optical system. The OPD provides certain information about astigmatism that aids the implantation of toric implants for cataracts. Determining the cornea’s shape can help us diagnose the presence of particular eye diseases like keratoconus. 

Knowing the degree of spherical aberration helps our doctors when considering what type of implant to recommend for a cataract patient or contact lens for a contact lens patient. Pupil size is important when considering laser vision procedures like LASIK or PRK. Pupil measurements are also helpful when deciding whether or not a particular implant is appropriate for a person contemplating cataract surgery.

While not necessarily a replacement of other devices that take similar measurements, since the OPD Scan III  takes all the measurements at one sitting it very likely improves the accuracy of the measurements we use to provide optimum care for our patients in general, and their eyes’ health in particular. Being able to take all of these measurements at one place in the clinic is a benefit not only in terms of convenience for our patients, but also in terms of space-saving and efficiency.

The OPD Scan III will be a valued addition to our clinic and will no doubt improve our staff’s ability to provide convenient and comprehensive eye care for our patients every day.

If you or someone you know would like to schedule an eye examination at Baltimore Washington Eye Center, please call 800-495-3937, visit Baltimore Washington Eye Center or facebook.com/baltimorewashingtoneyecenter.

Baltimore Washington Eye Center is a leading eye care practice serving the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area staffed by a team of Ophthalmologists, Optometrists, Opticians, technical and administrative staff who provide eye examinations for adults and children, diagnosis and treatment of cataracts including cataract surgery and intraocular lens implants (IOL), laser vision correction such as LASIK, diagnosis and treatment of cornea disease, care for diseases of the retina including diabetes and age related macular degeneration (AMD) and diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma as well as contact lenses, eyeglasses, eyewear and optical services.
Baltimore Washington Eye Center is conveniently located for patients from Arbutus, Carney, Clarksville, Columbia, Dundalk, Edgemere, Essex, Ellicott City, Ferndale, Glen Burnie, Kenwood, Laurel, Linthicum, Lutherville, Millersville, Odenton Owings Mills, Reisterstown, Towson, Parkville, Randallstown, Rivera Beach, Pasadena, Severna Park, South Gate and Woodlawn, Maryland.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Baltimore Cornea Specialist on Halloween Contact Lenses

Baltimore Cornea Specialist Brad Spagnolo, M.D. offered some advice on using non prescription over the counter decorative contact lenses as part of your Halloween costume. “Everyone likes to do something unique with their Halloween costume. But, Halloween decorative contact lenses and your eyes may not be a great combination. Changing your eye color or creating some far out appearance or ghoulish look by using over-the-counter, decorative contact lenses that may enhance seem like fun, but can result in serious vision-threatening problems,” said Dr. Spagnolo, Director of Refractive Surgery at Baltimore Washington Eye Center.

According to the Food and Drug Administration, all contact lenses are regulated medical devices that require a prescription and proper fitting by an eye-care professional. Even someone with perfect vision would still require an eye exam and a prescription in order to wear any kind of contacts, including cosmetic lenses.

Some websites advertise decorative contacts as if they were fashion accessories or toys with fanciful, playful packaging in order to attract teens and young adults, especially girls. The problem is not that people use decorative, noncorrosive lenses-sometimes called Plano-or zero-powered lenses, but that they buy the devices without a prescription through unlicensed vendors on the Internet or at flea markets and specialty shops.

The buyer of these over-the-counter contact lenses faces a huge risk including scratched corneas, pink eye and more serious types of blinding infection as a result of a corneal ulcer.

In 2005, a federal law was passed that classified all contact lenses as medical devices and restricted their distribution to licensed eye-care professionals. Illegal sale of contacts can result in civil penalties of up to $11,000 per violation.
 
The safe and effective use of contact lenses-whether decorative or not-requires proper fitting and education about their care to prevent the potential for serious eye  problems from becoming a reality. If you or a friend would like to learn more about contact lenses of any type including decorative contacts please call Baltimore Washington Eye Center-800-495-3937.

If you or someone you know wants to learn more about contact lenses including decorative contact lens, 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 serving the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area staffed by a team of Ophthalmologists, Optometrists, Opticians, technical and administrative staff who provide eye examinations for adults and children, diagnosis and treatment of cataracts including cataract surgery and intraocular lens implants (IOL), laser vision correction such as LASIK, diagnosis and treatment of cornea disease, care for diseases of the retina including diabetes and age related macular degeneration (AMD) and diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma as well as contact lenses, eyeglasses, eyewear  and optical services. Baltimore Washington Eye Center is conveniently located for patients from Arbutus, Carney, Clarksville, Columbia, Dundalk, Edgemere, Essex, Ellicott City, Ferndale, Glen Burnie, Kenwood, Laurel, Linthicum, Lutherville, Millersville, Odenton Owings Mills, Reisterstown, Towson, Parkville, Randallstown, Rivera Beach, Pasadena, Severna Park, South Gate and Woodlawn Maryland.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Baltimore Eye Doctor on “Seeing Two of Everything”

Baltimore eye doctor Arturo Betancourt, M.D. relayed a question about “seeing two” or diplopia and shared information about double vision. "Doctor, why am I seeing two of everything?" This condition is known as diplopia or double vision.  It should not be mistaken with blurred or fuzzy vision, a far more common occurrence. Diplopia results from an acquired misalignment of the eyes that causes an image to fall on non corresponding points of the retina.  I will discuss some of the most common types of acquired, adult diplopias as well as their etiology, in this blog. This is an overview and does not cover all reasons for diplopia, just the most common ones.

We will ask you a series of questions prior to starting our evaluation.
  • Do you have any medical problems, hypertension, diabetes or a neurological condition?
  • Have you suffered any trauma, or emotional or physical stress?
  • Is the deviation constant or intermittent?
  • Is the deviation present for distance, near or both?
  • Is it unilateral or alternating?
  • Is it present only when you are tired or fatigued? 
Diplopia can be monocular, arising from one eye, or binocular, due to ocular misalignment.  The most common reasons for monocular diplopia are an uncorrected refractive error or something blocking the path of light onto the retina. Examples of these would be corneal scars-secondary to trauma or infections, different types of cataracts and opacities in the vitreous cavity. Monocular diplopia does not disappear when the affected eye is covered. In binocular diplopia, the symptoms are only present with both eyes open, and disappear, when one eye is covered.  An easy way to determine if the cause is refractive is to use a pinhole.  The pinhole focuses light onto the retina, partially correcting a refractive error.  With the correction of the underlying problem, the diplopia will be resolved.

Binocular diplopia occurs when the same image falls on different points of the retina. The most common types are an abducens or sixth cranial nerve palsy and a superior oblique or fourth cranial nerve palsy.  The most common reasons for the occurrence of these two palsies in adults is micro vascular disease:  the main culprits being, hypertension and diabetes.  The damage occurs due to decreased circulation to the part of the brain responsible for the function of this muscle.

In a sixth nerve palsy or abducens palsy, the muscle that pulls the eye out from the horizontal is affected.  This causes the opposite muscle, the medial rectus, which pulls the eye towards the nose, to work unopposed.  This will cause the patient to see two horizontally displaced images.  If he closes one eye, either affected or unaffected eye, the diplopia will disappear.  It will also disappear if the patient moves his head to look at an object with the unaffected eye pointing away from the nose. Most of these palsies resolve over a matter of several weeks or months with little to no residual damage.  During that time the patient might be comfortable patching the eye with the poorer vision.  In an adult this will not result in any type of visual damage to either eye.  Unlike a very young child, in which occlusion might cause amblyopia or a lazy eye.  A palsy is not a lazy eye, but in a child, if untreated could result in one.

The other most common type of acquired adult diplopia is the one associated with the fourth cranial nerve or superior oblique.  The patient will experience a skew or slanted diplopia.  The objects will appear displaced both vertically and at an angle. They will not be perfectly in a vertical plane.  If the patient is looking with the unaffected eye, the affected eye will be pointed upwards.  If they are using the affected eye, the unaffected eye, will be pointing downwards. The patient might notice improvement of the diplopia if they tilt their head toward the shoulder opposite to the affected eye.  Again the treatment might be patching, and as with the sixth nerve palsy, resolution occurs in a matter of weeks or months.

The diagnostic work up for these two palsies would involve, blood pressure measurement, fasting blood sugar to rule out diabetes, and on rare occasions, mainly if trauma or another neurological problem are suspected, CT, MRI or MRA.  Both usually resolve within a matter of weeks or months and do so fully.  Sometimes if the patient is tired he might notice a slight amount of diplopia.  But this is usually transient. We have discussed some of the most common types of acquired, adult diplopia.  This discussion is not comprehensive and really just addresses some of the most common types.

Guest Blogger: Arturo E Betancourt M.D., F.A.C.S. with the Baltimore Washington Eye Center

If you or someone you know suffers from diplopia or double vision they 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, so that we can help identify the possible causes and recommend an appropriate treatment plan.

Baltimore Washington Eye Center is a leading eye care practice serving the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area staffed by a team of Ophthalmologists, Optometrists, Opticians, technical and administrative staff who provide eye examinations for adults and children, diagnosis and treatment of cataracts including cataract surgery and intraocular lens implants (IOL), laser vision correction such as LASIK, diagnosis and treatment of cornea disease, care for diseases of the retina including diabetes and age related macular degeneration (AMD) and diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma as well as contact lenses, eyeglasses, eyewear  and optical services. Baltimore Washington Eye Center is conveniently located for patients from Arbutus, Carney, Clarksville, Columbia, Dundalk, Edgemere, Essex, Ellicott City, Ferndale, Glen Burnie, Kenwood, Laurel, Linthicum, Lutherville, Millersville, Odenton Owings Mills, Reisterstown, Towson, Parkville, Randallstown, Rivera Beach, Pasadena, Severna Park, South Gate and Woodlawn Maryland.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Baltimore Surgeon on Lens Implants, Cataract & Glasses

Baltimore Cataract Surgeon Arturo Betancourt, M.D., commented on questions about lens implants, cataracts and glasses. “With the number of “baby boomers” approaching the age of cataracts there are lots of questions about cataract surgery, lens implants and the need-or not-for eyeglasses,” stated Dr. Betancourt, Medical Director & Ophthalmologist at Baltimore Washington Eye Center. “Many of these questions are quite valid as over the past 5 years, patient expectations and technology have driven a convergence of the goals cataract surgery and refractive surgery,” he further explained.

Traditionally, the goal of cataract surgery was to remove the cloudy crystalline lens and replace it with an intraocular lens implant (IOL) of equivalent optical power so as to achieve “emmetropia” thus allowing patients to have good distance vision. The goal of refractive surgery is to help patients decrease or possibly even eliminate their dependence on eyeglasses or contact lenses. Today, a rapidly growing cataract patient population wants to achieve both the benefits of cataract surgery and refractive surgery in one combined procedure.

In order to meet patient expectations of being “glasses free” and help patients achieve their personal vision correction and lifestyle goals, it is necessary for us to first carefully select the type and design of lens implant as well as to accurately calculate the IOL power. The types and designs of lens implants that we work with include the following:

Monofocal Lens Implants
Monofocal lens implants are the most basic type of Lens Implant used to correct vision after removal of the crystalline lens. A Monofocal Lens Implant can provide very good vision after cataract surgery-but only at one set distance-usually for seeing things at a distance such as for driving or going to the movies. A Monofocal Lens Implant does not correct intermediate or arm’s length vision for doing things like playing cards and seeing the golf ball on the tee, or even seeing computer screens clearly. Monofocal lens implants do not correct near vision for doing things up close like seeing medicine bottles, reading, or keeping your golf score, as these tasks require the correction of presbyopia.

Toric Lens Implants
Toric lens implants correct astigmatism. For patients who have significant amounts of astigmatism prior to cataract surgery, and who do not wish to wear eyeglasses to see clearly at a distance, choosing a toric lens implant can help them be independent of glasses for tasks such as driving that require clear distance vision. Toric Lens Implants do not correct presbyopia, so that most patients still require reading glasses or bifocals to be able to comfortably perform near vision tasks such as reading and intermediate vision tasks such as computer work.

Near Vision Presbyopia Correcting Lens Implants
Near vision presbyopia correcting lens implants provide vision correction at the full range of distances-far or distance vision, arm’s length or intermediate vision and up close near vision. Depending on the specific vision requirements of the patient, there are several types of presbyopia correcting multifocal and accommodating lens implants that can be used including the Crystalens® Accommodating Lens Implant, the AcrySof®ReSTOR® Multifocal Lens Implant and Tecnis™ Multifocal Lens Implant. Each of these works in a different way to help the patient achieve their vision correction goals of being able to see at a variety of distances without being dependent on eyeglasses or reading glasses. Patients choosing to have a presbyopia correcting lens implant will likely find that they can drive, watch television, play golf and keep score, read a menu, play cards or do crafts-without the need for glasses. Patients choosing a multifocal or accommodating lens implant typically experience a greater overall freedom from glasses, allowing them to participate in most everyday activities without the dependence on, or hassle of glasses.

“As Cataract and Refractive Surgeons, we routinely work to realistically shape patient expectations and then constantly strive to provide the medical, surgical and optical care necessary help patients meet or exceed them” commented Dr. Betancourt. “When patients ask us, “Do I have to wear glasses after my cataract surgery?”, we make sure to help them understand that we can offer them the possibility of a lifestyle that minimizes or possibly eliminates their need for glasses through careful lens implant counseling”, said Dr. Betancourt. “For many patients, being able to essentially function “glasses free” adds a level of convenience and comfort to their everyday lives."

If you or someone you know has questions about Cataracts, Cataract Surgery or Lens Implants (IOL) please free 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 serving the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area staffed by a team of Ophthalmologists, Optometrists, Opticians, technical and administrative staff who provide eye examinations for adults and children, diagnosis and treatment of cataracts including cataract surgery and intraocular lens implants (IOL), laser vision correction such as LASIK, diagnosis and treatment of cornea disease, care for diseases of the retina including diabetes and age related macular degeneration (AMD) and diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma as well as contact lenses, eyeglasses, eyewear and optical services. Baltimore Washington Eye Center is conveniently located for patients from Arbutus, Carney, Clarksville, Columbia, Dundalk, Edgemere, Essex, Ellicott City, Ferndale, Glen Burnie, Kenwood, Laurel, Linthicum, Lutherville, Millersville, Odenton Owings Mills, Reisterstown, Towson, Parkville, Randallstown, Rivera Beach, Pasadena, Severna Park, South Gate and Woodlawn Maryland.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Enjoy a Polarized World of Outdoor Activities

Polarized sunglasses are created to make all colors shine brighter. Your blues are bluer and your greens are truer. Every vivid detail is crisper.  Polarized lenses are transparent pieces of material, glass or plastic that is designed to block certain types of light waves. Sunglasses and camera lens are often polarized to reduce glare from surfaces, such as light reflecting off a lake or the hood of a car.  Polarized lenses change the direction of the light waves, thus reducing the glare.  Lenses can be polarized to different degrees and in different ways. Most inexpensive polarized sunglasses have a thin film applied on one side of the lens. Many higher quality lenses have film laminated between two layers of lens materials, preventing it from being scratched or rubbed off.

The difference is clear and impossible to miss. Try on a pair of polarized sunglasses and instantly glare is gone.  Polarized lenses give you the added benefit of blocking UVA, UVB and UVC rays which are damaging to your eyes. The world’s true colors come shining through like never before. Colors are bolder, richer, crisper and with more contrast and clarity. Additionally, choosing the right lens color for the right light condition and activity can also be an added benefit, such as:

  • Natural Grey color gives you the highest available light reduction for bright sunlight.  This color may be perfect for golfers, skiers and motorcyclists.
  • Bronze is an excellent lens color giving contrast for everyday variable conditions. Great if you love a warm subtle bronze tint to your sunglasses and this color may serve you if you; fish, play beach volley ball or outdoor soccer. 
  • Rose is the highest contrast and is excellent for outdoor activities in low light grey days. 
Stop by Baltimore Washington Eye center for a great selection of polarized sunglasses in a variety of shades and styles to fit all your outdoor activities.  

Guest Blogger: Chris Spake, A.B.O.C. at the Baltimore Washington Eye Center - Optical Center
If you or someone you know would like to learn more about polarized sunglasses or polarized lenses contact 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 serving the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area staffed by a team of Ophthalmologists, Optometrists, Opticians, technical and administrative staff who provide eye examinations for adults and children, diagnosis and treatment of cataracts including cataract surgery and intraocular lens implants (IOL), laser vision correction such as LASIK, diagnosis and treatment of cornea disease, care for diseases of the retina including diabetes and age related macular degeneration (AMD) and diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma as well as contact lenses, eyeglasses, eyewear  and optical services. Baltimore Washington Eye Center is conveniently located for patients from Arbutus, Carney, Clarksville, Columbia, Dundalk, Edgemere, Essex, Ellicott City, Ferndale, Glen Burnie, Kenwood, Laurel, Linthicum, Lutherville, Millersville, Odenton Owings Mills, Reisterstown, Towson, Parkville, Randallstown, Rivera Beach, Pasadena, Severna Park, South Gate and Woodlawn Maryland.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Baltimore Eye Injury Prevention Month



Baltimore Washington Eye Center Ophthalmologist Arturo Betancourt, M.D. reminded us to be aware of the potential for eye injury in common activities as October has been designated Eye Injury Prevention Month by the American Academy of Ophthalmology. “When most people go out to mow the lawn, jump-start the car or get ready to do some spring cleaning, the last thing they think about is protecting their eyes, but it should really be the first thing on their mind,” said Dr. Betancourt. “It is a good idea to pause a moment and think about protecting your eyes from the extraordinary damage often caused by the most ordinary of activities.”

Many household chemicals, such as cleaning fluids, detergents and ammonia, are extremely hazardous and can burn the eye's delicate tissues. When using chemicals, always read instructions and labels carefully, work in a well-ventilated area and make sure spray nozzles point away from you and others before spraying. Be sure to wash your hands thoroughly after use. Before using a lawnmower, power trimmer or edger, check for debris. Stones, twigs and other items can become dangerous projectiles shooting from the blades of a lawnmower, potentially injuring your eyes or those of innocent bystanders. Prevention is the first and most important step in avoiding serious eye injuries, so be sure to protect your eyes with appropriate protective eyewear.

If you or someone you know suffers an eye injury they 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, so that we can help identify the possible causes and recommend an appropriate treatment plan.

Baltimore Washington Eye Center is a leading eye care practice serving the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area staffed by a team of Ophthalmologists, Optometrists, Opticians, technical and administrative staff who provide eye examinations for adults and children, diagnosis and treatment of cataracts including cataract surgery and intraocular lens implants (IOL), laser vision correction such as LASIK, diagnosis and treatment of cornea disease, care for diseases of the retina including diabetes and age related macular degeneration (AMD) and diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma as well as contact lenses, eyeglasses, eyewear and optical services. Baltimore Washington Eye Center is conveniently located for patients from Arbutus, Carney, Clarksville, Columbia, Dundalk, Edgemere, Essex, Ellicott City, Ferndale, Glen Burnie, Kenwood, Laurel, Linthicum, Lutherville, Millersville, Odenton Owings Mills, Reisterstown, Towson, Parkville, Randallstown, Rivera Beach, Pasadena, Severna Park, South Gate and Woodlawn Maryland.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Eyeglass Frames That Match Your Face Shape

Baltimore Washington Eye Center Optician Danielle Jones commented,”The most important aspect of choosing eyeglass frames is how they look on our face,”’ she said. “Yes, you could try on every pair of eyeglasses in the store to find out how each one looks, but narrowing down your choices in advance can save you a lot of time and aggravation. You simply need to determine your face shape and understand which eyeglass frame styles would look best on that shape,” she further explained.


You should consider two main points when choosing an eyeglass frame: the frame shape should contrast with your face shape and the frame size should be in scale with your face size. A good optician can help you use these guidelines to choose your new eyeglasses. Also, while most faces are a combination of shapes and angles, there are a few basic face shapes: round, oval, and oblong.

Here are some pointers to help when selecting a frame:
  • Round-try angular narrow eyeglass frames to lengthen the face, a clear bridge that widens the eyes, and frames that are wider than they are deep, such as a rectangular shape
  • Oval- to keep the oval's natural balance, look for eyeglass frames that are as wide as (or wider than) the broadest part of the face, or walnut-shaped frames
  • Oblong-to keep the oval's natural balance, look for eyeglass frames that are as wide as (or wider than) the broadest part of the face
Guest Blogger: Danielle Jones, A.B.O.C with the Baltimore Washington Eye Center’s Optical Department
If you or someone you know would like to schedule an eyeglass frame fitting or selection you can visit 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 serving the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area staffed by a team of Ophthalmologists, Optometrists, Opticians, technical and administrative staff who provide eye examinations for adults and children, diagnosis and treatment of cataracts including cataract surgery and intraocular lens implants (IOL), laser vision correction such as LASIK, diagnosis and treatment of cornea disease, care for diseases of the retina including diabetes and age related macular degeneration (AMD) and diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma as well as contact lenses, eyeglasses, eyewear and optical services. Baltimore Washington Eye Center is conveniently located for patients from Arbutus, Carney, Clarksville, Columbia, Dundalk, Edgemere, Essex, Ellicott City, Ferndale, Glen Burnie, Kenwood, Laurel, Linthicum, Lutherville, Millersville, Odenton Owings Mills, Reisterstown, Towson, Parkville, Randallstown, Rivera Beach, Pasadena, Severna Park, South Gate and Woodlawn Maryland.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Cataracts & Macular Degeneration at Baltimore Washington Eye Center

Baltimore Washington Eye Center Ophthalmologist Brad Spagnolo, M.D., discussed the risks of cataracts, cataract surgery and age related macular degeneration. “I help patients understand that both cataracts and age related macular degeneration (AMD) share at least one common risk factor-AGE,’ noted Dr. Spagnolo.”We know that the frequency and incidence of cataracts and macular degeneration increase with age and thus it is pretty common to have one, the other or both as we head through our 50’s, 60’s and 70’s,” he further explained.

Many patients with macular degeneration are faced with the question of whether or not to have cataract surgery when they develop a cataract. In addition they are often concerned as to whether the AMD will get worse if they have cataract surgery. In general, cataract surgeons agree that with proper preoperative diagnostic testing, examination and consultation patients who have age related macular degeneration (AMD) and who develop a cataract are able to have cataract surgery after being counseled on what to expect with regard to overall vision improvements and lifestyle benefits. While AMD is not a reason to avoid cataract surgery, realistic expectations must be established by and between you and your cataract surgeon. Further, the most current and widely accepted studies on AMD progression after cataract surgery found that there was no difference in the frequency of the disease among patients who had Cataract Surgery as compared to those who did not.

If you or someone you know suffers from cataracts or age related macular degeneration they 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 serving the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area staffed by a team of Ophthalmologists, Optometrists, Opticians, technical and administrative staff who provide eye examinations for adults and children, diagnosis and treatment of cataracts including cataract surgery and intraocular lens implants (IOL), laser vision correction such as LASIK, diagnosis and treatment of cornea disease, care for diseases of the retina including diabetes and age related macular degeneration (AMD) and diagnosis and treatment of glaucoma as well as contact lenses, eyeglasses, eyewear and optical services.

Baltimore Washington Eye Center is conveniently located for patients from Arbutus, Carney, Clarksville, Columbia, Dundalk, Edgemere, Essex, Ellicott City, Ferndale, Glen Burnie, Kenwood, Laurel, Linthicum, Lutherville, Millersville, Odenton Owings Mills, Reisterstown, Towson, Parkville, Randallstown, Rivera Beach, Pasadena, Severna Park, South Gate and Woodlawn Maryland.