Baltimore Washington Eye Center, Maryland

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Baltimore Cataract Surgery Complications

Although complications from Cataract Surgery at Baltimore Washington Eye Center are really pretty rare, everyone with a Cataract who is thinking about having eye surgery always has a concern about what could go wrong. Certainly there are things that could go wrong. “Basically in the hands of an experienced Cataract Surgeon using modern cataract surgery techniques we do everything possible to reduce the risk of complications, said Corneal Specialist and Baltimore Cataract Surgeon Brad Spagnolo, M.D. at Baltimore Washington Eye Center. “When you consider the huge benefit that patients receive in not only in terms of vision but also lifestyle, comfort, convenience and safety the risk of complications is really quite low”, said Dr. Spagnolo. For routine cataract surgery in healthy patients the complication rate is well under 5%. This might increase somewhat if you have diabetic eye disease, glaucoma or other types of health or eye problems.

So what kinds of things can go wrong? First there are a handful of things that can happen during or within the first 24-48 hours after a Cataract operation. These include the very unusual things like bleeding inside the eye which is really rare, a little bleeding on the surface of the eye or an inner eye infection which is quite rare. Sometimes, if we need to anesthetize the eye using an injection you may have a little “black and blue” eye or an eyelid bruise. This usually clears up pretty quickly. Sometimes the “capsule” around the crystalline lens that is removed as part of the operation might be broken during the surgery and we might need to do a “vitrectomy” as part of the surgery to get a good result. This too is pretty unusual. More common in very nearsighted patients, some patients who have Cataract Surgery can have a retinal detachment. Occasionally in patients who have had “no stitch” Cataract Surgery the actual incision may leak. If this happens it is sometimes necessary for us to put a stitch in place to tightly close the incision. Then there are a few types of complications that can occur over a longer period of time. Very rarely the intraocular lens implant can move off center or the center of the retina can swell. By far the most common complication is a clouding of the lens capsule that has been left in place to support the lens implant. Fortunately, this complication is pretty easily managed with a quick, painless procedure called a YAG Laser Capsulotomy that restores the vision almost immediately after the procedure.
 
Although it might sound like there are lots of possible complications of Cataract Surgery, rest assured they are quite unusual. This most common one of capsule opacity is easily treated. If you need cataract surgery it is important to have a little knowledge so you appreciate the degree of skill and experience required of your cataract surgeon to help you get the best result.


If you or someone you know in Baltimore has Cataracts and has questions about Cataract Surgery and Lens Implant complications please feel free to call Baltimore Washington Eye Center at 800-495-3937.

Baltimore Washington Eye Center is a leading eye care practice serving the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area that staffed by a team of Ophthalmologists, Optometrists, Opticians, technical and administrative staff who provide eye examinations for adults and children, 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, April 17, 2012

Baltimore Eye Surgery Infection Control

At Baltimore Washington Eye Surgery Center infection control is an ongoing process and an integral part of the standards for ambulatory surgery centers (ASC's).  In November, 2008, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) revised the criteria (Conditions for Coverage or CfC) for infection control compliance mandating a formal system for implementing and maintaining a high standard of quality management in infection control.  ASC's are required to designate a professional staff member to designate an individual who qualifies for this position through continued education and training. 

At Baltimore Washington Eye Center the Ambulatory Surgery Center's Nurse Manager serves in this capacity along with a designated staff member to minimize infection and spread of communicable diseases.  According to the CMS, CfC requires that ambulatory surgery centers use two basic standards as the basis for their formal programs:
  • Provide and maintain a functional and sanitary environment for the provision of surgical services, and
  • Maintain a formal program to prevent, control, and investigate infections and communicable diseases
At Baltimore Washington Eye Center, we work diligently to ensure not only that our surgery center adheres to the highest level of infection control and monitoring, but the rest of the facility as well.  Everyone, including our doctors is engaged in ongoing education regarding infection control through in-service training, mandatory on-line training, flu vaccines, and other training.  In addition, surveillance is incorporated into our monitoring, as required by CMS, to ensure compliance by everyone.  

We also like to encourage all of our patients to incorporate infection control standards into their daily lives to help reduce the amount of infections and communicable diseases.  Hand-washing is the single most important measure in preventing infection.  According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, when washing your hands with soap and water:
  • Wet your hands with clean running water and apply soap. Use warm water if it is available.
  • Rub hands together to make lather and scrub all surfaces.
  • Continue rubbing hands for 20 seconds. Need a timer? Imagine singing "Happy Birthday" twice through to a friend!
  • Rinse hands well under running water
  • Dry your hands using a paper towel or air dryer. If possible, use your paper towel to turn off the faucet
Stay healthy!

Baltimore Washington Eye Center is a leading eye care practice serving the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area that staffed by a team of Ophthalmologists, Optometrists, Opticians, technical and administrative staff who provide eye examinations for adults and children, diagnosis  of cataracts, cataract surgery and intraocular lens implants (IOL), laser vision correction such as LASIK Eye Surgery, 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, April 12, 2012

Watery & Watering Eyes in Baltimore

Our eye doctors often see patients at Baltimore Washington Eye Center complaining about watery and watering eyes. Watery eyes are the common description for the eye condition called Epiphora. Watery eyes or excessive watering of the eyes can even result in tears running over your eyelids and down your cheeks. Having enough tears is important for your eye health and vision but having too many tears can be annoying and troubling. Watery eyes or Epiphora can be caused by either or both of two main eye problems.

First, watery eyes can occur because you simply produce too many tears.

Second, eye watering can occur because the tears you do produce just don’t drain properly. As odd as it may seem, one of the most common causes of producing too many tears is dry eyes. When you have a dry eye your eye can “overreact” and produce too much tear fluid due to the irritation. Then, normally when we blink the eyelids push the tears across the eye’s surface, causing them to collect in the lower inner corner of the eye and draining through a tiny opening called a “puncta” into the nasolacrimal canal and out through your nose. If the puncta are closed or the canal is blocked the tears will simply stay stagnant in the inner corners of your eyes making them seem very watery. So why do we develop tear drainage problems or excessive tear production problems? There are many causes of watery eye and watering eyes are pretty common in people who have dry eye syndrome, clogged tear ducts from infection of inflammation, conjunctivitis or “pink eye”, exposure to irritation from smog, smoke, excessive dust and chemical vapors as well as foreign bodies, eyelid problems turning in or out and corneal abrasions.

If you or someone you know suffers from watery eyes or is bothered by watering eyes please call Baltimore Washington Eye Center at 800-495-3937 to schedule an appointment for an examination.

Baltimore Washington Eye Center is a leading eye care practice serving the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area that staffed by a team of Ophthalmologists, Optometrists, Opticians, technical and administrative staff who provide eye examinations for adults and children, 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.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Saving Eye Sight in Baltimore

Saving eye sight at Baltimore Washington Eye Center is part of each and every day. I want to relate an episode that occurred recently in our clinic that I believe speaks volumes about the caliber of our staff. A very pleasant woman came to our office interested in LASIK. Interestingly, she had recently had an exam elsewhere for LASIK and was actually scheduled to have the procedure. On the day of her LASIK, that particular laser center experienced a technical problem, so her procedure was canceled. This was concerning enough for her to call us for a free LASIK consultation a week or so later. During her consult exam, one of our clinical technicians, Patty Yakel, noted that this patient had diminished peripheral vision in part of her right eye’s field of vision. This was something not noted on the record she brought from the previous laser center. This finding, along with the appearance of her right optic nerve led us to perform a formal, automated visual field test in our office. The visual field revealed a classic defect that was a result of glaucoma. Although we instituted eye drop therapy, we also referred her to our glaucoma specialist who confirmed the diagnosis and agreed with the treatment. Obviously, we recommended against her having an elective procedure like LASIK.

If this patient had undergone LASIK at the prior laser center and was subsequently found to have this field defect, she and others would have logically, although incorrectly, assumed that the LASIK had damaged her optic nerve. Furthermore, LASIK should not be performed on eyes with glaucoma. Fortunately, thanks to Patty’s skill as a technician, this woman’s eyesight will be preserved.  It is the kind of attention and skill exemplified by Patty that serves to underscore Baltimore Washington Eye Center’s commitment to providing the highest quality eye care. We give kudos to Patty.

Baltimore Washington Eye Center is a leading eye care practice serving the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area that staffed by a team of Ophthalmologists, Optometrists, Opticians, technical and administrative staff who provide eye examinations for adults and children, cataract information for 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.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Baltimore Eye Protection for Sports

Baltimore eye care patients need to make sure they are protecting their eyes playing sports in order to help preserve eye health and vision which sometimes gets overlooked. Tens of thousands of sports and recreation-related eye injuries occur each year. The good news is that 90 percent of serious eye injuries are preventable through use of appropriate protective eyewear. The risk of eye injury can vary depending on the activity. Make sure the level of eye protection you or others in your family use is appropriate for the type of activity.

Regular eyeglasses do not offer proper eye protection.

Across all age groups, sports-related eye injuries occur most frequently in baseball, basketball and racquet sports. Further, boxing and full-contact martial arts pose an extremely high risk of serious and even blinding eye injuries and there is really no satisfactory eye protection for boxing, although thumbless gloves may reduce the number of boxing eye injuries. When playing baseball, ice hockey and men’s lacrosse, a helmet with a polycarbonate lightweight shatterproof face mask or wire shield should be worn at all times. In general, hockey face masks be approved by the Hockey Equipment Certification Council or the Canadian Standards Association (CSA). Last, protective eyewear with polycarbonate lenses should be worn for sports such as basketball, racquet sports, soccer and field hockey. If you need additional information or help regarding how to select the best eyewear to protect you while playing sports please feel free to phone Baltimore Washington Eye Center-800-495-3937.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Cataract Lens Implants in Baltimore

For patients considering Cataract Surgery in Baltimore, choosing a Lens Implant for Cataracts is an important decision. “The decision on exactly how to correct your vision after Cataract Surgery used to be a decision that was the sole responsibility of your Cataract Surgeon,” said Corneal Specialist and Baltimore Cataract Surgeon Brad Spagnolo, M.D. of Baltimore Washington Eye Center. 

“As more advanced types of lens implant technology became available that could do some extra things for patients, we were able to offer our Cataract patients some options for their vision correction,” said Dr. Spagnolo.

Beginning in around 2005 it became necessary for Cataract Surgeons to discuss Lens Implant options with patients so together they could choose the most appropriate lens implant for the lifestyle needs of the patient. Only after the Cataract evaluation can we make a firm recommendation for each patient because the choice of Lens Implant really depends on several factors, including the patient’s prescription, the overall health of their eyes, whether they have any other health problems, such as diabetes and most importantly, how they use their eyes throughout their daily routine. A type of lens implant called an aspheric lens implant seems to give the sharpest, most crisp vision-but only corrects distance vision and requires you to wear reading glasses or bifocals after cataract surgery. This might be fine for a truck driver who needs cataract surgery, but might not be the best choice for a sales clerk who uses his or her eyes at many distances all day. A type of lens implant called a toric lens implant is often selected for Cataract patients who have astigmatism correction their eyeglasses. If you have a toric lens implant to correct your vision after Cataract Surgery you will still need to correct you near vision to see up close with reading glasses of some sort. For those patients who do a number of things throughout the day that require seeing far away, at arm’s length-say for the computer and also to see up close, if you are a good candidate we can offer you a multifocal lens implant that corrects near vision and presbyopia and so it will help you see at a range of distances without being totally dependent on eyeglasses. Choosing a Lens Implant is a joint effort between you and your eye surgeon. It is not your decision alone. It’s not like buying a pair of shoes or a car where you can ask your friends for a good “brand” or you can read a brochure or see a TV commercial and then you can choose. It requires the careful evaluation and recommendation of skilled and experienced cataract surgeon to help you make the best choice. If you, or someone you know, has Cataracts and needs help with Cataract Surgery and Lens Implant information please feel free to call Baltimore Washington Eye Center-800-495-3937.