Baltimore Washington Eye Center, Maryland

Saturday, June 30, 2012

Patient #100,000!!!

Over the more than 40 years of the Baltimore Washington Eye Center's existence there have been many milestones. This week we were honored to meet and provide care to our 100,000th patient. This very pleasant Maryland man was kind enough to help us capture the experience with photos of his exam process, photos with me and Drs. Betancourt and Strier, as well as with our lead optician, Larry Heilman. We were more than happy to commemorate this important occasion by helping him select a pair of Oakley sunglasses as a token of our appreciation. We will be posting some of the photographs on our Facebook page in the near future.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Baltimore Doctors on Contact Lens Compliance

Baltimore Washington Eye Center eye doctors reviewed new findings on patient compliance with contact lens care. New findings being published in Contact Lens & Anterior Eye suggest contact lens wearers do a poor job of complying with appropriate contact lens care. The findings are based upon two online surveys that were sent to just under 1500 randomly selected 12 to 39 years old wearers of silicone hydrogel and hydrogel soft contact lenses.

Important findings included the fact that almost half of the respondents did not hand wash with soap prior to lens insertion in the morning and removal at night. Even fewer-about 25%-said that they did not rub lenses with disinfecting solution. Refractive Services Director and Corneal Specialist at Baltimore Washington Eye Center Dr. Brad Spagnolo, comments that, “Although many of the disinfecting solutions on the market use words like ‘No rub’, studies still support the continued practice of performing manual cleaning with an index finger to reduce the risk of infection.”
Compliance with lens case care was equally poor or worse with 33 percent responding that they cleaned their cases monthly or less often. Further, most patients reported cleaning the cases with tap water. According Dr. Shari Strier, Clinical Services Director and Contact Lens Specialist at Baltimore Washington Eye Center, this practice can “increase the risk of ocular infections.” And, while lens cases should be replaced about once every 3 months, 48 percent said they replace the storage case once a year or less. Dr. Spagnolo agreed stating, “Unfortunately, we often find patients wear a set of lens much longer than is recommended, making them more likely to experience ocular discomfort. Perhaps more importantly, this habit may put them are greater risk for a serious eye infection.” Dr. Strier summarized, “We recommend that our contact lens wearers have annual eye exams. We stress to those patients the guidelines for good lens care and hygiene, including lens cleaning and replacement schedules.
If you or someone you know has questions about contact lenses, contact lens care or proper contact lens cleaning and disinfection they 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.

The study was sponsored by VISTAKON, a Division of Johnson & Johnson Vision Care, Inc.
Study Source: Hickson-Curran S, Chalmers RL, Riley C. (In Press). Patient attitudes and behavior regarding hygiene and replacement of soft contact lenses and storage cases. Contact Lens & Anterior Eye (2011)

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Baltimore LASIK for Contact Lens Problems

Baltimore LASIK Surgeon & Corneal Specialist Brad Spagnolo, M.D. of Baltimore Washington Eye Center commented, “Contact lens problems and intolerance seem to be motivating more and more patients to schedule LASIK consultations these days.” In fact, contact lens problems and intolerance are the reasons a great many patients seek LASIK Surgery and Laser Vision Correction. “The most common reason for contact lens intolerance that we see is a condition called Giant Papillary Conjunctivitis or GPC,” commented Dr. Spagnolo.

When we wear contact lenses, no matter how successfully or how diligent we are in their care and replacement, they become coated with mucous and protein from our tears. After a number of years of wearing contacts it is not uncommon to develop an allergy to the protein on the contact lens. Initially this may result in patients having some dry eye symptoms and prompt them to use lubricating eye drops. However, as the GPC contact lens problem continues to progress patients begin to notice some itch and stringy mucous type discharge from their eyes. After a while the contacts just become too uncomfortable and gritty and patients become intolerant and just can’t wear their contacts. During a severe episode of GPC, patients may be restricted from wearing their contacts in order to reduce the allergic inflammation of the lids. In some cases, patients are no longer able to wear contacts again at all. Patients with a chronic GPC may decide to have LASIK to correct their vision, so that they no longer need to depend on contacts on a daily basis.

LASIK can be a great option for you to rid yourself of the hassle of contacts and allow you to continue a “glasses free” lifestyle for seeing at distance. If you or someone you know suffers from any type of contact lens problem and would like to learn more about LASIK and whether they are a good candidate please call Baltimore Washington Eye Center at 800-495-3937 for a Free LASIK Consultation, 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, June 21, 2012

Baltimore Doctors on Eyestrain & Tired Eyes

"It seems as if almost every day we hear patient complaints of eyestrain and tired eyes,” noted Baltimore Ophthalmologist Brad Spagnolo, M.D. Baltimore Washington Eye Center Optometrist & Contact Lens Specialist Dr. Shari Strier explained, “Eyestrain is the common description that people use for the eye and vision problem called 'asthenopia.' Eyestrain or asthenopia often results when the eyes get tired from excessive or intense use.” Dr. Strier further noted, “While it can be quite annoying, in general it tends to disappear when we stop using our eyes for a while and rest. While eyestrain is not a serious condition, it could indicate some underlying problem that needs to be addressed especially if it is related to headaches, double vision, difficulty concentrating and fatigue.”
People who report eyestrain often do so by complaining about symptoms of fatigue, dull eye pain or discomfort, blurry vision, double vision, headaches, dry eyes light sensitivity and sometimes even a stiff or sore neck. Eyestrain is very common among people who use or work on computers or play video games for prolonged periods of time. The use of computer screens of any sort along with uncorrected common refractive errors such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism and the age related near vision focusing problem presbyopia is a frequent cause of eyestrain. Along with even slight eye muscle imbalances, these focusing problems can really result in annoying eye fatigue and strain.

If you or someone you know suffers from eyestrain symptoms, 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, June 19, 2012

Military LASIK Discount in Baltimore

Baltimore Washington Eye Center offers Laser Vision Correction including LASIK at a discount for active duty military personnel. The recent celebration of the U.S. Army’s 237th anniversary serves as a reminder of the hard work performed and the sacrifices made by the men and women of our military. This occasion also serves as an opportunity to remind our armed forces personnel that the Baltimore Washington Eye Center offers Laser Vision Correction including LASIK at a discount for active duty military personnel. The duties required in service to our country can be dangerous, to say the least. Reducing or eliminating one’s dependence on glasses and/or contact lenses can certainly provide an increased measure of safety and peace of mind for those who do those jobs day in and day out.

Thus, in recognition of their service to our country any active-duty and activated National Guard and Reserve soldiers-Army, Navy, Air Force or Marines-are eligible for Laser Eye Surgery at a discount at Baltimore Washington Eye Center. Military personnel should first check as to whether they meet certain criteria under the Warfighter Refractive Eye Surgery Program (WRESP) as they may be able to be treated there at no cost If however they are not eligible or the time delay to get treated is simply too long we are happy to see them for a Free Consultation at Baltimore Washington Eye Center and if they are a good candidate, upon scheduling their treatment we will extend a special military discount.
Again, the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines have policies that may differ slightly from each other's eye surgery policies, so it is important to contact your nearest same service Warfighter Refractive Eye Surgery Center and review specific questions and eligibility and waiver requirements.

If you or someone you know would like to schedule a Free Laser Vision Correction consultation 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, June 7, 2012

Baltimore Washington UV Eye Protection

Baltimore Washington Eye Center wishes to announce that Prevent Blindness America has designated May as National Ultraviolet Eye Awareness Month. “Most people know the harmful effects that ultraviolet (UV) rays can have on the skin. But many are not aware of the damage that they can cause to the eyes,” said Baltimore Ophthalmologist Brad Spagnolo, M.D. of Baltimore Washington Eye Center. “Possibly the most frightening aspect of UV damage is that it is cumulative, meaning the negative effects may not present themselves until years later.”

Today almost everyone is aware of the potential damage that sunlight and ultraviolet (UV) radiation can cause to their skin, however most are unaware of or simply do not appreciate that ultraviolet light (UV) can also cause significant damage to eye health and vision. Most of us wouldn’t dream of staying outside in the sun without putting on sunscreen lotion,” said Baltimore Washington Eye Center Medical Director Arturo Betancourt, M.D. “But we also need to remember to wear both UV-blocking lenses and a brimmed hat to protect our eyes as well.”
Patients are fortunate to have wide range of UV protecting eyeglass lenses available to choose from. Eye protection from UV needs to be complete but doesn’t have to be overly expensive. High quality sunglasses should block out 99-100 percent of both UV-A and UV-B radiation. It is also important to have UV protection in everyday eyewear, which is readily available with a number of UV blocking eyeglass lens materials, specialized coatings and photochromic lenses.

“As eye physicians and surgeons we know that exposure to UV has been linked to many eye problems and in some cases thought to quicken the onset of eye diseases such as cataract, age related macular degeneration and increases the risk of certain cancers on the delicate skin around the eye”, commented Dr. Betancourt. “As a cornea specialist I often see patients with UV related problems such as Pterygia-a growth of white tissue on the surface of the eye-and even Photokeratitis, a type of sunburn of the cornea,” added Dr. Spagnolo.

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, 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, Catonsville, Clarksville, Columbia, Dundalk, Edgemere, Essex, Ellicott City, Ferndale, Glen Burnie, Kenwood, Laurel, Linthicum, Lutherville, Millersville, Odenton, Olney, Owings Mills, Reisterstown, Towson, Parkville, Randallstown, Rivera Beach, Pasadena, Severna Park, South Gate and Woodlawn Maryland.

When you visit Baltimore Washington Eye Center please ask us any questions you might have about UV protection, eye disease and the best way to protect your eyes with the proper eyewear and lens choices or visit us at http://www.bweyecenter.com/ or facebook.com/baltimorewashingtoneyecenter.