Baltimore Washington Eye Center, 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.