Baltimore Washington Eye Center, Maryland

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Baltimore Ophthalmologist Says Aging Eyes Have Better Vision


Arturo Betancourt, M.D.
Medical Director
“Aging eyes have better vision-seniors should be pleased,” stated Baltimore Ophthalmologist Arturo Betancourt, M.D., Medical Director of Baltimore Washington Eye Center. There has been a significant decrease is vision loss in older Americans according to a study in the June 2012 journal Ophthalmology-the official publication of the American Academy of Ophthalmology. “The prevalence of activity-limiting visual impairment is decreasing and has been decreasing-and this is really great news for seniors. While the study wasn’t terribly specific, I believe that better cataract surgery and lens implants, better diabetes treatment and control and a sharp decrease in smoking all play a role in why seniors now have better overall chances of preserving their eye health and vision,” Dr. Betancourt stated.

Modern cataract surgery-with advanced technology lens implants has become routine and complications are pretty rare. Years ago, people waited until a cataract was so bad that even a poor surgical result was better than living with a cataract. Today, when the presence of a cataract impairs either the quality of vision or the quality of life, the techniques and procedures allow for safe and effective cataract surgery to be performed.

  • Today, only 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. smoke cigarettes as compared to 1 in 3 in the 1980s.
  • Smoking is a major risk factor for macular degeneration, which is one of the most common vision impairing eye diseases in seniors. 
  • Diabetes is a leading cause of blindness and age and obesity are leading risk factors for diabetes.
  • Even though diabetes rates in the U.S. continue to climb, better therapies are now available to prevent and treat diabetes-related eye health vision problems. 
  • To some extent, seniors have helped preserve eye health and vision by taking the step of having regular eye exams which are quite important for everyone as they age, especially people with diabetes and other health conditions that can lead to vision loss.
If you or someone you know has not had a recent eye exam 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.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Baltimore Glaucoma Eye Drop iPhone App

Baltimore Washington Eye Center Ophthalmologist Brad Spagnolo, M.D. shared information about a free iPhone app to remind glaucoma patients to take their eye drops and medications. “One of the biggest glaucoma management problems we have is when patients don’t remember to use their glaucoma eye drops or take their other medications,” explained Dr. Spagnolo. “The free iPhone EyeDROPS app should help us get better patient compliance and consistency with their glaucoma medications and thus hopefully better control of the eye disease.”

The EyeDROPS app prompts users to enter information about the eye drops they are taking, including dosages and schedules. The app then alerts patients via their phones when it’s time to put in their eye drops. The app keeps a record of medication usage and informs the patient of the next scheduled dosing time. The free EyeDROPS app even allows patients to take a photo of each bottle to avoid confusion when taking more than one kind of eye drop. The EyeDROPS app is available for Android phones through Google Play and for the Apple iPhone through the App Store.

If you or someone you know suffers from glaucoma 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, January 15, 2013

Baltimore LASIK Flex Plans-Now is the Time!


“Now is the time for Baltimore patients who want LASIK to use any Flex Plan funds that might be available to them,” commented Baltimore LASIK Surgeon & Corneal Specialist Brad Spagnolo, M.D. “January is a popular month for New Year’s resolutions which often includes self improvements like LASIK. If you or a family member has Flex Plan funds to use, this is a good time to make LASIK affordable.”

Many employers offer Flex Plans-Flexible Spending Accounts or FSA’s. These plans allow you to have money taken out of your paycheck over time to pay for LASIK. What is even more appealing about Flex Plans is that money is withheld in Pre-Tax dollars allowing you to get extra tax savings.

If you or someone you know would lie to learn more about LASIK or schedule a Free LASIK Consultation they are encouraged to call Baltimore Washington Eye Center at 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.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Glaucoma Eye Exams & Screenings at Baltimore Washington Eye

Baltimore Washington Eye Center eye doctor Brad Spagnolo, M.D. reviewed what you should know about glaucoma eye exams and screenings. “Early detection, diagnosis and treatment are the keys to preventing vision loss from glaucoma. This is why proper glaucoma eye exams and screenings are so important-especially is any family member has a history of high eye pressure or a diagnosis of glaucoma,” commented Dr. Spagnolo, a Baltimore Ophthalmologist & Corneal Specialist at Baltimore Washington Eye Center.

Eye exams for glaucoma should begin by checking your visual acuity with and without your eyeglasses or contact lenses. Then, the tonometry test should be performed. This is a method of measuring your Intraocular Pressure (IOP) and gives the eye doctors the first piece of important information in determining whether you might have glaucoma. Ophthalmoscopy is another examination procedure used to detect and diagnose glaucoma. Ophthalmoscopy is a method of carefully examining the inside of the eye-especially the optic nerve-in order to detect glaucoma.  It is necessary to have some eye drops placed in your eyes in order to dilate your pupils so that the doctors can make a clear and direct observation of the optic nerve.

If either the Intraocular Pressure (IOP) is elevated or the optic nerve appears unusual, additional tests will be necessary in order to complete the glaucoma examination. These may include Visual Field Perimetry, Gonioscopy, Optic Nerve Computer Imaging and Pachymetry. Should you need any of these tests we explain them fully to you and answer your questions so that you understand how they allow us to diagnose glaucoma.

If you are under 40 years of age and do not have any family history of glaucoma or ocular hypertension-and have no other glaucoma risk factors such as high blood pressure or diabetes or being of African-American or Hispanic descent, then having a glaucoma eye examination every two years should be sufficient. If you have any glaucoma risk factors, a family history or are over 40-especially if you are of African-American or Hispanic descent, then a glaucoma eye exam each year is recommended.

If you or someone you know has a family history of glaucoma or has any risk factors for glaucoma such as a high eye pressure, 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.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Fearful & Nearsighted to No Contacts, Good Vision & Thanks

I wanted to share my story of going from being fearful and nearsighted to being thankful with good vision and no contact lenses or vision correction. I have been extremely nearsighted for the past 27 years in addition to having astigmatism in my left eye.  While I had heard about LASIK eye surgery, frankly it scared me to death, so I avoided it and just continued to wear contact lenses to correct my vision.  Recently a coworker had LASIK performed at the Baltimore Washington Eye Center and recommended it highly to me.  I learned that my coworker’s nearsightedness was very similar to my own and so it piqued my interest.  I decided to check it out and I am so thrilled that I did.  Not only was I a good candidate, but the surgery itself was painless and over with in less than 20 minutes and the results are amazing.  I think the timing was right for me too, because they now “map” your eyes ~ the LASIK is done specifically to your exact needs.  The bottom line is I can now see like I used to when I was in my early 20’s.  I can’t believe how easy it was; both the surgery and my recovery.  I wish I had overcome my fear earlier in order to reap these benefits.  I am so grateful for the expertise Dr. Spagnolo and his caring staff for restoring my eyesight.  I don’t think one can truly put a price tag on being able to see like this again – without the aid of contacts or glasses.  I am so happy and plan on referring my friends and family to Dr. Spagnolo.  The old adage “I was once blind but now I can see” has taken on a whole new meaning for me!  Thank you, Dr. Spagnolo, for taking such good care of my eyes and for restoring my vision.  You and your staff are top-notch and this whole experience was a huge blessing to me.

Guest Blogger: Paula Walker

If you or someone you know would like to learn more about LASIK or schedule a Free LASIK Consultation they are encouraged to call Baltimore Washington Eye Center at 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, January 3, 2013

Baltimore Glaucoma Awareness Month

“As we begin 2013, we are making raising awareness about glaucoma a priority,” stated Baltimore Washington Eye Center Ophthalmologist & Medical Director Arturo Betancourt, M.D.  “We feel that taking a moment to put in a little extra effort to remind patients and their families about the need for regular eye exams with glaucoma screenings is really worthwhile.”  According to the most recent statistical data provided by Prevent Blindness America in 2012, 2,719,379 people age 40 and older have open-angle glaucoma, which reflects a 22 percent increase over 2000-a 22% increase.

Prevent Blindness America has designated January as National Glaucoma Awareness Month. Patients should be particularly sensitive to the fact that in African-American and Hispanic populations, glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness. Additional glaucoma risk factors include any family history-especially among siblings-of glaucoma, certain diseases such as diabetes and an increase is risk as patients transcend through their 40’s, 50’s and 60’s.

“The key step in preventing vision loss from glaucoma is early detection, diagnosis and treatment”, said Dr. Betancourt. “This is why we want raise awareness about the importance of regular eye examinations to preserve vision especially for our aging population. We strongly recommend that siblings of glaucoma patients be screened each and every year as their risk of developing glaucoma is some 5 times higher than the typical population.”

If you or someone you know has a family history of glaucoma or has any risk factors for glaucoma 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.