Baltimore Washington Eye Center, Maryland

Monday, March 25, 2013

Baltimore Doctor on Eye Health & Smoking

“It is often difficult for patients to see the long terms increased eye health risks of smoking-especially when they are younger,” stated Baltimore Ophthalmologist Brad Spagnolo, M.D. of Baltimore Washington Eye Center. “Avoiding smoking, or quitting, is one of the best investments you can make in your long-term eye health. Smoking-even in your teens or twenties when your senior years seem far away- increases your future risks for cataract and age-related macular degeneration (AMD). And the more a person smokes, the higher the risks. The good news is that after people quit smoking, their risks for these eye diseases become almost as low as for people who never smoked,” said Dr. Spagnolo.

Smoking also raises the risks for cardiovascular diseases that indirectly influence your eyes’ health. And tobacco smoke, including second-hand smoke, is an irritant that worsens dry eye, a very uncomfortable eye condition that is most common in women after menopause. Smoking increases the risk of serious vision loss in people with other eye diseases. And when women smoke during pregnancy they are more likely to give birth prematurely, putting their babies at higher risk for a potentially blinding disease called retinopathy of prematurity as well as other health problems.

If you or someone you know want to quit smoking and would like help the American Cancer Society has a resource at www.cancer.org. If you would like to learn more about smoking and eye health problems please feel free to 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, March 19, 2013

Cataracts & Foggy to Seeing in HD with Toric Lens Implants

I wanted to share my story of going from having cataracts and being foggy to having cataract surgery and seeing in HD. I lost count of the number of times I cleaned my eyeglasses because they were “foggy”. I also was becoming increasingly perturbed by the “brighter and annoying” headlights on vehicles these days. I refused to acknowledge that perhaps my eyeglasses did not need cleaning or that the driving distraction of oncoming headlights was based on other causes.

Having been associated with ophthalmology practices for over twenty years I am well versed in cataracts and the corrective action needed for that condition. I am also knowledgeable of the advance technology intraocular lenses available for cataract surgery patients. After placing a hand over one eye and still having a foggy vision in the uncovered eye I realized that the time had arrived that I would have to “go under the knife” and have my cataracts removed.

For the first forty-five years of my life I did not wear eyeglasses. I had always hoped that at some point I would be able to return to that status. After my comprehensive eye examination, my surgeon, Dr. Arturo Betancourt, recommended that we proceed with toric lens implants and my reliance on eyeglasses would be minimized. My experience as a surgical patient at the Baltimore Washington Eye Center was outstanding in every respect. The surgery center staff was reassuring, competent, compassionate and empathetic. By the end of the first day of surgery the vision in my corrected eye could be summed up in one word – WOW! Two weeks later after the surgery on my second eye I could only describe my vision as being High Definition, 3-D, and FIOS all wrapped up in one. Except for extremely small print I have no need for eyeglasses, I consider myself to be essentially, glasses free. Everything is so vivid and so bright that I continue to be in awe as to the change in my world of sight. The surgical procedures were absolutely painless and of very short duration. Recovery is painless and the rewards have been huge.

Guest Blogger: Phillip Harrington
If you or someone you know has cataracts or is considering cataract surgery and lens implants please feel free to learn more 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.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Baltimore LASIK Surgeon on Motorcycle Riding & Dry Eye


“What do LASIK, motorcycle riding and dry eyes have in common you wonder?” asked Baltimore LASIK Surgeon Brad Spagnolo, M.D. of Baltimore Washington Eye Center. “This is the time of year we start to see many motorcycle riders who are interested in LASIK,” commented Dr. Spagnolo. “Contact lenses and certainly eyeglasses can be a real challenge for motorcycle riders-so many consider LASIK about now. As motorcycle lovers start to think about the spring and summer motorcycle riding season, I try to remind them that eye safety and also dry eyes should top the list of things they think about as part of their readiness checklists along with the condition of their gear and bikes,” Dr. Spagnolo further explained.

It is important to recognize the need for eye protection from the sun, bugs, small rocks and pebbles and especially the wind, which can really contribute to dry eye symptoms. LASIK patients as well as other recreational motorcycle riders sometimes overlook or are just not aware of the potential for eye irritation and motorcycle dry eye caused by the wind, exhaust fumes, pollen and pollution-as well as the summer sun and heat.

At your LASIK consultation the staff will be exploring your lifestyle needs and activities. As a potential LASIK patient we want to take the time necessary so that we can carefully counsel you in order to get the best results and help meet your expectations. Please take the time to tell us about your motorcycle riding interest as well as all of the ways in which you are hoping to benefit from LASIK.

If you or someone you know would like to learn more about LASIK they are encouraged to schedule a Free LASIK Consultation 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, March 12, 2013

Ravens' Fan gets PRK from Steelers’ Fan: A WIN-WIN for the History Books




Baltimore Ravens

Pittsburgh Steelers

I have to share my story of how a Ravens' Fan had PRK from Steelers’ Fan resulting in a Win-Win for the History Books.

I wanted to share the wonderful and life-changing experience I had and continue to enjoy upon having PRK laser eye surgery in January 2010, as a patient of Dr. Spagnolo (“Dr S.”) and the top notch services of the staff at the Baltimore Washington Eye Center.

I’m age 50, and had worn glasses and contacts since I was age 16, I had experienced continued dry eye and general lack of comfort from wearing contacts for such a long time, additionally in my late 40’s I began to wear reading glasses over my contacts for my everyday work as a paralegal while using a computer. I was 100% dependent upon wearing my contacts or glasses, for everyday needs (shaving, or simply looking in a bathroom mirror) and had to ensure I always carried along all my contact lens solutions any time I traveled. Before meeting with Dr. “S”, I was told on two separate appointments by another laser eye specialist that my eye cornea tissue was too thin to be a candidate for basic LASIK surgery, and nothing could be done for me. They never mention PRK. So I figured I was left with wearing glasses or contact lenses the rest of my life. I happened to meet Dr. “S” as a result of him treating my mother for cataract eye surgery, and I mentioned to his staff of my prior LASIK eye exam history. His staff scheduled me an appointment to meet him for testing. I was placed through a rigorous battery of testing and a very thorough exam by Dr. “S ”, who explained the differences between LASIK and PRK, and that I in fact I was a candidate for PRK, if I choose to do so. He also, explained that PRK did involve a slightly longer healing recovery time frame as compared to LASIK. They were professionally straight forward, but were also very reassuring that he had performed numerous PRK procedures with excellent results.

I returned home for the next few weeks and read over their material and did my own internet research and decided to “go for it.” I had surgery on a Friday, and yes, I did have a tough 12-24 hrs of scratchy eyes, sensitivity to light, and less than perfect vision (all of which I was advised that I’d experience) . I had my initial follow up appointment on Monday and (I could’ve driven to the appointment myself), but chose to be a passenger in a car. For the first time, in 30 yrs or more, I could see all the road signs without wearing contacts or glasses! I resumed work by Tuesday and by the end of the week had greater than 85% clear vision and within two weeks had 20/20, and for the first time in a long time, I could see very well at night without any halo effects, etc.. I do continue to wear reading glasses for computer use and small print, but to have 20/20 vision otherwise has been a life changing experience, especially for someone such as I who is a weekend long distance cyclist. (My wife advised I’m to say I can “see” her prettier today than 20 yrs ago...LOL)

You can expect wonderful and friendly professional caring services by trusting BW Eye Center. (As a Ravens fan, I still trusted Dr. “S”, who is a Steelers fan, now that speaks volumes!)

Guest Blogger: John T. Gorman

If you or someone you know would like to learn more about Laser Eye Surgery for Vision Correction or schedule a Free 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.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Baltimore Cataract Surgeon on Lens Implants for Astigmatism

Baltimore Cataract Surgeon Arturo Betancourt, M.D. commented on correcting astigmatism after cataract surgery with toric lens implants. “Most cataract patients know from their eye exams or eyeglass prescriptions that they have some amount of astigmatism. However, sometimes they don’t realize that it is important for their cataract surgeon to correct that astigmatism in order to get the best visual results after cataract surgery,” explained Dr. Betancourt.

Astigmatism is a common refractive eye condition that that is most often due to an uneven curvature of the cornea. If the cornea were perfectly shaped, it would have a spherical round even shape, like a basketball. In eyes that have astigmatism, the cornea is typically curved more like an oblong, football-like shape, similar to the shape of the back of a teaspoon. “Depending on the degree and orientation of the unequal curvatures, astigmatism can cause mild or even severe blurry vision,” explained Dr. Betancourt.

Patients with cataracts and who are in need of cataract surgery have three choices when considering how to correct their astigmatism. First, patients can simply choose to be dependent on wearing eyeglasses after cataract surgery in order to correct astigmatism. Second, if appropriate, some patients may opt to have an additional surgical procedure called Limbal Relaxing Incisions (LRI) or third, patients can elect have an astigmatism correcting toric lens implant in which the astigmatism correction is incorporated into the lens prescription just as in eyeglasses. “Toric lens implants are placed in the eye in exactly the same manner as ordinary lens implants at the time of cataract surgery and correct the astigmatism as part of the cataract surgery operation,” further explained Dr. Betancourt.

If you or someone you know has cataracts or is considering cataract surgery, and has astigmatism please feel free to learn more about astigmatism correction after cataract surgery 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.