Baltimore Washington Eye Center, Maryland

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Baltimore UV Eye Protection Awareness

Baltimore Washington Eye Center Ophthalmologist Arturo Betancourt, M.D. commented on Ultraviolet (UV) Eye Protection Awareness Month.  “As May marks Ultraviolet (UV) Eye Protection Awareness Month, we wanted to comment on UV protective eyewear and precautions people should take,” commented Dr. Betancourt “The summer months are a great time to be outdoors-walking, hiking, swimming-going to the beach-and just enjoying our community. But, with more exposure to the sun and ultraviolet or UV rays on a daily basis, we need to be reminded to use proper UV eye protection”, remarked Dr. Betancourt.

Almost everyone is aware of the potential damage that sunlight and ultraviolet (UV) radiation can cause to their skin, however most people do not know or appreciate that ultraviolet light (UV) can also cause significant damage to eye health and vision. Exposure to UV has been linked to many eye problems and in some instances is thought to quicken the onset of eye diseases such as age related macular degeneration (AMD)cancers on the delicate skin around the eye, Pterygia-a growth of white tissue on the surface of the eye-and even Photokeratitis, a type of sunburn of the cornea.

“One of the most concerning aspects of UV eye damage and injury is that it is cumulative and often doesn’t become noticeable to patients for many years,” noted Dr. Betancourt. Some precautions regarding UV eye protection include:
  • Always wear sunglasses that block 100% of UVA and UVB rays. Sunglasses without UV protection may shade the eyes but actually cause the pupils to dilate, allowing in even more harmful rays. • Wear a brimmed hat along with sunglasses that block 100% of UVA and UVB rays.
  • Choose wrap-around sunglasses to protect the eyes and the skin around the eyes.
  • Be aware that although some contact lenses may offer UV protection, they cannot protect the entire eye and the skin around it.
  • Choose sunglasses made of unbreakable polycarbonate, especially for children and for those who lead active lifestyles.
  • Be sure to ask your doctor about the photosensitizing side effects of any medications that you might take.
  • Always wear eye protection when using a tanning bed. According the American Academy of Ophthalmology, tanning beds can produce UV levels up to 100 times more than the sun, which can cause serious damage to the external and internal structures of the eye and eyelids. 
Today we have wide range of UV protecting eyeglass lensesavailable 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.

Patients visiting Baltimore Washington Eye Center can speak with our staff who will be able to provide the proper counseling and fitting of UV protecting lenses and eyewear. These eye care professionals can offer a wide variety of UV blocking lenses, coatings and color changing lenses to keep you safe.

If you or someone you know has a question or concerns about ultraviolet (UV) eye damage and injury and how to select protective eyewear please feel free to call 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, April 22, 2013

Camping without Contacts after LASIK

Camping with contact lenses is a challenge-so I am thankful for LASIK. Two years ago I was over-wearing my contact lenses because I couldn’t see anything more than a foot in front of my face without them or glasses. When I would go on a trip I’d have to bring 2 spare pairs of lenses, glasses and solution because I would be blind if I lost a contact lens. I even showered and swam with them in because I wanted to be able to see my legs to shave in the shower and I did not want to run into the side of the pool while swimming. These are both big no nos. So, after a big dose of encouragement from my coworkers and much soul searching, I decide to go for it and have LASIK. I wasn’t worried about Dr. Spagnolo’s reputation or experience level, since I had seen the procedure and the positive results many times-I was just scared of the what ifs.

The procedure was a breeze. I had a slight ache while the suction was on but nothing major and my orbit bones were sore to the touch for a few days. Dr. Spagnolo was super sweet during the entire procedure and even called me that night to check on me. I was so excited that I could see my alarm clock 3 hrs after surgery that I called Sharon and told her it was 2:37 pm and I could see it. No glasses, no Lenses and I could read the clock. Needless to say I was thrilled!!! My vision was and has remained EXCELLENT!! I wish I would have had it sooner. I can tell you if I had known how simple the procedure was and how fast the recovery was I might have had it sooner. Well, Maybe… 

Now when I go camping with my family I am free. I don’t have to worry about sanitary situations, solutions, lenses or any of the hassles and clutter that go along with contact lenses. I just see beautifully. I have spread the good word about my fantastic experience, with Baltimore Washington Eye Center, with anyone who will listen and even ones who won’t. Trust me, it’s well worth the anxiety and my vision has never been better. Suffice it to say my LASIK experience was awesome. 

Guest Blogger: Meredith Mammano

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.

Friday, April 12, 2013

Baltimore LASIK Surgeon on Being Too Old for LASIK

Baltimore Washington LASIK Surgeon Brad Spagnolo, M.D. commented on being too old for LASIK. “I recently examined a 72 year old gentleman who wanted to know if he was too old for LASIK,” shared Dr. Spagnolo. “In reviewing his general health he was in good shape-and after his eye exam I was comfortable that his eye health, corneal health and tear film were quite good. His retinas were normal and he had a bare trace of a cataract in one but it corrected to 20/20 with his -7.00 D eyeglass correction. Most importantly he couldn’t tolerate contact lenses and was a fairly active tennis player and hiker-so we scheduled him for LASIK,” explained Dr. Spagnolo. “We did however explain that he was going to need to either wear reading glasses or consider having monovision to help with his near vision presbyopia focusing problem that we all have after 40 or so.” 

As long as they have a tangible reason for wanting LASIK so that it will improve their lifestyle, people thinking about having Laser Eye Surgery can do so without worrying about being too old for LASIK as long as they have healthy eyes, a health cornea, sufficient tears and are free of cataracts or retinal diseases.

If you are someone you know would like to find out if you are a good candidate for LASIK please schedule 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, April 9, 2013

Baltimore Cataract Surgeon on Air Travel & Flying


“Having cataract surgery doesn’t need to present a major barrier to air travel of flying,” stated Baltimore Cataract Surgeon Arturo Betancourt, M.D. “My cataract patients-especially as they seem to be getting younger-are continuing very active lifestyles. Often they need to get on an airplane or take advantage of air travel arrangements after cataract surgery and don’t want to be hindered.”

Most cataract surgeons require their patients to be examined the first day after cataract surgery and again at about 5-8 days after a cataract operation. This is the period of time where rare, but potentially serious, complications would likely be detected, if they were to occur. Beyond this period of time it is more a matter of making sure that you have access to continued follow up care at your cataract surgeon’s direction. If you are contemplating a trip after your cataract surgery you should discuss this with your cataract surgeon and we can give you any additional advice you might need regarding air travel as it would apply to your post operative instructions.

If you or someone you know has questions or concerns about cataract surgery, air travel and flying 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.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Waiting Too Long for Cataract Surgery


Baltimore Cataract Surgeon Brad Spagnolo, M.D. shared thoughts about waiting too long to have cataract surgery and lens implants. “The decision of when to have a cataract removed and replaced with lens implants is really a very personal decision,” said Dr. Spagnolo. “Some patients are simply not comfortable with the slightest degree of blurry vision or glare sensitivity, whereas others surprise me with how tolerant they are. So, I generally tell patients that their cataracts should be removed when they feel that they have visual discomfort or inconvenience-or any safety issues with navigating each day’s activities with confidence,” Dr Spagnolo explained.

What patients should know though is that waiting too long for cataract surgery can result is some unintended consequences and possible risks. “For example, as a cataract matures, it does become denser and somewhat more difficult to remove. This requires more energy and may lead to prolonged inflammation or even intraoperative complications,” stated Dr. Spagnolo.  “For certain we don’t want the cataract to become so dense, swollen and cloudy that it causes a type of glaucoma or impair our view of the retina,” Dr. Spagnolo stressed. “In these instances your cataract surgeon is likely to recommend proceeding with cataract removal even though you may not think you are quite ready.”

If you or someone you know has a cataract or is need of cataract surgery and lens implants please feel free 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, April 1, 2013

Baltimore Sports Eye Protection for Athletes

Baltimore Washington Eye Center Ophthalmologist Arturo Betancourt, M.D. shared information about sports eye protection and the risk of eye injuries for athletes. “April is Sports Eye Safety Awareness Month and the American Academy of Ophthalmology asks eye doctors to remind our community that 40,000 people suffer from eye injuries related to sports every year. These eye injuries from sports can be devastating, and the only way to prevent them is by wearing protective eyewear,” said Dr. Betancourt, Medical Director of Baltimore Washington Eye Center. 

Many sports create risk for eye injuries which can include abrasions of the cornea and bruises of the lids, retinal detachments and internal bleeding. The most serious risks involve permanent vision loss along with infection. In addition, patients who have sustained eye injuries are at greater risk for developing glaucoma.

Athletes need to use the eye protection that is available for most sports, including basketball, baseball, hockey, football, lacrosse, fencing, paintball, water polo, golf and others. “I counsel and reassure my patients that wearing properly fitted protective eyewear will not harm your performance, and it may well save your eye health and vision,” said Dr. Betancourt. Something to be aware of is that most sporting leagues don’t require children to wear eye protection, so parents should take special care to ensure their children wear eye protection.”

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. Athletes need to wear appropriate, sport-specific protective eyewear properly fitted by an eye care professional. Lenses made from polycarbonate materials provide the highest level of impact protection; they can withstand a ball or other projectile traveling at 90 miles per hour. 

If you or someone you know has questions or would like help in selecting, fitting or choosing sports protective eyeglasses, 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.