Baltimore Washington Eye Center, Maryland

Monday, September 23, 2013

The Magic of Monovision for Cataracts

Four years ago, Dr. Spagnolo removed a cataract in my left eye and replaced the clouded lens with a near-vision artificial lens, which was effective for my close-up work as a radiologist and also for reading. May right eye at the time was ok, but required glasses for distance vision, driving, movies, TV, etc. I had worn glasses for over 50 years.

One day recently, I was driving and for the heck of it, covered my left eye to check some slight fuzziness of my vision. I was astonished to find that my right eye was almost blind. I couldn’t read the big signs on the road. All my vision seemed to depend on my corrected left eye. Soon after, I came to the BWEye office to have this checked. I was again shocked when tests showed that, using my right eye only, I could not even recognize the top-line big “E” on the vision chart.
But, the best part is what I now assume the doctor was planning for me four years ago, although he didn’t mention it to me then. For this second cataract, the one in my right eye, he put in an artificial lens for distance vision. Left eye – near vision. Right eye – distance vision. I don’t wear glasses anymore – after 50 years of wearing them. This doesn’t work for everyone. But it’s great if it does.
Thank you, Dr. Spagnolo and all your wonderful staff.

Guest Blogger: Stewart Axelbaum
If you or someone you know has cataracts or is considering laser 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 with office locations at 200 Hospital Drive, Suite 600, Glen Burnie, Maryland 21061 and RiverHill Professional Center, 6100 Day Long Lane, Suite 207, Clarksville, Maryland.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Open Angle Glaucoma Symptoms

But Dr. Betancourt, how can I have glaucoma-I see well and I have no symptoms?” is a question that many patients have asked with great surprise at their glaucoma diagnosis,” commented Baltimore Washington Eye Center Ophthalmologist Arturo Betancourt, M.D.

Glaucoma is a sight stealing eye disease in which the most common form-Primary Open Angle Glaucoma-has no symptoms that affected patients can readily be aware of. This is especially important as among African-American and Hispanic populations glaucoma is the leading cause of blindness. Further-primary open angle glaucoma-is hereditary. The Nottingham Glaucoma Study published in the British Journal of Ophthalmology evaluated the risk that siblings of glaucoma patients would themselves develop glaucoma within their lifetime. The study demonstrated that there was a strong likelihood that family members of glaucoma patients were at greater risk and that siblings were 5 times more likely to develop glaucoma by age 70. “This is why we strongly recommend that siblings of glaucoma patients and glaucoma suspects be screened for glaucoma, each and every year," said Dr. Betancourt.

There is a real need for regular eye examinations and glaucoma screening by an eye doctor in order to help you preserve your eye health and vision. If you or someone you know has a question about glaucoma, glaucoma symptoms, glaucoma risk or to schedule a glaucoma eye exam please feel free to contact 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 with office locations at 200 Hospital Drive, Suite 600, Glen Burnie, Maryland 21061 and RiverHill Professional Center, 6100 Day Long Lane, Suite 207, Clarksville, Maryland.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Eye Infections & Acne Medication

“What do eye infections and acne medications have to do with each other?” asked Baltimore Ophthalmologist & Corneal Specialist Brad Spagnolo, M.D. “Recently, a study on eye infections and acne medication was presented in Archives of Dermatology where researchers collected data on nearly 15,000 teens and young adults taking isotretinoin to treat acne and compared their rates of eye infections to group that had acne but not taking the drugs and to a third group that didn't take the drugs and didn't have acne,” stated Dr. Spagnolo. Isotretinoin is also sold under the brand names Roaccutane, Amnesteem, Claravis, Myorisan and Sotret.

Within a year of starting the medication, nearly 14 percent of those in the acne medication group developed an eye infection or dry eyes, compared with almost 10 percent in the group that had acne but did not take the medications and about 7 percent in the group that didn't have acne. Compared to the acne-free group, those taking isotretinoin were at 70 percent increased risk of an eye infection over the course of a year. The mean age of participants was about 16.5 years old.

"The most common problem was conjunctivitis, an inflammation or infection of the membrane lining the eye and eyelids. Other problems included hordeolum or stye which is an inflamed oil gland on the edge of the eyelid, chalazion which is a tender, swollen lump in the eyelid due to a blocked oil gland, blepharitis-an inflammation of the eyelash follicles and dry eyes,” further explained Dr. Spagnolo.

Isotretinoin treats acne by reducing oil production from the sebaceous glands, among other effects. But isotretinoin also disrupts function of the meibomian glands, or oil glands inside the eyelids. The meibomian glands help keep the eyes lubricated. Less lubrication may mean the eyes are irritated, itching and burning, prompting people to rub them and introduce bacteria. “The good news is that most side effects of the drugs can be prevented using artificial tears to keep the eyes lubricated,” said Dr. Spagnolo.

If you or someone you know has a question about acne medication, eye infections or eye problems such as dry eyes, stye, chalazion or blepharitis please feel free to contact 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 with office locations at 200 Hospital Drive, Suite 600, Glen Burnie, Maryland 21061 and RiverHill Professional Center, 6100 Day Long Lane, Suite 207, Clarksville, Maryland.

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Wedding Eyes with LASIK

Still to this day, I can remember my very first eye exam at the ripe ol’ age of 16. I thought I had good eyes but apparently not from what my exam revealed. So my first pair of glasses was purchased and then……… not worn much, if at all. Fast forward about 8 years to my 2nd ever eye exam and yes, another prescription for glasses. I had not worn glasses in so long, that when I finally purchased my first pair in almost 8 years I was a little rusty at taking care of them and wearing them all the time. Frustration set in as my FiancĂ© and I were sitting at the table discussing our wedding plans I was thinking to myself, do I really have to wear my glasses at our wedding? Then thinking to myself, well yes if I even want to see my future husband at the other end of the isle I will certainly wear them. But then I continued to think they just did not look right with my wedding gown. As I arrived at work the next morning at Baltimore Washington Eye Center I had the thought of trying contact lenses so I wouldn’t have to wear my glasses during the wedding. My experience with contact lenses was horrible, well at least for me it was. Dr Shafi must have tried everything on me for me to be able to continue to wear them. After the millionth time of trying to find the right one I finally just gave up. I remember talking with Dr Spagnolo and Sharon about LASIK and I must say I was a little nervous about it. As time came closer and closer to my wedding date I finally gave in and became excited about having a LASIK consult. When Dr Spagnolo told me I was a candidate and he would do the procedure, I became so excited! Finally it was February 1st and it was LASIK day! As nervous as I could be, everything went great! I woke up after my long nap and I could see!!! 4 months later, June 1st had finally arrived and I was on my way down the aisle toward my future husband and I could see him as clear as could be! Glasses free and contact lens free!!! All the hassle gone!!! My wedding day turned out as perfect as could be thanks to my new eyes!!
Guest Blogger: Lena Schier 

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 with office locations at 200 Hospital Drive, Suite 600, Glen Burnie, Maryland 21061 and RiverHill Professional Center, 6100 Day Long Lane, Suite 207, Clarksville, Maryland.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Laser Cataract Surgery at Baltimore Washington Eye Center

Baltimore Washington Eye Center is pleased to announce that cataract surgeons from the greater Baltimore and D.C. area will now be performing laser cataract surgery in their eye surgery suites. The potential advantage of using the femtosecond laser to assist in cataract surgery and lens implants is that it allows the consolidation and conversion of the many skill intensive steps of cataract removal into a more predictable procedure. “ Cataract surgery is a technically complex type of eye surgery requiring tremendous surgical skill for a number of steps that we have performed manually until now,” noted Baltimore Cataract Surgeon Arturo Betancourt, M.D. “By incorporating the Alcon® LenSx® Femtosecond Laser into our cataract surgery procedure we will provide the added benefits of bladeless laser cataract surgery to deliver a safe, more precise and even more gentle eye surgery through enhanced laser created, surgeon controlled precision resulting in even further improved clinical results for patients in need of cataract surgery and lens implants,” explained Dr. Betancourt. Corneal Specialist & Cataract Surgeon Brad Spagnolo, M.D. commented, “Cataract surgery procedures and technology have improved so much that patients no longer have to wait for cataracts to “ripen” before choosing to have them removed, replaced with permanent clear lens implants and returning to an active everyday lifestyle. For most patients laser cataract surgery can be performed in the comfort of our convenient, close to home ambulatory surgery center with “eye drop anesthesia” and through a very tiny incision that doesn’t even require stitches. The laser cataract surgery procedure along with advanced technology lens implants allows most patients to achieve their personal vision correction goals and resume active lifestyles in just a couple of days after surgery.”

Baltimore Washington Eye Surgery Center has installed the Alcon® LensSx® Femtosecond Laser in a specially designed suite to assist cataract surgeons in providing laser cataract surgery and lens implants for patients from throughout the greater Baltimore and D.C. area at 200 Hospital Drive, Suite 600, Glen Burnie, Maryland 21061.
Baltimore Washington Eye Surgery Center is a convenient, comfortable, close to home surgery center fully accredited by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC) and licensed by the State of Maryland and Medicare. Please call Baltimore Washington Eye Center at 800-495-3937 and ask us any questions you might have about cataracts, laser cataract surgery and lens implants or visit us at www.bweyecenter.com or facebook.com/baltimorewashingtoneyecenter or follow our eye care blog.