Baltimore Washington Eye Center, Maryland

Monday, October 28, 2013

Baltimore Contact Len Specialist on Self Esteem for Teens

“Teens and tweens are often quite challenged during adolescence by the “Trifecta of Awkwardness-braces, acnes and glasses!” commented Baltimore Washington Eye Center Contact Lens Specialist Dr. Shari Strier. Contact lenses can play an important role in helping adolescents-especially teenagers-with some difficult times for their self esteem and self image. “I know all too well from my own kids, the peer pressure and insecurity created by concerns about appearance at these ages,” Dr. Strier stated. 

Not being able to play sports or worrying about how they look can leave many teens feeling anxious, stressed out and unhappy. “We love fitting children in this age group with contact lenses because we routinely see that teens who wear contact lenses benefit beyond simply correcting their vision. They typically improve in how they feel about their physical appearance, their acceptance among friends and of course their ability to play sports,” further explained Dr. Strier. 

If you or someone you know would like to learn more about contact lenses or schedule an appointment for a contact lens fitting 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 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 21029, serving the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Contact Lenses, Halloween & Your Eyes


Baltimore Optometrist & Contact Lens Specialist, Dr. Asifa Shafi provided some words of caution about contact lenses, Halloween and your eyes. “Halloween, decorative contact lenses and your eyes may not be a great combination,” stated Dr. Shafi of Baltimore Washington Eye Center. “About this time each year we see the result of the Halloween participants who wish to turn their eyes from blue to some far out appearance or ghoulish look by using over-the-counter, decorative contact lenses. While this can be a good source of Halloween fun, it can also lead to serious vision-threatening problems,” explained Dr. Shafi.

According to the Food and Drug Administration, all contact lenses are regulated medical devices that require a prescription and proper fitting by an eye-care professional. Even someone with perfect vision would still require an eye exam and a prescription in order to wear any kind of contacts, including cosmetic lenses. Some websites advertise decorative contacts as if they were fashion accessories or toys with fanciful, playful packaging in order to attract teens and young adults, especially girls. The problem is not that people use decorative, noncorrective lenses-sometimes called Plano-or zero-powered lenses, but that they buy the devices without a prescription through unlicensed vendors on the Internet or at flea markets and specialty shops.

The buyer of these over-the-counter contact lenses faces a huge risk including scratched corneas, pink eye and more serious types of blinding infection as a result of a corneal ulcer

In 2005, a federal law was passed that classified all contact lenses as medical devices and restricted their distribution to licensed eye-care professionals. Illegal sale of contacts can result in civil penalties of up to $11,000 per violation.

The safe and effective use of contact lenses-whether decorative or not-requires proper fitting and education about their care to prevent the potential for serious eye  problems from becoming a reality. If you or a friend would like to learn more about contact lenses of any type including decorative contacts please 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 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, October 15, 2013

Hidden Costs of LASIK at Discount Centers

Baltimore LASIK Surgeon & Corneal Specialist Brad Spagnolo, M.D. cautioned patients to beware of low LASIK prices with hidden costs you don’t know about at many discount LASIK centers. “LASIK costs are affordable for almost anyone who wishes to minimize their dependence on or even eliminate the need for eyeglasses and contact lenses to see at distance. BUT-there are many patients who shop for the best price for LASIK and end up getting an unpleasant surprise,” noted Dr. Spagnolo of Baltimore Washington Eye Center. “Reputable and trusted LASIK surgeons tend to quote fees for LASIK that are comprehensive fees-that is they include everything you need to have LASIK and its associated evaluations and follow up care-regardless of your prescription”, continued Dr. Spagnolo.

Discount LASIK centers that offer the lure of the best price for LASIK often quote a price for LASIK that is right on the edge of being deceptive in that it uses the lowest price to draw you in for an evaluation and get you excited about the possibility of having LASIK but then presenting you with hidden costs and fees. These hidden costs and fees can include an additional fee for your prescription that was not within the advertised range, it can include an extra hidden cost of LASIK for astigmatism, it can include an additional hidden cost for follow up care, it may include an extra hidden cost for custom wavefront LASIK or an add on hidden cost for enhancements-and on and on. Hidden costs and fees for LASIK are somewhat typical of the sales and marketing practices of certain discount centers. LASIK is surgery. “You should choose a LASIK surgeon based on their reputation as recommended by friends and relatives and NOT based on the best price. Choosing a LASIK surgeon based on the best price alone could set you up for a number of hidden costs you can’t even understand and end up costing you more in the long run,” summarized Dr. Spagnolo.

If you or someone you know has a question about LASIK or would like to schedule a Free LASIK Consultation 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 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.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Macular Degeneration & Risk of Stroke

Baltimore eye doctor Arturo Betancourt, M.D. posed an important question-“What does your risk of having a stroke have to do with age related macular degeneration?” Possibly quite a bit as it turns out. Older adults with late-stage, Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) may have a significantly higher risk for hemorrhagic stroke than do individuals without the eye disease, as reported from the Rotterdam Study at the International Stroke Conference. There may be a common underlying process contributing to both Age-Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) and bleeding strokes, but more research will be needed to determine if that’s the case. Researchers found that the risk for any stroke was 56% higher in participants with late-stage AMD than in individuals without AMD after they controlled for the effects of age, sex, diabetes, blood pressure, use of antihypertensive medication, smoking, cholesterol levels, carotid artery plaques, body mass index, alcohol intake, and C-reactive protein levels. 

“The single most significant finding in the study was that participants with late-stage AMD-either the wet or dry forms-had six fold higher risk for intracerebral hemorrhage or stroke than did participants without AMD,” noted Dr. Betancourt of Baltimore Washington Eye Center.”This is a critical piece of information and one we need to be responsive to and keep patients and their physicians abreast of.” 

If you or someone you know suffers from or is concerned about age related macular degeneration (AMD), especially if they are concerned about their risk of stroke or have a family history of stroke please feel free to schedule an eye exam 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 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, October 1, 2013

Cataract Risk & Smoking

Baltimore Washington Eye Center Ophthalmologist & Cataract Surgeon Arturo Betancourt, M.D. commented on the relationship between smoking and risk of cataracts. “Most patients I speak to today are well aware of the vascular risks of smoking. Current research shows that smokers are also at increased risk of glaucoma and age related macular degeneration among smokers. What may be news to those who smoke is that they are also at increased risk of cataracts,” stated Dr Betancourt.

Patients who are current smokers or who have any history of smoking are at increased risk of getting a cataract according to researchers reporting in Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science. The researchers found that the overall current literature suggests that smoking was associated with increased risk of age related cataract, especially nuclear cataract and to some extent posterior sub capsular cataract. They further recommended that additional efforts should be made to confirm these findings and clarify the underlying biological mechanisms. A healthy lifestyle and diet are meaningful ways of maintaining eye health and vision-whether lowering your risk of cataracts, keeping the tiny blood vessels in the eye functioning properly or minimizing the associated risks of glaucoma-it’s important to avoid smoking as a lifestyle choice.

If you or someone you know feels they are at risk for cataract development, has a question about cataracts, laser cataract surgery or lens implants please feel free to schedule an eye exam by contacting Baltimore Washington Eye Center by calling 800-495-3937, visiting Baltimore Washington Eye Center or facebook.com/baltimorewashingtoneyecenter, so that we can help identify any problems 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.