Baltimore Washington Eye Center, Maryland

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Night Driving Problems & Cataracts

Baltimore Cataract Surgeon & Corneal Specialist Brad Spagnolo, M.D. offered some thoughts about night driving and cataracts. “Patients constantly tell me that one of the most troubling things about their vision with cataracts is how disturbing they can be while driving at night,” said Dr. Spagnolo of Baltimore Washington Eye Center. “Driving at night is already difficult enough as reduced lighting can cause you to misjudge distances and boundaries like the edge of the road as well as simply causing an overall dimming of your vision,” Dr. Spagnolo further explained. “So, if you are becoming fearful of night driving with a cataract and you have been told that you have the beginning of a cataract it might well be time to consider whether cataract surgery might be a good option to help you regain your night driving comfort level,” Dr. Spagnolo recommended.

If you or someone you know feels they have night driving problems that might be related to cataracts or has a question about cataracts, 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 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 21029, serving the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Macular Degeneration Treatment Results

Baltimore Washington Eye Center Ophthalmologist & Medical Director Arturo Betancourt, M.D. commented on age related macular degeneration (AMD) treatment results and predictive factors for best success and outcome with Lucentis® injections. “Looking at the data from the long term clinical trials has shown that there can be considerable variability in patient responses to the Lucentis® injections we use to treat age related macular degeneration,” said Dr. Betancourt. “The good news is that this information has been quite useful in establishing a number of diagnostic and treatment parameters that we use to optimize treatment and monitoring regimens to help patients get the best possible results,” Dr. Betancourt explained.

Here are some important factors and considerations that we know today:
·         The initial visual acuity is not a good indicator for patients treated with monthly injections of Lucentis®. But, a poorer initial visual acuity seems to predict greater overall improvement.
·         Smaller areas of blood vessel growth seem to respond better to treatment.
·         If treatment begins BEFORE any hemorrhage has occurred there is usually a more favorable result.
·         The visual acuity found between the 3 and 5 month visit seems to predict about where the 12 month visit acuity will end up.
·         If there is a recurrence of subretinal fluid there is usually a negative effect on the long term visual recovery and functioning.

While there can be no guarantees, by using this information we can work to hopefully avoid the catastrophic vision loss from Wet Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD).  YOUR role is to be consistent in scheduling routine eye exams if you are over 50 years old or even earlier if you have a family history of AMD-and should you notice symptoms including distortion of your vision, waviness or curving of lines or straight surfaces or a sudden change or spots of any kind, please call Baltimore Washington Eye Center at 800-495-3937 for an immediate appointment. The key to maintaining eye health and vision is early detection, diagnosis and treatment.

If you or someone you know has a family history of macular degeneration or is concerned about macular degeneration it is important to schedule regular eye exams by contacting Baltimore Washington Eye Center by calling 800-495-3937, visiting Baltimore Washington Eye Center or facebook.com/baltimorewashingtoneyecenter, so that we can 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 21029, serving the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Diabetic Eye Exams with Baltimore Doctors

“Regular eye exams are the best way to help prevent vision loss from diabetic retinopathy,” said Baltimore Ophthalmologist Brad Spagnolo, M.D. of Baltimore Washington Eye Center. “The eye examinations for diabetic retinopathy need to be thorough and when necessary include advanced testing such as retinal photography, fluorescein angiography and ocular coherence tomography in order to really document how the retina and it’s blood vessels are functioning,” Dr. Spagnolo further explained. “Depending on the severity and the risk of progression of each patient’s diabetic retinopathy we will advise them of the frequency and intervals for their exams. But, patients with diabetes need to know that it is terribly important to keep their appointments.”

Vision loss from diabetes and especially catastrophic vision loss from diabetic retinopathy can be prevented with early detection, diagnosis and treatment. If you or someone you know has diabetes or even elevated blood sugar levels they should work to prevent diabetic eye disease and problems with regular eye exams 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 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 21029, serving the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area.

Monday, November 4, 2013

Diabetic Eye Disease & Problems

Arturo Betancourt, M.D., Medical Director & Ophthalmologist at Baltimore Washington Eye Center reviewed information about diabetic eye disease and diabetic eye problems as Prevent Blindness America has designated November as National Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month. “What we know from the most recent Prevent Blindness America Vision Problems in the U.S. report is that diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness in adults 20-74 years of age. According to the Centers for Disease Control, diabetes affects 25.8 million people in the United States. Although there is no cure for diabetic eye disease, annual eye exams for diabetes patients are essential to help slow the progression of the disease,” said Dr. Betancourt.
The Prevent Blindness America Vision Problems in the U.S. identified that there are almost 8 million people ages 40 and older who have diabetic retinopathy. This represents an 89 percent increase between the years 2000-2012. “While it is not surprising that the incidence of some eye diseases and problems is increasing with the aging of the baby boomer population, it is terribly disturbing to see the dramatic spike in diabetic retinopathy cases, a consequence of the diabetes epidemic that this country is experiencing with no end in sight,” Dr. Betancourt explained.
The vision loss from diabetic retinopathy can be prevented if it's caught early and treated in time. More than one third of those diagnosed with diabetes do not adhere to vision care guidelines recommending a dilated eye exam every year. As part of Diabetic Eye Disease Awareness Month we are urging people with diabetes to have a dilated eye exam every year. The longer a person has diabetes, the greater his or her risk for developing diabetic retinopathy. However, diabetic retinopathy does not only affect people who have had diabetes for many years, it can also appear within the first year or two after the onset of the disease.

“Blood sugar levels can weaken blood vessels causing them to break down which causes swelling, hemorrhages and lipid deposits that can ultimately lead to vision loss. More ominous is the effect of the blood vessel breakdown and oxygen deprivation in promoting fragile new blood vessel growth that can easily break resulting in vitreous hemorrhage, retinal detachment and catastrophic vision loss,” further explained Dr. Betancourt.

In addition to having regular eye examinations and testing at the direction of your eye doctor, patients can help to reduce the risk of developing diabetic eye disease  by not smoking, controlling their cholesterol and lipid profile and blood pressure, as well as working to eat a heart-healthy diet rich in fish, fruit and green leafy vegetables and exercising. 

If you or someone you know has diabetes or even elevated blood sugar levels they should work to prevent diabetic eye disease and problems with regular eye exams 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 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 21029, serving the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area.