Baltimore Washington Eye Center, Maryland

Monday, December 16, 2013

Baltimore Ophthalmologist on Eyes, Colonoscopy & Colon Cancer

Ophthalmologist Brad Spagnolo, M.D. of Baltimore Washington Eye Center asked “What could having a colonoscopy for colon cancer risk possibly have to do with your eyes?” As it turns out-plenty! The retinal pigmented epithelium (RPE) is a layer of the retina which can sometimes be thicker than normal at birth-or “hypertrophic”. “During regular eye exams when we find these areas of retinal pigmented epithelial hypertrophy typically they do not cause any vision problems or symptoms and are pretty unremarkable,” commented Dr. Spagnolo.

Congenital Retinal Pigment Epithelial Hypertrophy (CHRPE) is usually found before patients reach 30 years of age and although they may enlarge with time they usually do not lead to malignancies like colon cancer. However, there is an association between people with Gardner's Syndrome-Familial Colonic Polyposes-or polyps of the colon, and CHRPE. If your eye doctor has told you that you have Congenital Retinal Pigment Epithelial Hypertrophy-perhaps called “Bear Tracks” or “Pigment Spots” or “Retina Freckles”, it is important to carefully explore and review your family history reasonable with a Gastroenterologist who will likely schedule you for a colonoscopy. CHRPE has a “statistically significant” correlation with hereditary colon polyps known as Familial Adenomatous Polyposis, or FAP. It may be that the freckles are caused by the same genetic mutation that produces the polyps. A study published in 2010 in the American Journal of Gastroenterology concluded that patients with such freckles should be referred for colonoscopies.

Thus-when we are over 50 years of age, the reasons to have yearly eye exams includes not only detecting cataracts, glaucoma, age related macular degeneration (AMD) and other eye diseases, but regular eye examinations may very well be a reminder to be screened via colonoscopy to help detect early risks and potential indicators of colon cancer. You are encouraged to schedule an eye examination at 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 eye exam 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.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Macular Degeneration Progression Risk Predictors

Baltimore Washington Eye Center Ophthalmologist & Medical Director Arturo Betancourt, M.D. shared current research on predictive factors of age related macular degeneration (AMD) risk of progression. “Recent research reported in the journal Ophthalmology evaluated the factors of age, body mass index (BMI), smoking status, genetic variations, pre-existing retinal disease and drusen size to establish an algorithm for predicting the risk of patients in progressing to the move visually disabling advanced age related macular degeneration,” stated Dr. Betancourt. “What we now know for sure is that the increased risk of progression is correlated with age, lower educational level, being a current or former smoker and having a higher body mass index (BMI) than those who did not progress. This is helpful in how we counsel, evaluate and follow patients at risk for macular degeneration.”

If you are over 50 years old or even earlier if you have a family history of AMD or any of the risk factors mentioned, you should please schedule an appointment 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.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Multifocal Lens Implants for a Marvelous Morning

I had cataract surgery this past May, performed by Dr. Spagnolo.  I was a bit apprehensive about the surgery, but Dr. Spagnolo and the entire staff made me feel at ease.  I elected to get the multi-focal lenses so that I would not have to wear glasses.  The surgery was painless and was over quickly.  I had worn glasses or contact lenses for over 57 years prior to my surgery.  The first morning after surgery, I rolled over in the morning and was able to read the time on the clock without the aid of glasses for the first time in a lot of years.  What a wonderful feeling!  Thank you, Dr. Spagnolo.  I would highly recommend Dr. Spagnolo and BWEye Center (and have) to anyone.

Guest Blogger: Rose Leatherwood

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 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.