Baltimore Washington Eye Center, Maryland

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Important Eye Injury Facts to Know

Knowing the facts about eye injury and how to prevent eye injuries is one of the most basic things you can do to keep your vision healthy throughout your life. You probably know some of the risks of eye injury but may be unaware that by wearing proper protective eyewear it is possible to prevent 90 percent of those injuries! What is troubling is that according to a survey by the American Academy of Ophthalmology, only 35 percent of people say that they always wear protective eyewear when performing home repairs or maintenance and even less wear protective eyewear while playing sports.

Eye Injury Facts and Myths
  • Who is more likely to have an eye injury-men or women? Men!
  • Are eye injuries more common on the job or at home? Nearly half of all eye injuries occurred in the home! In fact more than 40 percent of eye injuries were caused by projects and activities such as home repairs, yard work, cleaning and cooking. More than a third of injuries in the home occurred in living areas such as the kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, living or family room.
  • More than 40 percent of eye injuries every year are related to sports or recreational activities.
  • Eyes can be damaged by sun exposure, not just chemicals, dust or objects.
  • Among people who have had eye injuries, more than 78 percent of people were not wearing eyewear at the time of injury!
If you or someone you know is concerned about eye injury and wants to learn more about preventing eye injuries and protective eyewear, please call Baltimore Washington Eye Center at 800-495-3937, visit Baltimore Washington Eye Center, Google+ 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, 2391 Brandermill Blvd., Gambrills, Maryland 21054 and River Hill Professional Center, 6100 Day Long Lane, Suite 207, Clarksville, Maryland 21029, serving the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

How Safe is Laser Vision Correction?

LASIK Surgeons Know About Safety
This past October 21, 2015 marked the 20 year anniversary of FDA approval of the use of the excimer laser for Laser Vision Correction of common eye problems such as nearsightedness or myopia. 20 years is a long time and we have now arrived with technology, techniques, skills and experience to be able to provide patients wanting to eliminate their dependence on glasses and contacts, with a safe, effective and reproducible laser eye surgery treatment-whether LASIK, PRK or other method of correction.

Patient Barriers to LASIK
Still, one of the main barriers to patients who want to have LASIK is there concern about safety. A recent study was conducted to determine what percent of LASIK & Refractive Surgeons WHO ACTUALLY PERFORMED THE PROCEDURE, have had Laser Vision Correction. Certainly, eye surgeons who perform refractive surgery MUST know the dark dirty secrets of safety issues and would avoid putting themselves at undue risk. After all…EYE SURGEONS NEED EXCELLENT VISION!

Results of the Laser Vision Correction Safety Study
The study, called Prevalence of Laser Vision Correction in Ophthalmologists Who Perform Refractive Surgery was published in the September Journal of Cataract & Refractive Surgery and had some interesting results. Responses were received from 248 (99.2%) of 250 ophthalmologists who were queried, of which 232 (92.8%) met the criteria of currently working as refractive surgeons. Of the 232 subjects, 161 (69.4%) reported that they had refractive errors potentially amenable to treatment with laser vision correction, not including presbyopia. Of the 161 ophthalmologists with treatable refractive errors, 54 (33.5%) reported they were not candidates for laser vision correction for a variety of reasons and 107 (66.5%) reported they were candidates for LVC. Of the laser vision correction candidates, 62.6% reported that they had an LVC procedure in their own eyes! Of the overall 232 subjects, more than 90% recommend LVC for adult members of their immediate family!


The message is clear. The data speaks for itself. Two thirds of the eye surgeons who perform LASIK, and are good candidates for LASIK-HAVE LASIK! They are confident of the safety, efficacy and predictability-THAT THEY HAVE IT THEMSELVES!!!! And they recommend it to their family members. The key here to having a great result is finding out if you are a good LASIK candidate. We can help!
If you or someone you know would like to learn more about LASIK or schedule a Free LASIK Consultation, please call at Baltimore Washington Eye Center at 800-495-3937, visit Baltimore Washington Eye Center, Google+ or facebook.com/baltimorewashingtoneyecenter to schedule an appointment.

Baltimore Washington Eye Center is a leading eye care practice with office locations at 200 Hospital Drive, Suite 600, Glen Burnie, Maryland 21061, 2391 Brandermill Blvd., Gambrills, Maryland 21054 and River Hill Professional Center, 6100 Day Long Lane, Suite 207, Clarksville, Maryland 21029, serving the greater Baltimore, Annapolis and Washington, D.C. area.

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Diet Supplements Help Dry Eyes


According to researchers reporting in Clinical Ophthalmology taking dietary supplements that contain a combination of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids and antioxidants can be helpful in the treatment of dry eye symptoms. A study was conducted to understand the effectiveness and tolerability of dietary supplements containing a combination of omega-3 essential fatty acids and antioxidants for help for dry eye symptoms and complaints. The researchers wanted to know if the dry eye diet supplements helped scratchy and stinging sensation in the eyes, eye redness, grittiness, painful eyes, tired eyes, grating sensation, and blurry vision. After 12 weeks of taking the supplements all individual symptoms improved significantly indicating that dietary supplementation with a combination of omega-3 essential fatty acids and antioxidants was an effective treatment for dry eye.

If you or someone you know suffers from dry eye they are encouraged to schedule an dry eye exam at Baltimore Washington Eye Center by calling Baltimore Washington Eye Center at 800-495-3937, visiting Baltimore Washington Eye Center, Google+ 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, 2391 Brandermill Blvd., Gambrills, Maryland 21054 and River Hill Professional Center, 6100 Day Long Lane, Suite 207, Clarksville, Maryland 21029, serving the greater Baltimore, Annapolis and Washington, D.C. area.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Diabetic Macular Edema Best Treated with VEGF Injections

Diabetic Macular Edema (DME) is a significant cause of vision loss in patients with diabetes and diabetic retinopathy. According to researchers reporting in the American Journal of Ophthalmology reviewing and publishing an analysis of studies on Diabetic Maculopathy published between January 1, 1985 and July 31, 2013, although laser photocoagulation has been the standard treatment for DME for nearly 3 decades, there is increasing evidence that better outcomes can be achieved with anti-Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor (anti-VEGF) injections.

In fact, the number of patients with DME gaining an improvement of seeing an additional 10-15 letters on the eye chart was at least 2 times greater for those patients treated with the anti-VEGF injections as compared to being treated with laser treatments. Thus, the researchers concluded that anti-VEGF therapy is superior to laser photocoagulation for treatment of moderate to severe visual impairment caused by DME.

If you or someone you know has diabetes and is concerned about their risk of Diabetic Macular Edema (DME) or Diabetic Retinopathy, it is critical that they have regular dilated eye exams by calling Baltimore Washington Eye Center at 800-495-3937, visiting Baltimore Washington Eye Center, Google+ 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, 2391 Brandermill Blvd., Gambrills, Maryland 21054 and River Hill Professional Center, 6100 Day Long Lane, Suite 207, Clarksville, Maryland 21029, serving the greater Baltimore, Annapolis and Washington, D.C. area.

Monday, November 9, 2015

Eat Fruits to Reduce Diabetic Risk

According the reports from the Harvard School of Public Health eating certain whole fruits may reduce the risk for Type 2 diabetes, even though fruit juice consumption may increase the risk for diabetes. Investigators combined data from 3 studies: the Nurses' Health Study of more than 66,000 patients, the Nurses' Health Study II of more than 85,000 patients and the Health Professionals Follow-Up Study with over 36,000 patients. The participants in all 3 studies completed questionnaires assessing health and lifestyle factors, including diet, every 2 years.


The researchers excluded participants with a baseline diagnosis of diabetes, cardiovascular disease, or cancer, as well as those who had missing data for fruit or fruit juice consumption or an extremely high or low caloric intake, and those who had an unclear date of diabetes diagnosis.


The analysis was adjusted for personal, lifestyle, and dietary risk factors for diabetes. The researchers concluded that every 3 servings of fruit per week were associated with a lower risk for Type 2 diabetes. When the researchers looked at individual types of fruit in a multivariate analysis, adjusted for the same factors, they found that 3 servings per week of some fruits were more closely associated with reduced risk of diabetes especially blueberries, grapes and apples.

If you or someone you know is concerned about diabetes and diabetic eye problems, they are encouraged to schedule an eye examination by calling Baltimore Washington Eye Center at 800-495-3937, visiting Baltimore Washington Eye Center, Google+ 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, 2391 Brandermill Blvd., Gambrills, Maryland 21054 and River Hill Professional Center, 6100 Day Long Lane, Suite 207, Clarksville, Maryland 21029, serving the greater Baltimore, Annapolis and Washington, D.C. area.

Monday, November 2, 2015

About Diabetic Eye Problems

Diabetes & Diabetic Eye Disease Are on the Rise
Diabetes and diabetic eye problems are on the rise-especially within our senior population. According to the Centers for Disease Control diabetes affects more than 26 million people or over 8% of the U.S. population-a number that is growing annually with no end in sight. Seniors are particularly affected with almost 11 million or 27% of U.S. residents aged 65 years and older having diabetes. Diabetic retinopathy affects approximately 7.7 million Americans. More than 4 million, over 28% of people with diabetes aged 40 years or older had diabetic retinopathy, and of these, some 650-700,000 or almost 4% of all diabetics have advanced diabetic retinopathy that can result in severe vision loss. Diabetic eye disease continues to be the leading cause of new cases of blindness among adults 20 to 74 years of age. Diabetic retinopathy is more than twice as common in Mexican Americans and nearly three times as common in African Americans as in non-Hispanic whites. Diabetic eye diseases can be prevented and its progression can be slowed through early detection and diligent diabetes care.


Get a Yearly Comprehensive Dilated Eye Exam

In its early stages, diabetic retinopathy may have no symptoms. Having a yearly dilated eye exam allows the doctors at Baltimore Washington Eye Center to examine the retina and optic nerve more thoroughly for signs of damage before changes in vision occur. The key here is that by regularly monitoring the eye health of those with diabetes, it allows us to begin treatment as soon as possible if signs of diabetic eye disease-cataracts, glaucoma and especially diabetic retinopathy-do appear. In particular we want to alert women with diabetes who become pregnant that they may need additional eye exams throughout their pregnancy, as pregnancy can sometimes worsen diabetic retinopathy.

Maintain Normal Blood Glucose Levels
High blood glucose or sugar levels damages the tiny blood vessels in the eyes. This damage is called microangiopathy. Often, this will result in swelling in the retina including a common diabetic vision problem called diabetic macular edema, as well as the formation of abnormal fragile blood vessels that can bleed and form scar tissue in the vitreous and retina. Also, high blood glucose levels are not good for the crystalline of your eyes. Elevated blood sugar can change the shape of lens causing blurry vision and can lead to cataract development.

Maintain Normal Blood Pressure & Cholesterol Levels
High blood pressure and high cholesterol can increase the risk of eye disease and vision loss. Keeping both under control will help the eyes as well as overall health.

Quit Smoking
Diabetics who smoke are absolutely at greater risk for diabetic retinopathy and other diabetes-related eye diseases such as cataracts and glaucoma. Further, we also know that smoking increases your risk of age related macular degeneration (AMD)-and that’s just the eye disease risk. There is a great deal more overall vascular risk including heart disease and stroke associated with smoking.

Get Regular Exercise
Make sure to get some type of regular exercise. Getting regular exercise, even mild exercise, helps to maintain blood glucose levels, cholesterol levels and stay healthy. We know that mild to moderate exercise is helpful in reducing the risk of many eye diseases and problems.

If you or someone you know has diabetes they are encouraged to schedule an eye examination at by calling 800-495-3937, visiting Baltimore Washington Eye Center, Google+ 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, 2391 Brandermill Blvd., Gambrills, Maryland 21054 and River Hill Professional Center, 6100 Day Long Lane, Suite 207, Clarksville, Maryland 21029, serving the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area.

Monday, October 19, 2015

Diabetic Eye Exam Compliance

At Baltimore Washington Eye Center, we urge diabetic patients to follow our recommendations and the recommendations of their primary care physicians with regard to the need for regular dilated eye exams. Although there is no cure for diabetic retinopathy, with careful management of risk factors such as blood sugar levels, cholesterol levels, moderation of alcohol consumption and routine exercise along with regular annual dilated eye exams, the potential vision loss from diabetes and associated diabetic eye problems can be minimized. BUT-this requires that patients do their part and keep a strict schedule and compliance with their eye doctor’s recommendations for diabetic eye exams and testing.

Researchers reporting in Ophthalmology, the journal of the American Academy of Ophthalmology, studied and identified variables that predict adherence with annual eye examinations using the Compliance with Annual Diabetic Eye Exams Survey (CADEES), a new questionnaire designed to measure health beliefs related to diabetic retinopathy and annual eye examinations. A number of factors seemed to influence diabetic patient compliance with annual eye exams including beliefs concerning whether insurance covered most of the eye examination cost, whether it was difficult to schedule or physically get to an eye exam appointment, whether patients had been counseled and made obtaining an eye examination a top priority and whether they had been previously told that they had signs of diabetic retinopathy. Clinicians can also help patients with compliance with the diabetic eye exams counseling newly diagnosed patients more diligently along with those with uncontrolled blood glucose on the importance of annual eye examinations and discussing and helping patients remove perceived barriers and misconceptions.


If you or someone you know has diabetes they need to have regular annual dilated eye exams to prevent vision loss from diabetic eye diseases and problems. Please share this information with anyone you know who is diabetic and ask them to call Baltimore Washington Eye Center at 800-495-3937, visiting Baltimore Washington Eye Center, Google+ or facebook.com/baltimorewashingtoneyecenter to schedule an appointment for a diabetic eye exam.

Baltimore Washington Eye Center is a leading eye care practice with office locations at 200 Hospital Drive, Suite 600, Glen Burnie, Maryland 21061, 2391 Brandermill Blvd., Gambrills, Maryland 21054 and River Hill Professional Center, 6100 Day Long Lane, Suite 207, Clarksville, Maryland 21029, serving the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Welcome Dr. McKay to Baltimore Washington Eye Center!


Welcome Dr. Nathaniel McKay to Baltimore Washington Eye Center. Dr. Nathaniel McKay is an Optometrist and Contact Lens Specialist who has joined us at Baltimore Washington Eye Center and will spend most of his clinical time in our new Waugh Chapel office, opening Monday, November 2nd, 2015. Our new office is located at 2391 Brandermill Blvd., Suite 200, Gambrills, MD 21054, phone 410-617-1820.

Dr. McKay received his undergraduate degree from Pennsylvania State University and earned his Doctor of Optometry degree from the Salus University in Philadelphia. Dr. McKay completed his residency at the Veterans Administration Medical Center (VAMC) in Wilmington, DE

At the Baltimore Washington Eye Center Waugh Chapel office, Dr. McKay is available for eye exams for Gambrills area patients, including routine and specialized eye exams for patients of all ages, evaluation and management of chronic and acute eye diseases, such as diabetic eye disease, macular degeneration (AMD), dry eye, glaucoma and fitting of routine and specialty contact lenses.


Dr. McKay is a member of the American Academy of Optometry and the Pennsylvania Optometric Association.

Work & Home Eye Safety Precautions

It is difficult to believe that every day more than 2,000 workers in the United States sustain job-related work injuries that require some type of medical treatment. Prevent Blindness America reports that 2.4 million eye injuries occur each year, with nearly 1 million resulting in some degree of vision loss. About 90 percent of these injuries are avoidable, when the right eye protection is worn, reports the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health.

The most common eye injuries are:
  • Cuts or scrapes from flying objects, such as metal and wood chips, that become embedded in the eye
  • Burns from steam, infrared light or splashes of chemicals, grease or oil
  • Infections from contaminated substances, such as splashes of blood or respiratory droplets or other products on fingers that are used to touch or rub the eyes
The best way to avoid eye injury at work or from household chores, activities and tasks is to wear proper protective eyewear. If you have questions or need assistance with protective eyewear selection or fitting please call Baltimore Washington Eye Center at 800-495-3937, visit Baltimore Washington Eye Center, Google+ 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, 2391 Brandermill Blvd., Gambrills, Maryland 21054 and River Hill Professional Center, 6100 Day Long Lane, Suite 207, Clarksville, Maryland 21029, serving the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area.

Sunday, October 4, 2015

Halloween Contact Lens Eye Safety

This Halloween do you think it would be cool to have Twilight Vampire Eyes? How about deep violet eyes to match your costume? Maybe you want to have your favorite sports team logo right on your eyes? You can actually accomplish these “looks” with decorative or fashion contact lenses that change your eye color but don’t correct vision. Decorative contact lenses really get very popular right around Halloween but require that you have a clear understanding of how to use them safely.

Facts & Tips for Halloween Contact Lens Eye Safety
  • Decorative contact lenses are not cosmetics or “over the counter” merchandise. They are medical devices regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). Places that advertise them as cosmetics or sell them without a prescription are breaking the law.
  • They are not “one size fits all.” An eye doctor, either an optometrist or an ophthalmologist, must measure each eye to properly fit the lenses and evaluate how your eye responds to contact lens wear. A poor fit can cause serious eye damage, including;
  1. a scratched cornea
  2. a corneal infection
  3. pink eye conjunctivitis
  4. decreased vision
  5. blindness
  • Places that sell decorative lenses without a prescription may give you few or no instructions on how to clean and care for your lenses. Failure to use the proper solution and care regimen to keep contact lenses clean and moist can lead to infections.
Where NOT to Buy Decorative Contact Lenses
  • street vendors
  • salons or beauty supply stores
  • boutiques
  • flea markets
  • novelty stores
  • Halloween stores
  • record or video stores
  • convenience stores
  • beach shops
  • Internet (unless the site requires a prescription)
These are not authorized distributors of contact lenses, which are prescription devices by federal law.


How to Buy Decorative Contact Lenses Safely. Get an eye exam from a licensed eye doctor, either an ophthalmologist or optometrist, even if you feel your vision is perfect to make sure your eyes are healthy enough to wear contacts. Get a valid prescription that includes the brand name, lens measurements, and an expiration date. But don’t expect your eye doctor to prescribe anime, or circle, lenses. These bigger-than-normal lenses that give the wearer a wide-eyed, doll-like look have not been approved by FDA. Buy the lenses from a seller that requires you to provide a prescription, whether you go in person or shop online. Follow directions for cleaning, disinfecting, and wearing the lenses, and visit your eye doctor for follow-up eye exams. See your eye doctor right away if you have signs of possible eye infection including:

  • redness
  • eye pain that doesn’t go away after a short time
  • decrease in vision
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 call Baltimore Washington Eye Center at 800-495-3937, visit Baltimore Washington Eye Center, Google+ 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, 2391 Brandermill Blvd., Gambrills, Maryland 21054 and River Hill Professional Center, 6100 Day Long Lane, Suite 207, Clarksville, Maryland 21029, serving the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area.

Sunday, September 27, 2015

Laser Pointers & Eye Injury Risk

Laser pointers are popular tools for meeting presentations and in the classroom or lecture hall, but did you know that they are also sold as toys? This could be a cause for concern as the greater a laser pointer's output power, the more likely it will cause serious eye injuries. Understanding
the safety of that laser pointer in your desk drawer or in your kid's hand isn't always obvious but we can share some information that may be useful.


As power increases above five milliwatts, the time margin for safe exposure decreases and permanent eye and skin damage can occur quickly. However, the output power of laser pointers is not immediately apparent to the user. Laser pointers often lack appropriate labeling or are mislabeled, and definitive testing of individual pointers is beyond the reach of the average consumer. What we know for sure is that even the briefest exposure to high-powered blue handheld laser products can cause serious eye injuries.

Researchers reporting the results of a study in Ophthalmology, the journal of the American Academy of Ophthalmology found that if a laser with less than five milliwatts of output power is directed at someone's eye, that person can blink or turn away without suffering an eye injury. However, the natural protective mechanisms of the eye-such as the blink reflex -are ineffective against lasers with an output power greater than five milliwatts, and severe retinal damage may occur, even after momentary exposure.

Here's what the FDA advises:

  • Never aim or shine a laser pointer at anyone.
  • Don't buy laser pointers for your children.
  • Before purchasing a laser pointer, make sure it has the following information on the label:
  • a statement that it complies with Chapter 21 CFR (the Code of Federal Regulations);
  • the manufacturer or distributor's name and the date of manufacture;
  • a warning to avoid exposure to laser radiation; and
  • the class designation, ranging from Class I to IIIa. Class IIIb and IV products should be used only by individuals with proper training and in applications where there is a legitimate need for these high-powered products.
The problem is that many laser pointers lack labels or have inaccurate labels and the researchers found that 60 percent of the sampled laser pointer products that the FDA tests are overpowered compared with what the label says. Those pointers may be powered in the 10s or 100s of milliwatts!

How do you know if your laser pointer is overpowered?
Ideally, consumers could buy a laser pointer with the certainty that it's powered under five milliwatts but this isn’t possible based on the poor labeling and compliance.

The FDA says that if you have a laser pointer that isn't labeled or if you don't trust the labeling, consider the following:

  • If the pointer is small and runs on button batteries, its output probably is less than five milliwatts.
  • If it's pen-sized and runs on AA or AAA batteries, it's likely to be more powerful and may exceed five milliwatts.
  • If it's flashlight-sized and runs on a cluster of AA or AAA batteries or runs on lithium batteries, it likely exceeds five milliwatts.
  • Pointers sold with battery chargers probably drain their batteries quickly and are likely to be overpowered.
  • Some pointers are sold with a removable cap that spreads the beam into a pattern. If used without the cap, the beam becomes a single beam that could exceed 5 milliwatts.
  • Look for keywords that sellers might use to indicate a pointer is highly powered without saying that it's over five milliwatts: powerful, bright, ultra, super, military, military grade, super bright, high power, ultra bright, strong, balloon pop, burn, burning, adjustable focus, lithium battery, lithium powered.
  • Look for videos or photos that show the laser burning, melting, balloon popping or show a bright, well-defined beam of light
  • Look for purchaser comments on websites that tout the brightness or power of the product.
Blue & Violet Laser Pointers Are the Most Dangerous!

Blue and Violet laser pointers are the most dangerous because the human eye actually is less sensitive to blue and violet. So, while a person would react quickly to a red or green laser, that person may not blink or turn away as fast from an equally powerful blue or violet light, creating a greater likelihood of injury.

If you or someone you know is concerned about laser pointer use and eye safety, please have them call us at Baltimore Washington Eye Center by calling 800-495-3937, visiting Baltimore Washington Eye Center, Google+ 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 River Hill Professional Center, 6100 Day Long Lane, Suite 207, Clarksville, Maryland 21029, serving the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area.

Sunday, September 20, 2015

Pink Eye Conjunctivitis: Do I Have It?

Many patients call Baltimore Washington Eye Center just about every day asking how they know if they have conjunctivitis or “pink eye”. Without coming in for an actual external eye exam it is difficult if not impossible to tell. But when you do come in, the doctors certainly know what to look for. There are a number of signs and symptoms that help us determine if you have “pink eye” or conjunctivitis. If you have a bacterial infection causing pink eye conjunctivitis, you will usually have very red eyes. You may find crusting on your eyelids that can make them stick together as well as a heavy, pus-like discharge from your eyes that may be greenish at times. This infection may spread to both eyes. If you have a viral conjunctivitis we often will find a very red, swollen eye, crusty eyelids and a more watery discharge. This discharge can also have strands of mucus or white, ropy strands. While many cases of viral pink eye infect only one eye, this infection can also spread to the other eye. If you have an allergic conjunctivitis and your allergies are causing your conjunctivitis, it will often look similar to viral conjunctivitis. Your eyes will be red and tearing. However, they will also be itchy. It is likely you may have a stuffy, runny or itchy nose as well.

Generally our treatment is mostly supportive. Antibiotics do not treat viral infections but do work well in treating bacterial conjunctivitis. Regardless of the cause, it is important to minimize exposure of others by washing your hands frequently and throwing away used tissues. Do not share towels or pillow cases. Consider staying home from work or school until you are symptom-free for 24 hours. If you are a contact lens wearer, you should discontinue their use and stick with glasses until your infection clears. Then start with a fresh pair of lenses and a clean lens case.

If you or someone you know is concerned about pink eye or conjunctivitis you are encouraged to schedule an eye examination at Baltimore Washington Eye Center by calling 800-495-3937, visiting Baltimore Washington Eye Center, Google+ 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 River Hill Professional Center, 6100 Day Long Lane, Suite 207, Clarksville, Maryland 21029, serving the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area.

Monday, September 14, 2015

Eye Movements & Early Alzheimer’s Disease

The NIH National Institute on Aging, estimates that more than 5 million people may have Alzheimer Disease. Developing better methods of intervention to detect, diagnose and treat Alzheimer’s Disease is an important national healthcare priority.

According to researchers reporting in Investigative Ophthalmology & Vision Science a subtle change in eye movements may provide a useful diagnostic tool for the early diagnosis of Alzheimer’s Disease. In general, eye movements follow a reproducible pattern during normal reading. Each eye movement ends up in a fixation point, which allows the brain to process the incoming information and to program the following movements. The researchers found that Alzheimer’s Disease (AD) produces eye movement abnormalities and disturbances in reading with those patients with early AD displaying abnormal fixation patterns. So we now know that evaluation of eye movement behavior during reading might provide a useful tool for a more precise early diagnosis of AD and for monitoring the progress or stability of Alzheimer’s Disease.


 If you or someone you know is concerned about Alzheimer’s Disease you are encouraged to schedule an eye examination at Baltimore Washington Eye Center by calling 800-495-3937, visiting Baltimore Washington Eye Center, Google+ 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 River Hill Professional Center, 6100 Day Long Lane, Suite 207, Clarksville, Maryland 21029, serving the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area. 


Friday, September 4, 2015

Eye Health & Vision: Lifestyle & Choices

Patients always ask us how they can take good care of their eyes and prevent eye health problems and vision loss. Everyone can contribute to their own eye health and vision by following some basic tips and guidelines.  

Have Regular Comprehensive Dilated Eye Exams
Making sure to schedule regular dilated eye health and vision exams-at intervals your eye doctor recommends-is the first step to maintaining eye health and good vision. Early detection, diagnosis and treatment when necessary allows us to find eye diseases, conditions and problems so that we can address them before they are sight threatening. Many eye diseases do not have early warning signs, but signs and symptoms can be identified during a comprehensive dilated eye exam.


Know Your Family History of Eye Problems
Many eye health and vision problems and eye diseases tend to run in families. This suggests that if an eye disease is present in any family member it may put you at greater risk of that eye problem. This is particularly the case for eye diseases such as glaucoma and age related macular degeneration (AMD). Stay abreast of the eye diseases and conditions as they exist in your family, AND BE SURE TO TELL US ABOUT THEM WHEN YOU COME IN FOR AN EYE EXAM.

Nutrition and Diet Affect Eye Health & Vision
Make sure to pay attention to what you eat and try to include a steady diet of foods high in important nutrients that support good vision, such as the following:
  • Vegetables: collard greens, bell peppers, broccoli, tomatoes and dark, leafy greens, such as kale and spinach
  • Nuts: sunflower seeds, almonds, hazelnuts and peanuts
  • Fruits: strawberries and blueberries
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acids: tuna, halibut and salmon
  • Beans: chickpeas, kidney beans and legumes

Watch Your Weight & Exercise
Being overweight exposes you to a greater risk of diabetes. In fact there is an epidemic of diabetes in the U.S. today. Diabetic eye problems include a greater risk of glaucoma, cataracts and sight threatening diabetic retinopathy. Exercise-even moderate amounts of daily exercise reduce your risk of developing MANY eye diseases and problems.

Wear Protective Eyewear
Eye injury prevention is relatively easy-if you wear the appropriate protective eyewear when taking part in sports or home activities that expose you to risk. It is estimated that some 90% of eye injuries can be prevented by taking a minute to review the need for protective eyeglasses before doing home projects, trimming branches or shrubs, using saws, tool or weed whackers-and on and on. In addition, when spending time outdoors or near the water, wear sunglasses designed to block out 99 to 100 percent of the sun’s UV-A and UV-B rays.
Be smart and be safe.

Stop Smoking
Not only does smoking cause a host of cardiovascular and systemic vascular problems, but smoking is now recognized as increasing the risk of cataracts, macular degeneration and, all of which could lead to vision loss. We also now know that if you do smoke, there is considerable benefit in stopping!

Avoid Computer Eyestrain
CRT or video display terminals used for computers are well known to expose you eye fatigue, headache and more troubling-dry eye problems. When working on the computer or using a smartphone or tablet, practice the 20-20-20 rule to reduce eyestrain-that is, every 20 minutes, look at something 20 feet away for about 20 seconds. If you have any sensation of dryness, grittiness or “something in your eyes”, use an eye surface lubricant or eye drop to replenish your tears.

If you or someone you know wish to learn more about eye health and vision you are encouraged to schedule an eye examination at Baltimore Washington Eye Center by calling 800-495-3937, visiting Baltimore Washington Eye Center, Google+ 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 River Hill Professional Center, 6100 Day Long Lane, Suite 207, Clarksville, Maryland 21029, serving the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area. 

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Dry Eye: Eat a Mediterranean Diet?

Eating a Mediterranean diet has been helpful in reducing the risk of heart disease, cancer, as well as a reducing the incidence of Parkinson's and Alzheimer's diseases. Recently, researchers tried to determine whether eating a Mediterranean diet could provide help for dry eyes. Reporting in the journal Cornea, the researchers had patients fill out a Block Food Frequency Questionnaire and a Dry Eye Questionnaire and then studied their tear film and measured its quality and quantity. They then also measured the serum level of Vitamin D for each patient.


 The final results suggested that eating a Mediterranean diet was not associated with an improvement in dry eye symptoms and complaints, but that higher vitamin D levels had a small but favorable effect on dry eye syndrome symptoms. So, while the Mediterranean diet itself doesn’t directly reduce dry eye symptoms, it does seem to be an eating plan that can help promote health and prevent disease for your whole family.


 If you or someone you know has questions about dry eye or wishes to schedule a dry eye examination at Baltimore Washington Eye Center, please call 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 River Hill Professional Center, 6100 Day Long Lane, Suite 207, Clarksville, Maryland 21029, serving the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area. 


Sunday, August 9, 2015

Back to School Eye Exams

Back to School eye exams are an important item on the “new school year readiness checklist” for all school age kids. When we consider that most children do the majority of their learning with their eyes, this is just common sense. Add to that the very demanding visual environment children experience as they read, write, play sports, use computers and tablets and on and on…and it is easy to see why scheduling a Back to School eye exam is so important.

It is not uncommon for childrens’ vision to change during their school years and development. Regular eye exams can detect these changes or any eye problems that might hinder their overall well being and academic performance. The most frequent eye problems we find in school age kids are the common vision problems of nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. Sometimes, not having clear vision in the classroom can lead to the undeserved perception of a behavioral problem or attention problem. What we know is that kids are often unable to verbalize that they have a vision problem as they just don’t recognize it. It is important to observe children for some common behaviors that might indicate an eye or vision problem. Watch for:

·  Frequent eye rubbing or blinking
·  Short attention span
·  Avoiding reading and other close activities
·  Frequent headaches
·  Covering one eye
·  Tilting the head to one eye
·  Holding reading materials close to the face
·  An eye turning in or out
·  Seeing double
·  Losing place when reading
·  Difficulty remembering what he or she read

If your child exhibits any of these please bring it to our attention. Your child should receive an eye examination at least once every two years, more frequently if specific problems or risk factors exist, or if recommended by your eye doctor. The earlier a vision problem is detected and treated, the more likely treatment will be successful.

If you or someone you know has children heading back to school, you are encouraged to schedule an eye examination at Baltimore Washington Eye Center by calling 800-495-3937, visiting Baltimore Washington Eye Center, Google+ 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 River Hill Professional Center, 6100 Day Long Lane, Suite 207, Clarksville, Maryland 21029, serving the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area. 

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Cataract Risk & Body Mass Index (BMI)

A high Body Mass Index (BMI) may increase your risk of cataracts according to some recent research. Body Mass Index (BMI) is recognized as a well known risk factor for some common diseases, such as diabetes mellitus and cardiovascular diseases but the relationship between BMI and risk of cataract is controversial and not completely obvious. The World Health Organization (WHO) defines a normal weight with a Body Mass Index (BMI) of18.5-25 kg/m2, excess body weight and being overweight as BMI of 25-30 kg/m2, and obesity as BMI of ≥31 kg/m2.


Researchers conducted an extensive Meta analysis and statistical review of BMI and cataracts and found that being overweight or obese were significantly associated with an increased risk of cataracts, especially those called “posterior subcapsular cataracts” which typically cause the greatest vision decline. This relationship was independent of sex, alcohol intake, diabetes and hypertension. A number of other studies have already identified several factors associated with an increased risk of age related cataracts including age, smoking, alcohol consumption and ultraviolet radiation. Now we have to consider BMI as a possible factor that increases the risk of cataracts.

If you or someone you know is concerned about cataracts and weight or body mass index (BMI) please share this information with them and ask them to schedule an eye examination at Baltimore Washington Eye Center by calling 800-495-3937, visiting Baltimore Washington Eye Center, Google+ 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 River Hill Professional Center, 6100 Day Long Lane, Suite 207, Clarksville, Maryland 21029, serving the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area. 

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Cataract Surgery Lowers Eye Pressure

If you have glaucoma, or are at risk for glaucoma and have a higher than normal eye pressure, there is good news if you have a cataract and are considering cataract surgery. Researchers reporting in Current Opinion in Ophthalmology reviewed the effect that cataract surgery had on eye pressure-or intraocular pressure (IOP). This is important as it is believed that some 20% of patients with cataracts either have somewhat high IOP or actually have glaucoma. From their review, there are sufficient data to suggest that cataract surgery provides a lowering effect on IOP in the long term and the amount of the lowering is proportional to the preoperative IOP. That is, eyes with higher preoperative IOP have the greatest average lowering, whereas eyes with IOP in the lower range of statistically normal tend to have an IOP that is unchanged from before cataract surgery, or even higher following cataract surgery.

If you or someone you know has glaucoma or a high eye pressure and has cataracts and is thinking about cataract surgery, please share this information and ask them to schedule an eye examination at Baltimore Washington Eye Center by calling 800-495-3937, visiting Baltimore Washington Eye Center, Google+ 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 River Hill Professional Center, 6100 Day Long Lane, Suite 207, Clarksville, Maryland 21029, serving the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area. 

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

July 4TH Fireworks Eye Safety


The July 4th holiday is a great time to celebrate and enjoy family, friends and fireworks. The important consideration to note is “enjoy fireworks”. According to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, each year there are more than 9,000 fireworks injuries with 1 in 8 being fireworks eye injuries including burns, lacerations, abrasions, retinal detachment, optic nerve damage and even ruptured eyeballs. These injuries often affect bystanders in 50% of the cases and not just those using the fireworks. More troubling is that children are frequently injured with some 30% of those experiencing a fireworks injury around the 4th of July actually being under age 15.

FIREWORKS ARE NOT TOYS

So, fireworks should not be thought of as toys, but devices that can cause third degree burns and everyone who wishes to enjoy them should be vigilant and take precautions to avoid the risk of serious eye injury.

Fireworks Safety Tips
The best advice to avoid a potentially blinding fireworks injury is by attending a professional public fireworks show rather than purchasing fireworks for home use. For those who attend professional fireworks displays and/or live in communities surrounding the shows there are some common sense tips to enjoy the show and avoid eye injury:
  • Respect safety barriers at fireworks shows and view fireworks from at least 500 feet away.
  • Do not touch unexploded fireworks but instead, immediately contact local fire or police departments to help.

If however you live in state where it is legal to purchase and display your own fireworks, please consider the following suggestions:
  • Never let children play with fireworks of any type, even sparklers.
  • Adults handling fireworks as well as bystanders should always wear proper protective eyewear that meets the parameters set by the American National Standards Institute.
  • Leave the lighting of professional grade fireworks to trained pyrotechnicians. 

What to Do If You Have a Fireworks Eye Injury
In the event you or someone around you does experience a fireworks eye injury you should seek immediate medical attention and do not rub, rinse or apply pressure to your eyes. Do not attempt to remove anything from your eyes and please do not take ANY medication such as aspirin or ibuprofen that might thin your blood.

If you or someone you know suffers a fireworks eye injury take them to the emergency room at once and ask the doctor to call Baltimore Washington Eye Center at 800-495-3937 as we always have a member of our medical staff on call.

If you or someone you know would like to learn more about fireworks eye safety please contact Baltimore Washington Eye Center by calling 800-495-3937, visiting Baltimore Washington Eye Center, Google+ 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 River Hill Professional Center, 6100 Day Long Lane, Suite 207, Clarksville, Maryland 21029, serving the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area. 

Monday, June 22, 2015

LASIK Patients Say This……


Laser Vision Correction at Baltimore Washington Eye Center was by far the best choice in getting help, questions answered, and outstanding treatment for my vision correction. There was never a single moment I questioned anyone’s integrity, the service, the facility upkeep, or Dr. Spagnolo’s knowledge and expertise. I would recommend anyone and everyone to visit this eye center whether for basic/yearly eye check-ups or for LASIK.  Dr. Spagnolo and the rest of the staff were so helpful and supportive.  Thank you for giving me my vision back!

D. R. C.

If you or someone you know would like to learn more about LASIK or schedule a Free LASIK Consultation at Baltimore Washington Eye Center, please contact us by calling 800-495-3937, visiting Baltimore Washington Eye Center, Google+ 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 River Hill Professional Center, 6100 Day Long Lane, Suite 207, Clarksville, Maryland 21029, serving the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area. 

Monday, June 15, 2015

Eye Infection: What You Should Know!

If you’ve experienced red, itchy eyes, you may have wondered whether it’s a symptom of allergies or dry eyes or a more serious condition, such as an eye infection.  Here is an overview of allergies and dry eye as compared to an eye infection.

About Allergies & Dry Eyes
Symptoms of Allergies or Dry Eyes


  • If you work at a computer for an extended time or have allergies to products or airborne substances, you may experience dry, red or irritated eyes.
  • Generally allergies and dry eyes affects both eyes.
  • Treatment options usually include resting your eyes or using an over-the-counter or prescription eye drops, as recommended by your eye doctor.

About Eye Infections
Symptoms of Eye Infections

  • Frequently occurs when bacteria, fungi or viruses attack any part of your eye, including the surface, membrane lining of the outer eye and inner eyelid, interior portions or the soft tissue of the eyelid. 
  • Infections inside the eye or in the soft tissue of the eyelid are the most dangerous and if left untreated, the condition may spread throughout the eye.
  • Symptoms usually include redness, pain, discharge, watering and sensitivity to light; usually occurs only in one eye; if symptoms are detected, immediately contact your eye doctor for an evaluation. 

Types of Eye Infections

  • Pink Eye (Conjunctivitis) – A common infection that is highly contagious.
  • Viral Keratitis –Can be simply related to a respiratory virus or cold or more serious such as Ocular Herpes that occurs when exposed to the Herpes Simplex Virus.
  • Fungal Keratitis – A fungus commonly found in organic matter such as soil, leaves or branches of a tree.
  • Acanthamoeba Keratitis – A parasite that attacks the eye more often in individuals wearing contact lenses and swimming in pools, lakes, ponds, hot tubs or streams who are at increased risk for contracting this infection.
  • Trachoma – Usually found in underdeveloped countries. Typically infects the inner eyelid along with eyelashes touching the area can infect the cornea and cause permanent blindness.
  • Endophthalmitis – Occurs with a penetrating eye injury or complication following eye surgery and if left untreated, may lead to blindness.
Preventing Eye Infections   
  • If you experience symptoms associated with an eye infection, contact Baltimore Washington Eye Center immediately. Prompt treatment is necessary to reduce the risk of permanent blindness. 
  • To avoid eye infections, wash your hands throughout the day, especially if you are near an individual with a red eye or other signs of infection. Contact lens wearers should follow care and handling instructions provided by their eye doctor.

If you or someone you know is concerned about having an eye infections please contact Baltimore Washington Eye Center by calling 800-495-3937, visiting Baltimore Washington Eye Center, Google+ 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 River Hill Professional Center, 6100 Day Long Lane, Suite 207, Clarksville, Maryland 21029, serving the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area. 

Monday, June 8, 2015

Stop Smoking to Reduce Cataract Risk

Good news for smokers who want to reduce their risk of cataracts. Researchers studying the risk of cataracts among smokers reported in JAMA Ophthalmology found that stopping smoking decreases the risk of cataracts over time. The researchers followed a total of 44,371 men, 45 to 79 years old over a 10 year period and the participants filled out questionnaires on their smoking habits and lifestyles and were then matched with the Swedish National Day-Surgery Register and local records of cataract extraction.


The researchers found that smokers of more than 15 cigarettes a day had a 42% increased risk of cataract surgery compared with men who had never smoked. It also found that men who smoked an average of more than 15 cigarettes a day but had stopped smoking more than 20 years earlier had a 21% increased risk. Thus, they found a positive association between cigarette smoking and cataract surgery in men, with a significant increase of cataracts among smokers compared to those who never smoked.

Also, stopping smoking was associated with a statistically significant decrease in risk with increasing time from stopping smoking. Even heavy smokers had some benefit from quitting smoking. Further, a previous study from 2005 detailed the relationship between smoking cessation and cataract risk in women. In this study, they found that after cessation of smoking, cataract risk in women decreased with time. Women who smoked 6 to 10 cigarettes a day but had ceased smoking 10 years earlier, and women who smoked more than 10 cigarettes a day but had ceased smoking 20 years earlier were found to have a relative risk of cataracts not significantly different from women who had never smoked.

Smoking cessation seems to decrease the risk of cataract development and the need for cataract surgery with time, although the risk persists for decades. The higher the intensity of smoking, the longer it takes for the increased risk to decline. These findings emphasize the importance of early smoking cessation and, preferably, the avoidance of smoking altogether.

If you or someone you know is a smoker and is concerned about their risk of cataracts, they are encouraged stop smoking and also to schedule an eye examination at Baltimore Washington Eye Center by calling 800-495-3937, visiting Baltimore Washington Eye Center, Google+ 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 River Hill Professional Center, 6100 Day Long Lane, Suite 207, Clarksville, Maryland 21029, serving the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area. 

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Cataract Awareness & Information

Since June is Cataract Awareness Month, the cataract surgeons at Baltimore Washington Eye Center want to remind seniors to have regular eye exams and be aware of the symptoms of cataracts which may include a clouding or blurring of vision, sensitivity to light and glare, double vision or shadowing in one eye, fading or yellowing of colors and poor night vision, sometimes with haloes around lights. We encourage anyone experiencing these symptoms not to ignore these symptoms of cataracts or vision loss as delaying diagnosis and treatment of age-related cataracts can increase seniors' risk of both physical and psychological problems.



At Baltimore Washington Eye Center we try to make sure that patients know when we perform cataract surgery and lens implants, we are not simply concerned about vision correction, as vision loss among seniors has much greater impact than just seeing. Unfortunately, vision loss in seniors often leads to social isolation, depression, mental decline and can even increase the risk of falling and hip fracture. That is why when we are providing eye exams for seniors-and we see the formation of a cataract, or the patient expresses the symptoms of cataracts-we spend time to carefully explore the quality of life impact that this may be having on the patient. We are very sensitive as to whether the patient is starting to experience compromise in their mobility, safety and personal living and care status-and we encourage them to share this with us. If and when they indicate a decline in their quality of life we can offer them cataract surgery and lens implants as a solution-which makes a huge improvement in their vision and ability to continue to walk, drive, read, exercise and just be out and about with family and friends.

If you or someone you know has questions about cataracts, laser cataract surgery or lens implants, you are encouraged to schedule an eye examination at Baltimore Washington Eye Center by calling 800-495-3937, visiting Baltimore Washington Eye Center, Google+ 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 River Hill Professional Center, 6100 Day Long Lane, Suite 207, Clarksville, Maryland 21029, serving the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area. 

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Early Cataracts & Cancer Risk

Researchers recently reported an association between the early onset of cataracts-in patients under 55 years old, and the potential risk for developing cancer. This is thought to be due to the fact that early onset cataract is linked to insufficient antioxidative activity in one’s metabolism-which is also a known factor for increasing the risk of cancer.


Reporting in the journal Cancer Science, the official journal of the Japanese Cancer Association, they investigated the risk of cancer after being diagnosed with early onset cataract. The researchers examined claims from the Taiwan National Health Insurance Research Database (NHIRD) of patients with early onset cataract, aged 20-55 and also compared it to a group of the same age range without cataracts. By using powerful statistical analysis they found that the overall incidence rate of all cancers was 2.19-fold higher in the early onset cataract group as compared to those without cataracts.  Further they were able to analyze where these patients were at greatest risk of developing cancer and found head and neck areas highest, followed by liver cancer and then breast cancer. This study suggests that patients with early onset cataract are at an increased risk of being diagnosed with cancer in subsequent years.

If you or someone you know is concerned about early cataract development or needs a regular eye exam where we will do a routine cataract screening and exam, please share this information with them and ask them 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 River Hill Professional Center, 6100 Day Long Lane, Suite 207, Clarksville, Maryland 21029, serving the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area. 

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Cataract Patients Say This…….

Baltimore Washington Eye Center is an excellent organization.  Dr. Betancourt is the best! I was pleased with the friendliness of the entire staff.  They answered all questions with patience and knowledge of each situation.  Also I am very pleased that appointments were all kept with virtually no wait time. This is unusual for most doctors’ offices. I have had no problem with my cataract surgeries. I am now seeing things I haven’t seen in years.  I have recommended Baltimore Washington Eye Center to friends and neighbors. Thank you and see you in 6 months!

Janet H.

Although I was nervous about my eye surgery, the staff, both medical and support, were wonderful throughout both cataract eye surgeries. Everything was explained clearly and in laymen terms. I was given valuable information about financial help via the Wells Fargo credit card.  The day of surgery all the staff members were informative and friendly – making me more at ease. The follow up was also informative and any questions I had were answered quickly and clearly. I would highly recommend the BW Eye Center and Dr. Betancourt

Unsigned

If you or someone you know is concerned about cataracts or would like to learn more about cataract surgery, you are encouraged to schedule an cataract 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 River Hill Professional Center, 6100 Day Long Lane, Suite 207, Clarksville, Maryland 21029, serving the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area. 

Monday, May 11, 2015

About Ocular Melanoma

Ocular Melanoma (OM) is the most common form of cancer that occurs in the eye. Every year, approximately 2,500 American adults are diagnosed with ocular melanoma (OM). OM is an aggressive malignant cancer that starts in the pigment cells that produce eye color and tends to occur in people with light skin pigmentation and more typically, blue or green eyes and who are over age 50. However, OM also can occur in individuals of every race and at any age. For about 50 percent of individuals diagnosed with OM, the cancer may be fatal, because it metastasizes and spreads to other parts of the body. OM is considered a silent killer. There are no early warning signs, and it is difficult to see when studying your eyes in the mirror.


Eye doctors usually detect OM during routine eye exams, reinforcing the importance of scheduling regular appointments. Once OM has developed, people may experience blurred vision, a change in the shape of the pupil, flashing lights in their vision, loss of vision in the affected eye or a dark spot on the iris. Researchers have discovered that people with OM tend to have certain gene mutations, which could suggest there is a strong genetic component to the disease. However, scientists have not concluded that these abnormalities are the cause. They believe there may be a connection between the development of OM and prolonged exposure to sunlight or artificial light, such as from tanning beds, but there is not significant research confirming this link.


 If you or someone you know is concerned about the risk of ocular melanoma (OM) please
schedule an appointment 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 River Hill Professional Center, 6100 Day Long Lane, Suite 207, Clarksville, Maryland 21029, serving the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area.

Monday, May 4, 2015

UV & Sun Eye Protection

As May is designated UV Awareness Month, the eye doctors and staff at Baltimore Washington Eye Center want to share some useful information of UV and sun eye protection in order to avoid eye injury and damage. Understanding the UV Index-and how it varies day to day with weather and location-can help patients remember to use properly selected and fit sunglasses and UV protecting eyewear in order to prevent eye injury. An informative and useful resource is the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Sun Wise information page where they can see their individual UV Index or even downloading the UV Index free mobile app, each of which can help patients understand more about their day to day need for proper UV protection. This is something for LASIK and cataract surgery patients to be particularly aware of because the vast majority of LASIK patients and cataract surgery patients who have advanced technology lens implants no longer have much, if any, need for eyeglasses-they just don’t remember to wear the necessary UV protective eyewear and sunglasses. As we get into the summer months and people are enjoying more water sports, the seashore and outdoor activities, patients often underestimate their risk of “eye sunburn” or photokeratitis, which we call ultraviolet keratitis. This type of eye problem can be frightening, is a pretty uncomfortable and even possibly be sight threatening.

Sunglasses for UV eye protection should be considered more than simply a fashion accessory. Patients visiting Baltimore Washington Eye Center will find a wide range of UV protecting eyeglass lenses and sunglasses available 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.

If you or someone you know has questions about UV eye protection, 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 River Hill Professional Center, 6100 Day Long Lane, Suite 207, Clarksville, Maryland 21029, serving the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area.