Baltimore Washington Eye Center, Maryland

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Monitoring Multiple Sclerosis with Eye Testing

About Multiple Sclerosis

Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a debilitating neurological disease that can cause patients to experience decreased vision due to optic neuritis, an inflammation of the optic nerve, as well as diplopia or double vision. We believe that MS occurs because there is an abnormal response of the body’s immune system whereby it is directed against the central nervous system (CNS), which is made up of the brain, spinal cord and optic nerves. Within the CNS, the immune system attacks myelin-the fatty substance that surrounds and insulates the nerve fibers as well as the nerve fibers themselves. When any part of the myelin sheath or nerve fiber is damaged or destroyed, nerve impulses traveling to and from the brain and spinal cord are distorted or interrupted, producing a wide variety of symptoms.

About Optical Coherence (OCT) Eye Testing for MS

In our office, we routinely use very precise imaging technology called Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) as part of evaluation, diagnosis and monitoring glaucoma and retina diseases because it allows us to examine the actual nerve fibers of the retina and the optic nerve. Recent research has taught us that OCT can be used to monitor the degree of atrophy of specific retinal layers-called the “inner plexiform layer” and “ganglion cell layer”-and used as an as an indicator of neuronal tissue damage in patients with multiple sclerosis (MS). For patients with Multiple Sclerosis this is quite valuable as it gives us a non invasive in office test, that in concert with their neurologists, helps us help patients asses the stability of their disease as well as their response to new medications or treatments. If you or someone you know has been diagnosed with MS or has questions about the eye problems that can be associated with Multiple Sclerosis, 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 in Glen Burnie at 200 Hospital Drive, Suite 600, Glen Burnie, Maryland 21061; in Gambrills at 2391 Brandermill Blvd., Suite 200, Gambrills, Maryland 21061 and in Ellicott City at Turf Valley Town Center, 11089 Resort Road, Suite 206, Ellicott City, Maryland 21042. Baltimore Washington Eye Center serves the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area.

Help for Children’s’ Tear Duct Problems

About Children’s’ Tear Duct Problems
Normally, tears drain through tiny opening in corners of the upper and lower eyelids call “puncta,” then enter the nose through the nasolacrimal duct. Sometimes the nasolacrimal duct or tear duct can become blocked or obstructed making it impossible for the tears to drain normally. This can cause the eyes to run water or even produce a discharge. Often, the tears well up on the surface of the eye and overflow onto the eyelashes, eyelids, and down the cheek. This usually occurs within the first days or weeks of life. Sometimes, the eyelids can become red and swollen, even stuck together with yellowish-green discharge since the normal eyelid bacteria are not properly "flushed" down the obstructed system. Probably the most common cause of a tear duct obstruction in kids is a failure of the membrane at the end of the tear duct opening to open fully at the time of birth. Generally we see this happening in some 5-10% of newborn infants where one or both eyes is affected with a tear duct obstruction-BUT some 90% clear without any treatment with the first 12 months after birth.

Treatment of Kids’ Tear Duct Obstruction
As most of the time the obstruction will clear on its own, we don’t always have to treat it. But, if it persists and causes the welling up of tears or the sticking or redness of the eyelids we can suggest a gentle massage as a first step and prescribe antibiotic eye drops if necessary. Sometimes we will need to do a tear duct probing to clear the blockage and in a some more difficult situations we might need to perform a tear duct dilation with a tiny balloon or even insert some microscopic tubes. We perform these types of treatments as a matter of routine and, as a parent I will make sure to thoroughly explain them and answer all of your questions if they become necessary.

If you or someone you know has questions or concerns about children’s tear duct problems or needs a kids eye exam, please call 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 in Glen Burnie at 200 Hospital Drive, Suite 600, Glen Burnie, Maryland 21061; in Gambrills at 2391 Brandermill Blvd., Suite 200, Gambrills, Maryland 21061 and in Ellicott City at Turf Valley Town Center, 11089 Resort Road, Suite 206, Ellicott City, Maryland 21042. Baltimore Washington Eye Center serves the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area.

Sunday, November 27, 2016

Laser Cataract Patient Experience

A Baltimore Washington Eye Center cataract patient shared their experience with laser cataract surgery, “I had laser cataract surgery with a Toric Lens Implant. I was apprehensive at first, so much so that I almost canceled the surgery. But thanks to the entire staff of BW Eye, everything turned out fantastic. To all of the personnel from the front desk, to the ladies who checked my eyes before surgery, to the billing departments, to Dr. Hammer who did the surgery and explained everything to me and answered all my questions. However, I do not want to forget the nurses and other staff in the surgery room, FANTASTIC, FANTASTIC, FANTASTIC!!! They had me so relaxed that they had me laughing and the surgery was over before I knew it. Thank you!”- Thomas B.

If you or someone you know experiences cloudy, blurry vision and difficulty with night driving and faded colors you might wish to learn more about cataracts, laser cataract surgery and lens implants by scheduling a cataract eye exam 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 in Glen Burnie at 200 Hospital Drive, Suite 600, Glen Burnie, Maryland 21061; in Gambrills at 2391 Brandermill Blvd., Suite 200, Gambrills, Maryland 21061 and in Ellicott City at Turf Valley Town Center, 11089 Resort Road, Suite 206, Ellicott City, Maryland 21042. Baltimore Washington Eye Center serves the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area.

Dry Eye Disease and Hair Loss


About Dry Eye and Hair Loss
What do dry eye and hair loss have to do with each other? As it turns out, recent research suggests there may very well be a link through your immune system. Alopecia means hair loss. When a person has a condition called Alopecia Areata the hair falls out in round patches on the scalp or elsewhere on the body. Alopecia is not contagious and it is not due to anxiety as some people think. Alopecia is actually due to your immune system attacking the hair follicles resulting in hair loss. This disease occurs in otherwise healthy people. We now know that people with alopecia often suffer from dry eye disease. Researchers examined a series of patients who were previously diagnosed with Alopecia Areata and compared them to a control group who did not have the hair loss problem. They had each patient complete an Ocular Surface Disease Index (OSDI) questionnaire and evaluated their tear film using a Schirmer’s Test for tear quantity, a tear break-up time test, and corneal staining stage tests. Dry eye disease (DED) was diagnosed in 84% of Alopecia Areata patients and in 15% of the controls, and there was a significant difference between the groups. They believe that a certain type of cell mediated autoimmunity has a key role in BOTH Alopecia Areata and dry eye disease and that the inflammatory mechanisms causing Alopecia Areata may trigger dry eye disease or vice versa. Based on this research, it is recommended that all patients with Alopecia Areata be examined for dry eye disease.

If you or someone you know suffers from Alopecia Areata hair loss and wishes to be evaluated for dry eye disease, 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 in Glen Burnie at 200 Hospital Drive, Suite 600, Glen Burnie, Maryland 21061; in Gambrills at 2391 Brandermill Blvd., Suite 200, Gambrills, Maryland 21061 and in Ellicott City at Turf Valley Town Center, 11089 Resort Road, Suite 206, Ellicott City, Maryland 21042. Baltimore Washington Eye Center serves the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area.

Monday, November 14, 2016

Headaches & Children’s’ Eye Problems



About Headaches and Children’s’ Eye Problems


It is pretty common for parents to bring their children in for an eye exam because they are complaining of headaches. Headaches are a frequent complaint of kids but fortunately they are usually not serious. Some of the more common causes of headaches in kids include migraine, the stress and tension of school, certain foods with nitrates or MSG preservatives, physical trauma, sinus infections and, of course, eye problems. Parents can be concerned about the serious, but truly rare occurrence of brain tumors causing headaches but this is usually accompanied by other complaints of dizziness, weakness of the arms and legs, and a loss of coordination.

Evaluating Kids with Headaches


As part of evaluating any child with headaches, I always want to be sure that there has been a complete and thorough examination by their pediatrician who may need to order additional tests or even a referral to a neurologist. Then I will need to perform a complete eye exam including evaluation of the pupils, a refraction to determine any refractive error or need for glasses, eye alignment and binocularity testing, and sometimes a formal visual field examination. Routinely, I will put drops in the child’s eyes to dilate the pupils, so that the optic nerves can be properly examined and the refractive error can be most accurately measured.

Eye Problems That Can Cause Headaches

If your child has uncorrected hyperopia or farsightedness, it requires extra effort to focus clearly while reading. This can sometimes lead to fatigue and headache. If significant hyperopia exists, glasses can reduce the effort required to see clearly at near and improve the headache. Mild hyperopia is normal in children, however, and generally does not cause headaches or other symptoms.

When we read or perform other near activities, our eyes pull in toward each other, this is called convergence. The decreased ability to pull the eyes toward each other when viewing near objects (convergence), particularly while reading, may cause headaches. This is called convergence insufficiency, and symptoms include the doubling of images or words, blurred vision, fatigue, and headaches which worsen with prolonged reading. At home eye exercises, sometimes with the help of computer software, can help treat convergence insufficiency. Glasses are sometimes prescribed, but costly in-office eye exercises are rarely necessary.

Acute infections, allergic, and inflammatory diseases of the eyes can also cause headaches. These problems are often accompanied by redness of the eye and/ or the eyelid as well as light sensitivity or photophobia. Acute glaucoma can cause headaches, but rarely affects children. Pseudo-tumor cerebri is a condition caused by increased intracranial pressure, or too much fluid around the brain, and this causes headache and swelling of the optic nerves, but does not typically cause redness of the eyes. During the complete eye exam we perform we will be able to rule out these problems as a cause of headaches in your child. If we do not find any ocular causes of your child’s headache we may refer them back to his/her pediatrician and/or to a neurologist to look for other possible causes of the headaches.

If you have questions about the causes of kids’ headaches or children’s eye problems, or need assistance, please feel free to 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 in Glen Burnie at 200 Hospital Drive, Suite 600, Glen Burnie, Maryland 21061; in Gambrills at 2391 Brandermill Blvd., Suite 200, Gambrills, Maryland 21061 and in Ellicott City at Turf Valley Town Center, 11089 Resort Road, Suite 206, Ellicott City, Maryland 21042. Baltimore Washington Eye Center serves the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area.

Sunday, November 6, 2016

Diabetic Eye Exams: Don’t Delay!


About Diabetic Eye Disease
Diabetic eye problems include an increased risk of cataracts, glaucoma, neurological eye muscle problems and the potential for serious vision loss from diabetic retinopathy, which is a retinal vascular disease. Vision loss from diabetic eye disease is manageable and often preventable, but requires early diagnosis for treatment to be most effective. This means ALL patients with diabetes must be diligent in having eye exams at intervals recommended by their eye doctors and/or their primary care physicians, internists, and endocrinologists.

About Diabetes
According to the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics 21.7 million U.S. adults age 18 and over (9.2%) have been diagnosed with diabetes and this percentage increases with age. One in five adults aged 65 and over (20.5%, or 8.7 million) has diagnosed diabetes, compared with 11.0% (11.3 million) aged 40–64 and 1.9% (1.7 million) aged 18–39.

About Delay in Seeking Diabetic Eye Exams
There seems to be a trend in that the more recently you are in having your diabetes diagnosed, the longer you delay in seeking and annual diabetic eye exam. This is troubling in preventing vision loss and avoiding diabetic eye problems. Among all adults, the percentage who visited an eye doctor in the past 12 months increased with years since diabetes diagnosis. About half, 50% of those diagnosed with diabetes within the prior 5 years had visited an eye doctor in the past 12 months, compared with 57.3% of those diagnosed 5-10 years ago and 61.2% of those diagnosed 10 or more years ago. Among adults with diagnosed diabetes, the percentage who had visited an eye doctor during the past 12 months increased with age: 38.2% for those aged 18–39, 53.8% for those aged 40–64, and 66.5% for those aged 65 and over. Thus, among adults with diabetes, both age and years since diagnosis may play a role in visiting an eye doctor in the past 12 months.

If you or someone you know has diabetes, please take the time to schedule and eye exam in order to prevent the risk of vision loss from diabetic eye disease and diabetic eye problems, most of which are preventable with early detection, diagnosis and treatment. Please call 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 in Glen Burnie at 200 Hospital Drive, Suite 600, Glen Burnie, Maryland 21061; in Gambrills at 2391 Brandermill Blvd., Suite 200, Gambrills, Maryland 21061 and in Ellicott City at Turf Valley Town Center, 11089 Resort Road, Suite 206, Ellicott City, Maryland 21042. Baltimore Washington Eye Center serves the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area.

Monday, October 31, 2016

The LASIK Experience

Brad Spagnolo, M.D., F.A.C.S.
LASIK Surgeon

LASIK patient Shannon K comment on her LASIK experience at Baltimore Washington Eye center……


“The staff at BW Eye Center was very responsive to my questions. The thought of having someone work on my eye made me quite nervous, but Dr. Spagnolo and Erin were very kind and made me feel comfortable about the procedure. During the procedure, all the staff explained everything they were doing and made every effort to make me feel comfortable. Once the procedure was complete, I was sent home with very clear instructions on how to care for my eyes. Later in the evening Dr. Spagnolo followed up with a phone call. All in all, my experience was excellent and I will refer Dr. Spagnolo and BW Eye Center to others.”


If you or someone you know would like to learn more about LASIK or schedule a Free LASIK Consultation 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, 2391 Brandermill Blvd., Suite 200, Gambrills, Maryland 21061 and Turf Valley Town Center, 11089 Resort Road, Suite 206, Ellicott City, Maryland 21042, serving the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area.

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Aging Eye Problems

About Aging Eye Problems
Aging eye problems are a fact of life for adults growing older just like wrinkles, slowing metabolism and graying hair. Eventually, your eyes are affected by age so it’s important to understand how your eyes change with age and what you can do to preserve your eye health and vision. Some aging eye changes and problems are expected and normal and others indicate the presence of eye diseases that need to be detected, diagnosed and treated or changes that need to be addressed to preserve vision. For these reasons, having regular eye exams at the intervals recommended by your eye doctor is key-especially after the age of 40 years old.

Presbyopia
Beginning in your late 30’s and early 40’s, the crystalline lens in your eye loses flexibility, making it difficult to focus and read up close. Your arms seem “too short.” This condition is called presbyopia, which literally means "aging eye", and is most often treated with single vision reading glasses, progressive lenses, or bifocals depending on how you need to use your eyes for various tasks throughout the day, for work or recreation.

Dry Eye
Dry eye often develops with age and is a common problem for women during pregnancy and menopause. These hormonal changes cause changes in the eyes’ tear production. Certain medications can also cause dry eye. If you have dry eye, you may be prone to an eyelid irritation called blepharitis, a common cause of irritation or swelling of the eyelids. The cause of your dry eye, either too few tears being produced or too rapid evaporation of tears, will need to be diagnosed and then your eye doctor can prescribe a range of treatments including eye drops that add artificial tears, prescription eye drops that help you make more of your own tears called Restasis®, tiny punctal plugs to help you retain more of your own tears, anti-inflammatory eye drops and many other treatment options to provide relief for your dry eye symptoms.

Diabetic Retinopathy
People in their 50’s, 60’s and 70’s with diabetes are most at risk for this disease. Diabetic retinopathy occurs when the small blood vessels inside the retina swell, leak fluid or close off completely due to damage from elevated blood sugar levels. But, you can take steps to prevent diabetic retinopathy with tight control of blood sugar, low fat diets, regular exercise and controlling blood pressure levels. It is also critical to see your eye doctor regularly for diabetic eye exams, as the vision loss from diabetic retinopathy can be slowed and often prevented with early detection, diagnosis, and treatment.

Cataracts
Cataracts are very common in older people. As you age, proteins in your crystalline lens begin to clump together and cause the lens to become cloudy. The less transparent lens causes blurry, cloudy or dim vision and increases glare and haloes around lights. Many people with the condition describe it as similar to looking out of a dirty windshield. Cataracts can interfere with daily activities like reading, nighttime driving, and distinguishing colors. While updating your eyeglass prescription may provide some benefit when you have early cataracts, the only really effective treatment for cataracts is cataract surgery where the cloudy lens is removed and replaced with a permanent artificial lens implant which can correct the cataract as well as nearsightedness, farsightedness, astigmatism and even presbyopia.

Glaucoma
Glaucoma is a disease of the optic nerve that damages the fibers that transmit visual information from the eye to the brain. This damage often leads to loss of “side” or peripheral vision. If left untreated, glaucoma will certainly lead to progressive vision loss and, ultimately, total blindness. Glaucoma is most common in people age 55 and older. One of the problems with glaucoma, especially the most common type of glaucoma, called chronic open-angle glaucoma, is that there are typically no symptoms in the early stages. Many people who have the disease do not know they have it. This is why it is important, especially as you get older, to have regular medical eye exams at intervals recommended by your eye doctor that depend on your risk factors, such as smoking, sleep apnea, age, diabetes, high blood pressure, and early menopause.

Floaters and Flashes
As people grow older, the gel that fills the inside of their eye, called the vitreous, starts to shrink, forming clumps and strands. These strands and clumps can appear as “floaters” that look like small specks or lines moving in your field of vision. As it shrinks, the gel can also pull away from the back wall of the eye, causing you to see “flashes” which appear as flashing lights or lightning streaks in your vision. While this is normally harmless, in some cases it can lead to retinal detachment and cause serious vision loss and even blindness. If you experience new floaters and flashes, it’s important to see your eye doctor as soon as possible, especially if you are over age 45, are nearsighted or have had eye injuries in the past.

Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD)
AMD is an eye disease of seniors that affects the central vision, limiting a person’s ability to read and recognize faces. This can be caused by a thinning and deterioration of the macula, which is the center of the retina, or by the growth of abnormal blood vessels beneath the retina. AMD can lead to blindness if not treated and it continues to be the leading cause of blindness in Americans over age 65. Fortunately with early detection, diagnosis and treatment, vision loss from AMD is preventable or at least manageable so that we can reduce vision loss and, in many cases, recover vision.

If you or someone you know is concerned about ageing eye problems such as presbyopia, dry eye, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma, age related macular degeneration (AMD) or cataracts 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., Suite 200, Gambrills, Maryland 21061 and Turf Valley Town Center, 11089 Resort Road, Suite 206, Ellicott City, Maryland 21042, serving the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Macular Degeneration Risk: Diet, Lifestyle & Genes

About AMD Risk

Unhealthy lifestyles that include smoking, high levels of alcohol consumption, high fat diets and other vascular disease risk factors are known to contribute to your risk of age related macular degeneration (AMD). Additionally, we know that those with a family history of AMD have an even greater risk of developing the disease. Recently, a study published in Ophthalmology told us about the further risk that you might experience if you actually have a genetic predisposition. The results showed that the odds of developing AMD were 3.3 times greater if you had both an unhealthy lifestyle and a high genetic risk as compared to those who had a healthy lifestyle and a low genetic risk. This shows the powerful negative effect that your genes and lifestyle can play in your chances of developing age related macular degeneration (AMD).

If you or someone you know has a family history of AMD and demonstrates unhealthy lifestyle behaviors it is important to have a comprehensive eye exam at regular intervals recommended by your eye doctor, and that you express to your doctor your risk factors and concerns. 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., Suite 200, Gambrills, Maryland 21061 and Turf Valley Town Center, 11089 Resort Road, Suite 206, Ellicott City, Maryland 21042, serving the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Skipping AMD Treatment Affects Vision

About Macular Degeneration Treatment
For patients with Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) who are being treated with VEGF Inhibitor injections such as Lucentis® and Eylea®, even though it might seem like a great deal of trouble and effort to be totally consistent and compliant with all scheduled appointments, it is critical! The need for consecutive, carefully timed injections, according to clinically tested protocols is what helps us preserve your vision and avoid the untoward, potentially catastrophic effects of vision loss from Age related Macular Degeneration (AMD). Researchers reporting in the journal Eye actually studied what happens to the vision of patients who skip even one injection visit. In France, summer vacations are taken very seriously and many French patients leave their doctor’s care for 6-8 weeks as they travel around Europe for the summer. The French eye specialists found that patients who skipped even a single injection during their holiday period were prone to a decrease in vision and the formation of cysts and fluid in the macula of the eye being treated. We are hopeful you will carefully follow our recommendations for the timing and frequency of AMD treatment injections so we can help preserve your eye health and vision.

If you or someone you know has questions about AMD treatment with anti-VEGF injections or any aspect of Age Related Macular Degeneration risk, diagnosis, symptoms or treatment 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., Suite 200, Gambrills, Maryland 21061 and Turf Valley Town Center, 11089 Resort Road, Suite 206, Ellicott City, Maryland 21042, serving the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Eye Problems and Psoriasis

Psoriasis and Retinal Vein Occlusion
What does having psoriasis have to do with eye and retina problems? As it turns out, having psoriasis is associated with a higher risk of developing an eye problem called Retinal Vein Occlusion (RVO), a condition where one or more veins in the retina become blocked creating a high risk of vision loss and many complications.


Psoriasis is an autoimmune disease that causes raised, red, scaly patches to appear on the skin. It typically affects the outside of the elbows, knees or scalp, though it can appear in any location. Some people report that psoriasis is itchy, burns and stings. Psoriasis is associated with other serious health conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease and depression. If you develop a rash that doesn't go away with an over-the-counter medication, you should consider contacting your doctor. Further, if indeed you are diagnosed with psoriasis, make sure to have regular eye exams and tell us that you have this condition.

 Psoriasis


If you or someone you know suffers from psoriasis, you should schedule regular eye exams and be sure to tell your eye doctor about your condition. Please call Baltimore Washington Eye Center by calling 800-495-3937, visiting
Baltimore Washington Eye Center, Google+ or on Facebook at:  facebook.com/baltimorewashingtoneyecenter.

Baltimore Washington Eye Center is a leading eye care practice with office locations in Glen Burnie at 200 Hospital Drive, Suite 600, Glen Burnie, Maryland 21061; in Gambrills at 2391 Brandermill Blvd., Suite 200, Gambrills, Maryland 21061 and in Ellicott City at Turf Valley Town Center, 11089 Resort Road, Suite 206, Ellicott City, Maryland 21042. Baltimore Washington Eye Center serves the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area.

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Cataract Surgery Lens Implants and Driving

Cataract Surgery, Lens Implants & Driving

People with cataracts often are unaware of the subtle changes in lifestyle and mobility that they adopt as they await the “right time” for cataract surgery. Almost always, people who have cataract surgery immediately feel an improved quality of life from the restored freedom of clear vision, especially for those who wish to continue to drive. A recent study also tells us that the choice of lens implant can play a role in restoring driving habits. When you schedule an appointment for a cataract evaluation, or if you are visiting us for a cataract eye exam before surgery, please be sure to discuss and advise us of your driving habits and desires-especially night driving-so that we can counsel you on the different types of lens implants that we might use to help you return to a comfortable, convenient, safe and active driving pattern along with the other activities that the cataract might have limited for you.

If you or someone you know has a cataract or wishes to learn more about laser cataract surgery and lens implants, especially as related to driving and mobility, please schedule a cataract eye exam by calling Baltimore Washington Eye Center at 800-495-3937, or 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., Suite 200, Gambrills, Maryland 21061 and Turf Valley Town Center, 11089 Resort Road, Suite 206, Ellicott City, Maryland 21042, serving the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area.

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Kids’ Eye Exams: When to Have Them


When to Have Kids’ Eye Exams
At Baltimore Washington Eye Center we are often asked about the best time to have kids’ eyes screened, examined and evaluated for eye health and vision problems. The American Academy of Pediatrics and the American Academy of Ophthalmology recommend that your child's eyes be screened for problems at birth, by 6 months of age, at 3 to 4 years of age, at 5 years of age, and every following year. Getting your child’s eyes checked and screened regularly is critical for finding any issues that should be diagnosed and treated early. In most instances it might not be necessary for your child to have an exam with an eye doctor as your pediatrician can do the initial screenings at the routine well child visits. However, for preemies, or if there is any family history of childhood eye problems, it’s probably a good idea to bring them in to see us, and we might recommend more frequent or more detailed exams based upon the results.

If you or someone you know would like to learn more or schedule a child’s eye exam, 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, 2391 Brandermill Blvd., Suite 200, Gambrills, Maryland 21061 and Turf Valley Town Center, 11089 Resort Road, Suite 206, Ellicott City, Maryland 21042, serving the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Back to School Headaches

Findings from Nationwide Children's Hospital physicians demonstrate that headaches increase in the autumn in children, a trend that may be due to back-to-school changes in stress, routines and sleep as well as eye and vision problems. Although it may be difficult for parents to decipher a real headache from a child just wanting to hold onto summer a little longer and avoid going back to school, there are a variety of other common triggers including poor hydration and prolonged screen time that could contribute to a child’s discomfort. The increase in autumnal headaches may be attributed to a number of factors, including academic stressors, schedule changes and an increase in extracurricular activity. Other common headache triggers include a lack of adequate sleep, skipping meals, poor hydration, too much caffeine in soft drinks, lack of exercise and prolonged electronic screen time. Parents should work with their child's pediatrician to evaluate, manage and prevent headaches. Once these factors are controlled, it is important to be sure that there are no subtle or obvious eye health or vision problems by scheduling a routine eye exam for your child.
If you or someone you know has a child suffering from “back to school” headaches and has addressed the possible causes with your pediatrician, consider whether it is time to schedule an eye exam and please call 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, 2391 Brandermill Blvd., Suite 200, Gambrills, Maryland 21061 and Turf Valley Town Center, 11089 Resort Road, Suite 206, Ellicott City, Maryland 21042, serving the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area.

Monday, September 5, 2016

Transitions® Vantage Lenses

Transitions® Vantage Lenses

Vantage Lenses will give you crisper, shaper vision outdoors. Transitions® Vantage lenses don’t just adapt to changing light, they also polarize as they darken. The polarization adjusts to match the level of outdoor glare, which can vary as the day progresses and conditions changes. Transitions Vantage Lenses are the only everyday lenses with variable polarization. The polarization adjusts to match the level of outdoor glare, and block 100% of UVA & UVB rays. They maintain about 5-percent residual tint when indoors, light sensitivity is reduced. Since the lenses automatically adapt to light conditions, they reduce eye strain, fatigue indoors and squinting in sunlight. The rapidly changing lenses can also lessen glare by regulating the amount of natural light you are exposed to. The degree of darkening depends upon the amount of light.

If you or someone you know would like to learn more about Transitions® Lenses, please call 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, 2391 Brandermill Blvd., Suite 200, Gambrills, 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 28, 2016

Cataract Surgery with Dr. Spagnolo

John G comments on his cataract surgery experience at Baltimore Washington Eye Center with Dr. Spagnolo,

“I had cataract surgery performed by Dr. Spagnolo at BW Eye Center. Both have been a major success. The second once included the use of an Advance Technology Toric Lens. I is fantastic!!!! For the first time in over 50 years, I do not need to put glasses or contacts on when I wake up! The care & service I have received from BW Eye Center has been first rate from my very first appointment to my evaluation and my two procedures and follow ups! They are the Best!!!”


If you or someone you know experiences cloudy, blurry vision and difficulty with night driving and faded colors you might wish to learn more about cataracts, laser cataract surgery and lens implants by scheduling a cataract eye exam 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, 2391 Brandermill Blvd., Suite 200, Gambrills, Maryland 21061 and Turf Valley Town Center, 11089 Resort Road, Suite 206, Ellicott City, Maryland 21042, serving the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area.

Sunday, August 21, 2016

Special Eye Exams Predict Diabetic Retinopathy Damage

Recently reported information in Retina Today, from research conducted at the Joslin Diabetes Center’s Beetham Eye Institute, demonstrated that for people with diabetes who are showing evidence of diabetic retinopathy, it is of important predictive value for us to carefully evaluate lesions not only at the center of the retina, but more importantly those in the periphery of the retina, as these changes generally tell us that the disease will progress more rapidly. What we now know is that these peripheral lesions, which are not detected by traditional eye imaging, correlate very closely with the loss of retinal blood flow, called retinal “non-perfusion”; which tells us that there is damage to the small blood vessels or capillaries in the retina.

Thus, if you are diabetic and we are examining you for retinal changes and diabetic retinopathy, we may recommend that we take both the routine retina photographs and fluorescein angiography of the central retina, as well as the peripheral retina. If this extra measure of safety is necessary, we will advise you of this extra step at the time of your diabetic eye exam.

Fortunately, with early detection, diagnosis and treatment the last decade or so has given us many success stories in the treatment of diabetic eye disease, including diabetic macular edema (DME), with drugs that target a protein called vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). It is possible that such anti-VEGF drugs might also help us treat peripheral lesions and slow or even eliminate the risk of progression.

If you or someone you know has diabetes, having regular eye exams and testing to prevent vision loss from diabetic retinopathy is an important part of your care. Please schedule a diabetic eye exam by calling Baltimore Washington Eye Center at 800-495-3937, or 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., Suite 200, Gambrills, Maryland 21061 and Turf Valley Town Center, 11089 Resort Road, Suite 206, Ellicott City, Maryland 21042, serving the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Retinitis Pigmentosa Help

About Retinitis Pigmentosa
Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is an inherited, progressive disease of the eye, in which the light-sensitive photoreceptor cells located in the retina degenerate. This results first in the loss of night and peripheral vision, eventually progressing to the loss of central vision and total blindness. It is the leading cause of inherited blindness in the developed world.

The disease, which affects approximately 1.5 million people in the world, has no cure, but thanks to research done at the University of California-Santa Barbara, a new stem cell therapy may soon be available that protects photoreceptor cells from the damaging effects of the gene mutation. So far, only a small number of legally blind patients with RP have begun a trial. The trial is the first attempt to use stem cells to prevent the loss of vision from RP. An experimental injection of retinal stem cells is placed in the eye with the hope that the growth factors from these cells will protect the retinal cells and prevent them from dying, thus preserving the patient’s remaining vision.

If you, a family member, or someone you know would like to learn more about Retinitis Pigmentosa or new stem cell therapies being developed for diseases of the retina, please call 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., Suite 200, Gambrills, Maryland 21061 and Turf Valley Town Center, 11089 Resort Road, Suite 206, Ellicott City, Maryland 21042, serving the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area.

Monday, August 8, 2016

Laser Cataract Surgery Benefits

Benefits of Laser Cataract Surgery
If you are concerned about cataracts or been told that you have a cataract, when you visit Baltimore Washington Eye Center for a cataract surgery and lens implant exam we will carefully evaluate not only the impact of the cataract on your vision and overall quality of life, but should you be ready to have the cataract removed, we will also make a recommendation about the safest, most precise and gentlest type of cataract surgery so that we can provide you the best, most reproducible result in the shortest timeframe. If our examination indicates you are a good candidate, we will recommend laser cataract surgery rather that standard cataract surgery. Our clinical experience at Baltimore Washington Eye Center is consistent with the published research in the Journal of Cataract & Refractive Surgery, that laser cataract surgery is gentler and provides faster visual recovery, more precise optical prescription results and quicker stabilization of the final vision.

If you or someone you know has questions about cataracts, laser cataract surgery and lens implants please call 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., Suite 200, Gambrills, Maryland 21061 and Turf Valley Town Center, 11089 Resort Road, Suite 206, Ellicott City, Maryland 21042, serving the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Slowing Nearsighted Progression

About Nearsighted or Myopic Progression
Myopia is a common disorder, affecting approximately one-third of the U.S. population. High myopia is associated with an increased risk of sight-threatening problems, such as retinal detachment, choroidal degeneration, cataracts, and glaucoma. Slowing the progression of myopia could potentially benefit millions of children in the U.S. To date, few clinical approaches for myopia control and slowing myopic progression have proven to be consistently effective. Treatment options such as under-correction of myopia, gas permeable contact lenses, and bifocal or multifocal spectacles have all been proven to be ineffective for myopia control, although one recent clinical trial using executive top bifocal spectacles on children with progressive myopia has shown to decrease the progression to nearly half of the control subjects. The most effective methods are the use of orthokeratology contact lenses, soft bifocal contact lenses, and certain eye drops not specifically approved for this use. We encourage parents of children experiencing rapid myopic progression to inquiry as to which if any of these options might be helpful or appropriate for their children.

If you or someone you know has a question about myopic progression or the ways to slow nearsighted prescription increases, feel free to discuss your concerns with us and 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., Suite 200, Gambrills, Maryland 21061 and Turf Valley Town Center, 11089 Resort Road, Suite 206, Ellicott City, Maryland 21042, serving the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area.

Monday, July 25, 2016

Kid’s Sunglasses Help Avoid Solar Retinopathy

Sunglasses for Children Not Simply About Fashion
Making sure children wear UV protective sunglasses is important to help kids protect their eye health and vision as sun damage to the retina, called “solar retinopathy”, does affect BOTH children and adults according to researchers reporting in the Journal of the American Association for Pediatric Ophthalmology and Strabismus.

About Solar Retinopathy
Solar retinopathy is a condition where the retina becomes damaged as a result of bright light from the sun. The retina is made up of layers of light sensing cells that make vision possible. When they're over stimulated by sunlight, they release a flood of communication chemicals that can damage the retina. This damage is often painless, so people don't realize what they're doing to their vision. Solar retinopathy has been reported to occur from staring at the sun, regardless of its phase. Sometimes people high on drugs have stared at the sun for long periods of time causing serious damage and adherents of sun worshipping religious sects are also victims. BUT, children too can stare at the sun and painlessly lose their vision from solar retinopathy!

If you or someone you know would like to learn more about sunglasses for kids please call Baltimore Washington Eye Center at 800-495-3937, or 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., Suite 200, Gambrills, Maryland 21061 and Turf Valley Town Center, 11089 Resort Road, Suite 206, Ellicott City, Maryland 21042, serving the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Cataract Surgery Patient Satisfaction

Cataract surgery is beneficial in not only restoring poor vision, but in improving quality of life as well. As cataract surgeons we are also very pleased to report that cataract surgery has an extremely high level of overall patient satisfaction; not only in our practice, but also in national surveys collected by the Accreditation Association for Ambulatory Health Care (AAAHC) Institute for Quality Improvement. By 2030, 38 million Americans will suffer from cataracts, a number that will increase to 50 million by 2050, according to the National Eye Institute of the National Institutes of Health. According to the study, from the AAAHC Institute for Quality Improvement, 99.7% of patients would recommend the procedure to friends or relatives suffering from cataracts. 96% of patients reported that their vision was better post-surgery, and 98 percent said they were comfortable during the procedure and right after their surgery. What’s more, 96% returned to normal activities of daily living within one week of their cataract surgery procedure. “This is very typical of what we see at Baltimore Washington Eye Center and the data clearly show that patients find value in cataract surgery and are generally very pleased with the outcomes of the procedure,” said Arturo Betancourt, M.D.

If you or someone you know suspects or has been told they have a cataract and would like to learn more about cataract surgery and lens implants, please call 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., Suite 200, Gambrills, Maryland 21061 and Turf Valley Town Center, 11089 Resort Road, Suite 206, Ellicott City, Maryland 21042, serving the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area.

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Concussion Eye Test for Student Athletes


Eye Test for Concussion in Student Athletes
An eye test for concussions might be helpful for student athletes playing contact sports who are known to be at risk for head trauma. Up to 3.9 million sports related mild traumatic brain injuries, or concussions, occur annually in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, but researchers say that number is likely higher since the CDC only tracks emergency room visits. Experiencing a concussion in a game increases an athlete’s risk for sustaining a second concussion in the same season threefold. Other complications include the dangerous second impact syndrome, or other short and long term side effects.


Research on Concussion and Eye Tests
Research from the NYU Langone Concussion Center shows that a simple eye test, which can be administered in less than two minutes, can effectively diagnose a concussion and help determine whether a student athlete as young as 5 years old should return to a game. A study published in the Journal of Neuro-Ophthalmology, was conducted on 89 NCAA athletes and a younger group of 243 athletes under age 17, and shows how the eye test, known as the King-Devick test, could help minimize the problems that make the diagnosis of concussion difficult in student athletes involved in youth sports. The researchers report that the test can easily be administered on the sidelines by parents and non-health care professionals when athletic trainers and doctors are not available to monitor sidelines at youth sports games.

About the King-Devick Test
As part of the King-Devick test, athletes read numbers off of three pieces of paper while being timed with a stopwatch. A worsened performance from a baseline reading suggests a concussion has occurred. Since concussions may cause devastating short and long term cognitive effects, tools like vision testing that can objectively diagnose a concussion are critical. Some sideline tests only measure cognition and balance, but visual testing is rarely performed, despite longstanding evidence that vision is commonly affected by concussion, according to a review article published in the Journal of Neuro-Ophthalmology. Previous research suggests about 50 percent of the brain’s pathways are tied to vision.

If you or someone you know plays youth sports and is concerned about the risk and evaluation of concussion, please call 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., Suite 200, Gambrills, Maryland 21061 and Turf Valley Town Center, 11089 Resort Road, Suite 206, Ellicott City, Maryland 21042, serving the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

About LASIK with Dr. Spagnolo

“Dr. Spagnolo, in my opinion, is one the best doctors I have ever experienced. You will find Dr. Spagnolo to be very cautious and informative, from the consultation to the actual surgery. I appreciate how he wants to be sure about doing the best for the patient. I am so thankful for such a pleasant experience. His staff is phenomenal. Thank you!

-John B.“

If you or someone you know would like to learn more about LASIK or schedule a Free LASIK Consultation 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, 2391 Brandermill Blvd., Suite 200, Gambrills, Maryland 21061 and Turf Valley Town Center, 11089 Resort Road, Suite 206, Ellicott City, Maryland 21042, serving the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Quality of Life after Cataract Surgery

When we think of the impact that cataracts have on people, it is pretty easy to identify that vision decline or loss comes mainly from the blurry cloudy vision that cataracts cause, but also the night vision problems from the glare and haloes associated with cataracts. What is much more important than the vision loss itself is the negative impact on a person’s quality of life. Recent research published in Acta Ophthalmologica studied the effect of patient quality before and after having cataract surgery. The researchers compared patients with no known cataracts of the same age, health and lifestyle to those who had cataracts before and after cataract surgery. When compared with the general population, cataract patients had much lower health-related quality of life (HRQoL) than those without cataracts as measured by five dimensions: seeing, moving, hearing, performing their usual activities, and general discomfort and symptoms. Then at 12 months after cataract surgery there was significant improvement in the quality of life index (HRQoL) across these same dimensions. While this seems obvious, it is a reminder that cataracts and vision loss affect more than just vision and a reason to avoid suffering if you feel that your vision might be impacting your quality of life.

If you or someone you know suspects or has been told they have a cataract and would like to learn more about cataract surgery and lens implants, please call please call 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., Suite 200, Gambrills, Maryland 21061 and Turf Valley Town Center, 11089 Resort Road, Suite 206, Ellicott City, Maryland 21042, serving the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area.

Monday, June 20, 2016

Eye Problems from Medications

About Medications and Eye Problems
Did you know that a number of medications for various health problems can cause eye problems? If you get any new prescription filled you should be aware of whether it can have any eye or vision side effects by itself or in combination with other prescribed medications, other over the counter (OTC) meds, or even supplements you might purchase. Medications can have a variety of effects on your eyes, ranging from minor, temporary issues such as blurred vision to permanent damage. Here are some things to know about medications and your eyes.

Which Drugs Pose the Most Risk?
Some medications that stand out when it comes to causing eye and vision problems include: Corticosteroids-People take steroids for a range of conditions, from asthma and allergies to arthritis and skin conditions. But whether in cream or pill form, steroids can cause swelling in the back of the eye or retina and can potentially even lead to glaucoma and/or cataracts. Even an over the counter spray for allergies such as Flonase® comes with risks.

  • Antihistamines-They may fight allergies, but they also can raise certain patients’ risk for glaucoma. Even over the counter antihistamines can be trouble for those who are at risk for some types of glaucoma.
  • Mental Health Medications-Medications such as Thorazine and Mellaril, used as antipsychotic treatments, can be toxic to your retina. A number of antidepressants such as Prozac, Paxil, Celexa and Tofranil may put certain individuals at risk for angle closure glaucoma.
  • Anti-Malaria & Anti-Arthritic Medications-Medications such as Chloroquine, under the brand name Plaquenil, which is used to treat malaria but also Lupus and some forms of arthritis can have toxic effects on the retina.
What to Watch For with New Medications
If you get a new prescription or even start a new OTC medication, be aware of anything that causes pain to the eyes, or distorted or blurred vision. If you do experience a problem, talk to the doctor who prescribed the medication. Don’t stop the medication without your doctor’s advice. They’ll want to assess whether the medication is the likely culprit-and sometimes the benefits outweigh the side effects. Always read the warning labels, too- especially if you have a condition such as glaucoma or diabetes. A variety of medications have warnings that patients with glaucoma shouldn’t take them.

There are many other drugs that can have eye side effects and may increase your risk of complications if you need eye surgery. During your eye exam, be sure to ALWAYS tell us if you are taking ANY medications whether prescribed or purchased over the counter (OTC) as well as any supplements or vitamins you are taking. Also, if you or someone you know is taking any medication with known side effects as listed above, or is at risk for glaucoma or has diabetes, it is important to schedule a routine eye exam. Please call 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., Suite 200, Gambrills, Maryland 21061 and Turf Valley Town Center, 11089 Resort Road, Suite 206, Ellicott City, Maryland 21042, serving the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area.

Monday, June 13, 2016

Treatment of Lazy Eye or Amblyopia


Treatment of Amblyopia
The best results are always achieved if the treatment of amblyopia is started as early as possible. If necessary, children with refractive errors such as nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism can wear glasses or contact lenses when they are as young as one week old. Children with cataracts or other “amblyogenic” conditions need to be treated promptly in order to minimize the development of amblyopia. One of the most important treatments of amblyopia is correcting the refractive error with consistent use of glasses and/or contact lenses. Other mainstays of amblyopia treatment include cataract removal to provide as clear an image as possible for the lazy eye; as well as forcing the child to use the lazy eye by patching or by blurring the better seeing-eye with eye drops. Eye drops are used to “penalize” the good eye and force the use of the weaker or amblyopic eye. We may be able to use eye drops instead of patching when the amblyopia is not very bad or when a child is unable to wear the patch as recommended. For mild to moderate degrees of amblyopia, studies have shown that patching or eye drops may be just about equally effective. Generally, we start to see improvements in vision within weeks of treatment however for optimal results it will be necessary to continue treatment for many months.

In some cases, treatment for amblyopia isn’t successful and, while it is difficult to stop treatment, it is recommended when there hasn’t been any measured benefit after a certain period time. Children who have amblyopia in one eye and good vision only in their other eye can wear safety glasses and sports goggles to protect the normal eye from injury. As long as the good eye stays healthy, these kids can and do function normally in most aspects of their lives.


If you or someone you know has questions or concerns about the treatment of amblyopia or needs a kids eye exam, please call 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., Suite 200, Gambrills, Maryland 21061 and Turf Valley Town Center, 11089 Resort Road, Suite 206, Ellicott City, Maryland 21042, serving the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area.

Monday, June 6, 2016

Back Surgery and Vision Loss


About Vision Loss from Back Surgery
What does having back surgery have to do with vision loss? According to neurosurgeons who perform spine surgery, one of the risks of spine surgery is post-operative vision loss (POVL). When operating on the spine, a rare but potentially devastating complication of lumbar spine surgery is indeed POVL, of three types that seems to be increasing in frequency. These include one type called ischemic optic neuropathy (ION) which occurs due to restricted blood flow to the optic nerve, another is called central retinal artery occlusion (CRAO) which is due to a blockage in the main artery that supplies the retina with oxygen and nutrients and third is called cortical blindness (CB) most likely due to some blockage in the visual cortex of the brain that is responsible for “seeing.” These complications are quite rare but the risks can occur when there are very long operation times, in patients who have a difficult time being positioned on the operating table and especially in those that are obese. Neurosurgeons take many preoperative and intraoperative precautions to avoid these complications which, except for an unusual event, are successful in avoiding vision loss.

However, if you or someone you know is having or has had back or spine surgery, please be aware that any change in your vision should immediately be reported to your neurosurgeon and you eye doctor so as to prevent vision loss. If you would like more information or have concerns please call Baltimore Washington Eye Center at 800-495-3937, or 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., Suite 200, Gambrills, Maryland 21061 and Turf Valley Town Center, 11089 Resort Road, Suite 206, Ellicott City, Maryland 21042, serving the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area.

Tuesday, May 31, 2016

$999 Bladeless LASIK Summer Price!


LASIK surgeons at Baltimore Washington Eye Center are thrilled to announce a special LASIK summer price of $999 per eye for Bladeless LASIK. As patients get ready for an active summer, we wanted to give them the opportunity to enjoy the season without the hassle of eyeglasses and contact lenses-so we decided to offer a limited time special LASIK promotion for those who have been thinking about it-but just needed a reason to do it now.

With a thorough and careful examination and consultation of interested patients, our experience with Bladeless LASIK gives us a great option for vision correction-so we wanted to help patients comfortably fit this within their budgets. The first and most important step is to find out if patients have the proper motivation, expectations and eye health to great results. We of course see each and every patient personally-before-during and after their laser eye surgery to make sure they get the best possible results for their eyes.

To find out if Bladeless LASIK might be a vision correction option for you, patients are encouraged to schedule a free consultation by calling Baltimore Washington Eye Center 410-991-3768. Bladeless LASIK summer pricing of $999 per eye will only be available to those patients having their consultation by August 31, 2016 and their treatment by September 30, 2016.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

Field Hockey Eye Injury Reduced with Mandatory Eyewear



Avoid Sports Eye Injury with Protective Eyewear
According to research on data from the High School Reporting Information Online database and from a Virginia school district that includes 25 high schools, recorded between 2009 and 2013, analyzed and published in the journal Pediatrics, the use of mandatory protective eyewear by female field hockey players has reduced incidences of eye and orbital injuries, as well as severe face and head injuries. Among female U.S. high school field hockey players, a national mandate for protective eyewear has been associated with a greater than threefold reduced risk of eye and orbital injuries and a decreased incidence of severe eye and orbital as well as head and face injuries. This information supports a policy change and implementation of the mandatory use of protective equipment in field hockey at all amateur levels.

If you or someone you know have questions about protective eyewear for sports, or need to be fitted with protective eyewear to avoid the risk of sports eye injury, 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., Suite 200, Gambrills, 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 16, 2016

Lazy Eye or Amblyopia: What is it?

Lazy Eye Amblyopia: What is it?

Amblyopia or “lazy eye” is a very common vision problem that we see in children. In fact it is responsible for more vision loss in kids than all other reasons combined. Amblyopia is a decrease in the child’s vision that occurs even without any structural problem being present. The decrease in vision results when one or both eyes send a blurry image to the brain. The brain then “learns” to only see blurry with that eye, even when glasses are used. Only children can get amblyopia. If it is not treated, it can cause permanent loss of vision. There are a number of types of amblyopia including strabismic amblyopia which is caused by an eye alignment or eye turning problem, deprivation amblyopia which is caused by cataracts or other condition that “deprives” the eye of a visual image and refractive amblyopia which is due to an uncorrected refractive error such as farsightedness or astigmatism.

Depending on the cause of the amblyopia and whether there is an underlying uncorrected refractive error sometime glasses can help but will not correct the vision to 20/20. With amblyopia, the brain is “used to” seeing a blurry image and it cannot interpret the clear image that the glasses produce. With time, however, the brain may “re-learn” how to see and the vision may increase. Remember, glasses alone do not increase the vision all the way to 20/20, as the brain is used to seeing blurry with that eye. Because of this most of the time the normal eye is treated with patching or eye drops to force the amblyopic eye to be used and make it “stronger.” to make the amblyopic (weak) eye stronger.


If you or someone you know wishes to learn about “lazy eye” or amblyopia or has questions or concerns about amblyopia or needs a kids eye exam, please call 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., Suite 200, Gambrills, Maryland 21061 and Turf Valley Town Center, 11089 Resort Road, Suite 206, Ellicott City, MD, 21042, serving the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area.

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Eyes Can Help Monitor Huntington’s Disease

About Huntington’s Disease
We now know that certain eye tests may help serve as “biomarkers” for the progression of Huntington’s Disease as well as help understand whether some of the new medications prescribed might be helping to slow its progress. Huntington's Disease is an inherited disease that causes the progressive breakdown and degeneration of nerve cells in the brain. Huntington's disease has a broad impact on a person's functional abilities and usually results in movement, thinking and psychiatric disorders. Most people with Huntington's Disease develop signs and symptoms in their 30s or 40s, but the onset of disease may be earlier or later in life. Medications are available to help manage the symptoms of Huntington's Disease, but treatments can't prevent the physical, mental and behavioral decline associated with the condition.

Eye Problems with Huntington’s Disease
One of the earliest and most recognizable eye problems of Huntington’s Disease is a change in eye movements or “saccades” where there is a lag initiating an eye movement to look at something and/or an involuntary reflex saccadic movement that the person can’t control. This loss of eye movement control is quite common. Recent research using Optical Coherence Tomography (OCT) testing that we do right in our offices allows us to study the health of the retinal nerve fiber layer and the health of the nerve fibers around the center of vision, called the macula. What we know is the thinning of the nerve fiber layer on OCT, along with a loss of the macular volume is an indicator of the progression of the disease and can serve to monitor that progression.

If you or someone you know has Huntington’s Disease or questions about eye problems with Huntington’s Disease please call 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., Suite 200, Gambrills, Maryland 21061, River Hill Professional Center, 6100 Day Long Lane, Suite 207, Clarksville, Maryland 21029 and Turf Valley Town Center, 11089 Resort Road, Suite 206, Ellicott City, MD 21042 serving the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area.