Baltimore Washington Eye Center, Maryland

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.