Baltimore Washington Eye Center, Maryland

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Cataracts, Cataract Surgery & Driving

Blurry, cloudy vision from cataracts is a well known driving risk, especially for seniors where declining vision is often caused by cataract development. Researchers reporting in the Journal of Cataract & Refractive Surgery studied cataracts and the outcomes of cataract surgery and how these impacted crash risk, driving self-regulation practices, and driving performance. Not surprising there was clear consistent evidence that cataract negatively affects driving and that cataract surgery is beneficial to driving outcomes. What was not clear and requires further study is how specific vision measures such as visual acuity, contrast sensitivity and glare sensitivity specifically affect crash risk and driving performance so that we can be optimally effective in prioritizing cataract patients for surgery.

If you or someone you know has been told they have a cataract and is having difficulty with driving especially at night or in dim illumination or with glare, 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. 

Monday, October 9, 2017

Nutrition & Prevention of Eye Problems


Age Related Macular Degeneration, Dry Eye Syndrome and Cataracts are very common senior eye problems. While we rarely think about nutrition problems in the U.S., there is global information that tells us what CAN happen if we allow people to develop nutritional deficiencies and thus what types of supplements and vitamins might be helpful in preventing these eye problems According to research presented in the Journal of Clinical Dermatology on the role of vitamins, essential fatty acids and antioxidants in age-related macular degeneration, dry eye syndrome and cataract, there is useful information and it helps us advise our patients on a daily basis. When we look around the world, we find that visual impairment is a global epidemic. In developing countries, nutritional deficiency and cataracts continue to be the leading cause of blindness, whereas age related macular degeneration (AMD) and cataracts are the leading causes in developed nations. The World Health Organization has instituted VISION 2020: "The Right to Sight" as a global mission to put an end to worldwide blindness. In industrialized societies, patients, physicians, researchers, nutritionists, and biochemists have been looking toward vitamins and nutrients to prevent AMD, cataracts, and dry eye syndrome (DES).

We know that nutrients from the AREDS2 -lutein, zeaxanthin, vitamin C, vitamin E, zinc, copper, EPA and DHA as set forth by the National Institutes of Health remain the most proven nutritional therapy for reducing the rate of advanced AMD. We also know that Omega-3 fatty acids, especially DHA, have been found to improve dry eye syndrome in randomized clinical trials. Finally we know that there continue to be conflicting results with regard to multivitamin supplementation on the prevention of cataract.

When you visit us for your regular eye exam, we may very well ask you about your nutrition and what vitamins and supplements you already take. If you are in a risk group for AMD or have complaints about dry eye symptoms we may also recommend supplements or vitamins to help you. 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.

Monday, October 2, 2017

Stroke Recovery Takes Time



It is not uncommon for us to see patients who experience vision and eye problems from having suffered a stroke. These can often include double vision, loss of peripheral vision and even loss of sections of their visual field which can affect safe comfortable mobility, and sometimes just reduced vision. It is important, and we tell patients, that recovering from a stroke doesn’t end with the first weeks of acute care and the period of functional rehabilitation that follows. Negative effects of a stroke can present themselves well past the initial event. In healthy older adults, exercise training and a social network that allows both intellectual and social engagement have been shown to be effective measures for helping recovery from a stroke. Using your eyes and vision may be fatiguing even for normal recreational activities but is very important to recovery.

If you or someone you know has had a stroke and needs an eye exam we are happy to help. 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. 

Monday, September 25, 2017

Eyeliner Tips for Healthy Eyes

Eyeliner can be applied to create a fresh look, or enhance natural eye appearance. But our eye doctors want to share some tips and alert eyeliner wearer to watch when and where eyeliner is applied. Three tips for safe application:

When to Apply-If you’re running late to work, school or an appointment, you may be tempted to grab your makeup and apply it in the car. But don’t use eyeliner when the car is moving, you could injure or poke your eye. A better idea is to wait until you are safely parked.
Keep It Clean-Eyeliner pencils periodically need sharpening for easy application. Use a makeup sharpener, not a kitchen or pocket knife, or a sharpener used for pencils or crayons. Prevent spreading germs to your eyes by washing your hands before using eyeliner, and don’t borrow or share eyeliner products with others. This includes liquid and cream eyeliners as well.
Watch The Location-Applying eyeliner along the inside edge of the eyelid, called the waterline, can enhance the look of your eyes. But it also may increase the risk for contamination and vision problems. Studies show that flecks from eyeliner, especially those with glitter, may drop into the eye and collect in tear film. Vision may become blurry, and eyes may become red and irritated. A bacterial infection also may develop. This is a problem, especially for those who wear contacts or have dry, sensitive eyes.

If you or someone you know has a question about how to use eyeliner safely and protect eye health, 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. 

Monday, September 18, 2017

Do Nearsighted Parents Have Nearsighted Kids?



Whenever we see children who need eyeglasses-especially those who need correction for nearsightedness to see clearly at distance for the first time-parents always want to know if the prescription will get worse, and if the parent wears eyeglasses, did this cause the child to need glasses. We have always known that there seems to be a familial predisposition so that children of myopic parents tend to become myopic or nearsighted and need glasses. According to research published in the journal of the Acta Ophthalmologica Scandinavica Foundation where a 22 year-long study evaluated the parental influence on nearsightedness and its progression, there is no meaningful influence of the parent’s nearsightedness on boys, but there is a clear statistical influence on both the prevalence of nearsightedness and its progression among girls. Further, the cause of the nearsightedness seems to be related to corneal anatomy and its refractive power rather than the length of the eye.

It is important for all children to have regular eye heath and vision exams. Vision problems in kids can contribute to literacy problems and delays, overall learning problems and even the perception of attention and behavioral problems. 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.

Monday, September 11, 2017

Uncorrected Farsightedness & Children’s Literacy



A study funded by the National Eye Institute (NEI), part of the National Institutes of Health, has 
shown that hyperopia in preschool children is associated with significantly worse performance on a test of early literacy. The results of the Vision in Preschoolers–Hyperopia in Preschoolers (VIP–HIP) study, which compared 4 and 5-year old children with uncorrected hyperopia to children with normal vision, found that children with moderate hyperopia-3 to 6 diopters of correction-did significantly worse on the Test of Preschool Early Literacy (TOPEL) than their “normal vision” peers. A diopter is the lens power needed to correct vision to normal. In general, the higher the diopter, the worse the hyperopia. This study suggests that an untreated vision problem in preschool, in this case one that makes it harder for children to see things up close, can create literacy deficits that affect grade school readiness. In most children with hyperopia, the condition is mild and has little impact on vision. A small number of preschool children have high hyperopia-more than 6 diopters-that is corrected with eyeglasses. It’s estimated that 4-14% have moderate hyperopia, which often goes undiagnosed and untreated. The results revealed significantly worse performance on the TOPEL among children with uncorrected moderate hyperopia, especially those who also had reduced near visual function, including clarity of binocular vision and depth perception.

If you or someone you know has a school age child who has not had an eye exam, please make sure they are evaluated for vision problems as this can affect their reading readiness, literacy and overall school performance. 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.

Monday, September 4, 2017

Possible Treatment Help for Dry AMD

Researchers seeking ways to treat the “Dry” form of Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) are encouraged by findings of their clinical trial. The researchers at Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary/Harvard Medical School and the University of Crete have found that some patients taking high doses of atorvastatin (Lipitor®) had complete resolution of lipid deposits in the dry form of Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD). Although we currently use therapeutic injections of VEGF inhibitors to treat the “Wet” form of AMD, as of yet we really do not have an effective treatment options for the “Dry” form-so this is encouraging.

The best way to avoid vision loss from the senior eye problem of age related macular degeneration (AMD) is by having regular eye exams for early detection diagnosis and treatment. 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.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Glaucoma Impacts Driving Safety



Driving Safety & Glaucoma
Moderate or advanced glaucoma can affect driving safety according to research noted in the American Journal of Ophthalmology. Patients with bilateral moderate or advanced glaucoma are at risk for unsafe driving. For this reason we now suggest a very careful evaluation for those glaucoma patients who might be at risk so that we can evaluate driving safety of these patients. Glaucoma, especially in more advanced stages can reduce peripheral vision as well as contrast and make driving particularly difficult-especially in dim illumination. Our goal is to help all patients avoid vision loss from glaucoma by asking that you schedule regular eye examinations with glaucoma testing as often your eye doctor suggests. This will depend on the overall health of your eyes, your family history, your general health and many other glaucoma risk factors your eye doctor may identify. The key to preventing vision loss from glaucoma is early detection, diagnoses and treatment.

If you or someone you know would like to schedule and eye exam and glaucoma testing, 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.

Monday, August 21, 2017

Patient Experiences with Cataract Lens Implants

Dr. Betancourt & Dr. Spagnolo offer cataract surgery with the option of using Advanced Technology Implants to maximize a patient’s vision. Here are a few of our patients’ personal experiences with cataract surgery using Advanced Technology lenses.

Judy writes:
“I was relaxed, personnel were very nice and helpful.  I would recommend Baltimore Washington Eye Center to others. I got the Multifocal lens and do not have to wear glasses after using them for 68 years.  I read a lot and it is so wonderful to put the glasses away forever!”

Charles writes:
“It was quick, painless and I could see so much better.  Colors were so bright and white was white.  The staff was so courteous and thoughtful.  The entire experience was very pleasant.”

Mabel writes:
“The surgery center is convenient; the staff is friendly and very professional. There was not pain or discomfort during or after the surgery.  I was able to go back to work the next day right after my morning appointment with the doctor.  Vision improvement started immediately and continued improving each day for a couple of weeks.”

Paul W. writes:
“After several years of declining ability to correct my vision, Dr. Spagnolo recommended that I have cataract surgery.  I had a standard lens in one eye and due severe astigmatism, had an advanced technology toric lens in the other. The surgery was simple and painless, just following instructions for post-op drops in eye. Despite wearing glasses since High School, I now have 20/20 vision. I recommend Baltimore Washington Eye Center to all my friends.”

Anonymous writes: 
“Very easy surgery-a piece of cake! Every question I had was answer. The staff was a joyful experience. I will recommend to anyone facing eye surgery.”

If you or some you know is experiencing cataract symptoms such as cloudy foggy vision, glare or difficult night driving and would like to learn more about cataract surgery & lens implants 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, August 1, 2017

Baltimore Eye Doctors Recommend Solar Eclipse Eye Safety


On Monday, August 21, 2017, all of North America will be treated to an eclipse of the sun, or a “solar eclipse.” “When you see this phenomenon, you will quickly appreciate that it is one of nature’s most awe-inspiring sights. However, it must be viewed safely and certain precautions are necessary so as not to be exposed to potentially serious eye injury,” commented Arturo Betancourt, M.D., Medical Director of Baltimore Washington Eye Center. 

What is a Solar Eclipse?
During a solar eclipse the moon will pass between the sun and the earth, actually blocking the sun either partially or completely depending on where you are viewing it from. The blocking of the sun will last for up to three hours from beginning to end depending on your viewing location. The last time the contiguous U.S. saw a total eclipse was in 1979. This event turns day into night and makes the normally hidden solar corona-the sun’s outer atmosphere- visible! Bright stars and planets will become visible as well. This is one of nature’s most awesome sights. In the Baltimore, Maryland area, we will have a partial eclipse, about 83%. The start time is 1:18 pm, the maximum eclipse view will be at 2:42 pm, with the end of the event occurring at 4:01 pm.

How Can You See It?
Beware of the risk that viewing a solar eclipse can present if you do not take the necessary eye safety precautions. You never want to look directly at the sun without appropriate protection except during totality. “Retinal burns, called “solar retinitis” or “solar retinopathy” can be produced by direct gazing at the sun. This rather serious problem is caused by the thermal effects of the visible and near infrared rays focused on the pigment structure behind the retina. “We almost never see patients with solar retinopathy because the normal eye will tolerate only fleeting glances at the sunbut it can be fairly common during a solar eclipse,” explained Brad Spagnolo, M.D. of Baltimore Washington Eye Center.

The only safe way to look directly at the uneclipsed or partially eclipsed sun is through special-purpose solar filters, such as “eclipse glasses” or hand-held solar viewers. Homemade filters or ordinary sunglasses, even very dark ones, are not safe for looking at the sun. “To be safe to view a solar eclipse, the eclipse gasses must meet the ISO 12312-2 international standard for such products,” explained Dr. Spagnolo.

To learn more, please call Baltimore Washington Eye Center at 800-495-3937, visit Baltimore Washington Eye CenterGoogle+ or facebook.com/baltimorewashingtoneyecenter.

Saturday, July 29, 2017

Dry Eye & Overactive Bladder


What does having an overactive bladder have to do with your eyes? Although you may be able to get to the toilet in time when you sense an urge to urinate, unexpected frequent urination and nighttime urination can disrupt your life. Overactive bladder (OAB), also known as overactive bladder syndrome, is a condition where there is a frequent feeling of needing to urinate to a degree that it negatively affects a person's life. The frequent need to urinate may occur during the day, at night, or both. Overactive bladder is estimated to occur in 7-27% of men and 9-43% of women. It becomes more common with age. Management of overactive bladder often begins with behavioral strategies, such as fluid schedules, adjusting the timing of urination and bladder-holding techniques using your pelvic floor muscles. If these initial efforts don't help enough with your overactive bladder symptoms your doctor may prescribe medications to help. BUT, these overactive bladder medications can cause dry eye symptoms. Researchers reported in the International Urogynecology Journal on108 women suffering from OAB who were started on oral medications to help with their symptoms. The researchers carefully evaluated their tear film and symptoms over three months of starting the medications. They found that there was a continuing worsening of the sensation of eye dryness, grittiness and burning along with observable decrease in the quality and quantity of the tear film. Thus, if you suffer from OAB and your doctor prescribes oral medications to help you, please bring this to our attention so we can offer help for your dry eyes before the symptoms become too uncomfortable.

Overactive bladder medications are known to cause or worsen dry eye problems. If you suffer from OAB and start one of these medication 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. 

Monday, July 24, 2017

Increased Risk Factors for Cataract Surgery in Postmenopausal Women



According to a recent study reported in the journal Ophthalmology, smoking, diabetes and obesity may increase the risk of cataract surgery in postmenopausal women. The results of the

“UK Million Women Study” included more than 1.3 million postmenopausal women who had not previously had cataract surgery. The women were followed for cataracts treated surgically and studies with powerful statistics to calculate the adjusted relative risks for cataract surgery in terms of use of hormonal therapies, reproductive history, lifestyle factors and diabetes treatment. Two percent of women had diabetes, which was the strongest risk factor for cataract surgery. Additionally, both past and current smoking was found to elevate the risk for cataract surgery. Obesity, with a Body Mass Index of 30 kg/m² or greater, was also found to have a small increase in risk of cataracts treated surgically.

If you or someone you know has been told they have a cataract or is concerned about cataract symptoms of cloudy vision, glare sensitivity or night driving problems and wishes to schedule a cataract & lens implant exam please call 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 2, 2017

Progressive Lenses



Today we need to be able to look from far, or near, and to anywhere in between effortlessly. Computer screens, tablet and smartphones have changed the way we use our eyes. This is why progressive lenses are a better choice.

Progressive lenses allow you to see all ranges of vision clearly. There's no taking off one pair of glasses to put on another. There is a seamless transition when going between the top and bottom half of the lens. Progressive lenses appear clear throughout, unlike the distracting lines of a bifocal lens. A progressive lens is an amazing piece of engineering, allowing multiple vision fields to be incorporated into a single lens without any clear distinction between the fields themselves. The power in the lenses "progressively" changes from far to intermediate to your full reading power. This is why progressive lenses are often referred to as "no-line" bifocals or trifocals. Progressives make the transition between prescriptions much smoother by eliminating the obvious lines between prescriptions, this technology helps you see better in more instances.

If you or some you know would like to see or be fit with the latest in high quality designer eyeglass frames or learn about digital high definition eyeglass lenses 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, June 25, 2017

Easy Cataract Surgery with Dr. Betancourt



Cataract Surgery with Dr. Betancourt
“I recently had cataract surgery and lens implants in both eyes to correct my vision. Dr. Betancourt and his entire staff were truly helpful and very professional. I am a senior male patient and was quiet concerned and somewhat nervous before the surgery. It really was so very easy and simple for me. My procedure was done 7/6/16 and 8/3/16. Both eyes had cataracts removed as well as the Advanced Technology Toric Lens to correct my astigmatism. Glad to have perfect vision 20/20 and 20/25 and do not need glasses. Recovery was easy for me. Good luck.” -Anonymous

If you or some you know is experiencing cataract symptoms such as cloudy foggy vision, glare or difficult night driving and would like to learn more about cataract surgery & lens implants 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, June 18, 2017

AMD Risk from Sunlight Exposure


There has been discussion about whether sun exposure can be a risk factor for developing AMD-a common senior eye problem. We know that excess exposure to sunlight can cause many untoward effects on the delicate tissues of the eye and the surrounding facial skin. Sun exposure is a known cataract risk factor, too much UV exposure can cause a “cornea sunburn” or “solar keratitis” and even damage the retina by causing a “solar retinitis”. Researchers reporting in the journal Retina evaluated the effects of current and past sunlight exposure and iris color on early and late Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD). Their conclusions were that sunlight exposure during working life is an important risk factor for AMD, whereas sunlight exposure after retirement seems to have less influence on the disease development. Therefore, preventive measures, for example, wearing sunglasses to minimize sunlight exposure, should start early to prevent development of AMD later in life.

If you are concerned about senior eye health and specifically your risk of AMD please consider wearing sunglasses to limit your exposure to sunlight beginning EARLY in life to preserve your eye health and vision. If you have not had a recent eye exam 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, June 11, 2017

Children and Computer Vision Syndrome


Computer use has become a routine part of kids' lives. About 90% of school-aged children in the U.S. have access to a computer. And kids are starting to use computers at a younger age.In fact, the use of computers and other digital devices has become so common during childhood that a 2015 report by The Vision Council revealed that nearly one in four kids spend more than three hours a day using digital devices.

Many eye doctors who specialize in children's vision say sustained computer use puts kids at higher risk for childhood myopia (nearsightedness). They point out that, though myopia affects approximately 25% of the U.S. population, nearly 50% of adult computer users with a college education are nearsighted. Computer use, especially among youngsters whose eyes are still changing, may be the reason for this disparity.

Sitting for hours in front of a computer screen stresses a child's eyes because the computer forces the child's vision system to focus and strain a lot more than during any other task. This can put children at an even greater risk than adults for developing symptoms of computer vision syndrome. Computer use stresses the eyes more than reading a book or magazine because it's harder to maintain focus on computer-generated images than on printed images. This is especially true for young children, whose visual system is not fully developed.

To prevent your child from developing eyestrain and other CVS symptoms (including increasing myopia), follow these tips:
  • Before they start school, make sure your kids have a comprehensive eye exam - including an assessment of their near-point (computer and reading) vision skills. 
  • Make sure your child's computer workstation is arranged to suit body size. For children, the recommended distance between the monitor and the eye is 18 to 28 inches to avoid risk of eyestrain with closer viewing. Also, the screen should be a few inches below the child's eyes. The chair should be adjusted so your child's arms are parallel with the desk surface and his feet rest comfortably on the floor. These adjustments help avoid posture problems and strained muscles. 
  • Be aware of the signs and symptoms of vision problems, such as eye redness, frequent rubbing of the eyes, head turns and other unusual postures or complaints of blurriness or eye fatigue. Avoidance of the computer or school work may also indicate a vision problem. 
If you or some you know would like to see or be fit with the latest in high quality designer eyeglass frames or learn about digital high definition eyeglass lesnes 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, June 4, 2017

Protect Childrens’ Eyelids from Dog Bites

Eyelid lacerations in children can be caused by all types of accidental occurrences. Parents should be aware of the increased risks of eyelid lacerations caused by dog bites. According to researchers from Boston Childrens Hospital eyelid lacerations caused by dog bites are much more likely to cause damage to the delicate tear gland-the lacrimal gland-and the tear drainage structures. For this reason, if your child is accidentally bitten on the eyelid by a dog, be sure to tell the eye doctor so that a very careful examination and evaluation of the eyelid tissue and tear ducts can be performed. In about 1/3 of eyelid dog bites in children, we will find some damage that needs to be treated or repaired.

If you or someone you know has a child who is bitten on the eyelid or face by a dog, 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.

Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Blood Thinners and AMD Hemorrhages

Many seniors take blood thinners for various types of cardiovascular and other vascular disease as a preventative measure for avoiding a heart attack or stroke. This same senior population is also at greatest risk for age related macular degeneration-including wet or hemorrhagic macular degeneration (AMD). Thus, the question of whether taking anticoagulants might be increasing the risk of and progression of AMD is important and reported on in a study published in Ophthalmology. The results showed that taking anti-platelet or anticoagulant medication was not significantly associated with macular hemorrhage and increased AMD risk unless the patient also had hypertension.

If you or someone you know is taking blood thinners and at risk for age related macular degeneration (AMD), 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, May 21, 2017

Cataract Surgery with Dr. Spagnolo

“My two cataract surgeries we stress free and a pleasant experience. Yes there was some apprehension at first on what to expect prior to the surgery. Once I went thought the done in to the surgery suite, every step and procedure was explained in a calm caring and sincere manner prior to surgery. If I still had any anxiety it disappeared and I became very relaxed. It was a very organizer process and executed very well. From the first officer visit to the completion of surgery, the staff, technicians, surgical staff and Dr. Spagnolo were very professional/ they all were very good listeners and address all of my questions and concerns. I am very please with the outcome of my cataract surgery at BWEye. Thank you!” - Anonymous

If you or some you know is experiencing cataract symptoms such as cloudy foggy vision, glare or difficult night driving and would like to learn more about cataract surgery & lens implants 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.

Monday, May 15, 2017

IVF & Keratoconus Progression

What could in vitro fertilization and Keratoconus have to do with each other? As it turns out, quite a bit! Keratoconus is a progressive degenerative disorder of the cornea whereby structural changes within the cornea cause it to thin and change to a more conical shape than the more normal gradual spherical shape. We carefully monitor our patients with Keratoconus because Keratoconus can cause substantial distortion of vision, with multiple images, streaking and sensitivity to light-all of which can worsen if the disease progresses quickly. Researchers reporting in the Journal of Refractive Surgery  alerted us to the fact that drugs used in IVF treatment increase estrogen levels, which may affect corneal biomechanics and induce progression of Keratoconus and thus we need to be even more carefully following those patients with Keratoconus who might also be starting IVF treatments. If they are determined to be of particularly high risk for progression, then we might recommend corneal cross-linking treatment to minimize the risk of keratoconus progression before starting IVF treatment.

If you or someone you know suffers from Keratoconus and is considering IVF, 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, May 7, 2017

Backup Eyeglasses for Contact Lens Wearers

Contact lens wearers usually prefer contacts over glasses. This can be for a variety of reasons, including that glasses May get in the way of activities or sports. Also, some people just prefer the look of contact lenses. Regardless of the reason for wearing contacts, it is always important to “give your eyes a break”. Many eye care Professionals recommend that contact lens wearers have a backup pair of eyeglasses in order to help protect eyes. There are a couple reasons that backup eyeglasses are important for contact lens wearers. For instance, if you have an eye infection, you should not wear your contact lenses. In fact, eye infections occur less with people who have backup glasses because those people are more likely to wear the backup glasses instead of continuing to wear contact lenses when they have an irritation in their eye. Also, your eyes need oxygen. Allowing your eyes to take a break from contacts is helpful in this regard.

If you or some you know would like to see or be fit with the latest in high quality designer eyeglass frames or learn about digital high definition eyeglass lesnes 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, April 30, 2017

Eye Cosmetic & Makeup Tips for Eye Health

Eye Makeup Tips
Eye makeup is very popular. But, unfortunately we often see careless handling and application of eye cosmetics that leads to infection or other eye problems. Safe use of eye makeup is important. Here are some common sense tips to know before using eye makeup that can help you maintain eye health:
·       Always wash hands before applying cosmetics.
·       Toss eye makeup after using it for several months, since bacteria and fungi can grow quickly in the tubes and containers and multiply within a few months. These germs can irritate and damage the eyes.
·       When opening new packages of eye makeup, use a permanent marker to write the date on the container to help you remember when the products were first used.
·       Use only eye cosmetics on the eyes-not cosmetics formulated for other facial areas. Always apply makeup with clean brushes and sponges.
·       Never apply cosmetics to the inner eyelid as this may irritate or inflame the eyelids and sensitive tissue around the eyes.
·       Don’t share cosmetics with other family members or friends.
·       Avoid permanent coloring and dyes for eyelashes, which can damage eyes if not used correctly.
·       Don’t use eye cosmetics if your eyes are irritated or infected.
·       Avoid using eye makeup products that are glittery or shiny, as they may include ingredients that contain fine particles that can irritate your eyes.
·       Before going to sleep, always gently wash off all cosmetics and brush a clean cotton swab along the eyelashes to remove makeup deposits.

If you or someone you know has redness, eye irritation, itchy or discomfort they believe might be related to eye makeup or cosmetics 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, April 23, 2017

Justin Shares His LASIK Story

“Baltimore Washington Eye Center was quite efficient and I had great service in the pre-operation appointments.  The surgery itself was well-prepared for and I am pleasantly surprised with the results.  Thanks much to the kind staff and the cool Dr. Spagnolo.”-Justin K.

If you or some you know is tired of the hassle of glasses or contact lenses for seeing at distance and would like to find out if LASIK might be a good vision correction option, 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.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Loose Eyelids & Dry Eye Problems


Dry Eye Problems & Loose Eyelids

Sometimes we are surprised by the many conditions and circumstances that can cause you to have dry eye problems. We know that many common medications, including those for blood pressure and allergies can certainly cause dry eyes. We know that the hormonal changes associated with menopause can cause dry eyes as well as certain environmental conditions of dustiness, breeziness or dryness you might encounter. We also know that problems with eyelid inflammation, called blepharitis, or systemic inflammatory diseases as well as contact lens wear can contribute to dry eye symptoms. Now, according to research we reviewed in Cornea we also know that loose eyelids may also cause a disruption of the normal tear film and lead to dry eye complaints. In a study of some 138 patients, those who had loose eyelids were much more likely to suffer from sensations of grittiness, in adequate tear film quality and quantity and dry spots on their cornea-all key sign and symptoms of dry eye. The researchers concluded that eyelid laxity or looseness should be tested in anyone with dry eye complaints as it might be a source of the problem.

If you or someone you know is bothered by dry eyes 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, April 9, 2017

Vitamin C & Cataracts


Vitamin C & Cataracts
Cataracts are a common senior eye problem that occurs naturally with age and clouds the eye’s lens, turning it opaque. Despite the advent of modern cataract removal surgery, cataracts are still something seniors need to be aware of and work to limit their risk factors if possible. The role of vitamins and supplements in cataract development has generally been a bit uncertain. Based on some new research, it is thought that eating foods high in Vitamin C can cut the risk of cataract progression by as much as a third. The research is also the first to show that diet and lifestyle may play a greater role than genetics in cataract development and severity.

Probably the most important finding in this study was that vitamin C intake from food seemed to protect against cataract progression. While we cannot totally avoid developing cataracts, we may be able to delay their onset and keep them from worsening significantly by eating a diet rich in vitamin C.

If you or someone you know is concerned about senior eye problems such as cataracts or even has a cataract, please share this information. If you need a cataract eye exam 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, April 2, 2017

Do I Really Need Computer Glasses?



Do I Really Need Computer Glasses?

Absolutely! If you already wear prescription glasses or reading glasses, you may be tempted to dismiss the idea of computer glasses. But eyeglasses prescribed for general purpose wearing are often not well-suited for prolonged computer work.

Why? When working at a computer, your eyes are generally 20 to 26 inches from your computer screen. This distance is considered the intermediate zone of vision, closer than driving (distance) vision, but farther away than reading (near) vision.

Trifocal and progressive lenses include the correct power for intermediate vision; however they have only a small portion of the lens dedicated to this area. It is not nearly a large enough area for comfortable prolonged computer work.

Without the appropriate eyewear, computer users can often end up with blurred vision and eyestrain. Worse still, many people try to compensate for their blurred vision by leaning forward, or tipping their head to look through the bottom portion of their glasses. These unnatural postures can lead to headaches, neck and shoulder pain, and backaches.

If you or some you know would like to see or be fit with the latest in high quality designer eyeglass frames or learn about digital high definition eyeglass lenses 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 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, March 26, 2017

Avoid Sports Eye Injuries

If you like to watch sports you may have noticed more and more elite athletes, professional athletes and even Olympic athletes share a common “look”. It’s the look of wearing protective eyewear to BOTH avoid eye injuries and optimize their overall performance.

The data and statistics on the need to wear protective eyewear to avoid injuries is compelling. Every day Americans sustain injuries to their eyes, at home, on the job, or during sports activities. Of the 1.6 to 2.4 million individuals who experience eye injuries, an estimated 40,000 will be legally blind in the injured eye. Nearly 90 percent of the injuries are preventable if individuals use proper safety eyewear and take precautions to avoid possible unsafe situations.

Consider these statistics from the National Eye Institute:

· Every 13 minutes, an emergency room in the U.S. treats a sports-related eye injury
· More than 100,000 eye injuries in the United States occur each year during sports or recreational activities
· Basketball players age 15 to 24 have a 1 in 10 chance of experiencing an eye injury
· Eye injuries are the leading cause of blindness in children in the United States:
o   Approximately 27 percent of all eye injuries in children age 11 to 14 are sports-related
o   Children under age 15 account for 43 percent of sports and recreational injuries; eye injuries frequently occur when individuals are involved in baseball, ice hockey and racquet sports
o   When people participate in outdoor activities in the snow or on the water, ultraviolet light radiation from the sun can damage eyes; repeated exposure to ultraviolet sunlight can lead to problems as individuals age, including the development of cataracts and macular degeneration – the leading causes of vision loss among older Americans

While most sports-related eye injuries are not severe in nature – a scratch from a fingernail during a game or an elbow to the eye resulting in a black eye – it’s important to wear the correct type of protective eyewear to avoid serious eye injuries.

If you or someone you know has a question about protective eyewear for sports or wishes to be fit with protective sports eyeglasses 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 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, March 19, 2017

Keratoconus, Risks & Systemic Disease



Keratoconus, Risks & Systemic Disease

Keratoconus is a progressive degenerative disorder of the cornea whereby structural changes within the cornea cause it to thin and change to a more conical shape than the more normal gradual spherical shape. Keratoconus can cause substantial distortion of vision, with multiple images, streaking and sensitivity to light all often becoming troubling to the patient. Usually, we diagnose keratoconus during the adolescent years. If both eyes are significantly affected, the deterioration in vision can affect the person's ability to drive a car or read normal print.

In most cases, we can fit specialized contact lenses to correct vision sufficiently to allow the person to continue to drive legally and likewise function normally. Further progression of the disease may require surgery, for which several options are available and most popular, including intrastromal corneal ring segments, corneal collagen cross-linking, and in about 25% of cases, corneal transplantation. Estimates of the rates for keratoconus range from 1 in 500 to 1 in 2000 people. Recent information alerts us to a number of demographic, ancestry and systemic risk factors. These include that those of African ancestry have a 57% greater risk of a keratoconus and Latino persons have a 43% greater risk of being diagnosed compared with a Caucasian population. Asians had 39% reduced risks of keratoconus and patients with uncomplicated diabetes mellitus (DM) had 20% less risk. Other conditions found to have significantly increased risk of developing keratoconus include sleep apnea and asthma.

If you or someone you know is at risk for keratoconus or wishes to be evaluated for keratoconus 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.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

Satisfaction with LASIK vs. Contact Lenses

Satisfaction with LASIK vs. Contact Lenses
Patients who have been wearing contact lenses have made the choice to minimize their dependence on eyeglasses, but still have many of the inconvenient aspects of contact lens and care to contend with. For contact lens wearers, the decision to have LASIK represents the desire to experience a lifestyle and convenience with independence and freedom from the hassle of BOTH glasses and contacts. But, how does satisfaction with LASIK actually compare with contact lens wear? Researchers reporting in the journal Ophthalmology assessed patient satisfaction and perceived outcomes of 1800 patients split into two groups-one continuing to wear contact lenses and the other having LASIK, through annual surveys administered over a 3-year period. Most contact lens users had worn them successfully ≥5 years. The proportion expressing strong satisfaction with their current vision correction method decreased from 63% at baseline to 54% at year 3 in the contact lens control group, whereas 88% of former contact lens wearers and 77% of former glasses wearers were strongly satisfied with LASIK at year 3. Patients 40 years of age or younger when they had LASIK were somewhat more likely to be strongly satisfied than older patients. LASIK significantly reduced difficulties with night driving and nighttime visual disturbances among former contact lens users and former glasses users. The proportion with dry eye symptoms at 1, 2, or 3 years after LASIK was not significantly increased relative to baseline contact lens wear but was significantly increased relative to baseline glasses use, consistent with many glasses users having tried and abandoned contact lenses because of latent dry eye problems. Compared with continued contact lens wear, LASIK significantly reduced the self-reported rates of eye infections, ulcers, and abrasions each year.

The overall conclusions then were that compared with contact lens wear, current LASIK technology improved ease of night driving, did not significantly increase dry eye symptoms, and resulted in higher levels of satisfaction at 1, 2, and 3 years follow-up.

If you or someone you know is wearing glasses or contact lenses and would like be free of the hassle they create for seeing clearly at distance, please schedule a Free LASIK Consultation 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.