Baltimore Washington Eye Center, Maryland

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.

Monday, February 27, 2017

Lower AMD Risk with Cholesterol Medication?

AMD Risk with Cholesterol Medication
Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) continues to be a leading cause of vision loss in seniors-especially those with a family history or other risk factors such as smoking and other forms of vascular disease. While we have progressed a very long way in the treatment of Wet AMD through the use of anti-VEGF therapeutic injections such as Lucentis® and Eylea® , we are always hoping to find additional medications, vitamins or supplements that might be useful in preventing or delaying senior vision loss. There have been a number of clinical studies and reports about whether the use of the cholesterol lowering medications called “statins” are helpful in preventing or delaying AMD. Common statins include Lipitor®, Crestor®, Zocor®, Mevacor® and Pravachol®. Unfortunately, the most recent information we reviewed in a study reported in the Ophthalmology evaluated the association of statin use with progression of age-related macular degeneration (AMD) and found that statin use was not statistically significantly associated with the progression of AMD and showed no evidence of a beneficial effect on slowing AMD progression.

As with many eye problems, conditions and diseases, age related macular degeneration (AMD) can be best addressed with early detection, diagnosis and treatment. If you or some you know is concerned about age related macular degeneration (AMD) and has not had a comprehensive 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 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, February 19, 2017

Macular Degeneration Biomarker



Biomarker for Macular Degeneration

Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) continues to be a leading cause of vision loss for seniors. The most effective way to avoid vision loss is through early detection, diagnosis and treatment. Now, researchers have found a functional “biomarker” that can help predict which patients might have a greater risk for developing age related macular degeneration (AMD). Dark adaptation refers to the time it takes for a person’s eyes to adjust to darkness after being exposed to bright light. The process of “dark adaptation” appears to be a predictor so that patients over 60 years of age who have slowed “dark adaptation” times are telling us that they are at greater risk. In fact according to a National Institute on Aging study of adults age 60 or older, those whose eyes are slow to adjust to the dark have a 2x greater risk of developing age related macular degeneration.

If you or someone you know is over 50, especially if they have increased risk factors for age related macular degeneration such as being a smoker, a family history, diabetes or other vascular disease, 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, February 12, 2017

Supplements Lower Macular Degeneration Risk

Age Related Macular Degeneration (AMD) is a very common senior eye problem and in fact is the most common cause of visual loss after the age of 65. AMD affects the cells in the center of the retina-the macula-which contains the majority of photoreceptors responsible for crisp clear vision. Drusen are deposits in the retina that can cause the macula to deteriorate and degenerate and may predispose you to AMD and allow for potentially undesirable new blood vessel growth in the macula. Research shows that antioxidants neutralize drusen and prophylactic treatment of drusen maculopathy with high doses of antioxidants such as vitamins C and E, lutein, zeaxanthin and zinc, used in the recommended forms and doses from the Age-Related Eye Disease Study 2 (AREDS 2). Can lower the risk of developing advanced AMD was reduced by 27% over a 10 year period.

If you are concerned about senior eye health and specifically AMD, when you visit us for your annual eye exam, we will discuss whether in your particular case taking supplements might be beneficial 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 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, February 5, 2017

LASIK Patient Story at Baltimore Washington Eye Center

“I have been wearing glasses and then contact lenses since I was 10 years old. I did a lot of research on LASIK prior to finally deciding to go for it. Dr. Spagnolo and the BWEye were extremely helpful and professional in allowing me to make the final decision. The surgery was painless and almost immediately my vision had significantly improved. I am enjoying not having to wear lenses and am glad I made the choice to go with the Baltimore Washington Eye Center and Dr. Spagnolo.”-Sunil

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 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, January 30, 2017

Sunglasses: Tinted or Polarized

Aside from being a fashion statement, there are several reasons to wear sunglasses:

  • UV Protection - helps with the prevention of cataracts
  • Blue Light Protection - long term exposure is a risk factor for macular degeneration
  • Dark Adaptation - aids in the ability for the eye to adapt quickly at night and indoor lighting
  • Skin Cancer - the eyelids and skin around the eye is thin and more prone to skin cancer
  • Comfortable Vision - glare and light interferes with the ability to see clearly without squinting
That being said, which is the better choice for sun protection, tinted or polarized? Light is made up of lots of waves traveling in all different directions. The vertical rays are the rays that are good for human eyes. The horizontal rays are the ones that cause all the problems with being harmful and causing glare. Glare is light that is reflected off different surfaces such as, water, sand, asphalt or car windshields.

Tinted sunglasses effectively work by filtering all light, whether horizontal or vertical. Doing this decreases the brightness and visual acuity but does little to reduce the glare. If the sunglass lenses are not treated/coated with a UV blocker then they can actually be more harmful, since the pupil is enlarged, allowing more of the UVA and UVB rays to enter the eye. Tinted lenses offer a variety of tinting styles and colors.

Polarized lenses have a thin laminated filter built in the lens that blocks the more harmful glare causing horizontal rays. This allows the more comfortable vertical rays to enter effectively eliminating the bothersome glare and reflections. Also the polarizing process blocks UVA and UVB rays. However, even though polarized lenses improve visibility and provide better protection, they have some disadvantages. In some cases, polarized lenses may reduce the visibility of images produced by liquid crystal displays (LCD) screens such as cell phones, GPS devices found on cars and boats and other flat LCD screens. Our eyes are sensitive. Prolonged exposure to the sun can lead to a variety of ailments. Some are simply painful or irritating, others can be deadly serious. It is important to remember to wear a pair of high quality sunglasses to can help keep you safe from the sun’s damaging rays.

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, January 22, 2017

Cataracts & Vitamin D

Cataracts continue to be a leading cause of vision decline in seniors as well as aging baby boomers. Those patients who do not yet have a cataract often ask if it is possible to reduce their risk or avoid cataracts with vitamins or diet supplement. Since Vitamin D has been shown to have an antioxidant effect it might seem like a good bet to reduce cataracts. But, the data continues to be confusing with regard to Vitamin D and cataract prevention. Researchers reporting in the Journal of Cataract & Refractive Surgery studied the impact and relationship between serum levels of Vitamin D and the risk of age related cataracts. They were able to eliminate the effect of other cataract risk factors such as age, sex, smoking status, diabetes, hypertension, and sunlight exposure. The results showed that in men, but not in women, the odds of developing age-related cataracts decreased with statistical significance when the serum Vitamin D levels were in the highest 10% as compared to the when they were in the lowest 10%. But, it wasn’t a uniform trend throughout the range-only in comparison of the top to the bottom levels of serum Vitamin D levels. This, along with no real benefit for women makes the results warrant more study for now. Fortunately cataract surgery and lens implants offer a safe, effective and predictable treatment method with excellent results.

If you or someone you know would like to schedule 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.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Marijuana Use with Glaucoma

A survey of patients with glaucoma showed that the perception of the legality and acceptability of marijuana use was significantly associated with intentions to use marijuana for the treatment of glaucoma, even though research has indicated it is of limited benefit, according to a study published by JAMA Ophthalmology. It is estimated that 2.2 million adults in the United States are affected by glaucoma. Many alternative therapies including acupuncture and marijuana are being explored but have not shown promise. Research has shown several limitations associated with the use of marijuana as a treatment for glaucoma. Driven mainly by public support, 21 states and the District of Columbia have legalized the medical use of marijuana, citing mainly the 1999 Institute of Medicine report that found possible therapeutic benefits for the use of marijuana in various debilitating medical conditions, including glaucoma. Given these legal changes, not infrequently, ophthalmologists are approached with patient inquiries about treatment of their glaucoma with marijuana. Researchers at the George Washington University School of Medicine and Health Sciences, evaluated factors associated with intentions by patients to use marijuana as a treatment for glaucoma. The study included a survey of patients with glaucoma or suspected to have glaucoma. The survey looked at demographics, perceived severity of glaucoma, prior knowledge about marijuana use in glaucoma, past marijuana use, perceptions toward marijuana use including legality, systemic adverse effects, safety and effectiveness, and false beliefs, as well as satisfaction with current glaucoma management and treatment costs. The data and results that the intent to use marijuana for glaucoma treatment was driven by perceptions of legality of marijuana use, false beliefs regarding marijuana, satisfaction with current glaucoma care, and relevance of marijuana and glaucoma treatment costs.

Clearly there is need for greater information and education based on the false perceptions of marijuana as having significant therapeutic value in glaucoma therapy.

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, January 8, 2017

Genes for Glaucoma Identified



Genes for Glaucoma Identified
Researchers from Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary of Harvard Medical School and Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine have led an international effort to identify three genetic associations that influence susceptibility and risk of primary open angle glaucoma which is the most common and insidious type of glaucoma. They studied more than 4,000 cases and 30,000 controls for primary open angle glaucoma using human genomes collected through the NEIGHBORHOOD consortium, a National Eye Institute collaborative. The researchers identified relationships between primary open angle glaucoma and three genetic associations and we believe that this will provide key insights that may ultimately be used to develop gene-based testing and treatment strategies for glaucoma.

In order to prevent vision loss, Primary Open Angle Glaucoma is best managed through early detection, diagnosis and treatment. Having a genetic code that tells us whether you will be subject to the disease will go a long way in preventing damage to the optic nerve and thus compromised vision. As we move forward, regular eye exams with glaucoma texting-especially for those with known risk factors including diabetes, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, smoking and being of Latino or African ancestry-are important to maintain eye health and vision.

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, January 1, 2017

Glaucoma Risk Increases with Latino & African Ancestry



Glaucoma is an eye disease that if untreated can damage the optic nerve, impair vision and cause blindness. It is particularly sight threatening in that in its most common form it doesn’t strike the patient with any warnings or symptoms. Thus, becoming familiar with glaucoma risk factors is worthwhile for all patients. While we have known for quite some time about the increased risk among family members and certain ethnic and racial backgrounds, those patients of Latino or African, ancestry are clearly at greater risk for high pressure within the eye and thus should be aware of the need for routine eye exams and glaucoma testing at the direction of their eye doctor. Researchers from the UIC College of Medicine analyzed data from 3,541 participants 40 and older from the Mexican American Glaucoma Genetic Study, part of the Los Angeles Latino Eye Study and found that as the percent of African ancestry went up, intraocular pressure rose.

According to a report in the journal Ophthalmology, African ancestry carried more risk for high intraocular pressure than high body mass index, older age and high blood pressure-factors known to contribute to increased pressure inside the eye. The key to preventing vision loss from glaucoma is early detection, diagnosis and treatment.

If you or some you know has known glaucoma risk factors including diabetes, high blood pressure, is a smoker, has a family history of glaucoma, obesity or suffers from sleep apnea and you are of Latino or African ancestry, it is quite important that you have regular eye exams 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 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.