Baltimore Washington Eye Center, Maryland

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.