Baltimore Washington Eye Center, Maryland

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Back to School Contact Lens Care

Contact Lens 101: A Back-to-School Must for Teens

Did you know that 25% of children and adolescent emergency room visits related to medical devices are for contact lens problems? Many of our children and teenagers start wearing contact lenses as they enter junior high or high school. Safe and enjoyable contact lens wear does require good hygiene and care in order to prevent the risk of infection. Young people are notoriously poor at caring for their contact lenses, creating a potential gateway for serious eye infections that can cause impaired vision or even blindness. Research has shown that poor contact lens care practices by teens and young people raise their risk of eye conditions such as infectious keratitis and corneal ulcers. In the most severe cases, they may require corneal transplants to restore sight. Fortunately, contact lens eye infections can be prevented by following simple contact lens care guidelines. Here are some practical safety tips that teens with contact lenses should follow to avoid eye infections.

New Quarter, New Case! Replacing your contact lens case every three months will help keep germs at bay. To make it easy to remember, swap out your case at the beginning of each quarter. Waiting to replace contact lens cases after 6 months increases the risk of eye infection by nearly 5.5 times!

Just Say NO to H20. You may be captain of the swim team, but you shouldn’t swim, shower or go in a hot tub wearing lenses. Water from the tap might be clean enough to drink or bathe in, but it’s still home to the parasite Acanthamoeba, which can cause severe eye infections resulting in vision loss. For the same reasons, NEVER use water to rinse or soak contact lenses or cases.

You Snooze, You Lose. Never sleep in your contact lenses. Even occasionally sleeping in contact lenses increases the risk of moderate to severe eye infection by 6.5 times. Unfortunately, a poll of nearly 100,000 people by BuzzFeed found that about 70 percent of respondents occasionally or regularly sleep in their contact lenses.

It’s Too Late If You Wait. Symptoms of eye infections include redness, pain and light sensitivity and require examination and evaluation immediately. Waiting to get examined or treated could lead to vision loss.

If you or someone you know would like to learn more about, or has questions regarding, contact lens hygiene and safety, please schedule an appointment at 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, and 2391 Brandermill Blvd., Suite 200, Gambrills, Maryland 21061 serving the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area.

Monday, July 15, 2019

Common Drugs & Light Colored Eyes Increase UV-Related Eye Problems

Did you know that some common drugs and light colored eyes can actually increase your risk of UV related eye problems? Even many people who are taking certain drugs and have light-colored eyes are likely unaware of the increased risk of certain eye diseases and conditions.

Studies have shown that, in addition to skin cancers, accumulated ultraviolet exposure from the sun can heighten the risk of eye diseases such eye cancer and cataracts, a leading cause of blindness worldwide. Intense UV exposure can also cause temporary blindness known as photokeratitis, while extended sun exposure is linked to growths such as pterygium, or surfer's eye. Consumer market research demonstrates that about half of the patients taking antibiotics containing tetracycline, or fluoroquinolones like Cipro, some birth control and estrogen pills, and certain anti-inflammatory pain relievers, such as ibuprofen, Advil and naproxen sodium (Aleve) are unaware that these medications are “photosensitizing” and increase the risk of eye problems from UV rays. In addition, more than half-54 percent of Americans-have light-colored eyes-blue, green or hazel, which are more susceptible to UV damage. While people with eyes of any color can develop UV-related eye diseases, light eyes and sun exposure are associated with an increased risk of rare eye cancers, such as iris and uveal melanomas.

While it is common sense to wear UV eye protective sunglasses, those in the higher risk groups above should be particularly cautious about UV eye protection-particularly if you work or spend a great deal of time outdoors. To learn more, 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 and 2391 Brandermill Blvd., Suite 200, Gambrills, Maryland 21061 serving the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area.

Sunday, July 7, 2019

Improvement in Glaucoma Blindness Rate



Rate of Blindness Caused by Glaucoma Decreasing Glaucoma affects more than 2.7 million people in the United States and over 60 million globally. Although the disease is a leading cause of blindness worldwide, the probability of going blind from glaucoma has been significantly reduced due to advances in diagnosis and treatment such as in-office use of optical coherence tomography (OCT) to study and measure the nerve fiber layer of the retina and optic nerve, as well lasers and implantable microscopic devices to change the risk of blindness from glaucoma. Researchers from Mayo Clinic College of Medicine studied the change in the rate of blindness from glaucoma over 2 consecutive 20 year periods and found that the rate of blindness was decreased by half but still remained unacceptably high! The best ways to avoid vision loss from glaucoma are to know your risk factors such as family history, African and Hispanic descent, smoking, diabetes and sleep apnea, and to be sure to schedule regular eye exams with glaucoma testing within timeframes recommended by your eye doctor.

If you or someone you know is concerned about their risk of glaucoma, schedule an eye exam at 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, and 2391 Brandermill Blvd., Suite 200, Gambrills, Maryland 21061 serving the greater Baltimore and Washington, D.C. area.