Family-owned Levin Eyecare opened its newest location in the Robinson Crossing shopping center this past April, its first in Anne Arundel County, offering complete medical, surgical, and routine vision services.
The Baltimore-based practice touts over 100 years of combined diagnostic, optical and surgical experience, more than 80 commendations, and over 20,000 patient visits each year. Its specialties encompass a wide range of areas including ophthalmology, genetic research, cataract evaluations, lens implants, teaching and community service.
Doctors Karen Norman and Jaclyn Coyner, who worked in the optometry profession together for many years in the past, both joined Levin Eye Care this past November.
Norman attended Towson University and Illinois College of Optometry and concentrated on children’s vision, vision therapy and contact lenses. Coyner attended Salus University in Pennsylvania, completed an advanced studies program in contact lenses, and is certified to fit MiSight lenses for myopia control.
Norman said she sees children on a regular basis, starting as young as 4 years old, especially if the parents have vision issues.
“You don’t have to wait until a concern arises before having their eyes checked,” Norman advised. “It’s always good to watch for clues about potential vision problems, such as squinting, turning their heads, or needing to get close to see.”
One of her favorite tools in the office is the Optos Retinal Imaging Device, a state-of-the-art diagnostic machine that allows ultra-widefield retinal imaging to diagnose ocular pathology, which may go undetected using traditional examination techniques and equipment.
“We’ve caught several things using it on patients,” Coyner said. “It gives us a good first look at the back of the eye.”
In addition, the Optos technology doesn’t require eye dilation and eliminates the associated inconveniences.
Coyner cautioned that many eye diseases develop without any noticeable pain or discomfort, and therefore, she recommends everyone have their eyes scanned annually for good, preventative eye health. One particular threat is glaucoma, a disease that results in damage to the optic nerve and causes vision loss.
“By the time a patient notices anything from glaucoma, they’ve already lost part of their vision, which can’t be reversed,” warned Coyner, advocating early detection. “We can slow further progression with treatment, but we can’t reverse it.”
Although Levin Eye Care does provide surgical care, Norman and Coyner do not.
Now that winter is here, people may tend to get complacent and be less sensitive about sun damage to their eyes, but both Norman and Coyner strongly encourage wearing sunglasses throughout the year for eye protection.
The pair echoed caution about sun damage and that macular changes and cataracts can develop more quickly without protection.
To optimize comfort and clear vision, the doctors at Levin Eye Care provide full-service contact lens fittings, which entails taking detailed eye measurements to precisely identify the best strength and type of contact lenses for each individual.
“It’s not a one-size-fits-all,” Norman said. “It’s better to have them fitted correctly rather than buying them online, sight unseen.”
Contact lens technology has advanced significantly in recent years. Those interested in contacts, but were advised previously not to try them, may be able to reconsider.
“There are so many contacts options now,” Norman said. “There are very few people today who can’t be fitted these days.”
The two doctors offered one last piece of advice for users of contact lenses: do not abuse those devices. They agree that users should follow directions and remove the contacts nightly so oxygen can reach and help the eye.