Second Surgery, Day One – A Journal VI

I had my one day post op after my second surgery. My vision was pretty blurry due to a bit of swelling on the cornea, so I’ve waited to share.

Needle and threadNow when you decide on having a “lifestyle lens,” you really have to think about how you spend your time and what your particular vision needs are. Myself, I work on a computer and interact with patients. Ok, that’s 40 hours of my week. Typically, I’m awake about 122 hours in a week, so that accounts for 1/3 of my time. Driving: an hour a day. Family time includes reading, watching television, board games. Weekends are your typical housekeeping chores. Hobbies? Making quilts! Accurately measuring, cutting, sewing and pressing. Hand sewing the bindings on finished quilts. For me, being able to thread a needle and follow a line of stitching was vital.

Quilting

These Symfony lenses have the ability to let you see for reading, computer and driving. But super fine like I wanted required either cheaters (non-prescription magnifying glasses you find in a drug store) or, choosing a power for the implant that would provide that. Choosing that option may require glasses for driving. That is the choice I made.

Right now, I’m threading needles and hand sewing along that line of stitching!

My advice to those of you considering a Lifestyle lens? Evaluate your life! What are your visual needs? Communicate this to your surgeon. You may be an avid outdoor enthusiast, golfer, pilot or ham operator! Reading may be your passion. There’s as many lifestyles as there are people, each one unique and important.

I still have a couple weeks for my vision to stabilize, but right now I have what I can only describe as “normal” vision. I’m seeing what I want to see. How awesome is that?!?

 

 

One Week & 2nd Eye Surgery – A Journal V

One week later. Scheduled for a one week post op and second surgery. Depending on how your eye heals, your personal preference and the difference between your eyes, surgeries can be scheduled 1-3 weeks or further apart. I was fortunate to be 1 week.

I have noticed a lot of struggle between my new eye and the other one this past week. It felt like the new eye was doing about 90% of the work and the old one was trying to keep up. Those floaters from the medication last week? They were gone 3 days after surgery. What was really cool was turning on my side to read in bed without my glasses getting in the way!

The halos are much smaller around lights, more something I observe but not causing any difficulty, All in all, it’s been a great week between surgeries!

My one week check up was great. Healing well, seeing 20/20 without correction. My biggest hobby is sewing quilt tops, so I’ve asked my surgeon to set my lens power for reading or “near” vision to help me with my hand sewing.

My surgical experience was every bit as good as the first time. I even slept a bit before and during! I still don’t remember a great deal of what went on in the OR… and I can say that because I know what happens since I work there! The medication in my eye this time is more like a cloud over the outside half of my vision. I had a foreign body sensation which I knew was the incision from surgery, and artificial tears took care of that.

I’ll check in again tomorrow and let you know how I am with the dilation gone. I’m still ecstatic with my surgery. I’m very proud to be a part of the Team at The Harman Eye Clinic. It’s a blessing to help others with improving their vision, and I’m one of many staff members who have experienced the benefit of various procedures we can do. iLASIK, Refractive Lens Exchange, Cataract surgery with an assortment of lens options. It’s all good!

Second Surgery, Day One – A Journal VI

Cataract Surgery One Day Post-Op – A Journal IV

Day one after surgery. I was so excited, I didn’t sleep well. Realizing how dim my vision had become without me even realizing it blew me away! Colors are so much more…colorful! I couldn’t wait to go to work and see my quilts on display. Even washing my hands, the water seemed clearer. I got in the car to drive to work and when I turned on the headlights, the windshield looked clearer!

Amazing.

I was told to expect halos around lights for awhile. Yep, have those. But they don’t bother me. The floaters are just on the edge of my vision and not hard to ignore. Decided to see if I could go through the day without my glasses. I read the Bible without glasses (and not a large print version, either!). I worked all day in the office.

Saw my surgeon for the one day checkup. My best corrected vision before surgery was 20/25 with a fair amount of astigmatism. Now I can see 20/20 and a negligible amount of astigmatism. No glasses. I can see to read, work on the computer and drive. It’s like “normal” vision but so much clearer! If it continues to get better in the next few weeks as my vision stabilizes, well I can’t imagine.

I’m excited about life! Did the dim vision cause a bit of depression? Well, today I tried to give a hug to everyone I work with to thank them for the part they play in helping people like me see better. What a gift and a blessing.

Tap here to read A Journal V

Cataract Surgery Day – A Journal III

Surgery Day. Must admit, I’m a bit anxious. Tossed and turned all night.

No coffee or breakfast this morning. Just a couple meds with a sip of water. Brushed my teeth and rinsed my mouth out, being careful to not swallow any of that tasty toothpaste!

My co-workers learned I’m not as perky when I am caffeine deprived! But I took a couple Tylenol with my meds to keep the headache minimized and made it through to admission time.

The staff are fantastic! I don’t think I was ever alone. Super supportive, keeping me informed of what was happening along the way. There were a bunch of eye drops that got easier each batch because there was always a numbing drop first. IV, monitors placed for heart rhythm, SAT and a blood pressure cuff. You know, surgery stuff! I was a bit chilly and a hand warmer and the heated chair were perfect. Even got a bit of a massage from the chair.

Seemed like no time at all and I was fitted with O2 tubing and being escorted into the Operating Room. Normally there are 4 folks in the OR with a patient: the Surgeon, Anesthesia, Scrub Tech and Circulator. As I said, never alone.

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There was a little shuffling around to get comfortable in the chair and after that I really don’t remember much! I do remember seeing a really cool pattern (like a beautiful wallpaper), some colored lights, the surgeon saying we were going to do a final test, doing that and then being told the lens was in. Then the slight sensation of the medication being placed in my eye and we’re done!

Out to the post op area with another great staff member who recorded vitals while I had a cup of coffee and a “continental breakfast.” With strong vitals and me feeling good, time to disconnect the IV and head home.

Now this dropless medicine manifests differently for everyone. For me it’s like oil on top of a bowl of water being swirled around. At first it looked like mountain ranges, later it was bubbles, and even later just a patch of black dots! I was told to go home and rest in an upright position for a couple hours so that the medicine could settle to the bottom of the eye.

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Headed home, noticing my eye felt a bit scratchy as the numbing wore off. Laid down with a bunch of pillows to keep my head elevated and took a short nap, woke up feeling great. My husband and I picked up our grandson and went to Taekwondo; back to normal except no driving today.

What a great experience! From checking in to checking out, the staff are very caring, friendly and professional. Yes, I work with them every day, and from a patient perspective, I’m proud to say GREAT JOB!

Tomorrow, back to work and I’ll see the doctor for my first follow up visit and I’ll keep you posted as I continue this journey and the second surgery next week.

My biggest WOW right now it how bright white is with my new eye! The old eye looks like someone turned the dimmer switch down. This is exciting!

Tap here to read A Journal IV

Cataract Surgery – A Journal II

Joyce Bowley

Joyce Bowley, ASC Patient Surgery Coordination

Getting ready for surgery day. I’m between the age of 60-65 with no health issues, so I was able to have the need for my MD to clear me for outpatient surgery deferred. After the schedule was set, the nurse sat and explained my pre-op instructions to me: morning meds with a sip of water, nothing to eat or drink past midnight, the need for a driver. They will start an IV, so I’ve got to drink lots of (hydrating) fluids the day before to ensure the best veins.

Now, since I work in the Surgery Center, I volunteered to work until it was time for me to be admitted. The only problem I can foresee is a caffeine headache when my body realizes it’s not getting its daily dose. I went for years eating one meal a day, so I don’t see a problem with not eating until after surgery. I certainly don’t want to risk being nauseous while my eye is being worked on!

I have been approved for what’s called “dropless” surgery. This means I won’t have to pick up any prescriptions for a set of eye drops (antibiotic, steroid & NSAID) to use before and after surgery. Instead, the medication will be placed in the back of my eye at the time of surgery. Thank goodness! While I’ve figured out the best way to put drops in my eye, remembering to do so 4 times a day would probably require hiring a personal assistant!

Am I nervous about having surgery? Well, I am fortunate to know this team of surgeons and staff and be familiar with the entire process from A-Z. I have total faith in my surgeons skill. In the back of mind, I know that any surgery comes with risks and possible complications. I choose not to dwell on negatives. What would be the point? I will pray for the surgeon and his team and let God do the worrying. (This is what got me through my two children doing 8 tours with the Army in Iraq & Afghanistan without a nervous breakdown.)

My surgeon has told me I’ll need to be diligent in taking care of my dry eyes. For me, the hours I spend staring at computer screens has led to dry eyes. Seems I forget to blink! I do take fish oil every day as he’s recommended, which has certainly helped. But surgery will disturb the surface of my eye, so I will stock up on Preservative Free artificial tears for use after surgery. Plus, years ago I did have an injury to my left eye that has caused what is called “recurrent corneal erosion.” I used to have yearly flare ups, but since I started with the fish oil I haven’t had any problems. I’m aware this problem is ever present and I need to be responsible for constant care.

Other than that, I think I’m ready!

Tap here to read A Journal III

Cataract Surgery – A Journal

Joyce Bowley

Joyce Bowley, ASC Patient Surgery Coordination

Joyce Bowley joined The Harman Eye Clinic in 1995.  Patients have happily passed through our surgery center under her warm, professional guidance. Now Joyce has discovered that cataracts have affected her lifestyle.   By writing her experience as it unfolds, it is her hope that she can reach out to those who are undecided and yet concerned about their vision impacting daily life activities.

——————–

Cataract surgery. When I was growing up in the 60’s, I don’t remember hearing about it all that much, but I do remember “old” people with thick, coke-bottle glasses. If asked, they would tell you they’d had eye surgery and it was quite a big deal: in the hospital, sand bags to immobilize their head, no bending over or lifting. Surgery was a big deal.

Now, here we are 50 years later. So many changes. Cataract surgery is now an outpatient procedure. Clear Cornea surgery means smaller incisions & easier recovery. Intraocular implants mean no coke-bottle glasses and now can offer correction for astigmatism and provide multi focal vision.

I’ve been a witness to many of these advancements during the last 22 years working with the Surgeons at The Harman Eye Clinic.

Recently, I’ve started to notice that lights aren’t bright enough while I do hand sewing on my quilts. I’ve found myself avoiding driving at night because oncoming headlights almost blind me. (When you start and stop your work day in the dark, that’s a challenge!). When I looked at lights, they all had a starburst effect. A couple times during the day the sun would hit just right and I’d be momentarily blinded.

So, time for my eye exam! I’ve had “baby” cataracts for a few years. I’m only 61, but I’ve seen many, many patients my age and younger coming in for surgery. So the possibility of qualifying for surgery was the only concern. Well, turns out I did.

So now I’m on the schedule for both surgeries. I’m thrilled that I’ll be able to have the Tecnis Symfony lens implant.  This will allow me to be less dependent on glasses, probably only needing readers to see fine print.

My hobbies are sewing, genealogy and reading. I’ve also been seen driving around Washington State with my camera, photographing the fantastic scenery, flowers, wildlife and quirky things that catch my eye. My job is computer work and face to face. The ability to do all this without glasses is perfect!

I’ll be sharing my personal experience of surgery and the adjustment to Symfony lenses in further posts. I’m not one to put my personal life online for all to know, but this is dear to my heart with my job, that I love.

Read more:  Cataract Surgery – A Journal II

 

 

Imagine iLASIK working for you.

The Harman Eye Clinic, in Arlington, Washington, invites you to stop in for a free, brief screening and meet-up with one of our surgeons.  There is no pressure or obligation to have surgery.  We are here to help you decide what type of vision lifestyle is best for you and whether you want to research further.  No one is the same and we do not expect to treat you like everyone else.

When you are ready either stop in (903 Medical Center Drive, Arlington WA) or call us at 360-474-2561 or 800-755-3937 and ask for a free screening.  Make the most of your lifetime!

Showtime with Pam!

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Live Facebook ,  (tap here), is quickly becoming our newest path of communication for the Pacific Northwest community.  Pam Miller, Refractive Consultant, connects with our staff and patients for a glimpse of what goes on in the background of The Harman Eye Clinic, in Arlington WA, before visiting our center.

Join us!  Get notifications of upcoming Live Talks with Pam by “liking” us at The Harman Eye Clinic Facebook page  Patients tell us these are the best eye surgeons in the Pacific Northwest for  iLASIK, Cataract surgery, and Lifestyle Lens Implants with cataract surgery!

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What is an extended depth of focus lens? TECNIS SYMFONY®

 

An extended depth of focus lens is an integral part of the Lifestyle Premium lens implant menu at The Harman Eye Clinic in Arlington WA.

In 2016 the Food and Drug Administration approved two new types of intraocular lenses for use in cataract surgery—the and TECNIS SYMFONY® toric lens implants.

The Symfony® intraocular lens is the option of choice that I can offer my patients to improve their vision following cataract surgery, especially those who have difficulty focusing on objects at near distances because of presbyopia,” said Dr. Bajenova.

The Symfony® lens improves intermediate (and in many cases near vision), thereby treating presbyopia. The Symfony® toric lens not only corrects presbyopia, but also astigmatism.

“Many of my patients live very active lifestyles and want to see clearly at all distances, and without glasses if possible,” said Dr. Ballon. “With the Symfony® lens, I can give patients the freedom to enjoy the activities that matter to them, while wearing glasses less.”

Traditional Cataract Surgery compared to an Extended Depth of Focus lens
During cataract surgery, the natural lens of the eye is removed, and an artificial lens, called an intraocular lens, or IOL, is inserted into the eye. Many patients still believe the only IOL available to them is a traditional monofocal lens, which only allows the person to see at a distance, with closer objects being out of focus.

“We take extra time during a patient visit to explore IOL options,” said Dr. Wietharn. It takes more time with staff and myself to introduce new concepts but we think every patient should be aware before surgery, whether or not they wish to take advantage of state-of-the-art technology.”
In contrast to the traditional, standard IOL, the Symfony® lens was specifically developed with features to improve both the range and quality of vision.

The Importance of Pre-Surgical Discussions with your Surgeon
“There is nothing as good as the original equipment from the manufacturer when you are a teenager,” says Dr. Ballon. “That said, the Symfony® lens is the best addition to our lens inventory to date.”

Symfony® lens is successful because it provides a continuous range of focus for both distance and intermediate (computer) vision. Patients who continually require absolute fine detailed vision, such as accountants or those who like to read paper, small-print books in bed without glasses may appreciate a comparison discussion over Technis multifocal lens and Symfony®. These patients who have the Symfony® lens may choose over the counter reading glasses (+1.50 cheaters) for fine print. Others who require fine-print access leave behind need for reading glasses by using their computers, smart phones and pads, to do their reading in bed and fine print projects. It is important to discuss comparison options before surgery by sharing your lifestyle and vision expectations.

The Symfony® lens also offers excellent quality of vision without loss of contrast sensitivity. Some patients who may not be a candidate for the Tecnis Multifocal lens due to, say, an epiretinal membrane (wrinkle in the macula) which may decrease contrast sensitivity, for example, may still be a candidate for the Symfony® lens. Presently, it is the only lens on the market that corrects chromatic aberrations, a feature that improves reading ability. The rings are larger than the Tecnis Multifocal lens, so that halos at night are much less prominent. Patients under the age of 60 tend to tolerate the Symfony® lens much better than multifocal lenses. Although the Symfony® lens is designed for bilateral implantation, patients with a cataract in just one eye seem to tolerate the Symfony® lens well, but the full benefits of reading are best when it is implanted bilaterally.

A LifeStyle Worksheet is available for our patients so that they can prepare. Many patients come for cataract surgery consultations with little or no information about what we call LifeStyle lens implants. The Symfony® is one such lens. Much of the senior population have come to accept that glasses are a part of their life. Some will even say that they like wearing glasses. That is fine, if true. Patients who were eligible and chose to have a LifeStyle lens implant continue to tell us how grateful they are to get up in the morning, look out the window, read the time on their smart phone, and remember how good it is to see with little or no dependence on glasses.

TAKE AWAY POINTS:

  • Extended depth of vision was approved by the FDA in 2016
  • Symfony® and Symfony® toric lenses can extend depth of vision: far, intermediate, and near
  • Symfony® and Symfony® toric lenses can offer quality of vision without loss of contrast sensitivity.
  • The traditional lens implant for cataract surgery is a monofocal lens (vision for one point of vision). Reading glasses and glasses for intermediate vision is expected after surgery.
  • To proceed with confidence, prepare by listing your lifestyle vision requirements and expectations before meeting your cataract surgeon.

Download our latest, comprehensive Patient’s Guide to Successful Cataract Surgery, or request an appointment for a cataract evaluation and your surgeon will be able to address your questions on an individual manner after your eyes have been examined with an overall evaluation of your health, life-style and vision potential. Call The Harman Eye Clinic in Arlington today, the first step to life without cataracts.

Common Complaint 20 Years After LASIK

Many of our first LASIK patients from all walks of life were in their 20’s, 30’s or 40’s in 1996 when we first offered LASIK.

All walks of life

Now, some 20 years later, patients are returning with stories of sailing around the world, running marathons, taking on new career opportunities and/or raising families who now have children of their own and hoping for LASIK.

One common complaint prevalent to almost all of these patients is this:  their arms are too short!  They complain that they no longer can read without reading glasses and this is really annoying!Business Woman

Fortunately we are able to assist our grown-up LASIK patients with new solutions of a refractive lens exchange, better known as an RLE.

RLE takes care of three birds with one stone.  First, it takes care of the need for reading glasses.  Second, it takes care of fine tuning vision for distance, intermediate and near.  Third, it takes care of the need for cataract surgery in the future.

One of the most popular lifestyle premium lens implants is the Tecnis Symfony.  A popular video helps describe this important breakthrough.

Whether you are ready to move into the grown-up lifestyle premium refractive lens implants or help your children toward sight without glasses through LASIK, we are here to help!  For more information, call our Refractive Consultant at 360-474-2561 or visit http://www.20Better.com.  We look forward to seeing you again.

 

 

 

Ashton Huppe, COA, MA-R

Ashton Huppe, COA

Ashton Huppe, COA MA-R, is congratulated by President Bruce Wietharn, MD.

For over 32 years, The Harman Eye Clinic has sought out employee candidates who possess an uncanny aptitude for service. These candidates train in specific medical fields, such as patient coordinating, finance and ophthalmic assistants.

Ashton Hupple came to The Harman Eye Clinic and began her career here training as a Patient Coordinator for several years. She is smart, alert, and able to assess situations.   Best of all, she is fun-loving and always ready with a clever comment!  Ashton is the kind of person everyone feels comfortable around.

Ashton took full advantage of JCAPHO’s Home Study Course and while training as an ophthalmic assistant, she was authorized to perform specific duties. Presently, Ashton is cleared to perform all diagnostic testing complete refractive and cataract consultations, assist the doctors as scribes and so much more!

Yesterday, in passing her exam, Ashton became a Certified Ophthalmic Assistant as authorized by JCAPHO. She is also registered as a medical assistant.

“We have great opportunities to grow as individuals,” shared Ashton as she posed for her congratulatory picture.

Our staff’s medical and technical growth directly affects the level of care our patients receive. Our staff excel in skill and technology, but most important, they excel in compassion, great humor and service. Ashton is a perfect example of these traits.

Congratulations, Ashton! We are so proud of you!

The Harman Eye Clinic

903 Medical Center Drive, Arlington WA 98223

360-474-2561  360-435-8595  FAX 360-435-5233

http://www.20Better.com

Patients are pleased with Symfony Lens

 

For those suffering from presbyopia and cataracts, there is a new IOL on the market called the Tecnis Symfony. The Symfony is the first of its kind that’s able to treat both cataracts and presbyopia, while improving a full range of vision. Unlike most intraocular lenses, the Symfony IOL exhibits low instance of the effects of halos and glare around lights. Instead, patients are left with clear, crisp vision. Even if a patient has cataracts, they get the full range of their vision back: intermediate, distant and near vision. The Symfony IOL allows for a higher quality of life and a lessened dependence on reading glasses.

How Does The Tecnis Symfony IOL Work?

The Symfony IOL is ideal for patients who are already candidates for receiving cataract surgery. During cataract surgery, the Symfony IOL is implanted in the eye. The Symfony IOL is used to replace the cataract affected lens in the eye, leaving in its path clearer vision. The Symfony IOL doesn’t affect the way that cataract surgery is performed. Instead, it only changes the way that you see after. Most patients are able to see more clearly almost immediately after surgery, and full results are achieved thereafter.

Why Should You Choose The Tecnis Symfony?

A big advantage of the Symfony IOL is most patients who receive it find that they no longer need their reading glasses to see things. Standard lenses used during cataract surgery will not change the need for glasses, and in many cases do not correct presbyopia. Another advantage over standard lenses is not having to worry about pesky halos and glare surrounding lights. The Symfony IOL improves vision for patients at all distances, which standard lenses cannot do.

How Do I Get The Tecnis Symfony?

Since the Symfony IOL lens is new technology to the United States, it can be difficult to find practices at which it is offered. Not to worry, because The Harman Eye Clinic is now offering the brand new Symfony presbyopia-correcting IOL. Contact us for more information about cataract surgery consultations.

The Symfony IOL is a revolutionary new lens, but not everyone is a good candidate for receiving this new technology. It’s important to talk to your doctor to see if cataract surgery is the best solution for you. For those that suffer from both cataracts and presbyopia, the Tecnis Symfony IOL lens could be the answer to regaining clear vision. To learn more about the Symfony, please schedule a consultation with one of our talented cataract surgeons.

The Harman Eye Clinic

903 Medical Center Drive, Arlington WA 98223

360-474-2561  360-435-8595  FAX 360-435-5233

http://www.20Better.com

Bring back the joy of childhood!

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Wouldn’t it be great if you could go through the day without thinking about glasses or contact lenses to navigate?  Millions of people have discovered the freedom that comes from becoming functionally free.

Think about it.  Vision is the deciding factor for confidence, mobility, enjoyment, and on, and on, and on.  With vision, you can cook your dinner, drive your car, play tennis, swim, write a novel, play with your children, run in a race, smile at your spouse, take great selfies, read, dance, walk your dog.  It is true, you can do all these things with glasses and contacts.  And, if you are not sighted, you have learned how to get around the need for vision.  But you will agree, vision is a most wonderful sense.

Since 1995, we have been able to provide LASIK surgery to many people of the Pacific Northwest.  They have experienced a sort of rebirth experience.  Freedom from depending on glasses or contacts is invigorating, like the first day you drove with your new driving license.  It is worth looking into.

For more information, call our refractive consultant at 360-474-2561 or schedule an appointment.

 

The Harman Eye Clinic

903 Medical Center Drive, Arlington WA 98223

360-474-2561  360-435-8595  FAX 360-435-5233

http://www.20Better.com

 

Great vision provides freedom to play!

swimming-ilasik-001I have spent a lot of time lately in the swimming pool at the new Stanwood/Camano YMCA.  It is a great place and we are so lucky to have it in our area.  Having worked at The Harman Eye Clinic for over 27 years, I can’t help notice people with glasses who are teaching children to swim.  I see how they struggle with splashes and slipping glasses.  I wonder if they know how possible it is for them to live free from depending on glasses.

Our surgeons have successfully provided refractive surgery for people in the Pacific Northwest since 1984.  Among the options available are iLASIK, PRK, and Refractive Cataract Surgery with special lifestyle lens implants.  If you, or someone you know, wishes a new vision on life, it may be helpful to spread the news:  Glasses and contact lenses are not the only alternatives for vision correction.

For more information, take time to visit this website or give our Refractive Consultant a call at 360-474-2561 and see what vision options are waiting for you!  We look forward to hearing from you!

Barbara Aliaga, Executive Director, The Harman Eye Clinic.

 

Learn More

The Harman Eye Clinic

903 Medical Center Drive, Arlington WA 98223

360-474-2561  360-435-8595  FAX 360-435-5233

http://www.20Better.com

Create a meaningful doctor encounter

Prepare for your encounters with your doctor.

Patient Portal Made Easy

More and more medical offices are offering an on-line connection with private medical charting.   At The Harman Eye Clinic in Arlington WA, we encourage patients to login to a secure online website to access personal health information from anywhere with an internet connection, and at any time of the day or night.  Our staff will help you set this up during a phone call.

Even more important is the ability to supply your doctor with information PRIOR to your visit.  Patients can register any time; most patients register when they schedule their appointment.  You are able to enter information such as:

  1. Your medications with dosage and strength
  2. Your past medical history
  3. Insurance information and any recent changes in your patient demographics.

At The Harman Eye Clinic in Arlington WA, the Patient Portal records are your medical records  This means that when you want your medical records, you no longer need to request them.  They are always within reach.

Providing  patient information updates,  past medical histories and medication updates, certainly helps create a more satisfying visit.

What about cataract consultations?

As you may know, every medical surgery comes with a list of risks and benefits and it becomes the patient’s responsibility to become sufficiently informed in order to give their consent.  If you first learn at your appointment that you are a candidate for cataract surgery, it can be stressful.

A way patients can make their consultation more meaningful is to watch the Informed Consent Video before they see their surgeon.  At The Harman Eye Clinic in Arlington, WA, patients are encouraged to watch the video and learn about the different options in lens implants.  Patients print out the quiz for their visit.  They cut off about 15 minutes of their exam by watching this at home.

Best though, is the fact that when you finally meet up with your surgeon after numerous diagnostic measurements and testing, you will better understand your surgeon’s recommendation.  It makes for a much more satisfying encounter.  We recommend that if you are considering cataract surgery, you watch this video prior to coming to your consultation.  You will be glad you did.watch-informed-consent-001

The Harman Eye Clinic

903 Medical Center Drive, Arlington WA 98223

360-474-2561  360-435-8595  FAX 360-435-5233

http://www.20Better.com

 

Symfony Lens Implant with Cataract Surgery

Our patients appreciate that we are leaders in cataract surgery technology.  With the recent FDA approval, the Symfony lifestyle lens implant provides an extended depth-of-focus at near, distance and intermediate.  Our surgeons are pleased to experience these wonderful results!   Gerald Balamucki shares his impression just one day after surgery.  Today he demonstrated the ability to read in the distance, intermediate and up close without glasses in the newly implanted eye.

The Harman Eye Clinic

903 Medical Center Drive, Arlington WA 98223

360-474-2561  360-435-8595  FAX 360-435-5233

http://www.20Better.com

ow young is “too young” for cataract surgery?

How young is too young for cataract surgery?

by Jessica White, COT

Cataracts are usually thought of as something that comes with age. In fact, when cataract surgery was first performed, it often took place when patients were well into their eighties. The risks were high and the benefits were not considered to be very great due to less sophisticated technology. Patients were left with the need for very thick glasses or hard contacts after surgery.

Today, the average age for cataract surgery is somewhere in the early seventies, and it is not uncommon to see patients much younger. Cataracts don’t just develop because of age, however; they can be brought on by injury, chronic steroid medication use, inflammation, or a number of other factors. Cataracts can be diagnosed with a dilated eye exam.

At first, when people realize they have cataracts they may feel this is a negative sign of aging. But, many soon discover that cataract surgery can be an opportunity to change dependency on glasses. Cataract surgery is now thought of as a refractive procedure, a surgery to become less dependent on glasses for most patients. There are different types of lenses that can be used to customize vision.

Many patients see well enough to be legal to drive without glasses following cataract surgery. Some even see better than they ever have before.

Due to great advances in technology and safety, cataract surgery can help improve vision for many patients regardless of age, and can help restore a more independent, active lifestyle. Here are some examples of cataract symptoms:Glare when driving at night or in bright sunlight

  • Having to get closer to read street signs
  • Difficulty reading fine print
  • Needing more light to read by
  • Trouble determining numbers (6’s look like 8’s)
  • Difficulty seeing steps

If you would like more information regarding cataracts, follow the link below to a digital copy of our cataract patient workbook, or contact our office for a cataract consultation.  You can schedule on-line through our website.

https://harmaneyeclinic.com/patient-guide-to-successful-cataract-surgery/

Jessica White, COT, works with the doctors and staff at The Harman Eye Clinic as a senior ophthalmic technician.

Totally Laser Custom iLASIK For High Nearsightedness

iLASIK Patient

It doesn’t get much happier than this!  A 23-year-old patient met up with eye surgeon, Dr. Wietharn.  Her high degree of nearsightedness made it impossible to navigate without glasses or contacts. She hoped to explore options for iLASIK, (total-laser vision correction)

Casidhe is an optician’s apprentice and has a bit of background in eye care to say the least.  She was careful about choosing her surgeon and made the rounds to several LASIK centers before choosing The Harman Eye Clinic staff and Dr. Wietharn.

Like every patient here, Casidhe was treated as an individual with her specific vision requirements, the health of her eyes beyond nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism, her age and her lifestyle.  And, like every patient, Dr. Wietharn and staff took the time to carefully weigh the risks and benefits and possible need for a refinement surgery in her case.

“I felt ready, and I felt like I knew what was going to happen. [Dr. Wietharn] was very straightforward and honest,” Casidhe told us after surgery.

At her 1-day post-op visit, Casidhe saw 20/30 with both eyes, and she was thrilled. She had achieved legal-to-drive without glasses or contacts at day one!  Dr. Wietharn had prepared her with realistic expectations and she was a happy camper at day-one.

“Would you recommend iLASIK,” we asked. She answered, “Oh, yeah. Just do it, it’s amazing. Even if this vision only lasted 10 years, I would be happy with it.”

This positive spirit paid off.  At her 1 week visit, Casidhe could read the 20/15 line without correction. And, as stated at the beginning, It doesn’t get much happier than this!

Congratulations, Casidhe.  We never get tired of helping people achieve their vision goals.

The Harman Eye Clinic

903 Medical Center Drive, Arlington WA 98223

360-474-2561  360-435-8595  FAX 360-435-5233

http://www.20Better.com

5 ways iLASIK can change your life.

Gold Standard iLASIKJessica White is a Senior Technician at The Harman Eye Clinic.  Her observations may help you decide whether iLASIK is something that can benefit you.  

Here’s Jessica:

I am one of those lucky people who sees well at all distances without glasses. For that reason, when I started working at The Harman Eye Clinic I had very little understanding of why someone would want LASIK. I thought it was a vanity thing; I assumed all people who had LASIK did so because they didn’t like how they looked in glasses and couldn’t wear contacts.

Boy, was I wrong!

Here are five of the most common reasons for wanting to have LASIK that I hear from patients.

1. Recreation

Here in the northwest, we have the opportunity to enjoy snow and water sports without having to travel more than a couple of hours between. Unfortunately, neither of these genres mixes well with glasses or contacts. Patients frequently list things like snowboarding, skiing, swimming, and boating among the activities they hope to do without glasses after LASIK. Quite often I hear frustration about glasses fogging up under ski goggles, contacts drying out due to cold weather, or even just not being able to see when swimming because neither glasses nor contacts mix well with water.

2. Travel

I may not wear glasses or contacts, but I have traveled with people who do, and it is no surprise to me that this is among the more common reasons why people want to have LASIK. Packing contact lens supplies can be a hassle, especially if you are traveling far and will have to take them out to sleep en route. Also, there is always the possibility of breaking glasses or losing a contact, and I don’t know many people who feel comfortable having new glasses or contacts made in an unfamiliar place.

3. Career

Although corrective lenses can usually make it possible for people to work almost any job, it does not mean that they make it easy. Patients who work construction or are mechanics often talk about how their glasses or contacts affect them when they are working in harsh weather or tight spaces. This is especially true for patients who wear Toric contacts or glasses to correct a fair amount of astigmatism, because their vision with lenses can change when they tilt their head. Anyone who works outdoors in the rain can attest to the problem that causes with glasses, and patients who work in kitchens often talk about their glasses getting steamed up or contact lenses making cutting onions much worse.

4. Family

I was talking to one of my friends about LASIK shortly after she had her first child, and she exclaimed to me, “I just want to see what time it is when he wakes me up in the middle of the night!” Parenting while being glasses dependent can be really difficult, not only during late-night feedings. In my experience glasses are in the top 3 most desirable objects for infants and toddlers. Even just taking a few minutes to insert or remove contacts can feel like a huge inconvenience to a busy parent.

5. Confidence

Even though I have learned that LASIK is not all about vanity, I do see that patients gain a lot of confidence by getting out of contacts and glasses. There is a certain amount of vulnerability that comes with knowing you can’t do all of the things you do without lenses. Not everyone likes wearing bold colored or extra-large frames, but some people feel the need to, because if they can’t see the blur of color, they can’t find their glasses when they are not on.

LASIK is so amazing because it gives patients the opportunity to wake up in the morning and just live.

The idea of having an elective surgery may be scary, but for so many patients, LASIK is liberating. We see patients every year for exams after LASIK, and it is amazing to ask how their vision has been and have them say “You know, I haven’t really thought about it because I can see everything I need to.”

When our surgeons offer LASIK to patients, it is because they truly feel that they can help that person get to a place where they don’t have to think about their vision throughout most of their day. If you are interested in having a complimentary evaluation with one of our LASIK surgeons to find out if you are a good candidate, please contact our refractive coordinator.

For more information, call our office at 360.435.8595 or visit our website, http://www.20Better.com.

The Harman Eye Clinic

903 Medical Center Drive, Arlington WA 98223

360-474-2561  360-435-8595  FAX 360-435-5233

http://www.20Better.com

iLASIK Booklet Helps Patients Navigate Through Refractive Eye Surgery

The latest informational booklet has been released over the weekend.  You may download it without any obligation and free of charge.  It will introduce you to The Harman Eye Clinic Surgeons and numerous pieces of information that will help you decide whether LASIK can be in your future.

LASIK 2014 Winter Magazine

LASIK 2014 Winter Magazine

Weighing The Risks and Benefits of LASIK

 

Weighing the Risks and Benefits of LASIKRecently, we received a comment on Facebook expressing disappointment for his sister who returned to glasses some two years later.  I can imagine how he felt seeing his sister in glasses so soon after surgery.

The circumstances where a patient would need to return to glasses two years after surgery is very unusual.  It is impossible to explore reasons without visiting an ophthalmologist’s office.  The most obvious thought is that the patient was in her 40’s when she had surgery and hadn’t fully appreciated the onset of presbyopia.

Forty-something patients who are nearsighted usually have progressive lenses, bifocals or take off their glasses for best near vision.  After surgery, they cannot take off their glasses and so now require reading glasses.  It is unclear, however, that this is the situation with the commenter’s sister.

It makes us wonder how well people prepare for eye surgery.  Eye procedures are certainly not on an equal plane as buying glasses or contacts.  Refractive procedures are permanent changes to the eye.  LASIK changes the shape of your cornea.  We provide very precise, wavefront, computer-driven, customized laser vision correction. Even so, it is the preliminary discussions we have prior to LASIK that give a patient the best chance of successful surgery.

The VISX and IntraLase laser technology is considered the gold-standard of LASIK. We spend considerable time before surgery to screen patients to explore if there are any factors that will impact a successful outcome.  We remind patients that we are working with each person’s individual health situation and ability to see, noting their specific lifestyle vision requirements.  Patients who are seeking surgery in their 40’s are given special counseling, for they are heading for years when they will most likely need reading glasses. From the Patient Guide for Successful LASIK:

Not all people are candidates for LASIK.  Here is one discussion we hold with all people before they make an appointment:

  • Are you able to see close to 20/20 with glasses or contacts? If answer is yes, then you may be a good candidate so far! (If no, read the last paragraph).
  • Do you consider your vision to be normal with the exception of glasses? If you answered yes you may be a good candidate so far! (If no, read the last paragraph)
  • Do you have any history of serious eye disease: glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, retina surgery? Yes, you are probably not a good candidate. (Read the last paragraph).
  • Have you ever worn contact lenses? If yes, you will need to be out of your contact lenses for 2 weeks for soft lenses, and a minimum of 3 weeks for hard contacts plus additional weeks for each decade you have worn contacts, before you come in for a dilated evaluation appointment. You could come in for an initial evaluation to meet your surgeon and receive motivation to stay out of your lenses.
  • Females: Are you pregnant? Yes, you are probably not a good candidate until nursing has stopped. Your vision may change during your pregnancy and the calculations for surgery will not be accurate for the long-term. It is far better to wait.

NOT A GOOD CANDIDATE? iLASIK and PRK are designed with a healthy eye in mind. This surgery will not improve poor vision in unhealthy eyes and could potentially make your present condition worse. It may help you to discuss with your eye doctor further to uncover reasons why iLASIK or PRK may not be for you. If you are unsure, you are welcome to come for a free LASIK evaluation.

After talking with a staff member, we will ask that you come for a free but comprehensive eye exam and plan to be here a minimum of 2 hours.  During this time, our doctors will look for reasons why we should not advance toward LASIK.  All surgeries contain risks and benefits.  During this evaluation time, we will weigh risks and benefits in light of each patient’s situation.  Realistic expectations are part of our discussion.

LASIK is a procedure designed to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism of patients who are over the age of 21, and have had stable vision for over a year.  It will not correct presbyopia (the need for reading glasses), but there are other refractive options that can address this situation.

We hope these comments are helpful.  For more information, please call 360.435.8595 Ext 1 or schedule a complimentary evaluation to see if any of the refractive surgery options are helpful for you and your vision needs.

The Harman Eye Clinic

903 Medical Center Drive, Arlington WA 98223

360-474-2561  360-435-8595  FAX 360-435-5233

http://www.20Better.com

A Happy Patient Is An Informed Patient

watch-informed-consent-001You might ask, “What are possible temporary side effects after cataract surgery?”   To answer this question and to help you prepare when you talk with your surgeon, here are frequent questions and concerns patients ask about after surgery.

BLURRED VISION:  what are common causes of blurred vision after cataract surgery?

  • Dropless cataract surgery is routinely performed at The Harman Eye Clinic, and causes black dots in the vision for at least day or two after surgery.  Patients are instructed to sit upright for at least a few hours when the get home to help the medicine settle to the bottom of the eye, like a snow globe.
  • Dilation lasts for at least a day or two after cataract surgery and commonly causes blurred vision.
  • PCO or posterior capsular opacification occurs 10-20% after routine cataract surgery.  It causes glare at night, but is curable by a simple YAG laser procedure that takes 2 minutes to perform, but an hour and a half for the paperwork!
  • CME or cystoid macular edema occurs about 1% of the time after routine cataract surgery.  It causes difficulty reading and even distance vision.  Risk factors include diabetes, ERM (epiretinal membrane), prior retinal surgery and possibly cigarette smoking.  It often can be cured with topical steroid and anti-inflammatory eye drops.
  • Residual refractive error may cause blur until new spectacles are prescribed.  If a monofocal lens is chosen for best distance vision, then near vision will be blurred (so called presbyopia) until readers are used.
  • Dry Eye syndrome is a life long condition, that may cause fluctuating vision, and may be worse at least temporarily after cataract surgery.  It is often exacerbated by prescription eye drops (especially generic drops such as ketorolac), but we are seeing much less dry eye problems since switching to dropless surgery.
  • ARMD (age related macular degeneration) or ERM may also limit vision due to aging changes in the retina.

DYSPHOTOPSIAS are unwanted visual phenomena occurring after routine cataract surgery.

  • Negative dysphotopsia are likened to “horse blinders” with a shadow or dark crescent on the side and usually subside within days or weeks. They are thought to be more common in square edged lens implants, but have been reported in all types of lens implants, however they are not dangerous.
  • Positive dysphotopsia are less common, and are often described as an arc of light under certain lighting conditions.

REBOUND IRITIS IS INFLAMMATION that occurs usually 2 to 3 weeks after cataract surgery.

  • It is thought to be a result of the dropless medicine wearing off, especially found in darkly pigmented patients.  It happens in less than 10% of patients who have dropless surgery and is treated with topical steroids.  This is the best reason for patients to keep their 3-week postoperative appointment after surgery.

For more information.  download a free copy of our Cataract Surgery Patient Workbook, here.

Or take time to read, A Patient’s Journal – Cataract Surgery