First Step. Take a cataract assessment, (see below) You may be experiencing the effects of cataracts; everything may appear fuzzier, dimmer and driving at night may be an unwelcome challenge. Do you think you may have cataracts? Learn how they affect your life by taking the Cataract Surgery Self-Evalutation.
Second Step: Are you aware that when you opt for the traditional, standard lens implant, you will probably need glasses afterwards to accomplish all ranges of vision. In other words, even though your lens will brighten and clear up your vision, you will need glasses to see various focal lengths with best vision; i.e., up close, intermediate and in the distance. If you like wearing glasses, this may be the lens implant for you.
Third Step: Consider this, if you opt for the advanced technology, like the Tecnis Symfony, lens implant, you can reduce your dependence on glasses for distance, near and most places in between. You may find there are times that you wish to wear glasses to refine your vision, and this is still considered by you and your surgeon as a successful outcome.
Fourth Step: Review your overall health. It plays an important part in reducing your dependence on wearing glasses. Allergies, medicines, even over-the-counter medicines, health problems, all can affect your dependence on glasses. Your eye doctor will be able to address these concerns; it is important that you take note of your doctor’s recommendations.
Fifth Step, and this is most important: Your surgeon can provide a lens designed for an extended range of vision. Expect to keep an active relationship with your doctor by following your surgeon’s recommendations after surgery, maintaining your health to the best of your ability, and working with your doctor in order to sustain continued happy vision.
Whether you choose a standard lens or a premium, advanced technology lens implant, most patients report a brighter, more colorful world after surgery. Your next task is to continue to educate yourself by downloading a complimentary eBook, visiting our website, http://www.20Better.com, or calling upon one of our Refractive Counselors at 360-474-2561. An informed patient is a happy patient!
Barbara Aliaga, a member of The Harman Eye Clinic since 1989, chose an advanced technology lens implant with cataract surgery in 2014. She writes for The Harman Eye Clinic blog and website since their inception and is currently doing so without wearing glasses!
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.
Now 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.
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 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!
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!
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.
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.
“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:
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.