Technology in Ophthalmology

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.

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

 

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

Refractive Candidates Benefit From Additional Technology

Our Surgeons are always on the lookout for additional diagnostic equipment that will contribute to an individualized treatment plan for refractive surgery patients.  The iTrace is especially helpful when patients with previous RK surgery are ready to seek cataract surgery with lifestyle lenses.  The iTrace offers a better picture and helps open the conversation between surgeon and patient to achieve realistic expectations based on specific multifaceted data.  This article may better describe the benefits of pre-surgical refractive diagnostic testing at The Harman Eye Clinic.

 What is an iTrace exam?

The iTrace exam is a very quick reading taken with an imaging device.  The iTrace’s breakthrough technology quickly provides technical information about your vision that is nPatient-and-Operator-at-iTrace.jpgot available through other tests performed during a typical eye exam.

Our staff position you at the instrument and quickly acquires the data.  It is painless, non-invasive and does not require your eyes to be dilated.   Your doctor uses this unique information about your eyes to make clinical decisions.

How is the iTrace different?

The iTrace uses “Star Wars” technology that was first developed for space and military applications.  The iTrace measures the eye differently than any other test available and gives information to your doctor that no other tests can. Your iTrace Exam can help your doctor better answer many questions you might have about your eyes, including:

  • Am I a LASIK candidate?
  • Do I suffer from Dysfunctional Lens Syndrome?
  • Am I a candidate for a Premium Lifestyle Lens Implant?
  • If I had RK in the past, can I still choose a Lifestyle Lens Implant with cataract surgery?
  • Is my astigmatism correctable?
  • Why can’t I see well at night?
  • Why am I having vision problems even after cataract surgery?
  • Is there anything that can be done to improve my vision?

How will your surgeon use the information from your iTrace Exam?

iTrace.jpg The iTrace analysis can be used for solving many vision problems.  For example, if you are interested in refractive surgery or LASIK, your surgeon can determine if you are a good candidate. If you are in your 40s or 50s and not seeing as clearly as you did when you were younger, your doctor can know which vision component of your eye is causing the change.  If you have a cataract, your doctor will use the iTrace information to help select the best intra-ocular lens (IOL) for your eye and to plan surgery.   If you are having night vision difficulty, your doctor can analyze how your eyes see in light and dark conditions and possibly prescribe a different pair of glasses for nighttime.  The iTrace gives your surgeon information that has not been available through other tests, and this will allow him to customize his treatment options to give you the best possible vision.

The iTrace measures quality of vision and visual function using a fundamental thin beam principle of optical ray tracing, a first in eye care diagnostics.  The iTrace sequentially projects 256 near-infrared laser beams into the eye to measure forward aberrations, processing data point-by-point. This 5-in-1 system provides auto-refraction, corneal topography, ray tracing aberrometry, pupillometry and auto-keratometry.  Our Surgeons compare these measurements with the more traditional measurements taken during your exam.  What does this means for you? A higher chance of best vision after your surgical procedure or, even more important, saving you from having a surgery that cannot meet your vision expectations.

 

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

 

Excellence is never an accident and often takes time.

Cataract Surgery1Challenges That Occur With Patient’s Time Versus Patient Care In a Specialized Medical Eye Surgery Clinic

When you come to our Clinic, you will meet a group of heart-centered  team members with your eye surgeon   They are trained to perform in the most efficient way to value your time.

There are numerous, behind-the-scene, staff members who are also relentless in keeping our standards high with checks and balances.  From maintaining all of the specialized equipment, the secure network computer systems, the auditing of ICD-10 coding on your claim, sending and following up on claims sent to your insurance companies, the auditing of chart notes, education of possible surgical events, reminding patients of their appointments, tracking down patients with serious, sight-threatening eye diseases like glaucoma for timely follow-up appointments, maintaining your patient portal, responding to an average of 200 calls per day, and so much more. A staff of 25+ full and part-time people are diligently working together in our surgery center and clinic to make each patient’s visit meaningful, safe and enjoyable.  All of this is taking place while you are sitting in the comfort of your chair in one of our lanes.

We support our medical doctors/eye surgeons who specialize in ophthalmology.  Our comprehensive eye examinations and surgery consultation appointments will take from 1-1/2 to 2 hours.  Patients sometimes find this time assessment unrealistic. Our doctors have invested in advanced technical equipment to make an effective, safe and appropriate diagnostic/treatment plan designed for your specific medical needs.  To those new to ophthalmology, it may seem like an hour is enough for testing and meeting with your doctor.  Your past experience of quick exams were from a time when medicine was less complicated leaving your opportunities for best corrected vision limited. It was a time when when government documentation regulations were less.  Today, we are challenged by new strains of bacteria and viruses, we are challenged to be sure all medicines (yes even eye drops) interact well with each other, we have surgical options for your vision that we did not have before and we need to educate you on your options.  We want to give you the best and the best takes time.

Insisting that an eye exam takes about an hour, you may feel you are ignored when you have not seen your doctor within that hour, or complain that we have over-booked appointments.  A specialized ophthalmology medical facility deals with daily emergent and urgent work-ins and patients who require unexpected care while here.   Even though there are several other patients working through doctor-ordered diagnostic tests, when it comes to your care we focus on you as the only patient of the day.  You have all of our staff working to make this a reality. We love what we do and it shows!

From time to time people interested in an annual vision check, (getting a new prescription and a pair of glasses or contacts), with time restraints, would be better served to schedule with area optometrists who will refer you to an ophthalmology specialist if they were to see the need.

Our mission statement is this: We are an advanced eye surgery center where all people are treated with extraordinary care:  Patient, Doctor and Co-Team Members.  We hope these comments are helpful when you consider your time.  Please let us know how we can make you more comfortable today.

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

 

Training Course for Ophthalmic Assistants Offered

Transform Your Thinking

We are recruiting professional people who will train as ophthalmic assistants.  These assistants complete diagnostic testing, gather medical history and review medical systems to help our doctors assess and recommend treatment plans in a timely manner.

The Harman Eye Clinic is specialized medicine. Those who are employed here are offered specialized training that exceeds what is taught in medical assistants courses.  These trainees will study the anatomy and physiology of the eye, EHR and Practice Management Programs, diagnostic equipment.  They will learn how to educate patients regarding vision defects, iLASIK, lifestyle lens implants for cataract surgery, Dropless cataract surgery.  A home-study course will be provided each trainee in anticipation of sitting for JCAHPO Ophthalmic Assistant Certification.

Within the next couple of weeks, a few eligible candidates will be chosen to enroll in this home-study and work-study training.  For more information, visit our Careers website.

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.