baby boomers

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

Cataract Surgery Patient Workbook is here!

Cataract Surgery Patient Workbook (dragged)Download the most recent copy of our Cataract Surgery Patient Workbook.

We hope this workbook will assist you up to the day of surgery and beyond.  We understand how nervous people can be when they anticipate their first eye surgery. We encourage you to enter into this event with a clear and relaxed attitude.  The more you know, the more you can participate in the success of this surgery.  The American Academy of Ophthalmology estimates that cataracts affect 22 million people in the US.  Know you are not alone and you are in good hands. This Workbook is created to help organize and convey what you will need to know.

We’ve been performing cataract surgery for over 30 years.  You can rest assured we know our stuff.  Now it’s you we wish to bring into our practice and share what we know so that you will move forward with confidence.

In this workbook you will find what we call the Cataract Process.  We will discuss the big picture so you will know where you are going.

We will look at the procedures leading up to the day of surgery.

We will also take a look at Medicare policies that create a safe environment for you.

And, in the back of this booklet is the paperwork that you will need at various points of your journey.

So, are you ready?  We will be with you all along the way.  Congratulations on finding a way to rejuvenate your eyesight.  We hope for the best outcome for you!

— the Doctors and Staff at The Harman Eye Clinic

 

Current Treatment For Cataracts

What are the treatments for cataracts?What Is The Current Treatment For Cataracts?

Cataract surgery is a simple, relatively painless procedure. This surgery is the most frequently performed procedure in the United States, and also one of the most successful.  During surgery, a small incision is made in the eye to remove the cloudy lens and replace it with a clear silicone lens, called an implant. Once the opaque lens is removed by your surgeon, there is now opportunity to replace it with a variety of lenses.  Before cataract surgery, an intraocular lens implant (IOL) measurement is made to determine  the lens power.  This measurement will incorporate your glasses prescription. Without an implant, you would need to wear very strong glasses or contact lenses.

Are there different types of lens implants?

Yes, there are standard lens implants and special custom lens implants.  Careful discussions with your surgeons lead to a recommendation that best fits your vision needs.

Who is a good candidate for multifocal and accommodative lens implants?

Patients who are highly motivated to be functionally free of glasses for reading, computer work and driving are good candidates. A multifocal lens compensates for the eye’s inability to change shape by allowing the eye to see at distance and near simultaneously through the same optic.  A good candidate has realistic expectations and understands that these lenses are not the same as the natural lens of a young person.

Description of Available Lenses

Will you see 20/20 after surgery?

We hope so, but there is no guarantee.  You are paying for the service and the implant and not for a guaranteed result.  We counsel each patient that they should expect to use glasses on occasions where they wish very fine detail.

If you receives a multifocal lens there is a good chance you won’t need glasses. Eighty percent of patients implanted with the diffractive and refractive lenses in their respective FDA clinical trials did not need glasses after surgery for distance or near vision. Of course, not every patient in the trial was spectacle independent.

ORA Optiwave Refractive Analysis System

The ORA System gives your surgeon an analysis of your eye during your procedure, enhancing the outcome of your premium cataract procedure. ORA measurements are taken after the clouded cataract is removed, when the surgeon has a clear view of your eye.  It is at that time that a final determination of the best lens implant is made.  An ORA-guided cataract procedure offers fully customized premium lens placement, helping ensure you have great vision for life.

The use of the ORA is included in the global fee for premium lens upgrades.  However, patients who wish to use this feature during surgery may opt to pay a nominal fee to assure they will receive the best implant outcome for distance.

How Fast Will I Recover From Surgery?

Your vision may be blurry up to 24 hours following your surgery since your eye will still be dilated. Most patients leave without a patch. Clear Cornea Cataract Surgery involves no stitches or sutures. Because topical anesthesia is used, fast restoration of vision is possible. The incision required is very small and is made through clear corneal tissue which has no areas of blood vessels.  A safer, topical anesthesia is used in place of the traditional injection block of days past. These differences allow our surgeons to perform surgery on patients with preexisting medical conditions without interfering with those conditions.

Postoperatively you will be asked to avoid swimming and makeup for two weeks, free to enjoy your restored vision.

We are here to help answer your questions.  Please feel welcome to call our staff at 360.435.8595.

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

Beginning To Think About Cataracts? Here’s A Good Starting Place.

What are cataracts?

What are cataracts? How do I know if I am ready for surgery?

What are cataracts?

The human eye is like a camera, your eye has a clear lens through which light passes for you to see. Like a camera, when the lens of the eye is cloudy, not as much light can pass through the lens. Clouding of the human eye lens is called a cataract, a medical condition in which the lens of the eye becomes progressively opaque, resulting in blurred vision. Cataracts cause a progressive, painless loss of vision.

What Causes Cataracts?

The most common cause of cataract is more candles on the cake.   The lens inside of our eyes naturally become cloudy over time.  Cataracts can also be cause by UV light exposure, diet, eye trauma, previous eye surgeries and certain types of medications.  It is said that if you live long enough everyone will get cataracts.

How Do I Know If A Cataract Is Developing? 

One of the first noticeable symptoms of cataracts is a bothersome glare that makes night driving difficult. Other symptoms include halos around lights, light sensitivity, double vision in one eye or temporarily improved near vision.

You may be ready for surgery when you can no longer do the things you enjoy in your everyday life.  These might include driving at night, reading, painting, sewing, golfing, reduced socializing. Things you normally like to do, you now avoid because they are more difficult.

If you are still unsure, take the Cataract Self-Evaluation Test:

Cataract Self-Evaluation

Please circle all that applies to your situation.

Does your vision make it a challenge for you to:

  • read the newspaper?
  • read a book?
  • read a traffic sign?
  • drive in the rain?
  • drive in bright sunshine?
  • drive in the fog?
  • see a road sign at a distance?
  • recognize a face from across the room?
  • read the television menu?
  • enjoy your hobbies?

Do you have difficulty in judging distances:

  • seeing steps?
  • walking down stairs?
  • while driving?

Do you have trouble

  • transitioning from bright light to dark?
  • driving through a tunnel?
  • seeing objects in the shade when you are in the sunshine?

Are you bothered by

  • poor night vision?
  • seeing star-bursting or rings around lights?
  • glare from headlights?
  • glare from sunshine?
  • blurry vision?
  • eyes are fighting each other?
  • Do you find that you need brighter light to read?
  • Does your vision cause you to be fearful during the daytime?
  • Does your vision cause you to be fearful during the night or dusk?
  • Do you avoid driving due to your vision?

How do you feel your vision is affecting your life on a scale of 1-10

(1 is no problem, my vision is fine and 10 is my vision is impacting my life.)

Circle one:        1 2        3 4       5         6         7        8        9       10

_____________________________

The above is taken from the Patient Guide to Successful Cataract Surgery.  It can be downloaded for free to your computer.  If you are still unsure as to how or when to proceed to improve your vision, feel free to call us at 360.435.8595.

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

Advanced Technology Lifestyle Lenses

Advanced Technology Life Style Lenses

This link leads to a presentation, a way to think about the choices in lens implants when having cataract surgery.  We hope it is helpful for you also.  The presentation is interactive in that you may advance forward, backward or even zoom into whatever interests you.  Press play and the presentation will automatically advance … your choice.  Thanks, Prezi.com!

Advanced Technology Lifestyle Lenses

 

 

For more information, Quality Life Depends on Maintaining Good Vision

Patients’ Vision Enhanced with Multifocal Lens Implants

For more information:  Visit our website

Our Patients Lead The Way!

Over the past twenty years we have listened closely to the needs of our patients and responded accordingly. We daily raise our service IQ to improve on service based on patient recommendations.

Recently we found that by utilizing emails and texting and a company called Demandforce, we can communicate at a faster and more realistic rate. Our patients have been empowered to tell us, both in a private survey and in a public review, how we can improve, and they are now advocates for excellence.  Our patients lead the way to bringing the best in eye surgery to future patients.

Our doctors and staff are grateful for all those who have taken time to review their experience each time they are here. Thank you!

See Reviews on FACEBOOK

Bruce Jay Ballon, MD, New President/CEO

You may have felt the lively, enthused energy rising from the city of Arlington.  We have been celebrating the well-deserved retirement of Dr. Lee Harman who has turned over the reigns to Dr. Bruce Ballon. now President/CEO of The Harman Eye Clinic, and Dr. Bruce Wietharn, now Vice President.

Dr. Ballon and Dr. Wietharn are getting ready to welcome  Dr. Bajenova’s arrival on July 18th.  Diligent planning has led to a confident outcome.  Our surgeons are ready to serve patients for:

    • Cataract surgery with standard lens implants. multifocal lens implants and toric astigmatic lens implants
    • iLASIK refractive surgery, with Intralase and VISX S4 technology
    • PRK
    • Ptyerigium repair
    • SLT glaucoma laser
    • YAG laser
    • Retina laser
    • Lucentis and Avastin injection treatment for macular degeneration
    • FA angiography
    • OCT diagnostics

We are providers for most all insurance plans, including the following:

    • Group Health
    • Community Health
    • Medicare and Medicaid/DSHS
    • Molina
    • SoundPath Health

Our website, www.20Better.com, now has a patient portal.  Patients can register directly from our website and request their appointment.  And, each Referring Doctor can have a portion of the “cloud” on our server to safely exchange pre- and post-operative patient information.  A quick phone call to our office and we’ll set it up for you.

Let us know if there are any other ways we can better serve you.  We appreciate the trust you place in our surgeons and staff.

Achievement of a Lifetime!

Arlington, Washington, USA – July 1, 2012 — R. Lee Harman, MD, FACS — There is nothing quite so satisfying than watching the practice you have founded continue to serve the community well after you are retired.  This is Dr. Harman’s legacy offered to the city of Arlington as he takes his shingle down and rides out into the sunset.    After a neck injury in 2005, Dr. Harman was unable to continue to work as a surgeon and clinician.  He has remained President/CEO since that time, however, and laid a firm foundation for the future.

Dr. Harman’s plans for his retirement began numerous years ago.  He wished to ensure the ongoing excellent care of patients while maintaining community esteem for the practice. He desired to ensure the health and vitality of his practice by leaving it in capable, caring hands.  He wished to ensure financial well-being for his staff who have helped him achieve his goals.  In 2002 he recruited Bruce Jay Ballon, MD, as his partner.  He wished to ensure financial well-being for himself and his family while reducing his participation in the practice.  Two years after Dr. Ballon’s arrival, Bruce E. . Wietharn, MD, joined the partnership.  Dr. Harman remained as President/CEO until now to support their efforts.  The practice has grown beyond his expectations.

Dr. Ballon is now President/CEO of The Harman Eye Clinic.  Dr. Wietharn is Vice President.  This month, they are joined by a new partner, Natalia Bajenova, MD who has completed her Residency at the University of Michigan’s Kellogg Eye Center, Ann Arbor. The practice employs registered nurses, certified nurses assistants, surgical technologists, certified ophthalmic assistants, certified billing specialists, college graduates and service-skilled people who complement the team of partners.  Patients make the trip to Arlington from all corners of the state.

 A little background … In the beginning … In 1984, Dr. and Mrs. Lee Harman, convinced that the city of Arlington held the opportunities for service, set up his clinic alongside of the Cascade Valley Hospital. Dr. Harman’s goal was to be the best ophthalmology practice north of Seattle. Over the years, patients have come from all corners of the state and not infrequently, they have traveled from outside the state to find this remarkable combination: high technology, professional skill, sense of humor and home-town hospitality.

Dr. Harman overcame the substandard, rural doctor image by becoming Board Certified by the American Academy of Ophthalmology. He quickly advanced his image, becoming a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons. For those who are not familiar with this term, it means that after Dr. Harman was in practice for several years, he asked that his surgeries be scrutinized. His surgery outcomes were deemed excellent. He went before the College Board of Surgeons for examination and found to be worthy of the title, FACS.  Only approximately 10% of ophthalmologists are so designated. He has been a leader, a pioneer in every phase of his practice. The Harman Eye Clinic continues to be the “first” in bringing the best in technology and surgical skill to the people of the Pacific Northwest. Dr. Harman’s legacy continues to be a laser and cataract surgery center where all people are treated with extraordinary care. This is a clinic with a heart. Dr. Harman has always referred to his surgical outcomes as 90% skill and 10% art. It’s that 10% magic that happens in between words, in between actions that create the great results. So it is that Dr. Harman is an artist as a surgeon, he is an artist as a medical doctor, he is an artist as a founder of a medical practice. Those who have come to know him agree Dr. Harman is an artist who transforms the uneventful into the extraordinary. Today, Dr. Harman, we honor you for who you are and how you have served.

In lieu of a retirement party, Dr. Harman has requested a donation to the Rotary Sponsored Polio Plus Project.  Polio Plus is a 27-year struggle to eradicate polio from the world.  When Rotary began its mission to eradicate polio in 1985, more than 350,000 children were stricken with polio every year and nearly 1,000 people were affected by the crippling disease every day.  Since then, polio cases have been reduced by 99%.  Due to the efforts of Rotary and its partners, the world is on the threshold of ending polio forever — making it only the second disease after smallpox to be eradicated.  Donations can be made to the Everett Rotary Foundation, c/o R. Lee Harman, MD, 635 N. Sunset Drive, Camano Island, WA 98282

For more information about The Harman Eye Clinic, please visit www.20Better.com or call its office at 360.435.8595/

Is Cataract Surgery Considered Successful If You Have To Wear Glasses Afterwards

A 70-year-old friend recently asked me why I thought her friend needed glasses after cataract surgery.  She asked me, did something go wrong?  This is a great question and one that will be the subject of this day’s blog.

First of all, let’s review what the term ‘cataract’ means.  From my desktop dictionary:  cataract |ˈkatəˌrakt|noun1 a large waterfall.• a sudden rush of water; a downpour: the rain enveloped us in a deafening cataract.   2 a medical condition in which the lens of the eye becomes progressively opaque, resulting in blurred vision: she had cataracts in both eyes. ORIGIN late Middle English: from Latincataracta ‘waterfall, floodgate,’ also‘portcullis’ (medical sense 2 probably being a figurative use of this), from Greek kataraktēs‘down-rushing,’ from katarassein, from kata-‘down’ + arassein ‘strike, smash.’

So where is the lens?  There’s solid description on our website, along with videos that will show you where the lens sits in the eye.  Once the opaque lens is removed by your surgeon, there is now opportunity to replace it with a variety of lenses.  Before cataract surgery, an intraocular lens implant measurement is made to determine  the lens power.  This measurement will incorporate your glasses prescription.  Now to answer your question.

1) A standard lens is designed to give you vision at one focal point.  Most patients who choose a standard lens will have great vision for distance, but will require glasses for reading up close or even on a computer.

Monovision. A few patients ask their surgeon to choose a standard lens correction set in one eye for reading and the other for distance.  This is called “mono-vision”: One eye sees in the distance and one eye sees up close.  When both eyes work together the brain decides which eye to pay attention to.  This option is not for everyone.  So those who have used contact lenses successfully with mono vision might be a happy candidate for this option, and those who have never heard of mono-vision would probably pass on this plan.

Some patients have astigmatism, and they will require glasses after surgery to correct the astigmatism  and to be able to read up close.

2)  Toric lens implant. Some patients with astigmatism, ask their surgeon to consider implanting a toric lens implant .  This implant is designed to refocus vision so that a patient may see clearer after cataract surgery for distance.  This patient would still require reading glasses and might opt for glasses with no correction on the top of their glasses and only a correction on the bottom (reading portion).  Sometimes patients choose this because they do not like to take their glasses on and off.

3) Multifocal premium lens implant.  The happiest patients in our practice are those who opt for a multifocal lens implant.  There are several lenses available and your surgeon may match your lifestyle to the performance of each lens.  Patients expect be less dependent on any glasses, near, intermediate or far.  And, these are the people you may see spectacle-free after cataract surgery.  They have opted for a lens implant upgrade.  While most insurance companies will pay for the standard lens and will pay this portion for all patients no matter what lens is chosen, the multifocal patient will pay an additional fee for the presbyopia correcting function of the premium lens.

Cataract surgery’s purpose is to provide a clear lens.  The answer is, yes, cataract surgery is considered successful even if patients are dependent on some type of glasses after surgery.  It can be even more successful for those patients who are good candidates for multifocal premium lens implants.

Please feel free to comment with your questions.  We are a refractive cataract and iLASIK eye surgery where people are treated with extraordinary care.

Barbara Aliaga, Practice Administrator, The Harman Eye Clinic