cataract eye surgery

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

 

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.

Gentle, Kind Encouragement May Be The Trademark of The Harman Eye Clinic

Jessica White, COT

Jessica White, COA, is the technician supervisor at The Harman Eye Clinic.  She has successfully completed the COT exam and is awaiting instructions for completing this level.  Jessica took the time to share her passion for gentle service.

I began working at The Harman Eye Clinic when I was 20 years old. I had never worked in a medical practice before, and to be honest, I didn’t even know what a cataract was. I suppose I felt a little bit overwhelmed once I realized the amount of information I was expected to learn, but the emotion I remember feeling most was amazement.

I had been an avid watcher of “ER” and “Grey’s Anatomy,” and so my view of medical staff was that they barked orders at each other, gossiped, and called patients by their medical condition. Looking back on those misconceptions, it’s a wonder I even agreed to take the job!

The reality that I saw at The Harman Eye Clinic was that people respected others. I shadowed a patient through cataract surgery on my first day of work, and the patient and I both were treated with extraordinary kindness. While the patient was being cared for by the nurse, the surgery coordinators were taking care of me. They told me what to expect and where to stand. They even taught me a few key medical terms while we waited. From my first hour at The Harman Eye Clinic, my co-workers were doing everything they could to set me up for success.

Later that day, I observed exams in clinic. Again, I immediately felt welcomed by the staff and saw that patients were feeling the same way. I had never felt so much warmth in a medical office, especially from the staff!

My journey to becoming an experienced technician was a long one, but I was never alone. There were always people making themselves available to answer my questions and teach me something new.

Looking back now I see that I was very much like a patient when I began my training. I had so many fears and doubts, and there was so much information presented to me at once! It was overwhelming at times, but my co-workers worked hard to help me. Their encouragement gave me the confidence I needed to continue.

Time after time I see our staff investing in our patients like they invested in me when I first came here. They look beyond the data and see who the patient is and what they need in order to feel secure. I am so proud to be a part of this place, but that isn’t really because of the medical side of things.

Yes, what our surgeons do is incredible and I love seeing patients regain their independence by having cataract surgery or iLASIK. But, the best part is knowing that the way we treated those patients made a difference in their experience.

Too often, the mood in a medical office matches the surfaces: It is sterile. The problem with sterility is that nothing can grow in that environment. The beauty of The Harman Eye Clinic is that we are constantly growing and changing to meet our patients needs in a better fashion.

Our surgeons and staff understand that when our patients trust us with their vision, they are really trusting us with their livelihood, their quality of life, and their independence. That trust deserves a great deal of respect and care, and it needs to be on a personal level. We strive to make connections with our patients because we know that it is important to treat the person, not the condition.

Any ophthalmology practice you go to will have similar medical equipment. There will probably be front desk staff, technicians, and clinic managers. Of course, there will be doctors, too. I feel that there is a difference here at The Harman Eye Clinic and I feel patients agree…

…At The Harman Eye Clinic, we do not only have skills, we have heart!

— Jessica White, COA

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

 

This Thank You Note Warms All Of Our Staff

It may seem self-serving to occasionally share Thank You Notes on-line. When care is completed, it is most satisfying to our doctors and staff to find we have accomplished extraordinary care.  As we say, excellence is never an accident.  This current note tells us we are still successful in our mission.

Thank you, Dr. Bruce Weitharn!

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

Patient Creates Beautiful Rose Card

In the midst of health care reform and challenges, we choose to remember the importance of health service.  This artist’s rendition of a rose was created for us.  It reminds us what an honor it is to participate in improving eyesight. We also remember to keep things in perspective:  it is the doctors and staff who truly create the magic of healthcare.  It’s a beautiful world!   Thank you, Helen, for this card.
More than a vision clinic ty word