cataract eye surgery

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

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

Quality of life depends on maintaining good vision. Careful discussions will help sort through lens implant options.

So Many Options

Special custom lens implants.  When considering cataract surgery, good candidates for special custom lens implants are patients who are highly motivated to be functionally free of glasses for reading, computer work and driving. 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, while most effective, are not the same as the natural lens of a young person.

To help you prepare for your discussion with your surgeon the following categories of lens implants are presented with links to the specific lens implant patient education page.

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.  This is considered a medically necessary procedure and is most commonly covered by your insurance company.  Most commonly used, Tecnis IOL

Monovision.  A few patients ask their surgeon to choose a standard lens correction with a target for one eye’s vision set for near and the other for distance vision.  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. 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. Most commonly used, Tecnis IOL

Multifocal Lens.  The advanced TECNIS® Multifocal is an implantable lens that restores vision after cataract surgery and corrects presbyopia (the need for reading glasses). It offers an excellent chance to become spectacle independent.

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 package.  Tecnis Multifocal

Presbyopia Correcting Lens.  The unique Crystalens is designed to allow you to enjoy a fuller, more natural range of vision for most activities, including: reading a book, working on the computer, and driving a car.

Crystalens was modeled after the human eye. Like the natural lens, it is a lens implant that uses the eye muscle to flex and accommodate in order to focus on objects in the environment at all distances. Crystalens dynamically adjusts to your visual needs.  Crystalens AO

Astigmatism Correcting Lens.  Today’s advances in medical technology allow eye surgeons to correct both cataracts and astigmatism at the same time. In many cases, this may reduce the need for eyeglasses. However, it is important to understand that since everyone’s vision, expectations, and lifestyles differ, it is difficult to determine how much you will be dependent on glasses after surgery.  This discussion can take place with your surgeon. Trulign Toric,  AMO Toric Lens, AcrySof Toric Lens

For more information visit our website or call us at 800.755.3937.A comprehensive evaluation for cataract surgery now takes up to 2 hours.  It is time well spent when so many options for your future may be explored in light of your daily activities, your general health, the health and uniqueness of your eye anatomy and best of all building a relationship with your surgeon.

Please let us know if this article has been helpful?

 

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

6 Diopters of Astigmatism Corrected By Lens Implant

Patients who have an astigmatism and are candidates for cataract surgery can request a Toric Lens Implant to help improve their vision. A Toric IOL can treat both the cataract and astigmatism in one surgical outpatient procedure.

Previously, surgeons tried to change the shape of the cornea through an incision during cataract surgery. Now with the creation of the Toric IOL, vision can be improved or repaired without the need for more surgery. The Toric IOL helps to refocus vision, and is designed with the same technology as contact lenses.

Here, Dr. Bajenova completes a postoperative visit with her patient before she returns to Alaska.  She had six diopters of astigmatism before surgery.

For more information, read an article about astigmatism, visit our website or call us at 800.755.3937.

Eye Surgery Decision Is Made Easier with Introductions

An Amazing Vision Journey, by Crystal Buffon

First Published on March 31, 2009

The decision to have surgery is a difficult one since there are so many options out there, but after the first appointment and introduction to Dr. Ballon, there was no doubt in my mnd.

The decision to have surgery is a difficult one since there are so many options out there, but after the first appointment and introduction to Dr. Ballon, there was no doubt in my mnd.

People, everyday take in all the sights this world has to offer. People with the precious gift of unaided vision never quite realize how difficult life can be depending on glasses for the least activity. Many of us require glasses and contact lenses just to achieve everyday tasks. Such is a story of a cataract surgery patient, Dana Whittaker, who recently had ReZoom multifocal lens implants.

Mrs. Whittaker has been wearing glasses since she was 8 years old. Everyday of her life since she was a little girl she has reached for glasses to begin her day.

Mrs. Whittaker states that prior to making the decision to have any surgery she tried to wear all types of contact lenses but due to comfort issues, everyday care and a battle with dry eyes, she was unable to continue to wear contact lenses. Dana returned to wearing glasses and back to the drawing board with her journey to be free of glasses.

“The decision to have surgery is a difficult one since there are so many options out there, but after the first appointment and introduction to Dr. Ballon, there was no doubt in my mind.” Mrs. Whittaker states.

She trusts her surgeon and all of the staff at The Harman Eye Clinic, “Everyone at The Harman Eye Clinic is truly topnotch! They are professional and very helpful. I have never been to such a place.” says Dana.

Mrs. Whittaker spent years waiting for the right surgery to come along. She watched the advances in the medical community from RK, PRK to iLASIK. And then, in recent years, she discovered cataract surgery with multifocals lenses.

“This surgery is great for young middle aged people who do not wish to wear glasses anymore at any distance,” Mrs. Whittaker says, “Now I’m free of the daily hassles of wearing corrective lenses. And the great part is you don’t even have to have cataracts to have the surgery!”

Mrs. Whittaker states that on the day of surgery, July 1, 2008, she felt surprisingly at ease. The doctor made her feel comfortable and she reiterates, all of the surgery staff were great.

“There was never a moment that someone wasn’t talking to me.”

Having the surgery truly changed her life; she is a Grandma without glasses.

She can play tennis and read her favorite book without ever having to pick up a pair of glasses of any kind.

“The best part is,” she declares, “I can drive at night in the pouring down rain without a worry. Before surgery I wouldn’t drive in the dark at all.”

Mrs. Whittaker says that she would recommend this surgery through The Harman Eye Clinic to anyone and everyone. Now that she is without glasses she feels she looks younger and more alive with life.

______________________
Crystal Buffon, is a stay-at-home-mom and has worked as a refractive surgery coordinator at The Harman Eye Clinic. She underwent i-LASIK surgery in 2008 and enjoys 20/10 vision. For more information about i-LASIK or Multifocal lens implants, please feel free to call us at 360.435.8595 or email at info@20better.com.

ORA – Optiwave Refractive Analysis System

Today The Harman Eye Clinic invested in new technology that can improve surgical outcomes!  See new release below.
Screen Shot 2013-12-03 at 12.57.49 PM

NO MORE “WAIT & SEE” CATARACT SURGERY: 

The Harman Eye Clinic Now Offers the ORA System® with VerifEyefor LASIK-Like Cataract Surgery Results   –  ORA-Guided Cataract Surgery is a ‘Truly Remarkable’ Advancement Now Available to Local Patients 

Arlington WA– (2013) – The Harman Eye Clinic is the first in the area to offer a breakthrough cataract procedure technology that enables surgeons to provide LASIK-like visual quality to area patients. The ORA System® with VerifEye™ is a revolutionary new way to analyze the eye during premium cataract surgery, enabling our doctors to tailor treatment specifically to each patient’s eye.

“We’re extremely pleased to offer ORA-guided surgery with VerifEye to treat cataracts, because this takes the procedure to new heights,” said Dr. Ballon. “When you add VerifEye to ORA-guided surgery the result is a more precise, more refined visual outcome – and more satisfied cataract surgery patients who literally see the results themselves.”

ORA-guided cataract surgery enables our doctors to measure the eye and refine visual outcomes during the procedure, rather than having to ‘wait and see’ weeks or even months afterward, as with traditional cataract surgery.  Dr. Ballon, Dr. Wietharn and Dr. Bajenova use ORA System measurements to guide the procedure and help ensure patients get the best possible vision. ORA measurements are taken after the clouded cataract is removed, when our surgeons have a clear view of the eye.

ORA-Guided cataract surgery is compatible with all premium lens implants and technologies. Patients can feel confident they’ll receive the best possible result, no matter what premium cataract procedure they select.

This advancement marks a real turning point in the field of cataract surgery,” said Dr. Wietharn.  “The ORA System with VerifEye offers advanced guidance that results in increased confidence for me and optimized outcomes for my patients. It’s the breakthrough we’ve been waiting for in our effort to help patients achieve better vision for life.”

Screen Shot 2013-12-03 at 12.57.35 PM Whether the patient has had LASIK or has astigmatism, an ORA-guided cataract procedure provides the security of knowing they can have the best possible outcome, and reduce the chance of needing an additional procedure.