contacts

5 ways iLASIK can change your life.

Gold Standard iLASIKJessica White is a Senior Technician at The Harman Eye Clinic.  Her observations may help you decide whether iLASIK is something that can benefit you.  

Here’s Jessica:

I am one of those lucky people who sees well at all distances without glasses. For that reason, when I started working at The Harman Eye Clinic I had very little understanding of why someone would want LASIK. I thought it was a vanity thing; I assumed all people who had LASIK did so because they didn’t like how they looked in glasses and couldn’t wear contacts.

Boy, was I wrong!

Here are five of the most common reasons for wanting to have LASIK that I hear from patients.

1. Recreation

Here in the northwest, we have the opportunity to enjoy snow and water sports without having to travel more than a couple of hours between. Unfortunately, neither of these genres mixes well with glasses or contacts. Patients frequently list things like snowboarding, skiing, swimming, and boating among the activities they hope to do without glasses after LASIK. Quite often I hear frustration about glasses fogging up under ski goggles, contacts drying out due to cold weather, or even just not being able to see when swimming because neither glasses nor contacts mix well with water.

2. Travel

I may not wear glasses or contacts, but I have traveled with people who do, and it is no surprise to me that this is among the more common reasons why people want to have LASIK. Packing contact lens supplies can be a hassle, especially if you are traveling far and will have to take them out to sleep en route. Also, there is always the possibility of breaking glasses or losing a contact, and I don’t know many people who feel comfortable having new glasses or contacts made in an unfamiliar place.

3. Career

Although corrective lenses can usually make it possible for people to work almost any job, it does not mean that they make it easy. Patients who work construction or are mechanics often talk about how their glasses or contacts affect them when they are working in harsh weather or tight spaces. This is especially true for patients who wear Toric contacts or glasses to correct a fair amount of astigmatism, because their vision with lenses can change when they tilt their head. Anyone who works outdoors in the rain can attest to the problem that causes with glasses, and patients who work in kitchens often talk about their glasses getting steamed up or contact lenses making cutting onions much worse.

4. Family

I was talking to one of my friends about LASIK shortly after she had her first child, and she exclaimed to me, “I just want to see what time it is when he wakes me up in the middle of the night!” Parenting while being glasses dependent can be really difficult, not only during late-night feedings. In my experience glasses are in the top 3 most desirable objects for infants and toddlers. Even just taking a few minutes to insert or remove contacts can feel like a huge inconvenience to a busy parent.

5. Confidence

Even though I have learned that LASIK is not all about vanity, I do see that patients gain a lot of confidence by getting out of contacts and glasses. There is a certain amount of vulnerability that comes with knowing you can’t do all of the things you do without lenses. Not everyone likes wearing bold colored or extra-large frames, but some people feel the need to, because if they can’t see the blur of color, they can’t find their glasses when they are not on.

LASIK is so amazing because it gives patients the opportunity to wake up in the morning and just live.

The idea of having an elective surgery may be scary, but for so many patients, LASIK is liberating. We see patients every year for exams after LASIK, and it is amazing to ask how their vision has been and have them say “You know, I haven’t really thought about it because I can see everything I need to.”

When our surgeons offer LASIK to patients, it is because they truly feel that they can help that person get to a place where they don’t have to think about their vision throughout most of their day. If you are interested in having a complimentary evaluation with one of our LASIK surgeons to find out if you are a good candidate, please contact our refractive coordinator.

For more information, call our office at 360.435.8595 or visit our website, http://www.20Better.com.

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

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