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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.

FAQs About LASIK

FAQs about LASIK — Correcting Nearsightedness, Farsightedness, and Astigmatism

What is the ideal age for LASIK?

LASIK can be performed as soon as age 18, but it is preferred to wait until age 21 and the eyeglass prescription must be stable, ideally for two years.

There is no maximum age for LASIK, but patients over 60 often will have cataract formation, and when vision is affecting activities of daily life, cataract surgery is performed, often with an advanced technology, multifocal lens implant.  LASIK can be used to  fine tune the implant results for optimum visual results.

What are contraindications for LASIK?

Any known damage or disease process is likely to be a concern, and at least a relative contraindication to LASIK. Patients who carefully share their medical history create the groundwork for best surgeon/patient relationship, and ultimately the best visual outcome for the individual.  Here are a few of these concerns:

  • Autoimmune diseases can cause corneal problems and healing problems and are an absolute contraindication for the procedure.
  • Pregnancy and nursing can cause changes in the vision prescription, so it is best to wait at least 3 months after weaning before having measurements for LASIK.
  • Ocular herpes is a contraindication to LASIK, but some surgeons may feel it is permissible as long as there has been no activity for over one year, and no corneal scarring is present.
  • Severe dry eye is a relative contraindication to LASIK, but mild cases can often be treated successfully prior to LASIK.

What are the risks of LASIK?

The most feared complication is infection.  Antibiotic eye drops are prescribed to help minimize the risk, which has been quoted at about 1/1000.  It is best to avoid swimming, hot tubs and eye makeup for a week after surgery to help prevent problems.

How long does one need to be out of contact lenses before measurements for LASIK can be done?

The general rule is 2 weeks for soft lenses; and 3 weeks for rigid (Gas Permeable) contacts, plus one week for each decade of wear (for example, out of gas permeable contacts  for 7 weeks if you have been wearing them for 40 years.)

What prescription can LASIK treat?

Myopia, up to 11.0 diopters of correction, with or without astigmatism up to -3 diopters (Contrast vision is diminished after treatment of about 10 diopters, and so phakic intraocular lenses such as Verisyse or Visian lenses may be preferred).

Hyperopia, up to 3 diopters of correction with or without astigmatism up to +2 Diopters.

Mixed astigmatism, up to 5 diopters.  In mixed astigmatism, the unequal curvature of the cornea (and sometimes also the lens inside the eye) results in one meridian of the eye to be farsighted and a second meridian (perpendicular to the first) to be nearsighted.  Mixed astigmatism usually can be successfully treated with LASIK but results might be less predictable than surgical correction of simple nearsighted astigmatism.

Will I still need to wear glasses?

I like to say, “Nothing is as good as original equipment from the manufacturer when you are a teenager!”  Of course, after age 40 everyone is expected to need reading glasses or bifocals.  Some people may need night driving glasses, especially if nearsightedness (myopia) is intentionally under-corrected in older patients to preserve some reading vision without glasses.

What else should I know about LASIK?

There are several ways to approach your quest for better vision and vision without depending on glasses or contact lenses.  We are happy to answer general questions and welcome them here through your comments.

However, questions that are related to your particular health and potential for successful surgery can best be answered through a complimentary evaluation appointment.  At our clinic, you will receive a comprehensive dilated exam with extensive measurements and education.  Your questions can be addressed in real time when you doctor sees your health’s big picture.  At the end of two hours, you will be equipped to proceed with knowledge and confidence.  When we can help you further, please make an appointment through our website, 20better.com, or here. 

When we can help you further, please make an appointment through our website, 20better.com, or here.

Sheila McCarty, COA, MA-R

Sheila McCarty, COA

Sheila McCarty, COA

For over 29 years, The Harman Eye Clinic has sought out candidates who possessed an uncanny aptitude for service. These candidates are then trained in specific medical fields.

Sheila McCarty came to The Harman Eye Clinic from food service. She was smart, alert, able to assess situations and best of all, loved being around people. Sheila took full advantage of JCAPHO’s Home Study Course and as she trained as an ophthalmic assistant, she was authorized to perform these duties.

Last Friday, in passing her exam, Sheila 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 Shiela 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, humor and service.  Sheila is a perfect example of these traits.

Recently Sheila has undergone LASIK and enjoys sharing her experience with patients who wish to know what it is really like to have LASIK.

Congratulations, Sheila!  We are so proud of you!

Eye Surgeon, Dr. Bajenova

Eye Surgeon and Ophthalmologist, Dr. Bajenova has arranged to see patients in Edmonds on Wednesdays.

Eye Surgeon and Ophthalmologist, Dr. Bajenova has arranged to see patients in Edmonds on Wednesdays.

Dr. Bajenova sees patients in our Arlington Clinic and Surgery Center and also in our Edmonds office See Directions

Dr. Bajenova brings a fresh and professional love for ophthalmology to The Harman Eye Clinic. Her ability to speak fluent Russian and English is a wonderful asset for the Northwest community!

Dr. Bajenova performs refractive surgery including Bladeless CustomVue iLASIK, PRK, medical laser surgery, Refractive Lens Exchange, Cataract Surgery with standard or premium upgrade multifocal lenses and works very closely with our co-managing doctors throughout the northwest to bring about the best in eye surgery and the convenience of local postoperative care. She also provides Avastin and Lucentis injections for macular degeneration patients.

Dr. Bajenova welcomes new patients for refractive surgeryLASIK, PRK and Mutlifocal Premium Lens Implants.Dr. Bajenova is recognized for her unbending desire to give 100% of her attention and energy to any given activity. Dr. Bajenova believes, along with her partners, Dr. Ballon and Dr. Wietharn, that the relationship between doctor and patient is the most important element to successful eye surgery.She holds impressive credentials.

Dr. Bajenova came to the United States from Russia, 1999. She attended Khabarovsk Medical University, Khabarovsk, Russia, 1994-1999. From the University of Washington, she received a Bachelor of Science, cum laude in Biology with minor in Music, 2003. She earned her Doctorate in Medicine, with honors, University of Washington School of Medicine, 2008. Her Ophthalmology Residency was completed in Kellogg Eye Center, Ann Arbor, MI, 2012.

Dr. Bajenova’s philosophy is one that connects closely with her patients. She gets involved in their needs and concerns. She enjoys being a part of her patient’s happiness when they improve their vision.

Committed to Excellence! Dr. Ballon, Dr. Wietharn and Dr. Bajenova are partners and plan to work here at The Harman Eye Clinic until the day they retire. This fact is comforting to patients who seek a commitment and wish to develop a rapport with their eye doctor and surgeon.

LASIK: Nearsighted? Farsighted? Astigmatism?

The first step to understanding what LASIK can do for you is to understand vision disorders.  Eyes are amazing. There are mechanical, biological, anatomical aspects of vision. And, we continue to appreciate how specifically different we each interpret what we see. It is true there are people who have surgery and see explicitly clear by the end of their surgery day, yet we know that patients realize their new surgical vision each within their own time frame.  Much depends on overall health of body and emotions. With this knowledge, the Surgeons and Staff act as “training wheels” during the early postoperative days, and are available until support is no longer needed. It is our honor to work with patients at The Harman Eye Clinic.

To review the differences in vision disorders read more.  Be sure to take advantage of the graphic videos that will help demonstrate each vision condition.

Patients Are The Reason For Our Existence!

What’s the latest in testing for dry eye?

Red, stinging, irritated eyes are often endured rather than treated.  It’s hard to realize that the condition of your tear film directly affects the clarity of your vision.

When you decide to have LASIK, PRK, or  a mutlifocal lens implant,  your Dry Eye Condition can get in the way of achieving the wonderful, clear outcome you desire.

If you wish to learn more about our TearLab read on.  Choosing  LASIK this year is a life-changing decision.  Taking care of your dry eye disease beforehand can be one of the most important things you do for yourself to assure the visual outcome you desire.  Let us know how we can help!

 

LASIK is designed with healthy eyes in mind? Are your eyes healthy enough?

Beautiful woman smiling with both thumbs upCould you be a candidate for LASIK?  Refractive Eye Surgery is for patients with healthy eyes.  Or tap here to find 4 ways to see if iLASIK would work for you!

Here are four questions that will help you determine your eligibility:

1) Are you able to see close to 20/20 with glasses? If answer is yes, then you may be a good candidate so far! (If no, read the last paragraph).

2) Do you consider your vision to be normal with the exception of glasses? If you answered yes you may be a good candidate so far! (If no, read the last paragraph)

3) Do you have any history of serious eye disease: glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, retina surgery? Yes, you are probably not a good candidate and read the last paragraph.

4) Have you ever worn contact lenses?  Yes, you will need to be out of your contact lenses for  2 weeks for soft lenses, and a minimum of 2 weeks for hard contacts plus additional weeks for each decade you have worn contacts, before you come in for a dilated evaluation appointment.  You could come in for an initial evaluation to meet your surgeon and receive motivation to stay out of your lenses!

5) Females: Are you pregnant? Yes, you are probably not a good candidate until nursing has stopped.  Your vision may change during your pregnancy and the calculations for surgery will not be accurate for the long-term.  It is far better to wait.

If you think you may be eligible for LASIK, take a self-evaluation test.

LASIK is designed with a healthy eye in mind. This surgery will not improve poor vision and could potentially make your present condition worse. It may help you to discuss with your eye doctor further reasons why LASIK may not be for you. We hope these comments have been helpful. Your comments are welcome.

Tap here to find 4 ways to begin your adventure!

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!

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