Lifestyle

Second Surgery, Day One – A Journal VI

I had my one day post op after my second surgery. My vision was pretty blurry due to a bit of swelling on the cornea, so I’ve waited to share.

Needle and threadNow when you decide on having a “lifestyle lens,” you really have to think about how you spend your time and what your particular vision needs are. Myself, I work on a computer and interact with patients. Ok, that’s 40 hours of my week. Typically, I’m awake about 122 hours in a week, so that accounts for 1/3 of my time. Driving: an hour a day. Family time includes reading, watching television, board games. Weekends are your typical housekeeping chores. Hobbies? Making quilts! Accurately measuring, cutting, sewing and pressing. Hand sewing the bindings on finished quilts. For me, being able to thread a needle and follow a line of stitching was vital.

Quilting

These Symfony lenses have the ability to let you see for reading, computer and driving. But super fine like I wanted required either cheaters (non-prescription magnifying glasses you find in a drug store) or, choosing a power for the implant that would provide that. Choosing that option may require glasses for driving. That is the choice I made.

Right now, I’m threading needles and hand sewing along that line of stitching!

My advice to those of you considering a Lifestyle lens? Evaluate your life! What are your visual needs? Communicate this to your surgeon. You may be an avid outdoor enthusiast, golfer, pilot or ham operator! Reading may be your passion. There’s as many lifestyles as there are people, each one unique and important.

I still have a couple weeks for my vision to stabilize, but right now I have what I can only describe as “normal” vision. I’m seeing what I want to see. How awesome is that?!?

 

 

Cataract Surgery – A Journal II

Joyce Bowley

Joyce Bowley, ASC Patient Surgery Coordination

Getting ready for surgery day. I’m between the age of 60-65 with no health issues, so I was able to have the need for my MD to clear me for outpatient surgery deferred. After the schedule was set, the nurse sat and explained my pre-op instructions to me: morning meds with a sip of water, nothing to eat or drink past midnight, the need for a driver. They will start an IV, so I’ve got to drink lots of (hydrating) fluids the day before to ensure the best veins.

Now, since I work in the Surgery Center, I volunteered to work until it was time for me to be admitted. The only problem I can foresee is a caffeine headache when my body realizes it’s not getting its daily dose. I went for years eating one meal a day, so I don’t see a problem with not eating until after surgery. I certainly don’t want to risk being nauseous while my eye is being worked on!

I have been approved for what’s called “dropless” surgery. This means I won’t have to pick up any prescriptions for a set of eye drops (antibiotic, steroid & NSAID) to use before and after surgery. Instead, the medication will be placed in the back of my eye at the time of surgery. Thank goodness! While I’ve figured out the best way to put drops in my eye, remembering to do so 4 times a day would probably require hiring a personal assistant!

Am I nervous about having surgery? Well, I am fortunate to know this team of surgeons and staff and be familiar with the entire process from A-Z. I have total faith in my surgeons skill. In the back of mind, I know that any surgery comes with risks and possible complications. I choose not to dwell on negatives. What would be the point? I will pray for the surgeon and his team and let God do the worrying. (This is what got me through my two children doing 8 tours with the Army in Iraq & Afghanistan without a nervous breakdown.)

My surgeon has told me I’ll need to be diligent in taking care of my dry eyes. For me, the hours I spend staring at computer screens has led to dry eyes. Seems I forget to blink! I do take fish oil every day as he’s recommended, which has certainly helped. But surgery will disturb the surface of my eye, so I will stock up on Preservative Free artificial tears for use after surgery. Plus, years ago I did have an injury to my left eye that has caused what is called “recurrent corneal erosion.” I used to have yearly flare ups, but since I started with the fish oil I haven’t had any problems. I’m aware this problem is ever present and I need to be responsible for constant care.

Other than that, I think I’m ready!

Tap here to read A Journal III

Common Complaint 20 Years After LASIK

Many of our first LASIK patients from all walks of life were in their 20’s, 30’s or 40’s in 1996 when we first offered LASIK.

All walks of life

Now, some 20 years later, patients are returning with stories of sailing around the world, running marathons, taking on new career opportunities and/or raising families who now have children of their own and hoping for LASIK.

One common complaint prevalent to almost all of these patients is this:  their arms are too short!  They complain that they no longer can read without reading glasses and this is really annoying!Business Woman

Fortunately we are able to assist our grown-up LASIK patients with new solutions of a refractive lens exchange, better known as an RLE.

RLE takes care of three birds with one stone.  First, it takes care of the need for reading glasses.  Second, it takes care of fine tuning vision for distance, intermediate and near.  Third, it takes care of the need for cataract surgery in the future.

One of the most popular lifestyle premium lens implants is the Tecnis Symfony.  A popular video helps describe this important breakthrough.

Whether you are ready to move into the grown-up lifestyle premium refractive lens implants or help your children toward sight without glasses through LASIK, we are here to help!  For more information, call our Refractive Consultant at 360-474-2561 or visit http://www.20Better.com.  We look forward to seeing you again.

 

 

 

Great vision provides freedom to play!

swimming-ilasik-001I have spent a lot of time lately in the swimming pool at the new Stanwood/Camano YMCA.  It is a great place and we are so lucky to have it in our area.  Having worked at The Harman Eye Clinic for over 27 years, I can’t help notice people with glasses who are teaching children to swim.  I see how they struggle with splashes and slipping glasses.  I wonder if they know how possible it is for them to live free from depending on glasses.

Our surgeons have successfully provided refractive surgery for people in the Pacific Northwest since 1984.  Among the options available are iLASIK, PRK, and Refractive Cataract Surgery with special lifestyle lens implants.  If you, or someone you know, wishes a new vision on life, it may be helpful to spread the news:  Glasses and contact lenses are not the only alternatives for vision correction.

For more information, take time to visit this website or give our Refractive Consultant a call at 360-474-2561 and see what vision options are waiting for you!  We look forward to hearing from you!

Barbara Aliaga, Executive Director, The Harman Eye Clinic.

 

Learn More

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

Create a meaningful doctor encounter

Prepare for your encounters with your doctor.

Patient Portal Made Easy

More and more medical offices are offering an on-line connection with private medical charting.   At The Harman Eye Clinic in Arlington WA, we encourage patients to login to a secure online website to access personal health information from anywhere with an internet connection, and at any time of the day or night.  Our staff will help you set this up during a phone call.

Even more important is the ability to supply your doctor with information PRIOR to your visit.  Patients can register any time; most patients register when they schedule their appointment.  You are able to enter information such as:

  1. Your medications with dosage and strength
  2. Your past medical history
  3. Insurance information and any recent changes in your patient demographics.

At The Harman Eye Clinic in Arlington WA, the Patient Portal records are your medical records  This means that when you want your medical records, you no longer need to request them.  They are always within reach.

Providing  patient information updates,  past medical histories and medication updates, certainly helps create a more satisfying visit.

What about cataract consultations?

As you may know, every medical surgery comes with a list of risks and benefits and it becomes the patient’s responsibility to become sufficiently informed in order to give their consent.  If you first learn at your appointment that you are a candidate for cataract surgery, it can be stressful.

A way patients can make their consultation more meaningful is to watch the Informed Consent Video before they see their surgeon.  At The Harman Eye Clinic in Arlington, WA, patients are encouraged to watch the video and learn about the different options in lens implants.  Patients print out the quiz for their visit.  They cut off about 15 minutes of their exam by watching this at home.

Best though, is the fact that when you finally meet up with your surgeon after numerous diagnostic measurements and testing, you will better understand your surgeon’s recommendation.  It makes for a much more satisfying encounter.  We recommend that if you are considering cataract surgery, you watch this video prior to coming to your consultation.  You will be glad you did.watch-informed-consent-001

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

 

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

Weighing The Risks and Benefits of LASIK

 

Weighing the Risks and Benefits of LASIKRecently, we received a comment on Facebook expressing disappointment for his sister who returned to glasses some two years later.  I can imagine how he felt seeing his sister in glasses so soon after surgery.

The circumstances where a patient would need to return to glasses two years after surgery is very unusual.  It is impossible to explore reasons without visiting an ophthalmologist’s office.  The most obvious thought is that the patient was in her 40’s when she had surgery and hadn’t fully appreciated the onset of presbyopia.

Forty-something patients who are nearsighted usually have progressive lenses, bifocals or take off their glasses for best near vision.  After surgery, they cannot take off their glasses and so now require reading glasses.  It is unclear, however, that this is the situation with the commenter’s sister.

It makes us wonder how well people prepare for eye surgery.  Eye procedures are certainly not on an equal plane as buying glasses or contacts.  Refractive procedures are permanent changes to the eye.  LASIK changes the shape of your cornea.  We provide very precise, wavefront, computer-driven, customized laser vision correction. Even so, it is the preliminary discussions we have prior to LASIK that give a patient the best chance of successful surgery.

The VISX and IntraLase laser technology is considered the gold-standard of LASIK. We spend considerable time before surgery to screen patients to explore if there are any factors that will impact a successful outcome.  We remind patients that we are working with each person’s individual health situation and ability to see, noting their specific lifestyle vision requirements.  Patients who are seeking surgery in their 40’s are given special counseling, for they are heading for years when they will most likely need reading glasses. From the Patient Guide for Successful LASIK:

Not all people are candidates for LASIK.  Here is one discussion we hold with all people before they make an appointment:

  • Are you able to see close to 20/20 with glasses or contacts? If answer is yes, then you may be a good candidate so far! (If no, read the last paragraph).
  • 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)
  • Do you have any history of serious eye disease: glaucoma, diabetic retinopathy, retina surgery? Yes, you are probably not a good candidate. (Read the last paragraph).
  • Have you ever worn contact lenses? If yes, you will need to be out of your contact lenses for 2 weeks for soft lenses, and a minimum of 3 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.
  • 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.

NOT A GOOD CANDIDATE? iLASIK and PRK are designed with a healthy eye in mind. This surgery will not improve poor vision in unhealthy eyes and could potentially make your present condition worse. It may help you to discuss with your eye doctor further to uncover reasons why iLASIK or PRK may not be for you. If you are unsure, you are welcome to come for a free LASIK evaluation.

After talking with a staff member, we will ask that you come for a free but comprehensive eye exam and plan to be here a minimum of 2 hours.  During this time, our doctors will look for reasons why we should not advance toward LASIK.  All surgeries contain risks and benefits.  During this evaluation time, we will weigh risks and benefits in light of each patient’s situation.  Realistic expectations are part of our discussion.

LASIK is a procedure designed to correct nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism of patients who are over the age of 21, and have had stable vision for over a year.  It will not correct presbyopia (the need for reading glasses), but there are other refractive options that can address this situation.

We hope these comments are helpful.  For more information, please call 360.435.8595 Ext 1 or schedule a complimentary evaluation to see if any of the refractive surgery options are helpful for you and your vision needs.

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

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.

Artist Robert Ruth to Display His Work at The Harman Eye Clinic

Robert Ruth

Robert Ruth

This September and October we are excited to welcome back artist Robert Ruth.

Robert Ruth’s pen and ink drawings are primarily a style called pointillism.  Combining this style with a few delicate lines, Robert renders his subjects with precision and loving care.

Once an original is completed, Robert creates black and white limited edition prints on 100% rag, neutral PH balanced paper.  The quality of this stock is meant to give a lifetime of viewing enjoyment with no worries of the life expectancy of the  print.

To make a black and white print come alive with color, Robert then hand colors it with watercolor.  The print then becomes a unique piece of art, an “ORIGINAL PRINT” that is signed and numbered – a valuable addition to any art collection.

Family and friends are welcome from Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the entrance to The Harman Eye Clinic.

harmanCatalog

For more information, please visit www.artistRobertRuth.com