Refractive Surgery

What is an extended depth of focus lens? TECNIS SYMFONY®

An extended depth of focus lens is an integral part of the Lifestyle Premium lens implant menu at The Harman Eye Clinic in Arlington WA.

In 2016 the Food and Drug Administration approved two new types of intraocular lenses for use in cataract surgery—the and TECNIS SYMFONY® toric lens implants.

The Symfony® intraocular lens is the option of choice that I can offer my patients to improve their vision following cataract surgery, especially those who have difficulty focusing on objects at near distances because of presbyopia,” said Dr. Bajenova.

The Symfony® lens improves intermediate (and in many cases near vision), thereby treating presbyopia. The Symfony® toric lens not only corrects presbyopia, but also astigmatism.

“Many of my patients live very active lifestyles and want to see clearly at all distances, and without glasses if possible,” said Dr. Ballon. “With the Symfony® lens, I can give patients the freedom to enjoy the activities that matter to them, while wearing glasses less.”

Traditional Cataract Surgery compared to an Extended Depth of Focus lens
During cataract surgery, the natural lens of the eye is removed, and an artificial lens, called an intraocular lens, or IOL, is inserted into the eye. Many patients still believe the only IOL available to them is a traditional monofocal lens, which only allows the person to see at a distance, with closer objects being out of focus.

“We take extra time during a patient visit to explore IOL options,” said Dr. Wietharn. It takes more time with staff and myself to introduce new concepts but we think every patient should be aware before surgery, whether or not they wish to take advantage of state-of-the-art technology.”
In contrast to the traditional, standard IOL, the Symfony® lens was specifically developed with features to improve both the range and quality of vision.

The Importance of Pre-Surgical Discussions with your Surgeon
“There is nothing as good as the original equipment from the manufacturer when you are a teenager,” says Dr. Ballon. “That said, the Symfony® lens is the best addition to our lens inventory to date.”

Symfony® lens is successful because it provides a continuous range of focus for both distance and intermediate (computer) vision. Patients who continually require absolute fine detailed vision, such as accountants or those who like to read paper, small-print books in bed without glasses may appreciate a comparison discussion over Technis multifocal lens and Symfony®. These patients who have the Symfony® lens may choose over the counter reading glasses (+1.50 cheaters) for fine print. Others who require fine-print access leave behind need for reading glasses by using their computers, smart phones and pads, to do their reading in bed and fine print projects. It is important to discuss comparison options before surgery by sharing your lifestyle and vision expectations.

The Symfony® lens also offers excellent quality of vision without loss of contrast sensitivity. Some patients who may not be a candidate for the Tecnis Multifocal lens due to, say, an epiretinal membrane (wrinkle in the macula) which may decrease contrast sensitivity, for example, may still be a candidate for the Symfony® lens. Presently, it is the only lens on the market that corrects chromatic aberrations, a feature that improves reading ability. The rings are larger than the Tecnis Multifocal lens, so that halos at night are much less prominent. Patients under the age of 60 tend to tolerate the Symfony® lens much better than multifocal lenses. Although the Symfony® lens is designed for bilateral implantation, patients with a cataract in just one eye seem to tolerate the Symfony® lens well, but the full benefits of reading are best when it is implanted bilaterally.

A LifeStyle Worksheet is available for our patients so that they can prepare. Many patients come for cataract surgery consultations with little or no information about what we call LifeStyle lens implants. The Symfony® is one such lens. Much of the senior population have come to accept that glasses are a part of their life. Some will even say that they like wearing glasses. That is fine, if true. Patients who were eligible and chose to have a LifeStyle lens implant continue to tell us how grateful they are to get up in the morning, look out the window, read the time on their smart phone, and remember how good it is to see with little or no dependence on glasses.

TAKE AWAY POINTS:

  • Extended depth of vision was approved by the FDA in 2016
  • Symfony® and Symfony® toric lenses can extend depth of vision: far, intermediate, and near
  • Symfony® and Symfony® toric lenses can offer quality of vision without loss of contrast sensitivity.
  • The traditional lens implant for cataract surgery is a monofocal lens (vision for one point of vision). Reading glasses and glasses for intermediate vision is expected after surgery.
  • To proceed with confidence, prepare by listing your lifestyle vision requirements and expectations before meeting your cataract surgeon.

Download our latest, comprehensive Patient’s Guide to Successful Cataract Surgery, or request an appointment for a cataract evaluation and your surgeon will be able to address your questions on an individual manner after your eyes have been examined with an overall evaluation of your health, life-style and vision potential. Call The Harman Eye Clinic in Arlington today, the first step to life without cataracts.

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

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

 

Patient Solves Dislike of Reading Glasses With Monovision LASIK

Happy Employees at The Harman Eye Clinic

Carolyn Hutchens, an amazing patient coordinator at The Harman Eye Clinic, wrote a few words about her recent refractive surgery experience.  She is pictured above with Director of The ASC, Brandie Somers.

I had Lasik in one eye, and the reason for this is because I am nearsighted.  I was needing new glasses and was thinking the bifocal route (not really wanting to) until Dr. Wietharn recommended trying monovision, one eye sees distance and the other is your near vision.  I tried it with a contact lens first to see if I would like it and it worked for me!  So those bifocal glasses can stay away for as long as good!  All I can say is do the evaluation first.  It’s free and you can discover the options you have.

Congratulations, Carolyn!

 

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

 

Guide To Successful iLASIK

Transform Your ThinkingOur staff have been hard-at-work creating in fun, new ways!  One of their projects was to record remarks within a recent presentation.  We discovered prezi.com and fell in love with a software that views presentation slides as a personal canvases with paths from one to another.  Such fun.  The staff decided to place some conversation, videos and will probably come up with more surprises in the future.  For now, however, it is located here.  Or, you can view it on Youtube.

Since it’s a first attempt, we’d love to hear from you.  What would you like included in this Guide?  What would you like us to spend more time on?  Thanks in advance for helping us improve our newest ways to communicate!  Or you can visit our iLASIK website.

Best to you!

Addendum:  If you would prefer, we also have a Guide To Successful iLASIK pdf format that may enhance your background on iLASIK.  Let us know what you think.

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

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.