Refractive Surgery

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.

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.