The Harman Eye Clinic

Get Ready For Summer With Laser Vision Correction

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

Cataract Surgery Patient Workbook is here!

Cataract Surgery Patient Workbook (dragged)Download the most recent copy of our Cataract Surgery Patient Workbook.

We hope this workbook will assist you up to the day of surgery and beyond.  We understand how nervous people can be when they anticipate their first eye surgery. We encourage you to enter into this event with a clear and relaxed attitude.  The more you know, the more you can participate in the success of this surgery.  The American Academy of Ophthalmology estimates that cataracts affect 22 million people in the US.  Know you are not alone and you are in good hands. This Workbook is created to help organize and convey what you will need to know.

We’ve been performing cataract surgery for over 30 years.  You can rest assured we know our stuff.  Now it’s you we wish to bring into our practice and share what we know so that you will move forward with confidence.

In this workbook you will find what we call the Cataract Process.  We will discuss the big picture so you will know where you are going.

We will look at the procedures leading up to the day of surgery.

We will also take a look at Medicare policies that create a safe environment for you.

And, in the back of this booklet is the paperwork that you will need at various points of your journey.

So, are you ready?  We will be with you all along the way.  Congratulations on finding a way to rejuvenate your eyesight.  We hope for the best outcome for you!

— the Doctors and Staff at The Harman Eye Clinic

 

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

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

 

News Release: Cascade Regional Eye Center, Inc., PS., Under New Ownership

(July 2, 2014 — Arlington, WA)  DSC_0272 Cascade Regional Eye Center, Inc., PS, dba The Harman Eye Clinic, located at 903 Medical Center Drive, the premier eye surgery center in the Pacific Northwest for over 30 years, has acquired a new owner.  Bruce J. Ballon, MD has sold 50 percent of the practice to Bruce E. Wietharn, MD.  The two doctors will alternately share the role of President and CEO annually in addition to their services as ophthalmologists and eye surgeons since 2002 and 2004 respectively.

The purchase of this practice reflects a long-term relationship built over the past decade.  Each holds the gold-standard of excellence, confidence, depth and continuity in personal service.  Their partner, Natalia V. Bajenova, MD, joined the practice in 2012 and is slated to purchase one-third of the practice in 2022.

Serving patients of the Pacific Northwest since 1984, The Harman Eye Clinic primarily provides advanced customized LASIK surgery as well as Refractive  Multifocal Lens and Standard cataract surgery.   Patients are customarily referred and co-managed through area eye doctors for surgery; however, patients may seek surgical solutions for their eye challenges through appointments.

For more information about The Harman Eye Clinic and its services, visit www.20Better.com or All About LASIK, or call 360.435.8595.DSC_0273

 

LASIK for Summer!

More About LASIK

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

Quality of life depends on maintaining good vision. Careful discussions will help sort through lens implant options.

So Many Options

Special custom lens implants.  When considering cataract surgery, good candidates for special custom lens implants are patients who are highly motivated to be functionally free of glasses for reading, computer work and driving. A multifocal lens compensates for the eye’s inability to change shape by allowing the eye to see at distance and near simultaneously through the same optic.  A good candidate has realistic expectations and understands that these lenses, while most effective, are not the same as the natural lens of a young person.

To help you prepare for your discussion with your surgeon the following categories of lens implants are presented with links to the specific lens implant patient education page.

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.  This is considered a medically necessary procedure and is most commonly covered by your insurance company.  Most commonly used, Tecnis IOL

Monovision.  A few patients ask their surgeon to choose a standard lens correction with a target for one eye’s vision set for near and the other for distance vision.  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. 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. Most commonly used, Tecnis IOL

Multifocal Lens.  The advanced TECNIS® Multifocal is an implantable lens that restores vision after cataract surgery and corrects presbyopia (the need for reading glasses). It offers an excellent chance to become spectacle independent.

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 package.  Tecnis Multifocal

Presbyopia Correcting Lens.  The unique Crystalens is designed to allow you to enjoy a fuller, more natural range of vision for most activities, including: reading a book, working on the computer, and driving a car.

Crystalens was modeled after the human eye. Like the natural lens, it is a lens implant that uses the eye muscle to flex and accommodate in order to focus on objects in the environment at all distances. Crystalens dynamically adjusts to your visual needs.  Crystalens AO

Astigmatism Correcting Lens.  Today’s advances in medical technology allow eye surgeons to correct both cataracts and astigmatism at the same time. In many cases, this may reduce the need for eyeglasses. However, it is important to understand that since everyone’s vision, expectations, and lifestyles differ, it is difficult to determine how much you will be dependent on glasses after surgery.  This discussion can take place with your surgeon. Trulign Toric,  AMO Toric Lens, AcrySof Toric Lens

For more information visit our website or call us at 800.755.3937.A comprehensive evaluation for cataract surgery now takes up to 2 hours.  It is time well spent when so many options for your future may be explored in light of your daily activities, your general health, the health and uniqueness of your eye anatomy and best of all building a relationship with your surgeon.

Please let us know if this article has been helpful?

 

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

6 Diopters of Astigmatism Corrected By Lens Implant

Patients who have an astigmatism and are candidates for cataract surgery can request a Toric Lens Implant to help improve their vision. A Toric IOL can treat both the cataract and astigmatism in one surgical outpatient procedure.

Previously, surgeons tried to change the shape of the cornea through an incision during cataract surgery. Now with the creation of the Toric IOL, vision can be improved or repaired without the need for more surgery. The Toric IOL helps to refocus vision, and is designed with the same technology as contact lenses.

Here, Dr. Bajenova completes a postoperative visit with her patient before she returns to Alaska.  She had six diopters of astigmatism before surgery.

For more information, read an article about astigmatism, visit our website or call us at 800.755.3937.

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.