Patient Reviews

Wedding Planner

My Wedding Checklist

12 to 24 months before the wedding
Announce the engagement
Select the date and time for the ceremony:
(November 10th, 2006)
Book The Opera House in Marysville Washington Choose the wedding party
Make the guest list
Book my appointment for LASIK at The Harman Eye Clinic:
(April 8th, 2004)
Book the photographer
Book the florist
Shop for the dress
Select bridesmaid dresses

4 to 6 months before the wedding
Make wedding invitations
Select and order Tuxedos for the men, schedule fittings
Plan the menu for the reception
Reserve vintage limo for day of wedding
Order wedding rings
Book the vintage photobooth

2-4 months before the wedding
Book violinist for ceremony
Create dinner and reception play-list
Book honeymoon in Puerto Vallarta Mexico
Attend pre-marriage counseling with our pastor
Mail invitations
Design photo-themed centerpieces

2-8 weeks before the wedding
Confirm all details with my vendors
Apply for marriage license
Final fitting of my wedding gown
Bridal shower!
Bachelorette party!!

1-2 weeks before the wedding
Double-check details with wedding vendors
Delegate wedding day responsibilities
Pamper myself w/ pedicure and manicure
Rehearsal dinner; present wedding party and parents with gifts

The big day
Have my hair and make-up done
Have plenty of snacks available
Decorate The Opera House
Become Mrs. Somers…

…enjoying every moment all without the hassle of glasses or contact lenses! Thank you for giving me one less thing to think about on my wedding day!

~Brandie Somers

Restaurant Manager

No More Restrictions!

By Crystal Buffon

Wouldn’t it be amazing if you could take in all life has to offer without the restrictions of glasses and contact lenses? Brad Johnson felt the same way, restricted by his vision, until he had iLASIK surgery.

“I didn’t start wearing contacts until I was in my 20’s,” Brad Johnson, a manager of the Seattle Spaghetti Factory, begins to share his vision experience. He remembers wearing glasses starting at the age of 12, and after 10 years, thinking about having LASIK vision correction. At that time, he stopped wearing contact lenses and went back into glasses to improve the health of his eyes and prepare to have surgery.

The hardest part for Brad about having to wear some form of correction is simply it is always a hassle. He was constantly thinking about his vision. Mr. Johnson had a very demanding schedule, between school full time and working evenings, and his contact lenses seemed to consistently irritate his eyes and his eyes were usually tired by the end of his long day. With glasses, it was difficult for him to play sports or even do daily ins and outs because his glasses would fog up and he felt they were constantly slipping down his face. Even a month after having LASIK surgery, he still finds that every once in a while he will put his finger up to the bridge of his nose as if to push up the glasses that are no longer there.

Mr. Johnson is an avid sports player, he notes most specifically that he feels when he is pitching that he can see the catcher’s glove better than ever before. Brad is not limited to just baseball though. He enjoys golfing, bowling and team sports to mention a few. Brad notes having good vision with glasses and contacts but not quite as sharp or as crisp as his new vision after surgery. “It’s great to have perfect vision without the restrictions!” Brad raves. Especially with playing sports Brad notices that it is so nice not to worry about glasses fogging up or the possibilities of losing a contact lens.

“I feel a 100% improvement in the quality of my vision. Everything is easier.” Brad shares that he took for granted the simpler things in life before. “It is so great being able to wake up in the morning and walk out onto the back porch and not have to get my glasses or put in my contact lenses.”

Brad’s biggest reason for choosing The Harman Eye Clinic is their reputation. “My mother and my brother had surgery at The Harman Eye Clinic and seeing that they still have excellent vision years later was a reassurance about having surgery.” Brad also mentions his grandmother wanting to help him be free of his glasses and asking him to come here. He was not disappointed. “It actually feels like you care about your patients and it’s not just an assembly line.”

Brad enjoys his vision and the freedom of glasses and contact lenses. Brad also relishes the fact that he will not have to pay for another pair of prescription glasses or order contacts again!

Dog Groomer

High nearsighted
… to highly sighted

By Crystal Buffon

Kacey Elder “I Love It!!”

Kacey Elder, a local dog groomer, chats about her remarkable new sight. For Kacey being able to see anything farther than 6 inches from her nose is exciting.

Believe it or not, it has been that way for as long as she can remember. “I got my first pair of glasses when I was only 6 years old. We didn’t discover my need for glasses until I had to sit in the back of the classroom and I couldn’t see the board. My vision has only gotten worse since then,” notes Kacey.

At 26 years old, Kacey had glasses so thick that she couldn’t even wear wire frames “The lenses just keep popping out, so I had to wear plastic frames, which are not the most stylish.” Kacey has tried to wear hard contact lenses for many years but has not found any to date that has given her excellent vision. “I could function but it was never perfect no matter what type of corrective option I have chosen.” She even found it difficult to go out with her friends,

” No one really understood that if I lost a contact I couldn’t see. I would carry my glasses in my purse just in case but it was such a hassle to have to carry everything around.” Kacey heard about Verisyse surgery at the age of 16 but wasn’t really sure about the surgery. “I think the hardest part is finding a surgeon that you can trust. These are my eyes and I want to keep what sight I have,” said Kacey ardently. At her first visit with Dr. Ballon she knew he was the surgeon for her.

Getting the guts to make the final jump for surgery was a different story. “I was never really quite ready for the surgery itself, but if my grandma could have cataract surgery then I could have my surgery.” Kacey and her family are no strangers to The Harman Eye Clinic and have played supporting roles as family members.

Both of Kacey’s grandparents have had cataract surgery at The Harman Eye Clinic and now happily support Kacey in her pursuit of better vision. At her last exam, prior to surgery, her glasses prescription was averaged -13.00 diopters in both eyes. (Multiply 4 x 13 to equal the number of clicks on the phoropter –big spectacle ‘dials’ placed in front of your eyes to measure for glasses.) With unaided vision she was unable to see the eye chart and could only recognize fingers at about 6 inches from her nose. On the day of her exam she was armed with her support team: her grandparents, her mother, and her aunt who were all hopeful and willing to stand by Kacey. For her this was a great day, it meant being one step closer to a more natural vision.

Even though Kacey’s family support team was there for her on the day of surgery, it was Smokey, the Director of the Surgery Center, who reassured Kacey. “He made me feel really good. He would make jokes and help me not think about having surgery.”

The best thing of all for Kacey was a fond moment after her second surgery, “When I took off my patch, my dad stood across the room and asked me how many fingers he was holding up. When I told him the answer his whole face lit up and his expression is one that I will never forget.”

It has been a life-changing event for Kacey “I woke up in the middle of the night one night and looked at the time on my cell phone. My first reaction was to put it right up to my nose to be able to see the time and I was surprised to find that I had to pull the phone inches away from my face to be able to see the time.”

Kacey’s current unaided vision is 20/20. She is not dependent on glasses or contact lenses for the first time in her life. Kacey will be able to tell you that the Verisyse procedure in the hands of Dr Ballon has given her a new life.

For more information, please contact our Refractive Surgery Team, 360.435.9585, visit, or

Young Grandmother

An Amazing Vision Journey

by Crystal Buffon

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 multifocal 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.

Carolyn Hutchens

New vision is like having HDTV all the time

by Carolyn Hutchens

Mrs.Marie Sorenson”For the past four years my cataracts have curtailed my lifestyle without even knowing it,” raves Mrs. Marie Sorenson. “I avoided driving at night for fear of getting lost on roads that I was not familiar with. I drove only on well-lit roads so I could see the street signs, and that was difficult.”

Mrs. Marie Sorenson describes her pre-surgery vision as having Vaseline over them. She observes, “Colors were not as bright. Fine lines were difficult to see,” Mrs. Sorenson loves to read and because of the cataracts her eyes tired easily, making reading a chore.

While hiking, Mrs. Sorenson was referred by her trip-leader who is a pilot and President of the Pilot Association. He told her that she needed “to go to a place where that is all they do and know exactly how to do it, and that place is The Harman Eye Clinic.” Mrs. Sorenson believes in referrals and from the moment she stepped into our clinic, she realized his words were true.

“The decision to have a Refractive Lens Exchange was easy, we have limited years on this earth and there is so much beauty out there”

During her procedure, everyone really listened and talked her through everything from the nurse to Dr Ballon, communication was evident. Her biggest fear about the procedure was the thought of seeing only blackness and what it would be like without the old lens and not being able to focus. “It wasn’t like that at all.”

On the way home from surgery, she was able to see the digital clock in the car. She also reports seeing the bright orange Home Depot sign. These were colors that she was not able to see for the past three or four years. She did not realize how much her vision had decreased due to having cataracts.

Her husband now refers to her as ‘eagle eyes.’ Seeing an individual pick up a dime that was on the ground was something she couldn’t believe. Traveling at night has improved. She also likes to speed read and now enjoys doing that again without her eyes getting tired. She refers to her new vision as having HD TV all the time.

She is so happy with the results of her surgery/ RLE (Refractive Lens Exchange) at The Harman Eye Clinic that she shares her story whenever she can and was glad to share it with me. She would like to tell everyone not to put off the decision to have surgery.

“The monetary value is not comparable when you are able to see so much of the beauty and color that God has given us!”

Ms. Carolyn Hutchens has been recruited as a member of the refractive team at The Harman Eye Clinic. When you make a phone call to The Harman Eye Clinic, she may be the one helping you toward your first step to improved vision! For more information call, 360.435.8595 or visit our website,