Advantages of wavefront LASIK
As optical irregularities, vision aberrations have two main types: lower order aberrations such as nearsightedness and astigmatism and higher order aberrations (HOAs). Myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism can simply be corrected or compromised by prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses. Examples of higher order aberrations include spherical aberration, coma and trefoil. They may bring vision conditions like poor night vision, glare, halos, and blurring and starburst patterns. The most noticeable difference between these two categories is that HOAs can not be corrected by traditional eyewear devices.
Higher order aberrations can be corrected by wavefront LASIK
However, those complex higher order aberrations do need to be resolved. Currently, there is an effective solution named wavefront-guided LASIK surgery. As a superior form surgery to traditional LASIK, it takes full use of the aberrations measured by an aberrometer and corrects the cornea with an equally sophisticated and computer-controlled laser. The aberrometer can measure all optical aberrations of the eye, including higher-order aberrations that are beyond conventional procedures. These aberrations will then be removed precisely during the surgery. Wavefront LASIK also minimizes the induction of spherical aberrations. As a comparison, conventional LASIK procedure only deals with regular refractive errors, effectively eliminating the need for eyeglasses or contact lenses.
When the visual benefits will be noticed or verified?
While evaluated by a simple eye chart, wavefront LASIK procedure has no significant advantages over other types of procedure. Better visual results from wavefront LASIK surgery is more apparent during tasks such as night driving, which involves a higher visual demand. Providing improved contrast sensitivity and removing higher-order aberrations, wavefront LASIK surgery is also more helpful in reading a road sign in fog and recognizing a face in a crowd.
Candidate checkup before the surgery
Not all patients are suitable for wavefront LASIK. The decisive factor is that whether precise aberration measurements can be conducted. People with corneal scar or accommodation relaxation inability can not receive a precise aberration measurement. This prior checkup should not be ignored or skipped. About 95% of LASIK patients are good candidates for wavefront LASIK procedure.
Advanced technology charges a higher price
Just as a computer is more advanced than an abacus or slide rule, wavefront LASIK involves higher technologies and thus it is more expensive than conventional LASIK. It is worth mentioning that wavefront LASIK can offer better visual quality, especially at night or in a dark condition. The gap of wavefront LASIK cost between different surgeons can be several hundred dollars. For most of the ordinary patients, receiving a wavefront LASIK procedure is more unaffordable from an economic perspective. Yet nearly all patients can get more visual benefit from this advanced surgery.
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