Wavefront LASIK for better refractive correction

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Using three-dimensional measurements of the way your eye processes images, wavefront LASIK provides some extremely precise correction results, which are beyond conventional LASIK, contact lenses and eyeglasses. The 3-D map created by wavefront technology will guide the laser in reshaping the patient’s cornea during the procedure. Wavefront LASIK offers individualized vision correction effects so that it is also called custom LASIK. Recent surveys show that custom LASIK has received a wide application.

More visual defects are under control

With its special features and ability, custom LASIK is capable of treating irregularities related to the eye’s optical system, not to say mild to moderately high degrees of vision defects, e.g. myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism. In fact, these ordinary vision problems can be addressed simply by conventional glasses, contact lenses and regular LASIK procedures.

Additional visual benefits brought by wavefront LASIK

In detail, wavefront LASIK brings kinds of extra benefits. By treating lower-order aberrations associated with common refractive errors, wavefront LASIK can improve visual acuity. Through addressing higher-order aberrations such as visual distortions, wavefront LASIK also improves visual performance such as increased contrast sensitivity and night vision, reduced glare, shadows and halos. Dealing with both lower- and higher-order aberrations, wavefront-guided LASIK can create greater chance of 20/20 or even better vision and reduce the incidence of losing best-corrected vision and visual quality or contrast sensitivity.

The downside of custom LASIK

However, custom LASIK is not perfect. Some patients still suffer low contrast sensitivity after such a surgery, especially those who have lost best-corrected vision from any past refractive surgery. Some surgeons even still keep doubt about the effect of wavefront LASIK in treating higher-order aberrations. On the other hand, wavefront LASIK is proven to be likely to induce higher-order aberrations caused by artificial changes to the eye’s surface.

Preparatory measurements before the surgery

A custom LASIK procedure involves several steps. The doctor uses a wavefront device to get a wavefront map of the patient’s eye, by transmitting a light ray into the eye and getting its reflection from the inside eye. The wavefront map reflects lower- and higher-order aberrations and offers guidance to the doctor’s operation of laser treatment. These measurements are finished before the real surgery as an indispensible preparation. To be honest, this work is the critical to a successful surgery and satisfactory visual result, because detailed laser application will follow exactly the wavefront map. The other steps during the surgical treatment are similar to that of regular LASIK or PRK.

Custom LASIK charges a higher price

Containing higher royalty fees to device manufacturers, costs of custom LASIK are higher than traditional LASIK. Of course, the precise eye measurements before the surgery also contribute to a relatively higher price. But the truth is that there are still lots of patients considering that the visual benefits of the surgery are worth additional cost. The lasting economic downturn has significantly brought down the number of LASIK procedures. LASIK procedures conducted in 2009 are estimated to be 700,000, only a half of the number in 2005, 2006 or 2007.

The surgery is to be improved

Custom LASIK is still under researches, which have yielded initial results. Wavefront LASIK is considered to potentially provide multifocal correction and reduce the risk of surgically induced aberrations and astigmatism. It is also important to make a prior check for whether you are eligible for this surgery.