Wavefront Technology – The Latest Advance in Lasik
Lasik corrective eye surgery is a wonderful advance in technology
that has successfully helped several people to get better eyesight.
The solution to better success from the procedure is to correctly
associate the inputs about the patient existing visual system to
the laser used in the procedure. This will ensure that the incisions
made with the laser are apt for the corrections needed in the patient.
As of now, wavefront technology is the best way to go to help provide
the correct information about the patient to the operating equipment.
Wavefront Technology – What exactly does this mean?
Wavefront technology is a mapping system that provides information
about refraction at various zones of the eye when a reflective light
is shone on the eye. This mapping is like an individual’s
thumbprint, distinctive to that person.
There are some conditions of the cornea that has a bearing on the
refraction of the eye. An example to this is astigmatism where the
surface of the cornea is highly asymmetrical. Lasik surgery is helpful
in correcting these irregularities and bringing about an improvement
in the vision. Wavefront technology not only is helpful in mapping,
it is useful in retaining the corrected vision and reducing certain
complications such as reduction of quality of vision and correcting
vision problems at low light. Many clinical studies have shown that
almost around 80% of people undergoing the custom procedure have
improvements to their vision. This is definitely a good number of
people in comparison to those who opted for traditional means of
Wavefront technology is also helpful in evaluating a patient to
know whether they are ideal to go for the procedure or not. This
is important because there is a small percentage of people who might
have a worsening of vision following the procedure.
Wavefront Technology – How is it Utilized?
With the traditional methods to conduct an eye exam, only two types
of corneal aberrations can be detected namely cylindrical and spherical.
If a person has a cylindrical aberration, the resulting defect is
astigmatism and if there is a spherical aberration, the person is
either farsighted or nearsighted (hyperopia and myopia).
With wavefront technology, more number of aberrations can be detected
other than the ones detected by traditional means. The technology
makes use of a laser beam to perform an evaluation. The laser creates
a light source also known as wavefront sensor that gauges the surface
of the cornea. With these measurements, the ablation required by
the excimer laser is calculated.
While the evaluation is in progress, the patient is required to
look at a fixed target. When the patient is gazing at the visual
target, the laser beam is shone on the person’s eye. The light
is reflected back from the retina through the pupil. The light that
leaves the eye is caught by the wavefront sensor. The distortion
of the wavefront is due to the refraction produced by the eye.
The wavefront of the beam that goes through the eye is flat. If
the eye has no problems, the beam reflected back from the cornea
will also have a flat wavefront. When there are problems with the
lens, the reflected beam will have an irregular wavefront as the
beam travels through the aberrations present in the cornea and the
other parts of the eye. The data assimilated will help in the evaluation
of the shape of the cornea and the irregularities present.
The data assimilated through wavefront technology is useful not
only in evaluation of the patient it is also helpful in planning
the corrective surgery.
Background of Wavefront
The technology of wavefront has been present for some time now
and only of late has been utilized in corrective eye surgery. In
earlier times, wavefront has been utilized by astronomers for fine-tuning
the focus of the telescopes. This is used to fine tune a telescope
when its reflective mirror gets distorted similar to the cornea
in the eye. With the data obtained, irregularities are removed similar
to how wavefront technology is used to correct asymmetry in the
The Various Options
Wavefront technology has three major manufacturers in the United
States namely, Custom Vue (Visx S4 laser), CustomCornea (Alcon LADARVision
laser) and Zyoptix (Bausch & Lomb Technolas 217z laser). All
these manufacturers have specialized in the field to provide tailor
made solutions to every patient opting for the procedure.
Wavefront technology is a highly developed procedure that helps
in evaluating and providing customized solutions to patients undergoing
Lasik eye surgery. The use of wavefront technology has improved
the chances of success one can get by undergoing Lasik treatment.