Measurement Errors Adversely Affect Lasik
Anyone who wears prescription eye glasses or contact lenses has visited an eye doctor and been subjected to the tedious and sometimes frustrating process of being presented with varying powers of lenses and being asked to choose the lens that provides the greatest clarity while viewing blurry letters projected on the exam room wall. This highly subjective measurement technique has not substantially changed in hundreds of years.
The most concerning aspect of this process is the subjectivity. Many times patients become distracted, confused or simply don’t understand the test. In addition, the results can be altered by blinking, head position, excessive squinting and even how tired the patient might be during the exam. In addition to patient variability, doctors vary widely in their refracting skills. Performing a subjective refraction is as much an art as it is a science that takes years to refine and perfect.
Now imagine the collective stress and concern when such a process is used to determine the correct metrics to program into an excimer laser prior to performing vision correction surgery. I think we’ve got your attention. It’s been a problem that kept Dr. Will up at night.
The Solutions to Subjective Measurements
Wavefront Aberrometry – Objective and Precise
The CustomVue and iDesign eliminate the subjectivity of measuring refractive errors by using sophisticated wavefront technology pioneered by astrophysicists and NASA intent upon obtaining sharp images of celestial objects in distant space. It is the same wavefront technology that allows the Hubble telescope and its successor the James Webb telescope to deliver exquisite photographs of stars, nebula and entire galaxies that is used in the CustomVue and iDesign systems.
Wavefront testing does not require any subjective input from the patient thereby eliminating a significant source of measurement error in Lasik surgery. As a result, both doctor and patient can be more relaxed and experience much less stress patients provide spurious answers during the “better lens one or lens two” vision test.
Equally important is the fact that wavefront aberrometry is far more accurate and precise in defining the patient’s refractive error. Both the iDesign® and CustomVue® systems are 25 X more accurate than using standard lens measurement used for glasses and contact lenses. The new iDesign® incorporates 5 times more measurement lenslets in the process than the older CustomVue® system making it 5 times more accurate than the CustomVue system. Both methods deliver results that are truly orders of magnitude more precise than having a patient compare one lens to another.
If you are comfortable that you have provided perfect answers to your eye doctor during the “better lens one or lens two” testing process and are confident that the doctor performing the refraction is at the top of his or her game, then you should be happy having your Lasik surgery at a center that does not use wavefront aberrometry as a critical step in the surgical planning process. However, if those concerns keep you up at night, as they did Dr. Will, then you owe it to yourself to see how modern technology is actively bending the accuracy of the Lasik measurement process in your favor. Come visit us today and see modern wavefront aberrometry at work.