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Standard vs. Custom Wavefront Laser Treatment

  • Standard/Custom WaveFront
  • Flap/Flapless
  • Microkeratome/Intralase

Aside from the expertise of your surgeon, nothing will determine the clarity of your vision more than the laser technology used in your treatment. And, no matter where you have your procedure, there are only two types of treatments - those based on phoropter data and those based on wavefront data.

Standard phoropter-based treatments - The phoropter is familiar to anyone who wears glasses or contacts. It is the instrument that you look though while the doctor asks you all of those "Which is better, one or two?" type of questions. The test determines your eyeglass prescription which is then entered into the laser as the basis of your treatment. One of the weaknesses of the phoropter test is its subjective nature. You have to look out at the eye chart and decide which choice is better in order to complete the test, and often the choices appear quite similar. Laser treatments based on phoropter data are referred to as "standard" or "conventional" treatments.

Custom wavefront-guided treatments - The newest and best type of treatment is the "wavefront-guided" or "custom" treatment. This technology has been available in the United States since 2003. The first step in a wavefront-guided treatment is to scan the eye with a wavefront analyzer. Sophisticated mathematical formulas are then used to convert the raw wavefront data into a complex three dimensional map of the distortion in the eye. These maps are often likened to "fingerprints of the vision", because each eye's map is unique. One advantage of using wavefront data is that no subjective interpretation is required from the patient. You just look at a little red light and the machine scans your eye.

When a wavefront map guides your laser treatment, your eye receives an individualized pattern of laser spots that is fine-tuned to the unique variations in your map. Numerous published studies, as well as our own internal data, have shown that customized, wavefront-guided treatments produce superior vision - greater clarity, better night vision, and enhanced ability to see contrasts between lights and darks. Therefore, these treatments are an essential component of premium laser vision correction.

Q Vision's Take

Most patients who choose a standard treatment are quite happy with their vision. Therefore, you might consider a standard treatment if affordability is your primary concern. However, if you view your treatment as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to obtain the best possible vision, then a customized, wavefront-guided treatment is the clear choice.

Standard Treatment Custom Wavefront Treatment

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