Laser Eye Surgery advances
Imagine laying beneath a machine that is about to use invisible lasers to permanently remove tissue from your eye and transform your vision from terrible to perfect within a few minutes.
It sounds crazy — like some far-fetched idea from a science fiction novel. But it’s far from it. In fact, this was the reality of Laser Eye Surgery twenty years ago, when it first hit the scene and took the vision correction field by storm.
Since then, the procedure has only gone from strength to strength, improving every year thanks to more powerful technology, stricter safety systems, deeper knowledge, and ever greater sums of data.
In this article, we’re going to discuss three of the biggest shifts in the field since those early days, and also touch on what the future may have in store. By doing this we hope to provide you with a clearer idea of just how technologically-advanced the world of Laser Eye Surgery is, and at the same time, effectively show you how what was once science fiction is now well and truly science fact.
Wavefront: Finer quality of vision
Prof Dan Reinstein explains why Wavefront is better than conventional Laser Eye Surgery
Quality of vision has long been measured according to what can be corrected by glasses. For example, if you have a prescription of -4.25, that means you have 4 and 1/4 diopters of nearsightedness and need the corresponding lens to correct it.
But quality of vision can not be completely assessed by this measurement alone. A glasses prescription only accounts for 90 to 95 percent of a refractive error, leaving a small percentage uncorrected. Wavefront is an advanced measurement system that maps these additional irregularities, correcting beyond the standard glasses prescription and enhancing the finer aspects of vision.
ReLEx SMILE: A quicker and less invasive procedure
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A video of ReLEx SMILE being performed in real time at London Vision Clinic.
ReLEx SMILE is arguably one of the most significant advancements in Laser Eye Surgery to date. Before SMILE, Laser Eye Surgery required the creation of a corneal flap to access and reshape the permanent tissue underneath.
As this can now be done with a new method that utilises the state-of-the-art Carl Zeiss VisuMax laser, Laser Eye Surgery has been opened up to patients who were once ineligible, including those with very high prescriptions, contact lens intolerance, drier eyes, and thinner corneas.
Because SMILE is a minimally invasive procedure, the patient experience is also greatly improved. The procedure takes just 3 minutes for each eye and involves no switching between instruments. And once it’s completed, there’s less risk of dry eye compared with lasik and patients can be back to their normal routine — even doing sports — quicker than ever before.
Laser Blended Vision: The end of reading glasses
Expert laser eye surgeon Prof Reinstein on the revolutionary presbyopia treatment, Laser Blended Vision
One of the last significant hurdles for vision correction was overcoming ‘presbyopia’, i.e. the need for reading glasses as you get older. Even today, people still think it’s impossible to defy mother nature and retain youthful vision. But since 2005, thousands of patients have been doing just that thanks to Laser Blended Vision.
The technique, pioneered by Prof Dan Reinstein, works by adjusting each eye to work better either up close or at a distance. The brain adapts to this and combines the two perspectives to create one crisp image, allowing for much greater depth of vision and visual acuity than traditional methods like monovision.
The best thing about Laser Blended Vision is that it’s suitable for 97 percent of people and can significantly reduce, and in many cases completely eliminate, the need for wearing reading glasses, bifocals, or varifocal lenses.
With the biggest obstacles already overcome, Laser Eye Surgery will continue to make incremental improvements on its already impressive offering. Expanding the range of suitable candidates, decreasing the level of risk, and improving patient outcomes even further.
Find out more about one of the treatments above by contacting one of our friendly clinic coordinators today.