What Is Wavefront?

Professor Dan Reinstein – “The wavefront of an eye describes the optical imperfections of the optics of the eye which cannot be corrected by glasses.  In other words you can put on a pair of glasses, I can put up a pair of glasses and we will not see the same.

“I might see sharper than you because my optics are better; like having a Zeiss lens on your camera or a plastic lens on a box camera at the supermarket.  You take lots of wedding pictures unless you put the pictures side by side you may not notice the quality of one picture is much-much better and that is because the lens quality is better.

“So, we are using wavefront measurements to measure the quality of the optics of a particular eye and we use that information to try and improve upon what glasses would have done alone.”

Wavefront Explained Further…

This measures the unique imperfections of the surface of your eye, called ‘higher order aberrations’. These irregularities of your cornea and optical system affect the finer quality aspects of your vision, beyond the normal refractive errors of short-sightedness, long-sightedness, and astigmatism.

A wavefront aberrometer records data from several spots on the surface of your cornea. This produces a map of the imperfections on the surface of your cornea, as well as a visual system analysis that we feed into the laser to achieve better results. The laser must be able to receive these measurements and then apply them directly onto the cornea.

Different analysers measure different numbers of spots, ranging from as low as 60 to as high as 650. Our laser eye surgeons choose the Carl ZeissWASCA wavefront aberrometer, which has the highest resolution on the market.

A low-resolution analyser is like a watercolour painting. It provides a general impression of the landscape. It measures just a few points and then uses a mathematical formula to work out an approximate image of the rest.

A high-resolution analyser will give as sharp a picture as a photograph. It records much more data, giving a more accurate map of the number and location of imperfections. This means the surgeon can plan your treatment precisely.Wavefront treatment has received a lot of publicity.

Some clinics promote wavefront as if it could cure any imperfections – in reality, it simply provides another method of measuring your eyes.

Professor Dan Reinstein describes the meaning of wavefront.

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My prescription was relatively small pre-op so I wasn’t expecting a huge improvement. I’m definitely happy with the level of vision now and I’m very pleased with the level of comfort regarding dry eyes just 1 month post op.– James Chancellor


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