What’s the Difference Between Custom LASIK and Regular LASIK?
LASIK surgery was a huge stride forward in ophthalmology, and the movement towards custom LASIK surgery, also known as wavefront or wavefront-guided LASIK, is providing even more steps forward. However, before any surgery it is important to understand your options in order to receive the proper care. So, what is the difference between custom LASIK and regular LASIK?
The major difference between the two in terms of technology is the way in which they measure vision problems. There are recognized low order aberrations (LOA) and higher-order aberrations (HOA). LOA are spherical and cylinder defects that cause such disorders as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatisms. These can be diagnosed by regular eye examinations and can be corrected efficiently with regular LASIK surgery. Wavefront LASIK surgery uses a 3D measurement of how the eye is actually processing the images in order to create a system to re-shape the cornea. This technology allows for a more personalized method to address not only the LOA but also the HOA you may be suffering from.
Although regular LASIK surgery has been able to address the amount that you can take in visually, but not the quality of those images in terms of contrast and detail. In fact, LASIK surgery is sometimes reported to cause problems that were not there before with these high order functions of the eye, causing such complications as glare, light halos and decreased night vision. Though there are still risks of complications from the custom LASIK surgeries, they are reported less frequently and there are more reports of improvement in the HOAs.
While the focus has been on the advantages of custom LASIK, there are reasons to consider conventional LASIK if it can address your visual problems adequately. For one thing, current wavefront-guided technology are extremely limited in their capability to under-correct, as would be required by those looking for a monovision correction. Another consideration is cost. Though your vision is precious, as all things in life, making corrections is subject to the ability to pay. Regular LASIK surgery tends to be less expensive. As always, discuss your options with your ophthalmologist before undergoing any procedures.