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Moorfields Private Blog

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    What is wavefront guided treatment?

    Written by Mr Mark Wilkins, Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon
    • Wavefront technology is used to measure and treat the optics of the eye
    • Wavefront guided treatment is a reliable and highly effective solution


    You may not have heard of wavefront technology before - it is a clever innovation that now enables us to offer a vastly improved service for anyone needing vision correction. Wavefront technology is used to measure and treat the optics of the eye. It can measure the prescription that is corrected with glasses and, more importantly, the subtle imperfections that glasses do not correct.

    Having a wavefront scan takes just a few seconds. There is no contact with the eye, so the test is a bit like having a photograph taken. Most wavefront scanners work by bouncing a beam of non-visible light off the back of the eye. The reflected light is analysed, giving an optical map of the focusing properties of your eye. This information is then used to customise the laser treatment for the eye that has been scanned.

    Modern laser systems used in vision correction all create a more natural optical shape than lasers in the 1990s. While most patients experience some light scatter side effects after treatment, these resolve within a few weeks, and persisting problem are unusual. Worries about laser eye surgery and night vision are largely a thing of the past.

    Wavefront guided treatments come into their own if you have a larger amount of focusing irregularity than normal. At Moorfields Private, we often see patients who have an irregular focus. This may be due to previous surgery.

    If you do have light scatter problems after laser vision correction with an older laser system, we may well be able to help you. Irregular focus is also common after contact lens related infection, and wavefront guided treatment can be very helpful in both regularising your focus and partially removing any scarring. Increasingly, we are also using wavefront guided treatment in combination with a procedure called corneal collagen cross-linking to help improve visual quality in early stage Keratoconus.


    Learn more about Keratoconus here:

    Although the jury is out on whether wavefront guided treatment is necessary for routine vision correction, every patient has wavefront scanning as part of our pre-treatment testing at Moorfields Private. This is because the numbers derived from the wavefront scan are a useful cross-check on our other methods of determining your spectacle prescription accurately.

    For many patients, wavefront guided treatment is a reliable and highly effective solution. But it is less useful if you have difficulty relaxing your focus during testing or if you have a small pupil. We watch out for this, and tailor our approach to treatment programming to suit your eyes. Whatever method suits you best, we will gather all the information and ensure that no stone is left unturned in programming your laser eye treatment to obtain the best result.


    Or speak to the New Patient Enquiry Team:
    0800 328 3421



    Mr Mark Wilkins

    Written by Mr Mark Wilkins

    Consultant Ophthalmic Surgeon