Hattiesburg Eye Clinic Patients Enjoy Better Vision
During her last vision check-up, Barbara Harvey’s ophthalmologist, Dr. Todd Williamson of Hattiesburg Eye Clinic (HEC), told her it was time to correct the cataracts in her eyes they had been monitoring for some time.
“I asked him when it could be done and he said they could start on one eye that afternoon if I was ready,” says Harvey. She had the procedure performed on her left eye later that day and on her right eye a week later.
The real story for Harvey, though, wasn’t the speed in undergoing the sight-correcting surgery, but the outcome. Having worn corrective lenses since grade school, Harvey – now in her seventies – says she hasn’t seen this well since her childhood.
“I’m just amazed at what I can see now without glasses or contacts,” says Harvey.
Many of HEC vision patients are realizing excellent outcomes like Harvey’s thanks to a new diagnostic tool HEC physicians call the 3-D Wave. According to Dr. Todd Williamson, the 3-D Wave provides more measurement data than the seven machines the clinic previously used before installing the new machine six months ago – and it performs the measurements in a fraction of the time.
“If you added all the time needed to process patients with our previous machines, it was anywhere from ten to thirty minutes,” says Dr. Williamson. “With the 3-D Wave we can take more than fourteen different measurements in about ten seconds per eye.”
HEC is the first clinic in this area to use the 3-D Wave, also known as OPD-Scan III. The 3-D Wave actually maps the entire front of the eye, capturing multiple refractions (the ability of the eye to bend light so that an image can be focused on the retina) of a patient’s eyes through various pupil sizes. It can measure the optical path – the path light takes to travel through the eye – and any distortions that may occur along that path. The 3-D Wave also performs corneal topography, which creates a three-dimensional map of the cornea.
These and other measurements are allowing HEC physicians to fine-tune the corrective options for patients across a wide array of conditions, says Dr. David Richardson.
“We’re able now to compare the anatomical axis of the eye – including the specific shape of the cornea – with its visual axis, or the way light enters the eye,” says Dr. Richardson. “We can now take all these factors into account, including small aberrations in the cornea, in order to determine the best intraocular lens implant, like Tecnis or Toric multifocal , for our patients.”
With the information these various precise measurements can provide at hand, physicians can determine very precise prescriptions for glasses and contact lenses. They can also determine a separate prescription for night vision to complement a day vision prescription.
“What many people don’t realize is that their vision can vary greatly between daytime and nighttime,” says Dr. Todd Williamson. “Because of the measurements the 3-D Wave can perform on the pupils we’re able to distinguish this difference and prescribe a different lens for nighttime.”
For those considering surgeries such as Lasik or Photorefractive Keratotomy (PRK) to correct refraction problems, data from the 3-D Wave can help with that decision. As it maps the cornea, the 3-D Wave can reveal any distortions or other aberrations that help physicians determine whether an individual is a good candidate for these surgeries.
Perhaps the most dramatic advances using the 3-D Wave have been in the area of intraocular lenses, also known as IOL, an artificial lens implanted surgically in the eye. Its most common use is for the correction of cataracts, as in Harvey’s case, in which the eye’s damaged natural lens is removed and replaced with the IOL.
While IOLs have been in use for several years, recent advances have given physicians more choices to match the individual patient’s vision for the best result. Dr. Stoney Williamson says the measurements taken by the 3-D Wave help fine-tune that choice.
“There are more choices than ever with IOLs. Using the information from the 3-D Wave’s measurements, we can narrow down those choices and even customize to a certain extent, so that we are as close to perfect vision as we can get,” says Dr. Williamson.
Such has been the case with Barbara Harvey. The information provided by 3-D Wave helped Dr. Williamson choose the best IOL for her vision. As a result, Harvey doesn’t wear glasses or contacts for the first time in decades.
“I didn’t have the first pain or discomfort with this experience,” says Harvey. “All I’ve experienced is a little dryness, but that should return to normal in a few months. I’m just thrilled and thankful to God for being able to make this decision.”
This is the kind of outcome Doctors Williamson, Richardson and Williamson desired when they implemented the new technology of the 3-D Wave.
“The 3-D Wave is one of the most revolutionary machines I’ve encountered in my career,” says Dr. Richardson. “Not only does it give us phenomenal information that can positively affect the patient’s outcome, it also helps us show and explain to patients what is really going on with their eyes.”
With it’s advanced measurement systems, all three physicians at HEC believe the 3-D Wave will continue to lead to better sight – and happier results – for their vision patients.