Health Beat

Health Beat: iDesign vision treatment

SAN DIEGO - Christa Bailey was tired of fumbling with contact lenses or glasses before taking her dog Baron for his morning walk.

"I work on the computer all day, so my vision has gotten progressively worse. I can't see far; I can't see the clock in the middle of the night," Bailey said.

Bailey chose the iDesign wavescan system to correct her vision. The FDA approved it 18 months ago and expanded approval to people with mixed astigmatism this year.

"It measures imperfections of the eye that are like a fingerprint that are unique to the person," said Dr. Sandy T. Feldman, a Lasik eye surgeon and the medical director of Clearview Eye and Laser Medical Center in California.

iDesign is adapted from technology used to shape and measure mirrors in the James Webb space telescope. It captures 1,257 data points on the eye, so surgeons can make precise corrections.

"The iDesign is like the brain, and it's going to drive the laser treatment. It tells the laser what to do, so we're customizing it based on your imperfections," Feldman said.

The iDesign system created a high-definition, 3D blueprint of Bailey's eyes for Feldman. She used that as a map to reshape Bailey's corneas in a 10-minute procedure, as Bailey's husband looked on. The immediate result?

"Oh my God, I can see," said Bailey.

In one clinical study, 92 percent of iDesign patients achieved at least 20/20 vision. iDesign works for nearsighted patients who are at least 18 years of age, who have a wider range of pupil sizes, and now patients with mixed astigmatism. The risks are the same as the ones for regular Lasik surgery.

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