The mission of Clear Advantage is to provide our patients with the most technologically advanced vision correction options in New England. Our highly experienced surgical staff is dedicated to educating patients on a variety of refractive procedures including LASIK, PRK, Visian ICL, and Bladeless technologies.
Centrally located in Portsmouth, NH, and just one hour from Boston, MA, Manchester, NH and Portland, ME, Clear Advantage is easily accessible. Located just two buildings away from Portsmouth Regional Hospital, our location at 155 Borthwick Avenue is in the heart of the seacoast medical community and home to some of the top medical professionals in the world.
Understanding Your Vision
Clear vision is achieved when light rays are focused and processed by the many parts of the eye. Light travels from an object and enters the eyes through the cornea, which is the transparent outer covering at the front of the eye. The cornea helps focus, or “refract” the light, which then passes into the interior of the eye through the pupil. The iris, or color portion of your eye, opens and closes — like a camera shutter — making the pupil larger at night to allow more light in, and smaller in sunlight to decrease brightness. Next, the light passes through the lens of the eye, which changes shape to focus the light onto the retina at the back of the eye.
When looking at nearby objects, more focusing strength is required in order for the image to remain clear. The lens increases focusing strength by becoming more convex in shape, a process called accommodation. All of the eye’s parts must be correctly tuned for images to be clearly focused on the retina. The eye’s shape is also important in determining clear vision. If the eye is either too long (myopic), or too short (hyperopic), light rays are not focused properly on the retina. If the eye is unevenly shaped (astigmatism), images will also be blurry.
- Nearsighted (myopia) – images are blurred at a distance and are clearer at close ranges. Eye is longer and the cornea is steep.
- Farsighted (hyperopia) – images tend to be blurred at all ranges, but distance vision is the clearest. Eye is shorter and the cornea is flat.
- Astigmatism (can be combined with myopia or hyperopia) – blurred images at all ranges. Eye is shaped more like a football than a basketball.
- Presbyopia (reading glasses) – generally occurs over the age of 40 as the lens of the eye gets thicker and cannot bend to focus on near tasks.
Once the surgeon has determined that you a candidate for laser vision correction, you can often schedule your procedure within the same week! Surgical appointments are available every Thursday from 9:00am to 5:00pm and one Friday per month from 8:30am to 3:30pm.
If you schedule surgery:
- You will be at our office for approximately one hour. Your actual procedure is only about 15 minutes.
- You will need someone to give you a ride home from our office after surgery. Our staff will be happy to assist you with arranging a date and time that best accommodates your needs.
- We will schedule a follow-up appointment to see you the day after the procedure.
- There is almost no recovery time with LASIK. You should be able to drive yourself to the 1-day appointment. Most of our patients return to work and normal activities the same day!
- After your 1-day appointment, you will be seen at the 1-week, 1-month, 3-month and 1-year marks. We have established close relationships with nearly 500 optometrists in the New England area. So your follow-up appointments can be made with your regular eye doctor at no extra charge!
The LASIK Process – Two Easy Steps… One Phenomenal Outcome!
Step One – Exposing the Cornea
The first step in vision correction is to create a thin flap in the cornea. In order to correct vision, it is necessary to expose the corneal layer beneath the surface, called the stroma. This is where the excimer laser will do its work in reshaping the cornea with a LASIK, Advanced LASIK or Customized LASIK treatment.
Femtosecond Bladefree Laser: Use of the DaVinci femtosecond laser during vision correction increases safety and precision. A femtosecond is a quadrillionth of a second, and this is the speed of each DaVinci laser pulse. Rather than having a traditionally used blade cut the corneal flap, the DaVinci uses a fast, pulsed laser to create many microscopic bubbles just below the corneal surface. The laser moves back and forth over the designated treatment area on the eye, and creates a round, shallow area of these tiny bubbles. Then the surgeon uses a special instrument to gently lift that tissue and fold it back out of the way.
PRK: If the cornea is too thin for LASIK or if you have undergone LASIK previously and have a thinner residual cornea, then PRK may be an option presented during your evaluation. During PRK, the cornea’s epithelial (outer) layer is removed using a special solution to expose the area, and no flap is created. For both PRK and LASIK, the excimer laser then sculpts the stromal layer of the cornea to correct your refractive error. Though PRK recovery takes a bit longer than recovery from methods utilizing flap creation, PRK is still commonly used worldwide.
Step Two – Reshaping the Cornea
During the evaluation, our doctor will calculate the treatment option that will offer you the best visual results. This is determined by your prescription, the thickness of your cornea, your astigmatism, and the amount of aberrations recorded during your evaluation.
Advanced LASIK with the Mel80 System by Zeiss
Clear Advantage is the first and only practice in New England offering advanced LASIK treatments using the ultra-precise Zeiss Mel80 system. As of August 2006, this was the latest laser to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The MEL80™ is a fifth generation laser and one of the fastest lasers in the world.
The speed of the Mel80 shortens the treatment time, and thus shortens exposure time which helps enable a faster visual recovery. The MEL80™ also has a new, ultrafast eye tracker. As a result, this tool for all-laser LASIK is greatly beneficial for our patients, and we are proud to offer such cutting-edge technology.
The Evaluation Process
The first step to learning about vision correction options and what option may be best for you, is to schedule a comprehensive evaluation with our office.
- Evaluations are offered Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and most Fridays beginning as early as 7:30 a.m. and as late as 5:00 p.m.
- The evaluation should take no longer than an hour and a half, depending on your questions and any additional testing that may be required.
- The evaluation is complimentary. Your evaluation can be scheduled by contacting our office at 603-501-5000, or you can schedule your evaluation directly through our website at www.ClearAdvantageLaser.com.
Because contact lenses alter the shape of the cornea, preventing an accurate measurement, it is important that you do not wear soft contact lenses for five days prior to surgery; toric lenses, or astigmatism correcting lenses, should not be worn for 10 days before surgery; and hard contact lenses should not be worn for eight weeks prior to the evaluation AND prior to surgery. For example, if you have an evaluation but do not plan to have surgery for a few months, it is safe to put your contact lenses back in after the evaluation, as long as they are removed again before surgery for the same amount of time. If you wear toric or hard lenses, we also offer mini-LASIK evaluations. Although a full evaluation will still be required, a 20 minute mini-evaluation will allow us to take preliminary measurements to better determine the likeliness of your candidacy for vision correction. Call our office for details.
Unlike other LASIK practices, we don’t have a “sliding scale” of costs, adding costs to your procedure for follow-ups, dry-eye treatments or enhancements. The price you pay is for the procedure and all follow up care. We also offer:
- INSURANCE DISCOUNTS – Insurance does not “cover” the cost of corrective vision services, but we are on contract with most of the major vision and medical plans to offer discounts. Here’s a small list of who we currently offer discounts through. Although we do our best to keep this list updated, insurance plans are constantly changing. Please call us if you have an insurance plan not listed:
Abenity, Aetna, Anthem, Avesis, Block Vision, Blue 365, Blue Cross, Blue View, Blue Vision, Careington, Chard Snyder, Cigna, Coast to Coast, Cole, Davis, Delta Dental, EyeBenefits, EyeMed, Family Members, Federal Blue Cross, GMAC-ResCap, Harvard Pilgrim, Humana, Matthew Thornton, MVP, NRA, NVA, NYS – NY State, Opticare, Optum Health & Health Allies, Preferred Vision Care, Premier Lasik Network, Principal, Solstice, Spectera, Surency Vision, Tufts, United Healthcare, VIPA, and VSP.
- INTEREST FREE AND LOW PAYMENT PLANS – We work with Care Credit and GreenSky for interest free fiancing and low payment plans to make your procedure affordable! Best of all, you can find out if you are approved for financing WITHOUT EFFECTING YOUR CREDIT! Simply go to https://www.greensky.com/provider/prequal/clearadvantage and find out if you qualify for any one of a number of low monthly payments – risk free!
- FAMILY DISCOUNTS – Family members receive a 15% discount off corrective vision services within one-year.
- FLEXIBLE SPENDING ACCOUNTS (FSA) –Many employers offer a flexible spending or cafeteria plan that sets aside pre-tax dollars from your paycheck for medical expenses not covered by insurance. For most companies’ plans, LASIK is a qualified procedure that is eligible for reimbursement.
- FREE ENHANCEMENTS– Although unlikely, should you require an enhancement from LASIK or Advanced LASIK procedures, you will be comforted to know that we don’t have additional costs for enhancements. They are free for one year.
- FOLLOW UP CARE WITH YOUR OWN EYE DOCTOR – We have relationships with over 480 optometrists in the New England area. If you would prefer to utilize your current eye doctor for follow-up care after surgery, we would be happy to communicate your pre and post-operative results with your doctor. These follow up visits are generally at no charge to you.
The Visian ICL (Implantable Collamer Lens) and Toric Visian ICL
The latest in eye surgery is the Visian Implantable Contact Lens or ICL, which was originally designed for patients who were not candidates for LASIK surgery due to high myopic (nearsighted) prescriptions. But the success of the Visian ICL implant has resulted in an increased interest from candidates who are also considered good choices for LASIK.
The Visian ICL is an Implantable Collamer Lens that works with the eye to correct patients with moderate to severe nearsightedness. Unlike traditional contact lenses that go on the surface of the eye, the Visian ICL is positioned inside the eye between the iris and the natural lens where it stays indefinitely. With a satisfaction rate of over 99 percent many of our patients choose the Visian ICL to get the freedom from their contact lenses and glasses that they’ve always desired. The Visian ICL is the procedure of choice for patients who need and expect higher quality results in performance and safety. In fact, the U.S. Military has embraced the Visian ICL because of the reliable visual clarity it achieves. Much like the recovery with laser vision procedures like LASIK, results are very fast with the Visian ICL.
Schedule your evaluation online or find out more about us at: www.ClearAdvantageLaser.com.
Read our Reviews
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