Higher vs. Lower Order Aberrations

March 12, 2012 — by Dr. Zimmer
Tags: Lower Order Aberrations Higher Order Aberrations Custom Lasik Wavefront

When it comes to vision problems, most people tend to think about them in terms of the basics: myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism. Those classifications are pretty common, but as LASIK professionals, we actually tend to think about other classifications of vision problems. We’re thinking about lower order aberrations and higher order aberrations.

You may not have heard of these designations before. We can talk to you about them in more depth during your visit to our Pittsburgh LASIK eye surgery center, but let’s cover these matters briefly right now.

Addressing Different Kinds of Vision Problems

Before we get down to defining these terms, rest assured that we have ways of dealing with both higher order aberrations and lower order aberrations. No need to worry about one kind being totally untouchable. Our LASIK surgeons and ophthalmologists serving Pittsburgh are well trained, and can address refractive errors as well as other common vision conditions.

What are lower order aberrations?

Lower order aberrations refer to those common vision problems/refractive errors we mentioned above: myopia, hyperopia, astigmatism. This refers to corneal imperfections and cornea shape issues that result in blurry or impaired vision. Eye care and laser eye surgery professionals have been able to address these issues for years.

How can lower order aberrations be treated?

Refractive surgery treatments such as Pittsburgh PRK and LASIK are both able to address these basic vision problems. When it comes to dealing with lower order aberrations, tried and true treatments still work as well: glasses and contacts are reliable and effective.

What are higher order aberrations?

High order aberrations refer to very minute imperfections in the cornea that can result in common vision conditions that accompany lower order aberrations. The following is a list of some common higher order aberrations:

  • Blurred or hazy vision
  • Poor night vision
  • Haloes, auras, or ghost images
  • Starbursts around lights
  • Double vision

How can higher order aberrations be treated?

The only way to address these higher order aberrations is through custom LASIK. Custom LASIK uses the latest mapping technologies to accurately reshape and reform the cornea. By doing this, many of the higher order aberrations mentioned above will be greatly reduced or eliminated.

Other Factors You Should Keep in Mind

Not only can custom LASIK and refractive surgery technology address higher order aberrations, it can also improve a patient’s results after LASIK surgery. People who undergo custom LASIK surgery are more likely to achieve 20/20 vision, and potentially even achieve better than 20/20 vision. There are of course no guarantees for perfection, but the chances of having even greater results are certainly there, which is why we’re proud to offer this to our patients.

Learn More About Laser Vision Correction and Eye Care

If you would like to learn more about your many options for enhance vision and greater eye health, be sure to contact our Cranberry Township refractive surgery and vision correction center today. The entire team here at our practice is eager to discuss these matters with you in greater detail.