Higher vs. Lower Order Aberrations: Can You See the Difference?

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Here at Maple Eye and Laser Center, we take vision correction very seriously. We are one of the leading laser eye surgery and vision care centers in the White Plains area, offering advanced options for improving eyesight and enhancing total wellness in the process.

We are proud to offer state-of-the-art custom LASIK surgery, which is a far more advanced version of the surgery than previously available. Part of the reason we offer custom LASIK has to do with the treatment of lower order aberrations and higher order aberrations. Since many patients are not aware of what these terms mean, let's go over the basics.

About Lower Order Aberrations

Lower order aberrations are the common kinds of refractive errors that many people experience to varying degrees. You may know lower order aberrations better by the following terms:

Myopia (Nearsightedness)
Hyperopia (Farsightedness)
Astigmatism
These lower order aberrations are the result of imperfections in the shape of the cornea. A poorly shaped cornea causes light to pass through the eyes at poor angles, which means that the light does not focus properly on the retina, the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye that's crucial for good vision.

Common Treatments for Lower Order Aberrations

Lower order aberrations can be treated in a variety of ways. The most common options include corrective lenses (i.e., prescription glasses and contacts) and refractive surgery (e.g., LASIK, PRK, LASEK).

About Higher Order Aberrations

Higher order aberrations refer to more minute imperfections in the cornea. These smaller issues with corneal contour can lead ti more acute kinds of vision problems, including:

Glare
Halos
Starbursts
Poor contrast sensitivity
Poor night vision

Can Higher Order Aberrations Be Treated?

These kinds of vision issues are more difficult to treat with corrective lenses and traditional refractive procedures. Thankfully there have been major strides in laser vision technology that make treatment of higher order aberrations possible.

Wavefront Digital Mapping Technology: A Step Forward

Wavefront digital mapping is what makes the treatment of higher order aberrations possible. Wavefront digital technology takes a three-dimensional digital scan of the cornea, and is able to identify very small imperfections that result in higher order aberrations. The digital map also measures lower order aberrations.

This data is what has led to the advent of modern custom LASIK, a computer-guided form of LASIK that is only possible thanks to the wavefront map.

The Custom LASIK Difference

The LASIK of the past was only able to treat lower order aberrations with routine effectiveness. That's all different today. Thanks to digital scanning and mapping, LASIK surgeons are now able to treat lower order and higher order aberrations.

What Custom LASIK Means for Patients Today

In essence, custom LASIK means that LASIK patients are able to see clearer and crisper than LASIK patients of the past. It's a great step forward into a better, brighter, and, yes, clearer world.

As more and more advanced are made in the field of eye care, we will strive to remain at the forefront. It means a lot to our patients, so it means a lot to us.

Contact Maple Eye and Laser Center

If you would like more information about laser vision correction and other advanced treatments for serious vision issues, be sure to contact our laser vision correction center today. The team at Maple Eye and Laser Center is here to address your needs as they arise.