Higher vs. Lower Order Aberrations

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Smiling GirlWhen it comes to getting clear vision, we can often achieve that by improving the shape of a patient’s cornea. By addressing both lower order aberrations as well as higher order aberrations, we can enhance a person’s vision a great deal, sometimes better than 20/20. You may not have heard of lower order aberrations or higher order aberrations before, which is why the team at our Williston, ND laser eye surgery would like to take a moment and go over both. This should give you a better idea about what vision issues you face and how advanced technology means greater results.

About Lower Order Aberrations

Lower order aberrations are better known as refractive errors. These are common vision problems that you may know better as nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), and astigmatism. These are the sorts of vision problems that our South Dakota ophthalmologists and eye care specialists treat on a routine basis.

Defining Refractive Errors

In case you’re unfamiliar with the terms above, let’s quickly define each:

  • Nearsightedness (Myopia) – Nearsightedness is a condition in which nearby objects can be seen clearly but objects that are far away appear out of focus. It’s caused by light focusing short of the retina.
  • Farsightedness (Hyperopia) – Farsightedness is a condition in which distant objects can be seen clearly but objects that are nearby appear out of focus. It’s caused by light focusing behind the retina.
  • Astigmatism – Astigmatism refers to a general blurriness of vision caused by uneven cornea shape. It often accompanies nearsightedness and farsightedness.

About Higher Order Aberrations

Higher order aberrations refer to minor imperfections on the corneal surface that can only be detected through the use of advanced laser vision correction technology. These are minute visual distortions that are distinct from lower order aberrations.

Symptoms of Higher Order Aberrations

Some common types of higher order aberrations that people experience include:

  • Poor night vision
  • Halos
  • Starbursts
  • Glare
  • Poor contrast sensitivity

Treating Lower Order Aberrations

Lower order aberrations can be treated through Williston, ND LASIK and other refractive surgery procedures. These will reshape the corneas to help focus light on the retinas properly. Non-surgical options such as corrective lenses have also proved effective for addressing lower order aberrations.

Treating Higher Order Aberrations

Higher order aberrations can only be addressed through custom LASIK surgery. This means advanced techniques like iLASIK, which use precise digital mapping to pinpoint the exact imperfections on the cornea so that these issues can be addressed. Only custom LASIK surgery can target both lower order aberrations and higher order aberrations.

Getting the Help That You Need

In order to restore your vision and to really enjoy all the sights that you’ve been missing, it’s imperative that you visit our practice and speak with one of our eye care experts. They will be able to help you make the best possible decision about your vision.