First, there was LASIK. It was a breakthrough in vision correction technology, offering patients the possibility of seeing the world as clearly as they could with their glasses or contact lenses but without those visual aids. Not everyone achieved those results, but most did. LASIK had a remarkable record of safety, success, and patient satisfaction.
Then, with the introduction of wavefront mapping technology, came custom LASIK. While conventional LASIK could produce visual corrections equal to those possible with glasses and contact lenses, it could do no better. With custom LASIK, however, patients had the possibility of achieving crisper, clearer vision than was ever before possible with any means of vision correction. This was because wavefront mapping technology made it possible for LASIK to correct not only lower order aberrations - basic visual errors such as myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism - but also higher order aberrations.
Higher order aberrations constitute the tiny, once imperceptible imperfections in the shape of the cornea that are unique to each individual eye. These imperfections are beyond the measurement of traditional ophthalmological tools and cannot be corrected by conventional eyeglasses, contact lenses, or LASIK. With custom LASIK, however, these errors can be corrected, improving the chances of visual independence while reducing the risk of complications associated with LASIK.
Higher vs. lower order aberrations is one of the topics discussed during consultations at Peña Eye Institute, when patients are evaluated for their candidacy for custom LASIK. If you would like to find out whether you are a good candidate for custom LASIK, please visit Peña Eye Institute today.
What Are the Differences between Lower and Higher Order Aberrations?
Refractive errors are the result of flaws in the shape of your cornea. Ideally, your cornea would be smooth and precise in its curvature. However, most corneas are imperfect, and many are so imperfect that they require vision correction, whether in the form of glasses, contact lenses, or refractive surgery such as LASIK.
Lower order aberrations - myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism - are common and generally simple to diagnose and correct. Until about a decade ago, lower order aberrations were the only visual errors that could be precisely measured and treated.
On the other hand, higher order aberrations are minute and, without wavefront technology, impossible to diagnose and measure. These are the flaws that compromise the quality of vision, causing it to be less precise and vivid than it would otherwise be. In theory, a person could have 20/20 vision and still have less than high-quality eyesight due to higher order aberrations.
Using wavefront mapping technology, however, Dr. Raul A. Peña is able to create a remarkably detailed map of each eye. He then uses this map to guide the excimer laser during LASIK surgery to correct even the smallest flaws in the shape of the cornea, resulting in a truly customized procedure.
Learn More about Higher vs. Lower Order Aberrations
To learn more about higher vs. lower order aberrations and how both can be corrected through custom LASIK, please contact Peña Eye Institute today.