The eye is a complex and unique organ, which unfortunately means that there are many things that can go wrong with your vision. Most people are familiar with what we call “lower order aberrations,” such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism, but fewer realize that “higher order aberrations,” more nuanced distortions in ocular tissue, can also play a major role in their eyesight. At Broberg Eye Care, we provide custom wavefront LASIK to better understand and treat all types of ocular aberrations so our patients can enjoy healthy, clear vision. Read on to learn more about higher vs. lower order aberrations and how we can correct these at our convenient Austin ophthalmological practice.

What Are Lower Order Aberrations?

Lower order aberrations are some of the most common causes of vision problems, making up about 85 percent of all cases. These include:

  • Myopia. Also called nearsightedness, this occurs when the eye is too long and cornea bulges outward too far. This makes eyesight sharper for closer objects while blurring or distorting distance vision.
  • Hyperopia. This is the exact opposite of myopia, commonly referred to as farsightedness. Patients with hyperopia have shorter eyeballs and flatter corneas, making objects at a distance easier to see than those in close range.
  • Astigmatism. When the corneas are abnormally shaped more like a football than a round shape, astigmatism occurs. This condition causes hazy or blurred vision at multiple distances. The majority of people have some degree of astigmatism, but this condition becomes a problem when it interferes with daily activities. Astigmatism can occur along with myopia and hyperopia.

What Are Higher Order Aberrations?

Higher order aberrations are more nuanced or specific distortions with the eye’s structure. These can result from ocular misshapenness, scar tissue, traumatic injury, disease, complications from surgery, or more serious ophthalmological conditions, such as cataracts. There are over 60 types of higher order aberrations. In general, these conditions can cause symptoms such as:

  • Dyplopia (double vision)
  • Contrast issues
  • Glare
  • Starbursts
  • Halos
  • Limited night vision
  • “Ghost” images
  • Smeared eyesight

Typically, patients with larger pupils are more vulnerable to higher order aberrations. Since they are so specific, these conditions can be more difficult to diagnose and treat. Patients may also experience lower order and higher order aberrations simultaneously.

How Wavefront LASIK Can Help

Dr. Broberg and our ophthalmological team can provide precise treatment for lower order and higher order aberrations using wavefront LASIK. During this procedure, we will plan your refractive error surgery with an aberrometer. This is a device that captures a detailed model of your eye by reflecting light off of it. With more nuanced data about your ocular condition, your ophthalmological surgeon can accurately and effectively modify your ocular shape during LASIK. We can simply transfer the map the aberrometer created to the computerized laser system for surgery. In addition to allowing us to repair higher order aberrations for even sharper eyesight, the wavefront method reduces your risk for LASIK complications, which can sometimes cause glare, halos, dyplopia, and other distortions. For these reasons, we highly recommend wavefront LASIK to all of our patients.

Learn More about Wavefront LASIK

This advanced surgical technique can correct all types of ocular aberrations so you can enjoy outstanding eyesight. To learn more about wavefront LASIK or schedule a consultation, please contact Broberg Eye Care today.