Understanding the Visual Errors Corrected by LASIK Surgery

Patients who depend on glasses and contact lenses often wonder if their visual errors can be corrected with LASIK surgery. Traditional LASIK can treat the most common visual errors, known as lower-order aberrations. These include myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism (irregular shaping of the cornea). Custom wavefront LASIK can also treat higher-order aberrations, which are tiny imperfections in the cornea that can cause visual distortions. With advanced custom wavefront technology, visual errors corrected by LASIK at our Baltimore-area offices can now include both higher- and lower-order aberrations. All methods of laser vision correction surgery have the same goal: to change the shape of the cornea, allowing the patient to see clearly without visual aids. If you suffer from poor vision and would like to learn more about which type of LASIK is right for you, please contact our practice and make an appointment with Dr. Sonny Goel.

Lower-order Aberrations

A patient with naturally clear vision has uniform, spherical corneas. Lower-order aberrations affect the shaping of the cornea in different ways, all of which can be treated by traditional LASIK surgery.

When a patient's cornea is excessively steep, the light that passes through it is focused in front of the retina and results in nearsightedness. LASIK will remove excess corneal tissue, which will flatten the cornea. This means light will be focused on the center of the retina and helps the patient achieve clearer vision.

Farsightedness, essentially the opposite of nearsightedness, is characterized by flatter corneas that focus light behind the retina. LASIK can make the cornea steeper and allow light that passes through the front of the eye to be properly focused on the center of the retina.

Astigmatism is a condition where the corneal tissue is oddly shaped or asymmetrical, which distorts light as it passes through and results in blurring. LASIK can flatten or steepen the areas of the cornea that need correcting, improving the overall clarity of the patient's vision.

Higher-order Aberrations

Higher-order aberrations are tiny imperfections in the cornea, which can greatly affect the sharpness and quality of a person's vision. Custom wavefront LASIK creates a detailed digital map of the eye and allows for the correction of these small structural abnormalities. Higher-order aberrations create visual errors which commonly include:

  • Poor night vision

  • Generally blurry vision

  • Halos

  • Starburst patterns

  • Poor contrast sensitivity

  • Double vision

By correcting these concerns, custom wavefront LASIK is able to greatly improve a patient's eyesight and quality of life. Dr. Goel can even use a technique called wavefront-optimized LASIK that is designed to prevent higher-order aberrations from developing as a side effect from your surgery.

Make a LASIK Surgery Appointment

Advancements in refractive surgery mean more and more patients can achieve crisp, clear vision and live their life free of glasses and contacts. No matter what type of visual errors you suffer from, Dr. Goel can find a surgical solution for you. If you would like to learn more about your treatment options, please contact our office to schedule a consultation.