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Wavefront and Higher-Order Aberrations


Previously, with conventional methods of eye examinations, only lower-order vision errors could be diagnosed and treated. Higher-order aberrations such as coma, trefoil, and spherical aberration were largely ignored by eye care professionals because their impact on vision was believed at the time to be slight and because no feasible means existed to precisely identify or correct them.
Now that higher-order aberrations can be accurately defined by wavefront technology and corrected by new kinds of spectacles, contact lenses, intraocular lenses, and refractive surgery (adaptive optics), they have become more important factors in eye examinations.
In the past, these higher-order aberrations received even more attention because they were identified as sometimes serious side effects of refractive surgery, showing up as halos, ghosts, and a host of other debilitating vision symptoms. Newer wavefront-guided lasers used in vision correction surgery, however, now have been shown to have the ability to reduce certain higher-order aberrations, which potentially can improve low light image quality during activities such as driving at night.





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