There is new hope when it comes to night vision problems, which can occur naturally or be a side effect of vision correction surgery. Studies show that custom LASIK, a more precise and advanced form of traditional LASIK, can reverse night vision problems.
In fact, a Food and Drug Administration trial found that the majority of patients who had custom LASIK found that their night vision was better after surgery than it was when they wore glasses or contacts before surgery.
Dr. John Belardo of Advanced Laser and Cataract Center in Oklahoma City regularly performs custom LASIK to improve night vision using a bladeless LASIK technique that takes advantage of the precision attainable in an all-laser treatment.
LASIK vs. Custom LASIK
Both traditional LASIK and custom LASIK (also known as wavefront LASIK) reshape the cornea to improve vision. In traditional LASIK, the slope of the cornea is adjusted to improve how your eyes focus. The process involves either making the cornea flatter or increasing the slope of the cornea. But this process only treats nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism, conditions that are referred to as lower order aberrations. Traditional LASIK cannot treat other vision issues, called higher order aberrations, such as night vision.
In addition, in some cases, traditional LASIK may actually introduce night vision problems by increasing “spherical aberration” in the cornea, particularly if an extreme correction is necessary. The greater amount of correction, the greater the chance of causing spherical aberration, and its related night vision problems.
Custom LASIK is less likely to introduce spherical aberrations and, in fact, can correct the pre-existing spherical aberrations a patient has before surgery. This is because custom LASIK goes beyond altering just the slope of the cornea. Custom LASIK uses 3D digital mapping to scan the cornea and pinpoint even minute corneal imperfections. This precise mapping allows precise control of the computer-guided laser and the ability to correct both lower order and higher order aberrations.
Custom LASIK not only corrects the slope of the cornea, it also corrects corneal imperfections, such as those that cause night vision problems. Studies have shown that not only are night vision problems less likely with custom LASIK, but that some patients actually have better night vision than they had before their eye surgery.
Though both traditional and custom LASIK can introduce aberrations due to the artificial changes made in the natural shape of the eye surface, custom LASIK has been shown to be less likely to induce higher order aberrations than traditional LASIK.
What to Consider
If you suffer from night vision problems, including low light problems caused by a prior vision surgery, or if you have put off having LASIK due to concerns about night vision problems, then you should investigate how the newer, more advanced custom LASIK overcomes the problems of poor contrast, halos, starbursts, and glare.
The degree of improvement will vary from patient to patient. However, custom LASIK is particularly beneficial for people requiring more extreme vision corrections.
A personal consultation is the best way to learn more about custom LASIK and how it can benefit you. Dr. Belardo can determine if you are a good candidate for custom LASIK and explain the latest advances in vision correction surgery.