LASIK and Astigmatism: Bringing Your World into Focus
A properly functioning cornea has a symmetrical shape. Its continuous curvature refracts light entering the eye, allowing us to perceive clear images. When astigmatism is present, the cornea has an oblong shape that hinders proper focus. The result is unclear vision at any distance. A patient may experience moderate to severe astigmatism depending on the extent of the corneal irregularities.
Causes of Astigmatism
It is a common misconception that squinting, reading in poor lighting, or sitting too near the television are causes of astigmatism. In fact, sufferers are usually born with astigmatism, and it can stay the same or worsen over time. Other causes of astigmatism include eye injury, disease, and surgery.
The most common symptom of astigmatism is blurred vision at any distance. Those with astigmatism often experience fatigue, headaches, squinting, eye discomfort, and irritation. These symptoms can vary depending on the severity of the astigmatism. Patients experiencing any of these symptoms should contact a qualified ophthalmologist for a comprehensive eye examination.
LASIK Can Treat Astigmatism
LASIK (Laser-Assisted In Situ Keratomileusis) is a surgical procedure that uses a laser to reshape the cornea. The LASIK procedure involves creating a small flap in the epithelial layer of the cornea (the outermost layer) and reshaping the stroma, or the middle layer. The goal of LASIK is to refine the shape of the cornea to properly focus light. Many astigmatism patients wear glasses or contact lenses to compensate for their corneal irregularities, but LASIK can dramatically reduce or eliminate the need for corrective eye wear.
LASIK has become the procedure of choice for many patients with astigmatism, nearsightedness, and farsightedness. This advanced treatment has evolved rapidly since it received FDA approval in the 1990s, and has become incredibly safe and precise. Because the cornea heals rapidly, many patients notice a significant improvement in vision within the first days following LASIK surgery, if not immediately afterward. LASIK is performed on an outpatient basis in about 15 minutes, and typically requires only a few days of downtime. Because of its very high success rates and convenience, LASIK has become one the most popular elective surgeries in the country.
Contact Us Today to Schedule a Consultation
If you have considered LASIK to treat your astigmatism, contact us today to set up an appointment. During your consultation, we can determine if LASIK or another refractive treatment can help you to reduce or eliminate your need for corrective eye wear.