Treating Astigmatism with LASIK Surgery

By William Holcomb on February 13, 2015

A healthy eye with a bright green irisAstigmatism is a commonly misunderstood, or poorly understood, problem. Moreover, many patients do not realize just how treatable this problem may be through laser vision correction. Fortunately, the right doctor and properly communicated information can arm patients with the tools necessary to effectively and permanently correct their vision, namely through LASIK surgery. If you suffer from poor vision due to astigmatism, take note of how LASIK may be able to help you see clearly without the use of corrective lenses.

What Is Astigmatism?

Just like nearsightedness or farsightedness, astigmatism is a refractive error that prevents light from properly focusing at the eye’s retina As a result, someone with astigmatism may have difficulty focusing on objects that are nearby, far away, or both. But unlike regular nearsightedness or farsightedness, which is caused by an uneven corneal surface, astigmatism results from irregularities in the eye’s overall shape. It is worth noting that very few, if any, eyes are perfectly spherical; but for those with noticeable astigmatism, this discrepancy is large enough that light falls short or extends too far from its ideal focal point within the eye. 

Types of Astigmatism

Astigmatism is seen in one of three forms:

  • Myopic astigmatism, whereby the eye’s shape is too long, resulting in a focal point that ends before hitting the retina. Patients with myopic astigmatism are nearsighted and therefore unable to properly focus on objects in the distance.
  • Hyperopic astigmatism, whereby the eye’s front hemisphere is not curved enough, resulting in a focal point that extends beyond the retina. Patients with hyperopic astigmatism are farsightedness and therefore unable to properly focus on nearby objects.
  • Mixed astigmatism, whereby complex irregularities in the eye’s shape result in multiple focal points within the eye. These multiple points result in blurred images for both near and distant vision.

Regardless of your astigmatism type, most regular cases of astigmatism can be treated via LASIK surgery.    

LASIK for Astigmatism

While LASIK surgery cannot alter the overall shape of one’s eye, it can resurface the eye’s cornea to compensate for irregular curvature. A resurfaced cornea is better able to focus light at a fixed point, as predetermined by computer imaging. When you visit our office for LASIK treatment, you benefit from a safe procedure that utilizes top-of-the-line technology for the most accurate results. Through WaveFront® and similar digital mapping technology, your eye’s unique surface will be precisely plotted, which will inform and guide the laser in your treatment.

We also offer iLASIK, which uses a preliminary laser in place of a blade for creation of the corneal flap. This bladeless surgery ensures a clean incision that heals efficiently, reducing the risk of infection or post-operative complication.   

What if LASIK Isn’t for Me?

If you are not deemed a good candidate for LASIK surgery, we will help you find an alternative treatment option that meets your individual needs. Even if you are not a candidate for LASIK, you may be a good candidate for other laser eye surgery options. PRK surgery, for instance, accomplishes comparable results to LASIK in a strikingly similar way, but for patients with particularly thin corneas. For more information on all of our treatment options, schedule an appointment with Dr. Holcomb and his team.

Contact Us Today

Achieve the clarity of vision that you deserve. Contact us today to learn more about LASIK treatment and what it can solve, and to schedule an initial consultation with our eye care professionals.

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