Have Astigmatism? LASIK Can Help.

August 27th, 2018
eye doctor examining patient's eye

If you’re suffering from astigmatism, LASIK may be a good vision solution for you – even if you’ve heard otherwise.

As most technology does, LASIK and other related procedures have evolved over time. Only a few short years ago, doctors performing LASIK could not have imagined the results for certain patients that we are able to achieve today.

Today, most people without eye complications can qualify for LASIK procedures, yet the myth that LASIK is not for everyone still abounds. For example, many patients with astigmatism still believe that the procedure cannot correct their vision.

However, LASIK can finally offer a lifetime free from the discomfort and inconvenience of astigmatism. For the almost one-third of all adults who suffer from severe astigmatism, LASIK can offer a permanent vision solution — in most cases. Read on to learn more about the procedure and whether you could be a candidate.

What is Astigmatism?

Astigmatism occurs when the cornea – which is normally spherical – is shaped more like a cone. The condition is usually inherited from one’s parents, but people can also develop astigmatism later in life, especially if they have severe nearsightedness or farsightedness.

Most people have some degree of astigmatism, and the majority of cases do not require any correction. In more serious cases, the eye will have difficulty focusing on images and the intervention of a vision specialist is necessary. Many patients suffering from this high-degree astigmatism will find that LASIK offers a good solution to their vision problems.

LASIK is a fairly simple procedure and is one of the most commonly performed surgeries in America. If you decide to undergo LASIK, a surgeon will make a tiny incision in your eye and use an ultra-precise laser to reshape the cornea into a spherical surface. The operation is usually an outpatient procedure, so patients go home the same day, and patients typically find that their recovery time only lasts a day or two.

Every Pair of Eyes is Unique

While LASIK is very versatile, it’s not quite a panacea. People with severe astigmatism may need more than one round of LASIK to fully correct their vision. Even with additional procedures, however, LASIK tends to be a more comprehensive vision solution for astigmatism than glasses or contacts. While glasses or contacts can usually only correct a single axis of the visual field, LASIK should correct the entire field of vision, both vertically and horizontally.

However, some patients who exhibit signs of astigmatism may actually be suffering from keratoconus, a condition that results in an unusually conical cornea. Unfortunately, these patients aren’t able to get LASIK. Patients that are astigmatic but that also have cataracts or a nerve problem may not be good LASIK candidates, either.

It’s also important to remember that LASIK can’t prevent the need for reading glasses later in life. However, patients always have the option to return for additional procedures.

Next Steps

The decision to go ahead with LASIK is one that should only be made after talking through all the options with an eye care professional. Your provider can tell you whether you’re a candidate for LASIK, as well as what to expect depending on your level of astigmatism. Contact ICON Eyecare to schedule a consultation today.