Can LASIK Be Used to Correct Astigmatism?

Posted by Timothy Harvard on May, 2019

LASIK eye surgery is one of the most common treatments for correcting an astigmatism.

Astigmatism is a refractive error that causes individuals blurred vision due to an irregularly shaped cornea. Refraction is the process by which light travels through the layers of the eye. LASIK can correct astigmatism by using specific incisions of the cornea.

What is Astigmatism?

Astigmatism is a common refractive vision error present in individuals of all ages. This condition is characterized by blurred vision at distances both far and near caused by a misshapen cornea. The cornea is responsible for focusing images in our vision by refracting beams of light that enter the surface of the eye, and if the shape of the cornea is not correct, images will be blurred and out of focus.

A healthy cornea is shaped cylindrically and acts to bend light as it enters the transparent surface of the eye. In patients with astigmatism, the cornea is almond-shaped, which hinders its ability to properly carry out the refraction process.

What are Common Treatments for Astigmatism?

Astigmatism can be treated with eyeglasses, contact lenses, and LASIK eye surgery. Of the three options, only the surgery provides a permanent fix while the other two require wearing corrective lenses.

Ophthalmologists can prescribe their patients eyeglasses that are designed to mimic the refraction of light that would occur naturally in a healthy, regular-shaped cornea. These glasses include a special lens shaped like a cylinder to ensure clarity of vision at all distances.

Contact lenses can also be used to correct astigmatism in patients who prefer to wear contacts over eyeglasses. Toric contact lenses are lenses designed to correct the effects of astigmatism by mimicking the proper shape of the cornea, allowing the eye to refract light correctly when worn.

Finally, LASIK eye surgery and other refractive procedures can eliminate astigmatism by surgically correcting the shape of the cornea.

How Does LASIK Eye Surgery Correct Astigmatism?

LASIK surgery corrects astigmatism by using super-fine laser technology to reshape the cornea. The lasers are designed to create a symmetrically shaped cornea which allows the previously impaired patient to see clearly. LASIK corrects blurred vision by removing unnecessary tissues from the inner layer of the cornea.

For most patients, LASIK eye surgery is a permanent fix to astigmatism, as it eliminates deficiencies in the vision that eyeglasses and contacts are unable to solve.

In most cases, LASIK provides permanent results for patients, and additional surgery is unnecessary. Although in more severe cases, follow-up surgeries may be required to correct mildly blurred vision in the future.

Is LASIK Safe?

LASIK has a success rate of 95%. blade-free laser technology is used to avoid complication or injury during the procedure. This technology allows minimal room for error, and some surgeons are specially trained to provide the safest, most successful care available.

How Long Does Recovery Take?

Usually, patients are satisfied with the amount of time it takes their eyes to recover from LASIK eye surgery. Most people report feeling relatively normal 24 hours after the procedure. Patients with mild refractive issues report improved vision immediately following the procedure, while those with more severe issues may not notice a difference until closer to eight hours or so after their procedure.

Those with more severe refractive issues experience longer recovery time.

Are Most People Satisfied with Their Results?

Most people say that, in retrospect, they wish they would have scheduled their free consultation sooner rather than waiting until later in life to have this life-changing procedure performed.

An eye doctor in Grand Rapids may offer a free evaluation to determine whether you are eligible for LASIK.

Patients report satisfactory results after their consult, as well as following the procedure.

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