With astigmatism occurring in 1 out of 3 Americans, the standard treatment approach is corrective lenses or contacts. While it’s true that these can provide good vision correction for those with astigmatism, they can also be uncomfortable, require regular maintenance, and may break. For individuals who have astigmatism in combination with near – or farsightedness, it may be better to choose
LASIK eye surgery for astigmatism correction. To find out more about whether LASIK is a good solution for astigmatism, we sat down with the experts at Takle Eye Group to ask some questions on the topic.
Q. What Is Astigmatism and What Are Its Symptoms?
A. The doctors explained that astigmatism is an eye condition caused by an irregularly shaped cornea or lens. Rather than the cornea is round, it’s more oval-shaped, causing your vision to become distorted as the light entering your eye is bent unevenly. This causes blurred vision at all distances – being worse at night, as well as headaches, eye strain, squinting, eye pain, and double vision.
Q. What Are The Causes of Astigmatism & How Can It Be Corrected?
A. The exact reason behind the varying shapes of the cornea is unknown, but what we’ve figured out so far is that the risk of developing astigmatism is hereditary. This means that one, or both of your parents can pass on the condition to you genetically. Some additional causes may include injuries, eye diseases, or even the result of previous surgery.
Q. What Kind of Procedure is LASIK?
A. LASIK (Laser-Assisted in Situ Keratomileusis) is an elective laser eye surgery for astigmatism, myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and presbyopia, the age-related progressive loss of near vision.
The purpose of LASIK is to correct mild refractive eye conditions, like the ones mentioned above, by reshaping the cornea to correct visual aberration. The procedure is relatively quick, about 10 minutes for both eyes, and can be completed in under an hour at the doctor’s office. Most people are able to see improved vision within just a few days after the surgery and can expect long-lasting results.
Laser Eye Surgery Alternatives – A Quick Mention
LASIK eye surgery for astigmatism is one type of laser correction that can be used, but PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy), and SMILE (Small Incision Lenticule Extraction) are also viable options for correcting astigmatism. In most cases, LASIK is the top choice for astigmatism correction, while PRK is used in individuals who don’t qualify for LASIK, and SMILE is used for those with short-sightedness.
Q. Who Makes a Good Candidate for LASIK Eye Surgery With Astigmatism?
A. LASIK candidacy for astigmatism is determined using a number of factors, starting with the severity of your condition. To quantify this severity, your astigmatism is measured in diopters (D), with +6D or fewer being the upper limit for most cases.
Following this, other conditions and factors are considered, such as accompanying near, or farsightedness, also measured in diopters. Farsightedness holds the same limit as astigmatism at +6D or fewer, while nearsightedness is cut off at -12D. In addition to this, other factors to be taken into account include:
- Your age – no younger than 18 years old.
- General eye health, such as how thick the cornea is and whether that thickness falls within an acceptable range.
- Whether you have a history of other eye conditions like glaucoma or cataracts.
- Overall health & history of pre-existing conditions such as diabetes and auto-immune disorders.
- If you have had any previous corneal surgeries.
- Whether your eyes have any signs of dryness or infection.
- You must have a stable prescription (no significant changes within one year) within the ranges detailed above.
Q. How Does LASIK Eye Surgery Correct Astigmatism & Is It a Good Solution For It?
A. LASIK eye surgery is an effective way to correct astigmatism. During the procedure, an excimer laser reshapes the cornea, which is the clear outer surface of the eye. This reshaping helps to realign how light enters the eye and how it is focused on your retina. The laser is programmed to customize its treatment based on your specific refractive error, and it corrects astigmatism by making one or more curved incisions in the cornea.
When asked about whether LASIK is a good solution for astigmatism, the doctors at Takle Eye Group explained that it is a safe and effective option for many people. The results of LASIK can be long-lasting and provide a significant reduction in the need for glasses or contact lenses. However, it’s important to remember that LASIK is not for everyone and it’s important to have an individualized assessment and consultation before undergoing the procedure.
Q. What Are Some Benefits of Having LASIK Eye Surgery for Astigmatism?
A. The benefits of this type of procedure include:
- Better vision without glasses or contact lenses and improved vision quality for activities such as driving and sports.
- LASIK offers fast visual recovery times with minimal postoperative symptoms, making it an attractive corrective option for astigmatism patients.
- Reduced chances of developing a refractive error in the future.
- Increased confidence due to improved appearance and better visual performance.
- Cost savings are associated with not needing to purchase glasses or contact lenses regularly.
Q. What Are Some Myths You Hear About LASIK Eye Surgery for Astigmatism Correction From Patients?
A. When asked about some common myths that pop up from patients asking about LASIK eye surgery for astigmatism correction, the following are some that Takle Eye Group hears on the regular:
a. “I’m too old for LASIK.”.
b. “LASIK is not permanent”.
c. “It’s unsafe to have LASIK”.
d. “It’s too expensive”.
e. “The procedure will be painful”.
f. “The results won’t be good enough”.
LASIK can be done at any age, has long-term results, and is a safe procedure that has been used for many years. It is virtually a pain-free experience, with some minor discomfort that disappears within a few days post-recovery, and the cost of LASIK is often less than the cost of glasses or contact lenses over a 10-year snapshot. The results themselves can be life-changing for many patients.
Bottom Line: Is LASIK Eye Surgery a Good Solution for Astigmatism?
LASIK eye surgery can be a good solution for astigmatism correction, depending on your individual situation. It is a safe and effective procedure that offers fast visual recovery times with minimal postoperative symptoms. If you have astigmatism and would like to explore the possibility of LASIK, contact the experts at Takle Eye Group to discuss your individual situation. They can provide you with an assessment and answer any questions you may have.