Astigmatism is a common eye condition that causes blurry vision. Although it can usually be treated successfully with glasses or corrective lenses, LASIK eye surgery offers an alternative option that can eliminate the need for glasses or contacts in order to see clearly. Keep reading to find out more about LASIK and how it can correct astigmatism.
What Is Astigmatism?
Astigmatism is a type of refractive error that affects the curvature of the cornea, the top layer of the eye. People with astigmatism have corneas that are curved too much or are more oval-shaped than normal. This prevents the eye from focusing light properly – instead, light focuses at more than one place in the back of the eye. As a result, your vision appears blurry, or you may experience double vision.
In mild cases of astigmatism, you may not have any symptoms, but if astigmatism is more pronounced, it can cause:
- Blurred vision
- Eye strain, especially when concentrating for long periods
Treatment for Astigmatism
Astigmatism is usually treated effectively with corrective lenses, such as eyeglasses or contact lenses. In many people, the condition can also be treated successfully with Laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis (LASIK) eye surgery. LASIK surgery is a precise procedure that reduces the curve in the cornea to improve vision and get rid of the need for corrective lenses.
Why Consider LASIK Eye Surgery?
LASIK eye surgery is an effective type of laser-assisted refractive surgery that can be used to treat common vision problems including astigmatism, myopia (nearsightedness), and hyperopia (farsightedness).
LASIK is a quick outpatient procedure that involves using a laser to reshape the cornea, or in the case of astigmatism, to smooth the curve and make it uniform, which helps to correct the vision problem. The procedure typically takes just a few minutes to perform on each eye and offers a highly successful outcome, with an estimated 96% of patients experiencing 20/20 vision or better following the procedure.
What Does the Procedure Involve?
To prepare for LASIK eye surgery, numbing eye drops are administered to keep you comfortable during the procedure. If necessary, medication can also be requested to help you feel more relaxed.
During the procedure, the eye doctor uses a specialized laser to create a thin, hinged flap of tissue in your outer cornea (the clear, protective front surface of the eye). A second high-precision (excimer) laser is then used to reshape the underlying tissue to the correct curvature based on measurements and information collected during a preoperative 3-D eye scan. Depending on whether you have any other refractive eye errors, you may also receive correction for those, which may involve flattening or steepening the cornea to improve vision.
Once the shape of the eye has been corrected, your eye doctor will reposition and close the corneal flap to complete the procedure. The incision will then heal naturally over time.
How Safe Is LASIK Eye Surgery?
LASIK is the most popular elective vision procedure in the U.S. and is considered a safe, quick, and highly effective type of surgery. As with all types of surgical procedures, there can be risks involved – however, complications with LASIK are rare. To ensure you get the best results, always follow your eye doctor’s recovery instructions, and contact them immediately if you have any questions or concerns.
What Is the Recovery Like?
In most cases, patients find the recovery period is quick with few side effects.LASIK eye surgery requires little downtime, and you can usually return to work the following day.
After surgery, it may take 3-6 months for your vision to fully stabilize, but once you’ve healed you’re likely to be seeing more clearly than ever before, as most patients experience 20/20 vision or better following the procedure.
Am I a Candidate for LASIK?
Treatment is personalized to suit each patient’s specific eye condition. You could be eligible for LASIK eye surgery if you:
- Have a stable vision prescription
- Have relatively healthy eyes, with no eye diseases
- Are at least 18 years old
- Are in good physical health
To determine if you are a candidate for LASIK eye surgery, your eye doctor will review your medical history and perform a thorough preoperative eye evaluation to check the health of your eyes and provide accurate details about your vision. An ultra-precise scan is also used to provide a detailed 3-D map of your eye(s) and to create a correction plan that is personalized to your eyes.
After your consultation, your eye doctor will discuss realistic expectations with you and help you to decide if LASIK eye surgery is the right choice for you.
LASIK for Astigmatism in Miami, Florida
If you would like to find out more about how LASIK eye surgery could help correct your astigmatism or other vision problem, contact The Laser Center of Coral Gables. Our expert providers can evaluate your eye condition and advise you whether you are a candidate for LASIK or another type of eye surgery.