Undergoing LASIK Surgery to Treat Astigmatism: Basic Patient Information
By Gordon Wong, OD on April 15, 2014
There are many different vision problems that people may face, and there are also many different options for advanced/effective eye care. Figuring out the ideal treatment for you and your needs may take some careful consideration, but skilled optometrists can help determine the ideal vision correction option for you. During your visit to GW Eye Associates, we will be more than happy to go over all of your options for advanced care in greater detail.
Right now, we want to take a moment to consider astigmatism and how LASIK can be performed in order to treat it.
Astigmatism is a term that many people have heard before but also misunderstand. You may have heard to people incorrectly refer to it as “stigmatism.”
Astigmatism refers to a general blurring of a patient's vision. This may be caused by the irregular shape of a patient's cornea or lens. It's not uncommon for astigmatism to accompany nearsightedness (myopia) and farsightedness (hyperopia).
There are two types of astigmatism:
- Irregular Astigmatism - Occurs when the meridians of the eye are not perpendicular
- Regular Astigmatism - Occurs when the meridian of the eye are still perpendicular
What is LASIK surgery?
LASIK surgery is a refractive procedure, which means that it reshapes the curvature of the cornea (the clear, outer frontal portion of the eye) in order to improve the passage of light through the eyes. LASIK ensures proper focus of light on the retina (the light sensitive tissue at the back of the eyes) to sharpen a person's vision.
Ideal Candidates for LASIK
While laser eye surgery is an effective way of addressing refractive errors, not everyone is a good candidate for LASIK. In general, the best candidates for LASIK are:
- At least 18 years old
- Are not pregnant or nursing
- Have healthy, regularly shaped corneas
- Have had a steady prescription for at least a year
- Have not suffered from an eye injury or infection in the last year
- Does not have issues with dry eye syndrome
Your candidacy for LASIK can be discussed in greater detail during your visit to the practice.
Is LASIK the right option for addressing my astigmatism?
LASIK is an ideal option for treating astigmatism if the issue is related to an irregular curvature of the patient's corneas. It's also important that patients be in good health overall and have realistic expectations about the LASIK surgery procedure and what it entails.
Alternatives to LASIK Surgery
If a patient is not a good candidate for LASIK surgery to address his or her astigmatism, there are numerous alternatives to consider. Alternative refractive procedures such as PRK or LASEK are an option, and the surgeries yield results that are comparable to LASIK.
If refractive surgery is not an ideal option, the use of glasses and/or contact lenses will be recommended. These are tried and true treatments for astigmatism that have a long track record of success.
Learn More About Your Vision Correction Options
For more information about LASIK surgery and your may other options available for achieving excellent vision, be sure to contact our La Jolla eye care specialists today. Our entire team looks forward to meeting you in person and helping you achieve excellent eye health and vision quality.
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Dr. Wong and his staff have proven to be the best eye doctor that I have ever visited. He is extremely thorough and up-to-date professionally. He gives you plenty of time. I never feel rushed.Kathrine Holladay