Astigmatism is a visual imperfection that occurs when the cornea, the clear front layer of the eye (the lens, the inner part of the eye responsible for focusing) has an abnormal curvature. These 2 types are known as corneal astigmatism and lenticular astigmatism. A normal eye is evenly rounded but with astigmatism the eye can be egg-shaped or oval-shaped. Horizontal astigmatism is when the eye is wider than it is tall and vertical astigmatism is when the eye is taller than it is wide. With astigmatism, both near and far vision are blurred because of the irregular shape of the eye.
Astigmatism causes are generally unknown but are believed to be inherited. Astigmatism can also result from eye disease, eye injury or surgery. Astigmatism can be treated with prescription glasses or contact lenses that work to refocus light on the back of the retina so that the eye can see more clearly. Refractive surgery is another option for correcting astigmatism. LASIK can only fix corneal astigmatism; lenticular astigmatism is often caused by cataracts and would need to be addressed during cataract surgery.
LASIK is one of the best ways to fix corneal astigmatism effectively and permanently. LASIK surgery utilizes an excimer laser to reshape the cornea so that it bends light correctly for clear, sharp vision. LASIK is possible for those with astigmatism, but patients will still need to meet candidacy requirements to be approved for surgery. Astigmatism correction must measure 6.00 or fewer diopters. If your astigmatism is too severe, you may require more than one LASIK procedure or will need to explore other surgery options with your eye doctor. Many patients with mild to moderate astigmatism achieve 20/20 or better vision and no longer require the use of prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses.
If you have astigmatism and are interested in a LASIK evaluation with one of our board-certified ophthalmologists at Rosenbaum Eye and Laser Center, call our office at 517-393-2020. For more frequently asked questions or to schedule your consultation online, visit WEBSITE.