LASIK for Astigmatism: What Patients Should Know

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Here at Maida Custom Vision, we pride ourselves on providing patients in the Jacksonville area with all the information that they need to make confident decisions about eye care. This means looking into various issues related to LASIK, an effective laser eye surgery perfect for treating refractive errors.

Many patients have questions about LASIK and its ability to treat astigmatism. We’d like to address these matters in basic detail right now.

What is astigmatism?

Astigmatism refers to a general blurring of the vision caused by the inability to focus on a central or fixed point. Astigmatism may be caused by issues with the lens of the eye or the cornea.

Some people have mistakenly referred to astigmatism as “stigmatism.” While “stigmatism” may be colloquially accepted as a synonym, it’s actually an incorrect word to use.

Regular Astigmatism vs. Irregular Astigmatism

There are two kinds of astigmatism that a person may suffer from, regular and irregular.

  • Regular Astigmatism – Regular astigmatism is the more common kind of astigmatism. It’s related to the flawed curvature of the cornea or the lens of the eye.
  • Irregular Astigmatism – Irregular astigmatism is less common and is generally related to corneal scarring or scattering within the lens. Conditions such as keratoconus (a bulging of the eye that causes it to be more football shaped than round) are associated with irregular astigmatism.

Astigmatism Accompanying Nearsightedness and Farsightedness

In addition to different kinds of astigmatism, it should be noted that astigmatism may occur in combination with nearsightedness (myopia) and farsightedness (hyperopia), two other common kinds of refractive errors.

Is LASIK an effective treatment for astigmatism?

Yes. LASIK is a good option for treatment when a person’s astigmatism is the result of a poor corneal contour. During a consultation at the practice, you will be able to learn if LASIK is ideal for you and your eye care needs.

What to Expect During LASIK Surgery

During LASIK, a small flap is created in the topmost layer of the cornea, which is known as the epithelium. The flap is pulled up so that a laser can be used to adjust the shape of the cornea and improve the passage of light through the eye. In essence, the laser helps ensure that the light passing through the eye is precisely focused on the retina, the light sensitive tissue located at the back of the eye.

Recovery from LASIK Surgery

After undergoing LASIK, patients will usually notice some discomfort with their eyes. Light sensitivity is very common in the first days after surgery but will taper off with time. In addition, issues with night vision will persist for a few weeks but will level off as the eyes heal.

Dry eye is a common side effect after surgery that can last for a few months, so it’s advisable for patients to carry liquid tears with them at all times in case of sudden dry eye attacks.

Full post-op instructions will be provided to patients during the consultation process.

Other Treatments for Astigmatism

If LASIK is not an ideal option for your astigmatism, we can look at refractive surgery alternatives such as PRK and LASEK. For astigmatism not related to the corneas, there may be other options to consider that do not involve laser surgery. As for non-surgical treatments, the use of contacts or eyeglasses may be recommended. We will work closely with you to ensure that you undergo the best possible treatment for your needs.

Speak with Our Eye Care Specialists

For more information about your many options for advanced eye care, be sure to contact our laser vision correction specialists today. The entire team here at Maida Custom Vision looks forward to your visit and helping you achieve clearer vision and healthier eyes in the process.