Can LASIK Fix Astigmatism?

Yes, LASIK can correct astigmatism completely and permanently in the majority of instances.

Astigmatism is a frequent eyesight condition. Despite its frightening moniker, astigmatism isn’t an eye disease; it’s a refractive error similar to nearsightedness and farsightedness that may be rectified with eyeglasses, contact lenses, or LASIK surgery.



Astigmatism is caused by an uneven shape of the front surface of the eye (cornea).

The cornea, rather than being formed like a baseball, is often described as being shaped like an American football. Another way to describe an astigmatic eye is to remark that it is shaped more like an egg or the back of a spoon than a ping-pong ball.

The ultra-precise lasers used in LASIK surgery can be set to reshape the cornea, resulting in a more symmetrical front surface of the eye and reducing astigmatism-related visual issues.

When astigmatism is present, it is usually less than 3.0 diopters (D) and can be repaired completely with a single LASIK treatment.

Higher levels of astigmatism can be repaired with LASIK, but this increases the possibility that a second LASIK augmentation will be required to fine-tune the correction.

Depending on the policies of the LASIK surgeon and/or surgery center you choose, having significant astigmatism may affect the cost of LASIK surgery. If this is the case, you will be informed at your preoperative exam and consultation.

Astigmatism is described in detail.

Astigmatism is caused by an irregularly shaped cornea or lens. It could be oval in shape rather than circular. This causes difficulty with focusing in your retina.

When you have astigmatism, your eyes are unable to focus light, thus objects in your line of vision may appear blurry. Over time, your condition may improve or worse.

Some signs that you have astigmatism are when you:

  • have blurry vision that is possibly worse at night
  • need to squint to see
  • have eye pain
  • experience headaches
  • Often, astigmatism goes along with other refractive eye conditions like nearsightedness and farsightedness.

Because the symptoms are minor, you may not even be aware that you have the disorder. Astigmatism can affect both children and adults.

The fundamentals of LASIK

LASIK is a laser-assisted operation that reshapes your cornea to cure refractive errors. It has been around for a long time.

LASIK can be used to address mild to moderate refractive eye problems. It may even benefit people with severe eyesight problems.

It does not necessitate a hospital stay and can be completed in a doctor’s office in under 30 minutes. It’s a form of laser vision correction surgery.

Limitations

Based on vision measurements, there are some general guidelines for determining who is a suitable candidate for LASIK. Diopters are used to measure astigmatism.

If you have 6 or fewer diopters of astigmatism, regular astigmatism, and good corneal health, you may be a candidate for LASIK.

You may have nearsightedness or farsightedness, which can affect your LASIK eligibility.

To be qualified for this operation, you must have a nearsightedness of -12D or a farsightedness of +6D.

Your vision metrics aren’t the only thing that determines if you’re a good LASIK candidate. Other considerations include:

  • your eyesight correction objectives
  • the state of your eyes as a whole, such as the thickness of your cornea
  • the amount of moisture in your eyes
  • solid vision that hasn’t changed much over the last year
  • what is your age? (you must be 18 or older)
  • your state of health (those with conditions like autoimmune diseases or diabetes may not be eligible)
  • whether you’re expecting a child or are nursing a baby

During the sessions leading up to the surgery, your doctor will take these factors into account.

Before evaluating your eligibility, your doctor should conduct an eye exam.

Pros and cons

Astigmatism can be treated with LASIK in the same way that nearsightedness or farsightedness can.

The LASIK surgery alters the shape of your cornea. There are several dangers to be aware of. However, the procedure’s benefits may outweigh the hazards.

Pros

  • Vision has improved.
  • It’s possible that you won’t need to wear glasses or contacts.

Cons

  • Dry eyes, fuzzy vision, night vision impairment, glare in your eyesight, infection, and surgical complications are all risks of the operation.
  • If your surgery is unsuccessful, you may need to continue wearing glasses or contacts.
  • If your vision changes over time, you may need additional vision correction.
  • Elective procedures are frequently not covered by insurance or original Medicare.

Some of the negative effects that you may experience as a result of the operation will subside with time. To lessen the risk of side effects, your doctor will provide you specific advice for recovery after LASIK.

Procedure

LASIK is an outpatient surgery that takes about 30 minutes for your doctor to complete. During it, you remain awake, although the doctor may administer a sedative to help you relax.

You will also be given numbing eye drops to keep the equipment used to stabilize and operate on your eye from bothering you.

During the process, your doctor will utilize special equipment to keep your eyes concentrated in the precise position and prevent you from blinking.

A laser will be used to form a flap in your cornea by your doctor. This allows your doctor to examine the area of your eye that lies underneath the cornea. A second laser is then used by your doctor to alter the shape and thickness of your cornea.

For astigmatism, the LASIK surgery includes reshaping your cornea. Astigmatism is caused by a misshaped bend in the cornea. Eyes with no astigmatism have a uniformly spherical surface, similar to that of a basketball.

Astigmatic eyes feature a curvature that is longer in one portion than the other, similar to a football. This curve will be smoothed out using LASIK so that it is more evenly round.

During the operation, you may also obtain nearsightedness or farsightedness correction. The cornea may be flattened or steepened as a result of this procedure.

The initial flap will be closed when your doctor has made the desired changes to your cornea. Over time, this incision will heal.

What can you expect?

Once your doctor gives you the okay, you’ll be able to go home after the LASIK operation. After the treatment, you will not be able to drive yourself home.

After LASIK, take a nap or rest to enable your body to repair. You may feel uncomfortable for several hours after the surgery.

Any eye drops required to fight infection and keep your eyes moist will be provided by your doctor. For a few days, you may need to use an eye protection.

Following the treatment, avoid exercise and swimming and wait for your doctor to tell you when you can resume these activities, as well as driving.

Following the procedure, you should schedule a few appointments with your doctor. One may be planned the day after the procedure, while others may be arranged in the weeks ahead.

Following the surgery, your vision may take 3 to 6 months to settle. You may notice glare or blurriness at this period.

LASIK patients report a high level of satisfaction with the procedure. According to a 2009 survey, more than 95% of people who had LASIK were happy with the results.

Studies show that LASIK is “effective and predictable” for correcting vision for low to moderate astigmatism, according to a 2020 study review.

When should you consult a doctor?

If you have a refractive eye condition like astigmatism, you should consult your doctor regardless of how you choose to treat it.

If you don’t want to use glasses or contacts, LASIK may be an excellent option. You can arrange an appointment with your doctor to discuss this or bring it up during your annual eye check.

Following your LASIK operation, check in with your doctor on a regular basis. If you have any uncomfortable or unexpected symptoms, or if your vision changes, see your doctor.

If you have any other symptoms, contact your doctor. He or she will give you an estimate of how long it will take you to recover.

 Bottom line
Astigmatism is a vision problem that can be fixed through LASIK surgery. It’s a refractive eye problem that happens when your cornea bends in an odd way.

LASIK surgery can alter the curvature of your cornea and reduce the symptoms of astigmatism.

Consult your doctor to discover if this surgery is right for you. With LASIK, you might be able to correct your vision without the need for glasses or contacts.