In a perfect world, all eyes would have a nice spherical shape and be perfect optical lenses. In the real world, the eye is usually not perfectly shaped and visual clarity is compromised. When astigmatism is present, the eye has a shape like a football set on one end. This asymmetrical shape of the eye causes the light rays traveling through it to scatter and not be clear. Astigmatism is a very common vision problem. Despite its big, somewhat scary-sounding name, astigmatism is simply a refractive error like nearsightedness and farsightedness and it can be corrected with eyeglasses, contact lenses and LASIK surgery.
The ultra-precise lasers used for LASIK surgery can be programmed to reshape the cornea so the front surface of the eye is more symmetrical, thereby eliminating vision problems caused by astigmatism.
Most of the time astigmatism can be fully corrected with a single LASIK procedure. High amounts of astigmatism can be corrected with LASIK, though this increases the likelihood a follow-up LASIK enhancement may be needed to fine-tune the correction.
LASIK for astigmatism is an excellent option when compared to other alternatives like eyeglasses or contact lenses. Eyeglasses and contacts compensate for the abnormal curvature of the astigmatism with a lens that is curved in the opposite way from the cornea, effectively cancelling out the distortion. Unlike LASIK, these are short-term corrections to the symptoms associated with astigmatism – blurry vision, eyestrain and headaches. They can also be disorienting since, by definition, these lenses are non-uniform in shape. Astigmatism contacts can also rotate out of alignment causing blurring to occur. And all contact lenses carry the risk of infection, inflammation or corneal damage.
LASIK for astigmatism in Seattle involves Dr. Leavitt making a thin, small circular hinge cut into your cornea. Dr. Leavitt folds back the hinged flap and then reshapes the cornea using a cool excimer laser. Many people choose to have LASIK for astigmatism over other refractive surgeries because it is very safe and the recovery time is very short.
If you are considering LASIK to correct your astigmatism, it’s important to discuss your options with a surgeon or eye care professional. Contact Bellevue LASIK & Cataract Center at (425) 450-6990 or bellevue-lasik.com to schedule your consultation today and see if LASIK is the right choice for you.