LASIK for Astigmatism

LASIK for Astigmatism - El Paso, TX

Oct 22, 2015 @ 12:45 PM — by Paul S. Gulbas, M.D
Tagged with: Lasik | Glasses | Contacts |

Extreme close up of hazel eye with large pupilLASIK is a refractive eyes surgery with a great success record. The acronym stands for laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis. Up to 90 percent of LASIK patients enjoy 20/20 vision after surgery, and very few have to wear glasses or contacts after treatment. But what’s the effectiveness of LASIK for astigmatism treatment? In the past, LASIK was not ideal for correcting astigmatism, but modern advances in technology have changed this. Today, correcting astigmatism with LASIK surgery is a common procedure.

In this blog post, we’ll explain how LASIK can treat astigmatism, and you’ll find answers to most of your questions on the topic. Only eye surgeons, called ophthalmologists, can perform LASIK surgery. If you’d like to speak with an eye surgeon before making a decision regarding treatment, call us to schedule a consultation. To undergo LASIK for astigmatism, contact our El Paso, TX practice today.   

Astigmatism Explained

An irregular curvature of the eye’s lens or cornea can cause astigmatism, a condition that creates blurry vision, or double vision in some situations. Astigmatism can present in one or both eyes, and the patient may also suffer from far- or near-sightedness. You may be surprised to learn that about 30 to 50 percent of people have some type and level of astigmatism, but not all cases actually cause noticeable blurry vision. Astigmatism patients may find themselves squinting, which can cause frequent headaches. If you think you may have astigmatism, it’s time for an eye exam. If you know that you have astigmatism, and you’re tired of wearing uncomfortable contact lenses or glasses, consider LASIK.

How LASIK Corrects Astigmatism

Candidates for LASIK surgery to treat astigmatism should be over the age of 18 and have mild to moderate astigmatism. About 98 percent of astigmatism patients need 4 diopeters or less of correction; the FDA has approved LASIK for correction of up to 4 diopeters, so most astigmatism patients are good candidates for LASIK. The procedure involves using a laser to reshape the cornea, thus correcting how light enters the the eye. The laser either increases or decreases the angle at which the cornea curves.

In addition, and to the advantage of most astigmatism patients, LASIK can also correct near- and far-sightedness in the same surgery that addresses astigmatism.

The Results You Should Expect

LASIK surgery is an outpatient procedure, so you’ll be in and out of the ophthalmologist’s office the same day. Usually, surgery takes a couple of minutes per eye. You will need a driver to take you home following the procedure. You can use pain medication or eye drops for comfort, the day of the procedure.

Healing will take two to three months as vision clears. However, clearer vision is noticeable within hours of treatment. You will attend follow up appointments so that the ophthalmologist can assess how your eyes are healing. You will not be able to wear eye makeup for about a week after surgery, and should not participate in strenuous sports for six weeks after the surgery. For most patients, LASIK corrects astigmatism, and contacts or glasses are not necessary after the surgery. Some patients experience dry eyes for up to six months following surgery. Night vision may also be impaired temporarily, but with new technology, we rarely see this side effect.

Find Out If LASIK Is Right for You

The only way to know for certain if LASIK is a viable treatment option for your astigmatism is to undergo a thorough eye evaluation. Contact our practice today to schedule your exam and consultation. We’ll answer all of your questions and advise you on the best treatment options for your condition.