LASIK for Astigmatism: Should I Get It?
Astigmatism explained • LASIK Basics • Benefits • Limitations • Takeaway
For some people, poor eyesight has been a lifelong nuisance that they’ve learned to cope with. Others experience diminishing sharpness with age. If you’re in the latter group, the day comes when things go from not so sharp to a little scary.
Our vision directly impacts all areas of our life. Equally significant is how we choose to correct, cope, and prevent worsening vision. For example, if we choose to wear prescription glasses or contacts, or if we choose to ignore changes in the way we see, we will need to adapt our lifestyles: the time of day we do things, the sports we play, we gain new expenses long-term or short-term; our posture, our setup at work, our personal device settings and more. The list is endless and different for everyone. You get the point.
It is our hope this article encourages you to examine your vision and consider LASIK laser eye surgery for vision correction while you qualify. As ophthalmologists, we take our patients’ eye health seriously. If you are astigmatic, LASIK can dramatically improve your eyesight and potentially give you perfect vision.
LASIK is an acronym for Laser in Situ Keratomileusis. LASIK is a laser-assisted surgical procedure for the correction of visual refractive errors, such as astigmatism, myopia, and hyperopia. LASIK is a kind of laser eye surgery designed to change the shape of the cornea to eliminate or reduce the need for glasses and contact lenses. It is the most common laser eye surgery procedure.
LASIK works by changing the shape of the cornea so it can refract light as it should–making LASIK an ideal permanent procedure for refractive issues.
Simply put, if you’re wondering can LASIK help you see clearly? The answer is YES. Most times, it can! (But we’ll come back to that a little later).
The Benefits of LASIK
If you are a good fit for this procedure, you can reap a host of benefits. To determine if LASIK is right for you, you’ll need to consult with an eye-care professional who will evaluate your eyes and vision. They’ll also discuss the pros and cons of LASIK so you can figure out if it’s something you’d like to pursue.
The main reason so many people turn to LASIK is that it may improve vision to the where patients no longer need glasses or contacts at all. And if your vision changes because of age, you might undergo the procedure again to bring your vision back to an optimal state.
The speed of results is another perk of LASIK. Once the surgery is complete, you could notice clearer vision within mere hours. There aren’t any stitches or bandages to worry about, and there’s hardly any downtime. Your doctor may allow you to go back to all of your normal activities in a day or two.
What if your prescription is very high? While you might not achieve 20/20 vision from LASIK, you might substantially reduce the prescription you need to see clearly, so this surgery can still work wonders for you.
Can You Undergo LASIK for Astigmatism?
Every patient is unique, so LASIK is not right for everyone. However, if you have astigmatism, LASIK might be able to correct it permanently.
With astigmatism, the cornea of the eye is shaped more like a football than a basketball. LASIK could be a great way to get to the root of your vision issues by fixing the shape of the cornea.
Note: Depending on the severity of your astigmatism, you might need more than one LASIK procedure to correct the problem. However, if there isn’t a high degree of astigmatism, just one session might fully correct your vision.
What Other Refractive Conditions Can LASIK Treat?
Whether you have been diagnosed with nearsightedness (trouble seeing objects that are far away), farsightedness (trouble seeing objects that are nearby), or astigmatism (trouble seeing objects that are nearby and far away), LASIK might be the ideal solution for your vision.
Why might LASIK be the best eye surgery for astigmatism?
LASIK laser eye surgery may be the best surgery for astigmatism because astigmatism, nearsightedness, and farsightedness can be corrected by surgically changing the shape of the cornea.
Keep in mind that there are instances in which LASIK is not the recommended eye surgery.
Here are some examples:
- You have dry eyes
- Your cornea is thin or inflamed
- Your pupils are very big
- You are extremely nearsighted
- Your vision has changed because of age, hormones, pregnancy, or medications
- You have a weakened immune system or autoimmune disease
- You have been diagnosed with an eyelid disorder, eye disease, or eye injury
What to Expect During LASIK
One reason LASIK for astigmatism is so popular is that it’s a quick procedure done on an outpatient basis. The procedure often takes about a half-hour or less, with most of that time spent preparing you for the surgery.
Although you will be awake during surgery, your eyes will be numb so you won’t feel anything. Take certain steps that help relax you. But if you can’t, some ophthalmologists might prescribe a medication like Valium to help put you at ease.
To give you a better idea of what to expect before, during, and after LASIK surgery, below is a summary of what happens from start to finish:
- You’ll need to book an appointment to have your eyes thoroughly examined. For a more accurate diagnosis, your doctor may advise that you stop wearing contact lenses for a specified time before the examination. The use of contacts changes the shape of the cornea.
- On surgery day, you’ll sit in a reclining chair. Next, we apply numbing eye drops to numb your eyeballs, and a special instrument holds open your eyelids. You may be told to look at a light so you can keep your eyes as still as possible. Then, the doctor will use a suction ring and either a cutting laser or a blade to cut a flap at the surface of the eye. The flap is folded back so a laser can reshape the cornea. Then, the flap is set back in place so it can heal. After one eye is treated, the other eye is worked on. Some people get LASIK in one eye. If that’s you, your eye surgery is over!
- After LASIK, you might experience post-operative symptoms. Your eyes might become watery or itchy, they might burn, or you might feel as though something gritty is in your eyes. Although your vision may be blurry, it should improve quickly. You may have an entirely clear vision within weeks or months. Talk to your doctor about any eye drops or medications you can take to ease your symptoms during recovery and ask about activities you should avoid until your eyes heal.
- Your doctor will probably recommend a series of follow-up appointments to help ensure your eyes are healing properly and your vision is improving as it should.
Find the Right LASIK Las Vegas Providers
Are you ready to be free of glasses and contacts? Do you want a lower prescription for your astigmatism? If you would like to find out if LASIK is right for you, contact us anytime with questions or to set up an appointment.
“Laser In Situ Keratomileusis” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK555970/
“ASTIGMATIC | definition in the Cambridge English Dictionary” https://dictionary.cambridge.org/us/dictionary/english/astigmatic