A familiar question from potential laser eye surgery candidates is whether LASIK will work for astigmatism. The American Academy of Ophthalmology refers to astigmatism as “an imperfection in the curvature of your cornea – the clear, round dome covering the eye’s iris and pupil – or in the shape of the eye’s lens.” You might hear it described as someone with astigmatism having a cornea that is shaped like a football, rather than a baseball. In a normal eye, both the cornea and the lens are equally curved and smooth, meaning light rays can focus sharply onto your eye’s retina. However, if the cornea is not evenly curved, the light does not refract properly. That is where the term “refractive error” comes from. Just like many other vision conditions, the primary symptoms of astigmatism include needing to squint to see clearly, experiencing blurred vision, or getting frequent headaches.
While the name may sound complex, astigmatism is a very common vision condition, as common as nearsightedness or farsightedness. In fact, many people have an astigmatism in conjunction with one of those other eye conditions. Just like nearsightedness and farsightedness can be treated with glasses, contact lenses, or LASIK surgery, so can astigmatism. There are, however, varying degrees of astigmatism, and in rare cases, if the degree of astigmatism is severe, an additional vision correction surgery may be necessary following the initial LASIK surgery.
Of course, we recommend you first discuss your candidacy for LASIK surgery with your eye doctor, as he or she will best be able to address any concerns with your astigmatism or your vision. However, in general, most patients who suffer from astigmatism are able to realize vision correction through LASIK surgery. At LASIK Vision Centers of Cleveland, we have many satisfied patients who chose LASIK eye surgery as a treatment for their astigmatism. Contact us to learn more or to schedule your consultation.