Can You Get LASIK if You Have Astigmatism?

turqouise human eye close up

The Relationship Between LASIK and Astigmatism

LASIK surgery is one of the most misunderstood procedures. Couple that confusion with the constant misconceptions about astigmatism, and there are sure to be an infinite amount of questions just waiting to be asked. You have probably seen all of the commercials recently advertising LASIK eye surgery and wondered, “is it right for me?”. Patients with astigmatism may find themselves wondering if it’s possible with their current vision problem as well. The short answer is yes. The LASIK procedure is possible if you have astigmatism, but there are some important things to both consider and understand before deciding on LASIK surgery.

What is Astigmatism?

Before choosing LASIK for your astigmatism, it’s important to fully understand what astigmatism is and how it affects your vision. It is a refractive error, not a disease or virus, that affects the eyes’ ability to focus light, which alters your vision. Astigmatism is when the light fails to focus in a single spot in the retina and instead, multiple focus points are present either behind or in front of the retina. This can cause blurred vision and distortion – significantly different from nearsightedness or farsightedness because it typically does not change with distance. Astigmatism can cause strain to your eyes, headaches, soreness, and cause you to squint in order to see things. It is typically caused by an irregularly shaped cornea and differs from patient to patient. In many cases, astigmatism comes along with myopia and hyperopia, or nearsightedness and farsightedness respectively.

What is LASIK Surgery?

Now that you’re well informed on what astigmatism is and how it affects your vision, it’s important that you also fully understand what LASIK is before deciding if it’s right for you. LASIK surgery is 100% bladeless and uses an excimer laser for acute precision, speed, and effectiveness. It begins by creating a small flap in your corneal tissue through which it can reach the underlying tissue that needs to be restructured. The invisible ultraviolet beams are then used to reshape the tissue into the predetermined shape that has been decided upon by your doctor. After the procedure is finished, the corneal flap is put back into place. Since there were no blades used, there are no sutures or any kind of stitches. The only thing you’ll need is prescribed anti-inflammatory eye drops to prevent infection.

To ensure the safety, state of the art computer technology is used to monitor your eye to ensure that it does not move during the procedure. LASIK corrective eye surgery is one of the safest and fastest ways to ensure better vision in your life.

LASIK and Astigmatism

Now, it’s time to decide if this procedure is right for you. Astigmatism typically does not exceed 3.0 diopters in magnitude, which means that they are usually not extremely difficult to fix with LASIK surgery. In fact, most of the time astigmatism can be alleviated in one LASIK procedure session. By making the front surface of the eye more symmetrical, LASIK for astigmatism will clear vision permanently, potentially eliminating the need for certain glasses. While astigmatism with a higher magnitude can still be corrected with LASIK surgery, it may take a follow-up procedure to fine tune and enhance the initial procedure. If you have questions, have a conversation with your ophthalmologist. They’ll be able to walk you through what to expect, answer your questions, and guide you through recovery. Recovery from LASIK typically does not last long with many patients reporting that their eyes feeling completely normal the same day of the procedure. After the LASIK surgery, the patient will rest 15-30 minutes, the doctor will check on them, and then they’re free to go about the rest of the day. It is important, however, to note that you will not be able to drive yourself home. Lastly, the patient will receive protective sunglasses which they should wear for the following week to ensure safety and full recovery.

Best LASIK Surgery in New Jersey

For all of your LASIK and general vision needs, Marano Eye Care is your top choice in New Jersey. With convenient locations in Newark, Livingston, and Denville, clear vision is just a short distance from you. Our stellar staff have studied, trained, and worked in the field for years and we are proudly are committed to your comfort and experience. Contact us today with any questions to set up your appointment and begin your journey to clear vision.

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