FAQ – Can Laser Eye Surgery Correct Astigmatism?

by admin on June 12, 2011

In the search to correct the symptoms associated with astigmatism, there are several options to consider. While many people opt to treat their astigmatism symptoms through the use of contact lenses or eyeglasses, these are not permanent corrective measures. One of the only methods of permanently correcting astigmatism is through the application of surgical intervention.

Astigmatism is a condition caused by an irregularly shaped cornea, resulting in the inability to focus light directly on the retina’s surface. When light isn’t focused properly on the retina, blurred vision occurs at all distances. The severity of astigmatism symptoms can vary from mild to severe, which can affect the way that the condition is treated.

The most common method of permanently correcting astigmatism is through the implementation of laser surgical procedures. LASIK eye surgery is the most popular surgical procedure for correcting vision and is highly effective in correcting astigmatism. This laser procedure reshapes the cornea’s surface by flattening the steep curve associated with this condition. Unlike eyeglasses or contact lenses, LASIK eye surgery aims to correct the cause of astigmatism rather than treat the symptoms temporarily.

LASIK eye surgery can restore 20/20 vision in patients that suffer from a mild to moderate astigmatism. Those who have severe astigmatism may not be able to achieve perfect vision using this procedure, but it may help to drastically reduce the severity of the condition. Additionally, many patients with severe astigmatism opt to have multiple surgeries to fully correct their vision.

The cost associated with the LASIK corrective procedure can often deter those who suffer from astigmatism. The average cost of a LASIK procedure is around $2,000. There are many that are tempted by commercials or other advertisements that claim the LASIK procedure can cost as little as $200 per eye. It’s important to note that not all LASIK eye surgeons are created equal. Most patients that seek discount surgical procedures end up having to have the surgery repeated or corrected after something goes wrong.

There are other laser surgical procedures that can correct astigmatism, although they are typically less popular than LASIK vision correction. Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK) is a laser procedure that is similar to LASIK, but often requires a longer recovery time. Unlike LASIK, PRK involves aiming the laser’s energy directly on the cornea, rather than removing the corneal surface before reshaping. The PRK procedure may not be ideal for all people, but for those with certain types of astigmatism it may be the best option regardless of the increased recovery time.

Ultimately, laser eye surgery can correct astigmatism in most patients. Those with severe astigmatism may require multiple surgeries to achieve 20/20 vision or to eliminate the need for eyeglasses or contact lenses. Those who have mild or moderate astigmatism are usually the best candidates for LASIK eye surgery. Laser eye surgery can be very expensive and sometimes risky. It’s important to find a reputable eye surgeon who can help you determine the best way of correcting your astigmatism permanently.

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