Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Astigmatism and Laser Eye Surgery

Astigmatism is a type of refractive error in the lens of the eye. It is not a disease or eye health problem, and it can be easily corrected with laser eye surgery.

What is astigmatism?

Astigmatism is caused by an abnormal curvature of the cornea, which is the front of the eye. This abnormality causes light to enter the eye irregularly, causing the eye to send conflicting signals to the brain. The brain in turn, interprets these incoherent signals as blurred vision, which is the primary symptom of astigmatism. Other symptoms include fatigue after reading, headaches, and eye strain. An eye doctor can help you confirm if you have astigmatism or some other vision problem.

How does laser ‘fix’ astigmatism?

The highly precise lasers used in laser eye surgery such as laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) can be programmed to shape the cornea so the curvature of the eye surface is more symmetrical, allowing the cornea to focus the light that enters the eye better. This eliminates the vision problems caused by astigmatism.

Aside from correcting blurry vision, LASIK eye surgery can also reduce of not eliminate your reliance on glasses and contact lenses.

Are there other types of laser eye surgery?

LASIK is the most popular laser eye surgery performed in the US. However, there are other types of laser eye surgery, including other laser procedures such as trans-epithelial minimal laser ablation (TEMLA) and photorefractive keratectomy (PRK). Your eye doctor can help you decide which is the best choice for you, depending on your needs.

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