Many patients with myopia and hyperopia have some degree of astigmatism, or an oval shape, to their corneas. An astigmatism occurs when the cornea is shaped more like a football than a basketball. As a result, you experience distortion or tilting of images due to the unequal bending of light rays entering your eyes. People with high degrees of astigmatism have blurred vision for both near and distant objects.
It’s often claimed that laser vision correction surgery cannot treat astigmatism. And yet, at the NVISION Laser Eye Centers, we’ve been using laser vision correction surgery to treat astigmatism symptoms for many years.
Astigmatism is slightly more complex to treat than myopia or hyperopia (nearsightedness and farsightedness) because it requires correction in more than one plane. The football-like shape of an astigmatic cornea creates the effect of a flattened cone shape at the front of the eye. As a result, light enters at different angles through this cone, creating two points of focus—and therefore a blurred image. This is what causes classic astigmatism symptoms such as blurred small print, difficulty reading, the inability to see both near and far without squinting, constant headaches and fatigue, etc.
The conical shape of the cornea means that the surgeon must take account every distortion in every direction. Although this is certainly more complex than standard myopia or hyperopia, virtually all astigmatism symptoms are treatable by an expert laser vision correction surgeon using the right technology. Indeed, high astigmatism cases are routine at NVISION Laser Eye Centers.
If you are not sure whether you have this condition, a simple astigmatism test will be conducted, and we will help you from there. And if you have astigmatism, we can almost certainly help. If LASIK is not right for you, there are alternatives forms of treatment, such as PRK, intraocular lens and others that may be appropriate for you. NVISION doctors are very thorough in determining if you are a good candidate for laser vision correction and will be happy to discuss the potential outcome and risks involved for a patient with your particular prescription.