Astigmatism is a very common condition, with around half of the population being afflicted with it to some degree. When you have astigmatism, you will have blurry eyesight. Fine details in an object may not be viewed very clearly. Lines running from top to bottom may also appear slanted.
This is not an eye disease, however. It is merely a prescription for defects in a person’s optics because of refractive errors. Similar to myopia and far sightedness, astigmatism is a problem on how the eye focuses light.
Symptoms of Astigmatism
Astigmatism can be characterized by the following:
• Blurred vision
• Distorted vision regardless of distance
• Eye strain
• Headaches after an extended visual tasks, like reading or working in front of a computer
Classes of Astigmatism
Astigmatism can be classified into the following:
• Regular Astigmatism. In regular astigmatism, the principal medians of your eyes are perpendicular to each other. This is the more common class of astigmatism, with the eyes shaped like a football.
• Irregular Astigmatism. In irregular astigmatism, the principal medians of your eyes are not perpendicular. Instead, the astigmatism is a result of other conditions, like an injury to the eye, a scar in the cornea, a complication of another type of eye surgery, or a thin cornea brought about by an eye condition called keratoconus.
If you have keratoconus, you should not consider laser eye surgery, as it can make it signifiacntly worse.
Laser Eye Surgery to Treat Astigmatism
Astigmatism can actually be corrected by using eyeglasses, contact lenses, cylindrical lens or laser eye surgery.
The procedure for laser eye surgery for astigmatism is practically the same as when it is used to treat those with myopia or those with far sightedness. Even the recovery period after the operation is the same as that of near and far sightedness.
Laser eye surgery can treat astigmatic patients with prescriptions of up to 6.00 dioptres. As only less than one percent of the entire population will have an astigmatic prescription of more than 6.00 dioptres, practically everyone with this condition can have the surgery.
LASEK (or laser epithelial keratomileusis) and LASIK (laser assisted in situ keratomileusis) are the types of laser eye surgeries that can treat astigmatism. If your eye doctor measures your astigmatism to be higher than 3 dioptres however, chances are that he will recommend the use of Wavefront laser eye surgery, which is a variation of LASIK.
Wavefront is a highly accurate laser eye surgery method that has an iris recognition technology, which monitors the slightest of movements in your eyes during the operation. Wavefront will compensate for these movements and make sure that the laser is being administered at the correct areas. While the cost may be more prohibitive, the advantage it brings is important especially if you have high astigmatism.
Astigmatism can be easily corrected if properly and correctly managed. Surgery is a good and viable treatment option. Except for a very small percentage of the population, almost everyone can undergo laser surgical procedure to correct astigmatism. The end result of having perfectly normal 20/20 vision will make it all worthwhile.
At The Eye Practice we treat all forms of astigmatism from regular that can be corrected with glasses, contact lenses and referral only to the best laser eye surgeons to the most irregular that only can be treated using sophisticated rigid gas permeable contact lenses or referral to corneal transplant specialists.
Call us on (02) 9290 1899 or BOOK AN ASSESSMENT ONLINE.