Astigmatism

Astigmatism is blurry vision caused by an irregularly-shaped cornea. Unlike myopia (nearsightedness) and hyperopia (farsightedness), astigmatism affects your vision at all distances. In the past, astigmatism was typically created by either eyeglasses or hard contact lenses. Now more treatment options are available, including LASIK, which can potentially give you better vision than you currently enjoy with your glasses or contacts.

The treatment options for astigmatism and your likely vision results depend strongly on your actual prescription and your eye health. To learn the results that our New York City, Manhattan, and Long Island eye doctor can achieve for you, we invite you to schedule a free consultation at the Kelly Laser Center today.

Astigmatism Defined

Astigmatism is caused by a cornea that is elliptical (oval or flattened like a football) rather than circular. This causes your eye to focus your vision poorly. Where myopia and hyperopia focus the light in front of or behind the retina, respectively, astigmatism creates a situation where the focus is never very good. Instead of a single focus point, your eye may have two or more focal points, which is what prevents you from having good vision at any distance.

Astigmatism comes in two types: regular and irregular. In regular (also called cardinal or orthogonal) astigmatism, the highest and lowest focal powers provided by your cornea are separated by a right angle, 90º. This makes it relatively easy to correct with traditional methods, such as eyeglasses and contact lenses. In irregular (or oblique) astigmatism, the two focal powers are separated by another angle, or the eye may have more than two focal powers. Oblique astigmatism can be very difficult to correct with contact lenses or eyeglasses. In the past it was also a challenge for LASIK, but recent technological innovations mean that LASIK is now a better option for treatment of oblique astigmatism than ever.

Astigmatism Correction

LASIK can be used for correcting astigmatism. In particular, LASIK is very good for correcting astigmatism that is paired with myopia. Myopia correction occurs automatically with astigmatism correction, so the two procedures are naturally reinforcing. However, correcting astigmatism in an eye with hyperopia or no other refractive error can be very difficult.

Oblique astigmatism treatment, though better than ever, is also not guaranteed to be correctable with LASIK. We would need to evaluate the particular conditions of your eye to determine whether LASIK can help you to get the vision you desire.

To learn whether LASIK can correct your astigmatism, please schedule a free consultation with our New York City, Manhattan, and Long Island Eye Doctor at the Kelly Laser Center today.