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Common Questions on Astigmatism

April 15, 2021

Author: Stuart B. Carter

What is astigmatism?

Astigmatism is a very common eye condition that causes blurry vision and is believed to affect 30–40% of adults worldwide. While it’s not a dangerous condition, it can significantly lower the quality of your vision if left uncorrected.

Uncorrected astigmatism causes blurry vision by distorting light as it enters the eye through the cornea, which is the clear covering on the front of the eye. To focus the light correctly, the cornea should be round in shape. However, in patients with astigmatism, the cornea isn’t perfectly round, and it’s this abnormal shape that distorts the vision.

How is astigmatism corrected?

In most cases, astigmatism can be fully corrected with glasses or contact lenses to provide clear vision. In qualified patients, laser vision correction (such as LASIK) reshapes the cornea to be round and is an option for correcting astigmatism without the need for glasses or contacts. In rare cases, a hard contact lens may be required to correct high levels of astigmatism.

How does astigmatism affect cataract surgery?

For patients with astigmatism who also require cataract surgery, it’s important to understand that astigmatism might still degrade the quality of their vision even after surgery. There are now a variety of ways to correct cataracts and astigmatism at the same time to improve the visual result. With over 7 years of experience, Dr. Carter is pleased to offer a full range of astigmatism correction to all qualifying patients using the latest techniques, including laser cataract surgery to reshape the cornea back to normal, as well as implantable astigmatism-correcting (toric) intraocular lenses.

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