Astigmatism is a condition in which the cornea is misshapen or irregular, causing blurry vision. Eyes with astigmatism generally take on the shape of a football, opposed to the round shape of the normal eye. Here at OCLI, we understand that blurred vision is frustrating to deal with, and we offer the best methods of treatment available.
This extremely common refractive error is generally managed with glasses and special contact lenses. However, some patients prefer a more permanent solution to their astigmatism. Here at OCLI, we offer the following astigmatism treatments.
LASIK surgery is an extremely popular procedure meant to correct common refractive errors such as astigmatism.
During LASIK surgery, the surgeon creates a round, thin flap on the surface of the cornea, allowing them to expose the inner layers of the cornea for treatment. The surgeon then adjusts the shape of the cornea using a laser. Adjusting the shape of the cornea diminishes blurriness by allowing light to properly reflect onto the cornea. Those who undergo LASIK surgery are usually able to live free from glasses and contact lenses altogether!
PRK is very similar to LASIK surgery, except instead of creating a flap, a very thin layer of the cornea is removed completely. Adjustments are made to the shape of the cornea, using the same method used in LASIK. PRK recovery typically takes longer than LASIK recovery, but results are generally the same.
Laser Assisted Cataract Surgery
Older astigmatic patients who have cataracts are in a unique position to correct two conditions at once. Cataracts, a condition in which the naturally clear lens in the eye becomes cloudy, causes blurry vision. When combined with astigmatism, blurry vision becomes exacerbated, and glasses may no longer provide adequate vision correction.
Luckily for those suffering from these two conditions, at OCLI we are able to correct astigmatism and cataracts simultaneously during laser cataract surgery. Our doctors replace the cataract-affected lens with an artificial lens; these artificial lenses can have different refractive powers. When the doctor replaces the cataract-affected lens with an astigmatism correcting lens (called a toric IOL), both cataracts and astigmatism are corrected.
Toric IOL Placement during Cataract Surgery
A toric intraocular lens (IOL) is a clear lens meant to mimic the natural lens inside of the eye. The toric IOL contains refractive power which is able to correct astigmatism. By replacing the natural lens with the toric IOL, the effects of astigmatism are greatly reduced or eliminated. The toric lens allows light to properly reflect onto the retina, making images appear sharp and clear.