Did you know that everyone has some degree of astigmatism? Some folks have a barely perceptible condition, while others could benefit from LASIK surgery for astigmatism to improve their vision. Like nearsightedness and farsightedness, astigmatism is what’s known as a refractive error. When light enters the eye, the rays should come to a direct point at the retina. A perfectly curved cornea makes this possible.
No one’s cornea is perfectly rounded, so there’s always an amount of light scattered, or refracted, incorrectly. The amount of imperfection in the cornea’s curvature determines how much light misses that perfect point on the retina, and consequently, how much your vision is distorted.
What does this mean for daily life? It depends on the degree of astigmatism you have. You may not even notice blurred vision, if the surface of your cornea and lens are nearly round. Other people with astigmatism can experience blurred vision at all distances, squinting, eye strain, and even headaches. Since astigmatism changes as we age (occasionally even improving), it’s important that it is assessed early so you can discuss treatment options with your doctor.
Prescription for Success
During your visit, the Epic-5100 Vision Diagnostic System and CustomVue mapping will determine the exact measurements needed to correct your astigmatism, all in a fraction of the time eye exams used to take.
From there, you’ll be offered a number of options, including eyeglasses, contact lenses, or a permanently corrective procedure, LASIK.
As the National Eye Institute notes, eyeglasses are the simplest solution to astigmatism, and granted, they’re the least invasive. The optical shop here at Woodhams offers a wide selection of glasses by popular designers and the latest trends that can accent your style. But there are also other options for correcting astigmatism.
Contact lenses are another route you may choose. However, the eyes continue to change as you age, and it may not be long before astigmatism has you squinting again. You should always have regular eye examinations to keep your prescription up-to-date.
Eyeglasses and contact lenses both have their benefits, but they offer a provisional approach that may diminish over time. Corrective astigmatism surgery can repair the curvature of your cornea and allow you to see clearly again. If you’re interested in this option, talk with your doctor about LASIK with IntraLASE.
The procedure (if you qualify) is simple: A highly specialized laser creates a horizontal flap in the cornea. Once the hinged flap is lifted, the doctor has access to the curvature underneath, and within seconds he reshapes the cornea, again with precision lasers. The Woodhams doctors were the first eye surgeons in Georgia to perform this procedure entirely with lasers, and they have performed thousands of successful procedures to date.
Hindsight Is 20/20
Corrective eye surgery was at one time revolutionary, but today it’s a conventional option for patients who qualify. Talk to your doctor about whether you’re a strong candidate for corrective surgery.
For questions or comments, contact Woodhams Eye Clinic.
Image source: Flickr