I Have Astigmatism – Can I Still Get LASIK?

15 Aug 2023Eye Health & General Information

Astigmatism is a condition that comes from your cornea or lens being irregularly shaped. This results in images being focused on different points near the retina, causing blurred or multiple vision at all distances.

Corrective lenses like glasses and contact lenses have been the traditional go-to for astigmatism for ages. However, advancements in medical technology have opened up new possibilities for achieving crystal-clear vision if you have this condition.

To be precise, questions such as “Can LASIK correct astigmatism” actually have an affirmative answer now – but only given certain conditions.

If you want to know more about that, you are on the right page, as we will address the common concerns surrounding LASIK for astigmatism, as well as shed light on its safety and effectiveness.

Can LASIK correct astigmatism?

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LASIK or laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis is a surgical procedure designed to correct refractive errors in the cornea.

It does this by slicing a flap in the exterior of the cornea, peeling that back, then using a precision laser (called an excimer laser) to reshape the exposed corneal tissue.

LASIK can correct a slew of vision problems, from hyperopia to myopia. It can also correct astigmatism, although there are qualifiers to this as with the other conditions.

People with very high refractive errors in their eyes may not be suitable for LASIK, especially if they also have thin corneas. Such patients may also find the results of LASIK less than perfect.

For reference, the refractive prescription threshold for getting LASIK in cases of astigmatism is up to -4.0 diopters.

Can LASIK correct all types of astigmatism?

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We already noted one qualifier as to whether or not LASIK can treat astigmatism. Another worth noting is that it can only treat corneal astigmatism.

The reason for this is that the LASIK procedure involves reshaping the cornea. This means that errors in that part of the eye can be addressed, but not ones in other parts, e.g. the lenses.

Hence, those with lenticular astigmatism cannot turn to LASIK for a solution.

On this topic, there are a few other considerations that may decide whether or not LASIK is the procedure for you. For instance, your doctor is likely to assess the thickness of your cornea too when deciding if you are a candidate for LASIK.

This is because extremely thin corneas make LASIK too risky. The process of reshaping the cornea during the procedure requires the removal of corneal tissue.

Is LASIK safe for astigmatism?

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LASIK is generally safe for astigmatism, provided the patient is suffering from corneal astigmatism and falls within the thresholds mentioned earlier.

LASIK surgery for astigmatism is highly successful, with 99% of patients typically seeing good outcomes post-procedure. Most of them achieve vision of between 6/6 and 6/9 upon recovery.

Consult over the viability of LASIK for your astigmatism today

As you can see, LASIK may be a possible solution for the woes of people suffering from corneal astigmatism. It may not solve astigmatism for everyone – those with lenticular astigmatism cannot rely on it, for instance – but it is viable for many.

There are many factors to consider before deciding whether or not LASIK is the best option for an individual. You can also check our article on the possible risks of LASIK to learn more.

As each person’s eyes are unique, it is best to seek a personal consultation with an eye care professional to learn more.

On that note, you can reach out to us at Shinagawa Eye Centre to learn more about LASIK and whether it is suitable for you. Call us to enquire or book an appointment for a pre-LASIK assessment today.