Astigmatism is a refractive error where the cornea (this is the clear window at the front of your eye) is not completely round but instead shaped more like a rugby ball. This creates distortion, double images or shadowing in the vision at all distances.
Correcting astigmatism with LASIK is the treatment of choice and can make a dramatic improvement to the quality of vision.
Astigmatism – the image is split into two focal points, creating blurred vision at all distances
Occasionally astigmatism can be found by itself, but much more commonly together with short-sight (myopia) or long-sight (hyperopia). When it is combined with these other refractive errors, it will increase the blur and distortion that the patient sees.
When someone suffers from significant astigmatism (usually anything more than 0.5 of a dioptre) they will require corrective lenses, usually glasses. Contact lenses are available for this condition, known as toric lenses, but are not well tolerated by some patients due to the lens rotating on the cornea, blurring vision.
Laser surgery can cure astigmatism once the condition is no longer progressing.
LASIK is the treatment of choice for astigmatism and highly effective. PRK or LASEK is used far less frequently because the technique has significant restriction for this refractive error.
The laser part of the procedure takes 5-10 seconds to evaporate a very thin layer of tissue within the cornea, reshaping its curvature to produce a more spherical cornea. This eliminates the double focus that is characteristic of astigmatism, allowing all rays of light to come to a single focus.
The whole procedure is complete in approximately 4 minutes per eye.Please call us on to discuss vision correction at the Hurlingham Eye Clinic or to book a consultation.