Many individuals with myopia or hyperopia also have some degree of astigmatism. People with significant astigmatism experience blurred or distorted vision for all objects, whether near or far. Astigmatism means that your cornea, instead of being spherical like the side of a basketball, is slightly oval, shaped more like the side of a football. Your cornea is more curved in one direction than the other. As a result, light rays entering the eye from different points on the cornea’s surface are bent irregularly and are focused at several different points, rather than meeting at just one focal point. Almost everyone has a small degree of astigmatism.
While LASIK is the most common procedure used for astigmatism correction, for some astigmatism patients other techniques are more appropriate. For example, for astigmatism patients undergoing lens implant surgery (during cataract surgery or refractive lens exchange, for example), a simple procedure called Astigmatic Keratotomy can be performed simultaneously to reduce or eliminate low to moderate levels of astigmatism.
ASTIGMATIC KERATOTOMY or Limbal Relaxing Incisions (AK or LRIs)
Astigmatism can be corrected by small, accurate incisions on the surface of the outer cornea. AK (and LRIs) is a safe and effective treatment for patients with pure astigmatism (no coexisting nearsightedness or farsightedness) and can be done in an office setting. The small incisions are placed in the steep portion of the patient’s cornea as a means of allowing that area to relax, or flatten. The result is a more spherical and properly shaped cornea. The most common application of AK is for the correction of astigmatism at the time of any Lens Implant surgery (including cataract, Refractive Lens Exchange, or Implantable Contact Lens procedures). Astigmatic Keratotomy (AK) patients enjoy rapid visual recovery and an improvement in both distance and near vision. For higher amounts of astigmatism, LRIs can be combined with astigmatism correcting lens implants (toric IOLs).
Astigmatism Correction Conclusions
If you hare not a candidate for Astigmatic Keratotomy or Limbal Relaxing Incisions but are still bothered by visual distortions caused by astigmatism you may still be a candidate for other astigmatism correcting techniques such as LASIK or surface ablation. Call us today at 805-388-1211 or contact us through our website to schedule a consultation for astigmatism correction.