Astigmatism is a common type of refractive error that affects approximately 1 in 3 Americans. The condition, though commonly genetic, stems from irregularities in the curvature of the cornea (front surface of the eye). When astigmatism is present, the cornea has a slightly different surface curvature in one direction or the other. The normal cornea is shaped like a basketball, whereas the astigmatic cornea is shaped like a football.
The condition can cause blurred vision at all distances due to the inability of the optics to sharply focus light rays onto your retina. Instead of focusing light rays at one focal point, the light rays are split apart, creating multiple focal points. Astigmatism may also occur in combination with nearsightedness or farsightedness.
Astigmatism Solutions: Understanding the Limits of Glasses and Contacts
Astigmatism can be corrected with glasses, special contact lenses, or refractive surgery. While glasses and contacts can help improve vision temporarily, they do come with limitations. Glasses must have the opposite distortion to correct astigmatism, so the visual field is clear only when looking through the distortion point in the glasses. This can make it difficult to see in the periphery without turning your head.
Special soft contact lenses called toric contact lenses can also correct astigmatism. The toric contact lens can be more expensive than traditional contacts lenses and tends to rotate slightly with each blink, causing a blur until they rotate back into position.
Laser vision correction procedures such as LASIK result in a permanent correction made to the cornea by reshaping it to a natural round curvature without imperfections. At Durrie Vision, we specialize in all forms of laser vision correction procedures to treat astigmatism, providing our patients with the best vision possible.
Astigmatism Correction Procedures: LASIK, ASA, SMILE
Many people believe if they have astigmatism, they aren’t a candidate for LASIK or laser vision correction. That’s 100% a myth. The truth is that LASIK is designed to treat astigmatism by addressing the refractive error at its source – the cornea. Durrie Vision specializes in several refractive surgery options to customize a treatment plan to your eyes and lifestyle.
LASIK: LASIK is arguably the most well-known vision correction procedure. At Durrie Vision, we perform SBK Advanced LASIK, which uses the latest laser technology to reshape the cornea and correct the refractive error(s). This highly precise technique delivers exceptional visual outcomes and a rapid recovery.
Advanced Surface Ablation (ASA): Advanced Surface Ablation is an alternative solution for people who may not be candidates for LASIK due to limited corneal thickness, scarring, previous eye surgery, or recreational and/or occupational demands.
SMILE: SMILE (Small Incision Lenticule Extraction) is a minimally invasive procedure in which we remove a disc-shaped piece of corneal tissue (lenticule) to reshape the cornea.
What if I’m over 50? Presbyopia & Astigmatism
By the time you reach your late 40s to early 50s, you may have noticed that it has become harder to see items up close. That is because as you age, the lens inside the eye begins to lose its zoom function, making it difficult to focus on near objects, read fine print, or see things in dim light. Presbyopia can occur alongside already present refractive errors such as nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. When it does, most people begin to rely on reading glasses and/or bifocals, which may accommodate their visual needs, but not their lifestyle.
For those seeking freedom from corrective lenses, Durrie Vision has a variety of treatment options designed to treat presbyopia along with other refractive errors like astigmatism at the same time. Treatment options included blended vision with LASIK, Refractive Lens Exchange, and Refractive Cataract Surgery. The right procedure for you is dependent on a number of factors including age, profession, hobbies, and desired outcomes.
Get started with astigmatism correction at Durrie Vision
Our number one goal is to help our patients experience life with the best vision possible. With each patient, we start with an in-depth consultation process. In fact, we take our consultations so seriously that it has its own name—Advanced Ocular Analysis (AOA). During your AOA, we’ll go through a series of the most advanced diagnostic tests to gauge which procedure will be the best option to reach your vision goals.
No matter the procedure, we use innovative laser technology to maximize precision so our patients receive the best results possible. We stick with our patients every step of the way, from the consultation all the way to the final visit.
For over 30 years, our doctors at Durrie Vision have been leaders in refractive surgery, offering all six options available today. To get started, schedule your AOA or take our easy, online self-candidacy test.