Multiple Vision Surgeries Can Correct This Common Refractive Error
Astigmatism is a common refractive error, or imperfection, in your vision. It is caused when the curvature of your eye is incorrect and blurs your distance and near vision.
With astigmatism, either your cornea or your lens have mismatched curves. Instead of having a perfectly spherical shape, one of them is more like an egg. If your cornea is curved more steeply, it is called corneal astigmatism. If your lens has mismatched curves, it is called lenticular astigmatism.
People with astigmatism need not worry that their refractive error will disqualify them from laser vision correction. In fact, modern procedures address astigmatism while also correcting nearsightedness, farsightedness, and even cataracts.
What Causes Astigmatism?
It’s a common myth that astigmatism is caused by reading in poor light or sitting too close to the television.
However, in many people, astigmatism is present at birth, but some develop it after an eye injury or as a result of a disease.
Can I Have Laser Vision Correction If I Have Astigmatism?
At Durrie Vision, people with astigmatism can be eligible for laser vision correction procedures, including:
- SBK Advanced LASIK Surgery
- Refractive Lens Exchange
- Refractive Cataract Surgery
- Advanced Surface Ablation PRK
- SMILE Vision Correction
- Phakic Intraocular Lens Implants
Our refractive surgeons determine which one is right for you after an Advanced Ocular Analysis (AOA), an in-depth eye exam, in our Overland Park office.
SBK Advanced LASIK Surgery
The most advanced LASIK surgery available today, SBK was developed by our own Dr. Durrie. It can be an appropriate laser vision correction option for adults ages 18 to 54 who have astigmatism, farsightedness, or nearsightedness.
During the procedure, a refractive eye surgeon uses two types of lasers to create a corneal flap and reshape the cornea to correct refractive errors – problems with your vision.
After the procedure, your vision is blurry for a few hours, then it rapidly improves. Most patients are able to return to work and normal life activities the following morning.
Refractive Lens Exchange
Refractive lens exchange, or RLE, is appropriate for patients ages 50 to 59 who suffer from astigmatism, farsightedness, nearsightedness, or presbyopia and want to eliminate their dependence on glasses, contacts, readers, or bifocals.
During RLE, the refractive surgeon replaces your eye’s natural lens with an artificial one. This also eliminates the need for future cataract surgery, because an artificial lens cannot develop cataracts. Most patients can return to work and most regular daily activities after their one-day postoperative examination.
Refractive Cataract Surgery
Refractive cataract surgery is suitable for seniors ages 60 and older who have astigmatism, farsightedness, nearsightedness, presbyopia, and, of course, cataracts. After this advanced type of cataract surgery, you can expect to eliminate or significantly decrease your dependency on reading glasses.
Refractive cataract surgery is different from traditional cataract surgery, which does not correct common refractive errors. Our surgery at Durrie Vision uses multifocal, extended depth-of-focus, and Toric IOLs to optimize vision correction; during the procedure, our refractive surgeon will remove your eye’s natural lens and replace it with an artificial intraocular one. This can also correct lenticular astigmatism.
Additional laser vision correction for corneal astigmatism, like LASIK surgery or PRK, can be done postoperatively to improve vision even more.
Advanced Surface Ablation PRK
Advanced Surface Ablation PRK, which stands for Photorefractive Keratectomy, corrects refractive errors associated with astigmatism, nearsightedness, and farsightedness, in adults ages 18 to 54.
This laser vision correction procedure involves removing the epithelium (the outer skin of the cornea), and then reshaping the cornea, which can correct corneal astigmatism. Patients then temporarily wear a soft contact lens to protect the eye during healing and recovery.
SBK is ideal for patients who don’t qualify for SBK LASIK surgery due to limited corneal thickness, corneal scarring from contact lenses, previous eye surgery, or occupational or recreational demands. PRK recovery time is a little longer than LASIK, because it can take up to 72 hours for the epithelium to heal.
SMILE Vision Correction
SMILE is an ideal laser vision correction procedure for adults ages 18 to 54 with astigmatism and mild to moderate nearsightedness. SMILE is an acronym for Small Incision Lenticule Extraction.
SMILE Vision Correction is different from LASIK surgery, in that it corrects the refractive error by removing a small amount of corneal tissue; LASIK involves reshaping the cornea with a laser. Recovery time for SMILE is similar to LASIK; you can expect rapid vision improvement in a few hours after surgery, and will be cleared to return to daily activities during a postoperative visit the day after.
Phakic Intraocular Lens Implants
Called Phakic IOLs for short, these lenses are ideal for adults ages 18 and older with severe myopia. Adults who have astigmatism in addition can also qualify for Phakic IOLs.
Patients who are not good candidates for a LASIK procedure may find that they qualify for these implants. During the procedure, the refractive surgeon will make a small incision in the cornea, just large enough for the lens implants. The lens is centered on the pupil directly in front of or behind the iris. If the lens is placed in front of the iris, your surgeon will close the incision with microscopic stitches. If the lens is placed behind the iris, the incision will self-heal without them.
Most patients with Phakic IOLs will see rapid improvement in their vision during the first 24 hours after survey, with optimal results in one week.
Do I Qualify for Laser Vision Correction?
Learn more about which laser vision correction procedure could be right for you by taking our online self-candidacy test. All you have to do is answer a few questions about your current vision.
To confirm candidacy, you’ll need to complete a complementary AOA. Schedule your AOA consultation today.