Can I get LASIK with astigmatism?

If you have astigmatism you may be wondering if LASIK surgery is an option for you.  Astigmatism occurs on the front surface of the eye (also known as the cornea) and is when the cornea is oval shaped.  The cornea acts as a lens. It bends (“refracts”) light rays entering the eye so they come to a focal point on the back surface of the eye (also known as the retina).  If the cornea is oval shaped, the light rays do not come to a sharp focal point on the retina and images appear blurry.

Astigmatism is a common vision condition that can be corrected in several ways including contact lenses, eyeglasses or laser vision correction procedures such as LASIK.  Eyeglasses are technological devices from the middle ages and have been refined over the centuries. Contacts were invented in the 1960s and have been significantly improved over the last several decades. Both eyeglasses and contacts have done very well helping people deal with their refractive errors such as astigmatism. LASIK, invented in the 1990s, is an entirely different approach to helping with refractive errors such as astigmatism. It is a surgical procedure that instead of managing life by working around astigmatism it actually eliminates it.

Can you get LASIK surgery if you have astigmatism?

In terms of LASIK surgery and astigmatism,  LASIK surgery is a common treatment that many patients opt for instead of glasses or contact lenses.  LASIK can fully correct astigmatism. With the latest iDesign VISX laser software (only available in Richmond at LLCC) the accuracy of astigmatism correction is phenomenal.  In the rare instances where a small residual amount of astigmatism remains and is noticeable it is nice to know that this can usually be fined tuned with the laser.

Patients may not be ideal candidates for LASIK surgery for several reasons, including:

  • Their corneas are irregularly shaped
  • Their corneas are too thin.
  • The anatomy of their eyes make suction for LASIK too difficult

There are additional factors that may influence a patient’s eligibility for LASIK. Check out the main factors here.

Often patients that are not candidates can still have another laser vision correction technique called PRK. Learn more about PRK here.

LASIK surgery for astigmatism at Lipstock LASIK

If you’re unsure whether LASIK is the right choice for your astigmatism, or if you don’t know if you are a candidate for LASIK, one of the best things to do is to schedule a consultation with a LASIK expert.  During your consultation your doctor will help you decide if LASIK is right for you. You can also review costs and financing options.

Dr. Lipstock has been pioneering LASIK with the newest technologies since 1995. If you are located in the central Virginia region, Lipstock LASIK & Cataract Center is available for a free consultation. Schedule your appointment today!


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