LASIK surgery is one of the most popular vision correction procedures. LASIK reshapes the cornea to eliminate the irregularities that are responsible for the refractive errors that cause nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism.
Dr. Thomas Byrd is happy to offer LASIK at his eye clinic, which serves Detroit, MI, Dearborn Heights, MI, Lincoln Park, MI, and surrounding areas. Here, Dr. Byrd explains how astigmatism affects the vision, how astigmatism can be treated with LASIK, and what can be done to restore the vision if astigmatism persists after LASIK.
What Is Astigmatism?
Astigmatism is a refractive error that affects how the eye focuses images. Astigmatism occurs when the cornea is shaped more like a football than a round ball. The irregular shape prevents light from being bent evenly when it enters the eye. Instead, the eye bends more in one direction, so images are not focused clearly. Symptoms of astigmatism include:
- Blurred or distorted vision
- Poor night vision
- The need to squint to see clearly
- Headaches or general discomfort
Treating Astigmatism Through LASIK Surgery
Like nearsightedness and farsightedness, astigmatism can be treated through LASIK. LASIK corrects astigmatism by reshaping the cornea so that light can be focused clearly and evenly as it enters the eye. During a LASIK procedure, Dr. Byrd creates a flap on the surface of the cornea. The flap of tissues is lifted to grant access to the underlying cornea. An excimer laser is then used to reshape the cornea so that it more closely resembles the ideal round shape. Once necessary corrections have been made, the flap is lowered so that tissues can heal.
Can LASIK Cause Astigmatism?
LASIK surgery is overwhelmingly successful. Over 90 percent of LASIK patients recover with 20/20 vision or better. Unfortunately, in rare cases, residual astigmatism persists after LASIK, or patients may even develop a new, mild form of astigmatism following their procedure. Most often, this is the result of a surgical error. Patients can minimize the risk of this type of complication by choosing a skilled and experienced LASIK surgeon, such as Dr. Byrd.
Dealing With Astigmatism After LASIK
In the rare instance that a patient suffers from astigmatism after LASIK, there are options they can consider to restore clearer vision. Patients always have the option to treat astigmatism by wearing prescription glasses or contact lenses. However, most people are reluctant to resume wearing prescription lenses after LASIK since the goal of treatment is to eliminate the use of eyewear.
Those who want to treat astigmatism after LASIK so that they do not need to go back to wearing glasses or contact lenses can consider LASIK enhancement. LASIK enhancement is very similar to traditional LASIK treatment. The procedure allows Dr. Byrd to correct any imperfections that still remain after LASIK.
If you are suffering from astigmatism and would like to know if LASIK can help, Dr. Thomas Byrd would be happy to meet with you personally to discuss your vision needs. To schedule an appointment, contact our eye clinic online or call (734) 284-2444 at your earliest convenience.