Astigmatism Symptoms and Treatments

May 10, 2011 — by Dr. Zimmer
Tags: Astigmatism Lasik Prk

We’ve discussed two common refractive errors in the past already on this blog: myopia (nearsightedness) and hyperopia (farsightedness). There’s another common refractive error that many people deal with, and that is astigmatism. Astigmatism actually accompanies myopia or hyperopia in a lot of cases, and it actually has different causes. When you come to InSightSM LASIK & Refractive Group, a Pittsburgh area LASIK eye surgery center, we’ll be able to perform a comprehensive evaluation of your eye health and determine the best possible treatment for you.

So you may be wondering what astigmatism is exactly. You’ve likely heard this word before. Basically, astigmatism refers to a general blurriness of vision that is caused by an irregular curvature of the cornea or the lens. The degree of blurriness will usually be related to the curvature of the lens or cornea. Those who have astigmatism will often notice vertical or horizontal distortions of vision and may experience headaches and need to squint in order to see properly and more clearly.

There are many different treatments to consider for astigmatism. If the astigmatism is caused by a corneal issue, then the best options are corrective lenses or refractive surgery. Corrective lenses refer to the use of eye glasses or contact lenses. Refractive surgery means the use of specially designed surgical lasers in order to reshape the cornea. This means the use of LASIK, Pittsburgh PRK, or LASEK.

If astigmatism is caused by irregular curvature of the lens of the eye, then treatment options will change. Corrective lenses may help depending on the issue. Another option is the use of lens implants. These implants are artificial lenses which are used instead of the natural lens of the eye and can be quite effective for restoring the vision. Some lenses will only correct vision for one distance, which means patients will still need to use corrective lenses after surgery. Other lenses will help accommodate vision for multiple distances. Your surgeon will discuss these options in greater detail.

For more information on treating astigmatism as well as other eye care issues, be sure to contact our Pittsburgh area laser vision correction center today.