Astigmatism is a common and treatable imperfection in the curvature of the eye that can cause double or blurred vision, headaches, difficulty with night vision and feeling of fatigue due to the eye strain. Glasses and contacts can treat astigmatism, but they can't cure the condition. However, Laser eye surgery is not only a treatment for astigmatism, but can correct the condition.
However, not everyone may qualify for laser eye surgery to treat their astigmatism. This surgery may not be performed under the following conditions:
- If a patient is under the age of 21 years of age then laser surgery will not be performed until the patient reaches the age of 21 years.
- Patients considering laser eye surgery for their astigmatism must have had a stable eye glass prescription for at least year before surgery is performed.
- Laser surgery will not be performed on pregnant women or women who are breast feeding.
- People who suffer from diabetes, HIV, AIDs or Rheumatoid Arthritis are not good candidates for laser surgery.
- If you have another unaddressed eye condition such as cataracts laser surgery will not be preformed until the condition is treated and resolved.
Before Deciding On Surgery
If you are considering laser eye surgery, then the first thing you will need to do is visit a surgeon that performs laser surgery and he will discuss with you the types of surgical procedures and which procedure will be right for you and your astigmatism.
The Surgery Itself
Laser eye surgery for astigmatism is actually a very short procedure. The entire surgery takes only 4 to 5 minutes for each eye from start to finish and most patients experience 20/20 vision within 30 minutes of surgery although some people's vision does not clear as quickly and in many cases you still may need to wear contacts or eye glasses at least part time. In addition, having laser eye surgery is not without risks.
Risk of Laser Eye Surgery for Astigmatism
There are 5 risks of laser eye surgery for astigmatism. These risks include:
- If the surgery is not done properly then there is a chance of permanent blindness.
- You can also develop what is known as an irregular astigmatism that cannot be improved by glasses or contact lenses. This may mean that you will suffer from uncorrected blurry vision the rest of your life.
- Laser surgery could also result in triggering multiple visions, which can make it impossible to focus on one object.
- A more minor risk of laser eye surgery is a condition known as dry-eye syndrome. This means that you eyes tend to dry out and need to use eye drops to keep the eyes moistened. When the eyes dry out this can cause a great deal of discomfort.
- For several months to a year after laser eye surgery your night vision may be affected. This could make driving at night dangerous resulting in your driving abilities being limited.
You need to carefully weigh the benefits and the risk of laser surgery for astigmatism before deciding if this surgery is right for you.