“Can I have LASIK with astigmatism?” is a common question that many people have when researching whether or not they are an ideal LASIK candidate. Astigmatism is a commonly misunderstood term; it is not an eye disease. Astigmatism is a type of refractive error similar to farsightedness or nearsightedness. Astigmatism is the most common type of prescription found when determining the power someone needs for glasses or contacts.
Astigmatism is an extremely common eye condition that concerns the front, clear cover of the eye—the cornea. When the cornea is irregularly shaped, light cannot properly reach the retina. This results in blurred vision, regardless of the distance. Due to the reduced ability to bend light appropriately, moderate to severe amounts of astigmatism can also cause eye discomfort and headaches. In many cases, farsightedness or nearsightedness accompanies astigmatism, further affecting both eyes’ capability to refract light. Many patients with astigmatism have been told that LASIK is not an option; this is no longer true.
The short answer is yes. Dr. Mozayeni corrects astigmatisms on a regular basis. Thanks to advancements in technology over the past decade, people with astigmatism are now likely to be great LASIK or PRK candidates. The investments Dr. Mozayeni has made in the most recent state-of-the-art, FDA-approved technology, combined with his 20+ years of vision correction surgery experience, is what enables him to provide outstanding results for patients with astigmatism. If your regular eye doctor tells you that you cannot have LASIK because you have astigmatism, don’t be discouraged. This is likely because they have not kept up with the LASIK industry. Only a LASIK surgeon can properly evaluate you to determine if LASIK can correct your astigmatism and/or nearsightedness or farsightedness.
A proper LASIK consultation should always include corneal mapping and an examination by the actual LASIK surgeon, not an optometrist or technician. At Providence Eye & Laser Specialists, we use the state-of-the-art Pentacam corneal mapping device. In a matter of a couple of seconds, it takes tens of thousand of images of your cornea which come together and form the map of your cornea. It looks like a topography map. This map shows the LASIK surgeon the corneas shape, thickness, and structural integrity. With this information, it can be determined if a patient with astigmatism can safely have LASIK or PRK.
There are some corneal diseases, such as keratoconus, that can cause a patient to have astigmatism due to overall cornea instability. Keratoconus causes a gradual weakening of the corneal tissue that causes patients to develop larger amounts of astigmatism over time. In this specific case, neither LASIK nor PRK should be performed because it would compromise the already fragile corneal structure. Dr. Mozayeni’s extensive experience and expertise as a fellowship-trained cornea specialist is critical to ensure you are a good candidate for LASIK eye surgery.
If you have astigmatism and have wondered about having LASIK eye surgery, contact our office and schedule a free consultation. As part of our thorough examination, we will utilize the Pentacam to map your cornea. Dr. Mozayeni will then personally examine your vision, the health of your eyes, analyze your corneas and give you his recommendation for the best outcome. We look forward to meeting you and helping you with your vision needs!