Astigmatism is an imperfection in the curvature of your eye’s cornea or lens. Normally, the cornea and lens are smooth and curved equally in all directions. This helps to focus light rays sharply onto the retina at the back of your eye. If your cornea or lens isn’t smooth and evenly curved, light rays aren’t refracted (bent) properly. Doctors call this a refractive error.
Astigmatism is caused by an irregular curvature of the eye’s cornea or lens. If your cornea or lens isn’t evenly curved, light rays aren’t refracted properly. With astigmatism you have blurred or distorted vision at near and far distances.
Astigmatism is very common. Doctors don’t know why corneal shape differs from person to person. They do know that likelihood of developing astigmatism is inherited.
Astigmatism can develop after an eye disease, eye injury or surgery. It is a myth that astigmatism can develop or worsen from reading in low light or sitting very close to the television.
The decision to have laser vision correction depends on the results of a thorough preoperative evaluation. Just as you are a unique individual, each eye requires unique and careful examination with the best technology.
It will be an evaluation to determine whether or not you are a safe candidate for laser vision correction.
It is important to understand that not everyone is a suitable candidate for LASIK. Some basic requirements include:
- A stable eyeglass prescription for at least two years.
- Best corrected vision of at least 20/40.
- Healthy cornea.
- No active eye disease.
- Over 18 years old.
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Laser Eye Surgery
In most cases, LASIK can fully correct astigmatism, and the effect is permanent. Despite having a somewhat scary-sounding name, astigmatism is not an eye disease — it’s simply a refractive error like nearsightedness and farsightedness — and it can be corrected with eyeglasses, contact lenses and LASIK surgery.