Understanding Astigmatism and How It Is Treated

The cornea, or outermost layer of eye tissue, is responsible for helping to “refract” or bend light entering the eye to focus it on the retina. The retina is a layer of light-sensitive tissue that transmits light signals to the brain, which interprets the images that we see. 

In a normal, healthy eye, the cornea is round like a basketball. But when it is abnormally curved and more oblong like a football, light is unable to focus on the retina, causing blurry or distorted vision; this is known as astigmatism. 

Dr. Edward Hedaya and the team at InVision Eye Care see many people suffering the effects of astigmatism at our practice.

Is Astigmatism Common?

Astigmatism is extremely common; according to the American Optometric Association, most people have at least some degree of astigmatism. You can be born with astigmatism or it can develop later in life. Sometimes it develops after eye surgery or an eye injury. Also, it can occur in cases of keratoconus, a condition in which the cornea thins and takes on a cone-like shape. 

Signs and Symptoms of Astigmatism

The symptoms of astigmatism can be different from one person to another, but usually include blurry or fuzzy near vision, difficulty seeing faraway objects, eye discomfort and headaches. 

Astigmatism Treatment Options

Traditionally, the simplest and safest way to correct for astigmatism and see clearly is to wear glasses or contact lenses. However, as technology and treatment options have advanced, laser refractive surgery has emerged as a safe and effective solution to astigmatism. 

During a procedure called photorefractive keratectomy (PRK), a state-of-the-art excimer laser is used to remove microscopic bits of tissue from the cornea, permanently improving its curvature. This allows light entering the eye to bend or refract properly onto the retina for clearer, sharper vision. After PRK, patients are less dependent on glasses or contacts to see clearly — some no longer need visual aids at all!

When performed by a qualified laser eye surgeon such as Dr. Hedaya or another member of the surgical team at InVision Eye Care, PRK has a great safety record and incredible treatment outcomes.

Learn More about PRK for Astigmatism

For more information about treating astigmatism with laser vision correction, our team invites you to schedule a consultation. Please call or email us today to request an appointment.

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