What is Astigmatism?
Astigmatism is caused by an eye that is not completely round and occurs in nearly everybody to some degree. For vision problems due to astigmatism, glasses, contact lenses, and even vision correction procedures are all possible treatment options.
How Is Astigmatism Treated?
Almost all degrees of “normal” astigmatism can be corrected with properly prescribed eyeglasses or contact lenses. For a person with only a slight degree of astigmatism, corrective lenses may not be needed at all, as long as other conditions, such as nearsightedness or farsightedness, are not present. If the astigmatism is moderate to high, however, corrective glasses or contact lenses are probably needed.
Irregular astigmatism is far less common and is associated with abnormal conditions affecting the cornea (for example, keratoconus). This condition is more effectively treated with rigid gas permeable contact lenses or corneal procedures such as Excimer Laser operation. For those who are not be treated by Excimer Laser, there are also alternative treatments such as astigmatic keratotomy.
How Is Astigmatic Keratotomy Operation Performed?
Astigmatic keratotomy eye surgery is a safe and effective way to correct astigmatism and it’s often used in conjunction with other vision correction procedures. The cornea of people who have astigmatism is shaped like a football. Astigmatic keratotomy eye surgery corrects astigmatism by making one or two incisions at the steepest part of the cornea. These incisions cause the cornea to relax and take a more rounded shape, thereby reducing astigmatism.
Can Astigmatism be Treated Completely with the Operation?
This treatment is effective only for eyes that have astigmatism with a degree of 4. The aim of the operation is to downgrade the astigmatism. However, in some cases, a second operation may be needed or the remaining astigmatism can be removed via Excimer Laser if the cornea structure allows.