Astigmatism CAN be corrected with laser surgery.
Astigmatism, the scientific term for an abnormal curvature of the surface of the human eye, or cornea, is entirely treatable. The most common form of correction is eyeglasses. In many cases, astigmatism occurs alongside other conditions such as nearsightedness and farsightedness, and is compensated for within the overall eyeglass prescription determined for the patient.
Custom LASIK Surgery
Although LASIK eye surgery, a.k.a. Laser-Assisted In-Situ Keratomileusis, is still in its infancy, great strides are being made. The Food and Drug Administration recently approved Custom LASIK, referred to as the “next generation” of LASIK procedure.
The custom procedure involves mapping the individual nooks and crannies of a specific person’s eye. Wavefront technology is used to measure how light travels through the person’s eyes and then compares that graphing to the pattern of someone with perfect vision. Using three-dimensional computer technology, the difference between these two forms of vision – the patient’s, and perfect – are overlapped and referenced by the surgeon as he attempts to bring them in line with each other.
FDA Approved Procedures, Equipment
The Internet has made it much more convenient to access the mountain of helpful information provided by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for procedures such as LASIK. Before agreeing to any treatment, a patient can make sure for example that the equipment being used by their doctor is one of the lasers currently approved by the FDA.
Another less invasive procedure to correct astigmatism involves the implanting of corneal rings. The main advantage over LASIK is that the procedure can be both adjusted after initial surgery and-or completely reversed, if necessary. The FDA granted approval for use of these corneal ring devices in 1999, so it is a relatively new procedure. But another advantage is the relatively lower cost as compared to LASIK. The FDA website also offers a great step-by-step animation that details with great clarity the individual steps of LASIK surgery.
UC San Diego – Custom LASIK, Retrieved January 26, 2011 from http://health.ucsd.edu/specialties/eyes/visioncorrection/CustomLasik.htm
Food and Drug Administration – List of FDA-Approved Lasers for LASIK, Retrieved January 26, 2011 from http://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/ProductsandMedicalProcedures/SurgeryandLifeSupport/LASIK/ucm192109.htm
UC San Diego – Intrastormal Corneal Ring Segments, Retrieved January 26, 2011 from http://health.ucsd.edu/specialties/eyes/visioncorrection/intacs.htm
Food and Drug Administration – How LASIK Eye Surgery Works, Retrieved January 26, 2011 from http://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/ProductsandMedicalProcedures/SurgeryandLifeSupport