When laser eye surgery is the procedure chosen to treat astigmatism, the corneal tissue beneath the eye’s surface is reshaped to correct the patient’s vision, and this procedure eliminates the need for sutures. The surface area that is affected is reduced, along with the amount of post-operative discomfort. As a rule, less medication is needed afterwards, and the patient’s vision usually returns within 24 to 48 hours.
During the surgery, the cornea becomes rounder, enabling light rays to come to a single focal point on the retina, and astigmatism is often treated along with farsightedness or nearsightedness.
Benefits of the Excimer Laser
Eye specialists use this device to treat extreme cases of astigmatism and nearsightedness. Using a scanning beam, this laser removes tissue smoothly and accurately across the cornea. This assures the patient of a quick recovery and improved vision, and since it treats a larger area than other lasers, it also reduces the possibility of Halo side effects and glare.
These are some of the risks involved in laser treatment:
- If the results are unsatisfactory, you may have to repeat the procedure, and your vision may even be worse than it was before you had the treatment.
- Even if you never had to wear them before, you may have to begin wearing contact lenses or eye glasses to see properly up close.
- You may develop new vision symptoms or problems, and those you already had, such as dry eye, may become worse.
You should not have laser eye surgery if any of the following conditions exist:
- You have a health problem that would hinder the healing process, such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, or AIDS.
- You develop a condition that results in the thinning of your cornea. In this case, your vision may be worse after having the procedure, requiring additional surgery.
- You are taking a medication that affects your vision, such as Accutane or Cordarone. This may affect the accuracy of the laser, the healing process, or both.
“Department of Ophthalmology, University of Kansas School of Medicine.” University of Kansas Medical Center. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 July 2010. http://www.kumc.edu/ophthalmology/vc/options.html.
“UCSF Medical Center | Laser Treatment Treats Extreme Nearsightedness and Astigmatism .” UCSF Medical Center. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 July 2010. http://www.ucsfhealth.org/adult/health_library/news/1999/10/9169.html.
“Carl Zeiss Meditec MEL 80 Excimer Laser System – P060004.” U S Food and Drug Administration Home Page. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 July 2010. http://www.fda.gov/MedicalDevices/ProductsandMedicalProcedures/DeviceApprovalsandClearances/Recently-ApprovedDevices/ucm077703.htm.