The Truth about LASIK Success Rates for Astigmatism

January 21st, 2019
happy senior couple looking at laptop at the park

Many patients don’t realize they’re good candidates for the LASIK procedure—and the LASIK astigmatism success rate is higher than ever.

Astigmatism is surprisingly common, and most people have at least a mild form of this condition. But when it begins to cause blurred vision all the time — whether you’re reading a book or gazing at a sunset — it’s time to think about your options for a better quality of life.

LASIK (situ keratomileusis) is a refractive surgery that can correct these errors. When first developed in the ’90s, the LASIK procedure was used only to treat myopia or nearsightedness. But for over two decades now the LASIK astigmatism success rate has improved greatly as doctors have perfected the use of the procedure. This laser eye surgery can help patients with astigmatism correct vision problems that contact lenses and glasses can’t completely fix. For patients tired of the hassle of glasses and contact lenses, laser vision correction procedures are an increasingly preferred way to correct astigmatism once and for all.

Defining Astigmatism

Although it may sound like eye disease, astigmatism is actually a refractive error like being farsighted or nearsighted. If you have astigmatism, your cornea, which is typically dome-shaped, will instead be somewhat oblong and asymmetrical. Astigmatism symptoms include blurry vision, eye strain, discomfort, squinting, or strained night vision. They can be addressed with special glasses and contacts that correct the differences in vision across the eye. LASIK surgery is also an increasingly popular and more permanent option.

This eye condition often shows up early in life — in one study, 28% of children tested had at least a mild form. It can also show up in adulthood, sometimes caused by eye injury or disease, although in many cases the cause will be unknown. As the condition develops, you may find that both distance vision and close-up reading are distorted and that your constant eye strain and squinting may be causing you headaches.

Success Rates of LASIK for Astigmatism Correction

LASIK is an effective and affordable option for most adults with astigmatism. Before the surgery, your doctor will carefully measure the curvature and health of the cornea to assess the extent of your condition. The procedure then uses advanced lasers to precisely reshape your cornea, and give you lasting results.

For moderate astigmatism, the expected results are similar to the typical LASIK success rate, which stands at 99% for up to 20/40 vision, and 90% for 20/20 vision. Most patients walk away after one procedure with better vision than they have experienced in years. For more severe or irregular astigmatism, the standard treatment is more than one surgery, with a healing time between, in order to ensure more optimal results. If the astigmatism is too advanced, LASIK may be followed by other, similar eye treatments like astigmatic keratectomy or a limbal relaxing incision, to obtain more precise correction. Talk to a LASIK surgeon to determine what course of treatment is best for you.

Post-Procedure

After LASIK, the majority of patients need only a few days of recovery time, which may include slight irritation and sensitivity to light. Some people experience up to a few months of dry eyes. However, these temporary effects fade over time, leaving you with the clear vision you’ve dreamed of.

As your eyes heal your vision may fluctuate slightly before settling into the enhanced prescription. For LASIK patients who require a follow-up procedure, your doctor will wait at least several months to ensure that your eyes have recovered fully and that an additional procedure is the best option for you.

Make an Appointment

If you have astigmatism, it’s time to believe that your life could be different. If you’re tired of living with blurred visioncontact an eye doctor at Swagel Wootton Eye Institute at our Mesa or Chandler locations today. Your free LASIK consultation with a specialist will determine if you’re a good candidate for this procedure. We will work extensively with you to determine if your prescription and eye health make LASIK an appropriate choice based on your visual acuity and additional factors of your eye health. If you are not a LASIK candidate, your eye doctor can discuss other surgical procedures like photorefractive keratectomy that alleviate common vision problems and provide clearer vision.

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