One of the most common misconceptions concerning eye laser surgery is that astigmatism cannot be treated with laser surgery. The lasers of the latest generation treats astigmatism with high precision. In fact, treating astigmatism is more complicated than high myopia or presbyopia, and will be performed by an expert in this field.
What is astigmatism?
Astigmatism is a flaw on the transparent, frontal part of the eye, the cornea. A cornea with astigmatism is not curved in a normal round shape like a soccer ball, but has an oval curvature, much like a rugby ball. This causes the light which enters the eye to fail to focus on a single point, resulting in a blurry vision. The common discomforts that follows are difficulty with reading, headaches, fatigue and frequent eye strain.
Correcting astigmatism is a different procedure compared to treating myopia. When treating myopia, the cornea is smoothen out. When correcting astigmatism, the curvature of the cornea is changed in order to improve the light refraction. The rugby curve is transformed into a nice, round soccer curve. This procedure can be done by these three treatments: PRK, Femto-LASIK, and ReLEx smile.
Rumour has it that astigmatism cannot be treated. This is unquestionably incorrect. True, the first lasers were not able to treat astigmatism. But that had been the case 35 years ago. Recent and modern eye lasers are extremely capable and highly accurate in correcting astigmatism, despite that it is a rather complex treatment compared to treating myopia and presbyopia.