Managing Astigmatism: Exploring Today's Options

Managing Astigmatism: Exploring Today's Options

Managing Astigmatism: Exploring Today's Options

Managing Astigmatism: Exploring Today's Options

Managing Astigmatism: Exploring Today's Options

What treatment options are available for someone with astigmatism?

Astigmatism is a refractive error that affects about one in three folks in America. It changes how the eye curves light, causing blurriness. Hence, the objects you look at will appear unclear and fuzzy. Astigmatism is often genetic, meaning it can pass down from your parents. It can also result from eye surgery, injury, or eyelids pressing on the cornea.

Not very long ago, there were only two treatment options for astigmatism: limbal relaxing incisions (LRIs) and eyeglasses. But today, technology has added to the resources available to eye doctors.

Here are today’s treatment options you can explore to manage astigmatism.

Corrective Eyeglasses

Eyeglasses are still used to manage astigmatism. Glasses for astigmatism have a cylinder-shaped lens to help bend the light that enters the cornea accurately. Some of these eyeglasses can correct farsightedness or nearsightedness, too.

But not every patient with astigmatism will need eyeglasses. Treatment with eyeglasses will depend on how well you see and how resilient your astigmatism is. Your eye doctor may recommend eyeglasses if your eyesight is fuzzy or if you are experiencing eye strain. You will also need eyeglasses to correct your astigmatism if you:

·      See double.

·      Frequently squint to see better.

·      Have headaches because of eyestrain.

·      Have difficulty seeing at night.


Toric Intraocular Lenses (IOLs)

Toric IOLs are usually the best option for contact lens wearers with astigmatism. A toric lens has a shape that resembles a slice off the edge of a donut. This unique shape gives the lenses different refractive abilities to help improve vision. Toric lenses help correct vision anomalies that come with a cornea or unevenly curved eye lens.

Refractive Eye Surgery

Refractive eye surgery corrects your eyesight and decreases the need for contact lenses or eyeglasses. During refractive eye surgery, an ophthalmologist uses laser light to change the corneal curve causing refractive errors.

Before surgery, your eye doctor will examine your eyes and general well-being and determine whether surgery will suit you. There are various types of refractive eye surgery for astigmatism:

Laser-assisted in Situ Keratomileusis (LASIK)

With LASIK, the eye doctor makes a flap in the cornea. Then they use a laser to remodel the cornea and place the flap on the treated area to facilitate healing. The reshaped cornea bends light properly for better vision.

Laser-assisted Subepithelial Keratectomy (LASEK)

Instead of making a corneal flap, the ophthalmologist softens the cornea's thin cover using diluted alcohol, then folds it away. The eye surgeon uses laser light to restructure the cornea and then places the softened flap back to cover the treated area.


Epi-LASIK shares several similarities with LASEK. But in place of the alcohol, the ophthalmologist uses a dull blade to create the flap. The surgeon then remodels the cornea and repositions the flap.

Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK)

With PRK, the eye surgeon removes the flap. After reshaping the cornea, the flap will grow back and fit the cornea's new curve.

Small Incision Lenticule Extraction (SMILE®)

SMILE® is the most recent type of refractive eye surgery. It restructures the cornea by taking away a tiny lens (lenticule) beneath the cornea's surface. SMILE is adequate when the eye lens shape is keeping light from bending correctly.

For more on managing astigmatism today, visit the Eye Center of Virginia at our office in Williamsburg, Virginia. Call (757) 919-3500 to book an appointment today.

none 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM 9:30 AM - 7:00 PM 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM Closed Closed optometrist,3,,,