Laser Eye Surgery for Astigmatism

Astigmatism is a condition that results from a refractive error within the eye, meaning the eye cannot bend the incoming light enough. This often causes problems with viewing fine detail and may cause some objects that are vertical to be seen as slanted. The main problem lies with the lens and cornea, the parts of the eye that are responsible for focussing light.

During development, the eye takes a specific shape, trying to become roughly spherical which allows it to sit in the orbit. The cornea and the lens both develop a specific curvature to them, which when put together allows them to focus images. In some cases, this curvature may be irregular, causing problems with focussing, this is known as regular astigmatism. People who have this condition may find that parts of images are focussed when others aren’t, whilst others may see nothing in focus at all. It is important to understand that astigmatism doesn’t just result from a change in the normal development of the eye. Any damage to the surface of the cornea may lead to this condition, as scarring that occurs following an injury alters the ability of the eye to focus images. This is known as irregular astigmatism.

Recently, advances in both laser and scanning technology have allowed skilled ophthalmologists to correct both types of this condition. Using the new scanners eye surgeons can create a map of the front of the eye, which then allows them to remove specific areas of the cornea. The aim is to smooth out the surface until it is regular, often completely restoring vision. laser eye surgery is often used to correct astigmatism.

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