Can laser treat my astigmatism?

Emma at London Vision Clinic


If you have astigmatism, you’re probably hoping I get straight to the point. If you have really bad astigmatism, you’re probably not even reading this — or if you are it’s all a blur. Either way, you’ll no doubt rather be doing something else right now.

But if you’ve got a cornea shaped like a rugby ball, then, unfortunately, this is your life. And as there’s little more you can do than get a pair of glasses or contacts prescription, searching for alternate treatments is your only hope of a life free from astigmatism.

Astigmatism is not like your typical refractive error: it affects the whole surface of the eye and therefore disrupts vision on more than one plane. This is likely the reason you’ve heard Laser Eye Surgery is powerless against it.

Well, that may have been true twenty years ago, but things have moved on. Technology has advanced, knowledge has broadened, and newer and more effective treatments have been developed. Today, people with astigmatism are treated on a regular basis, enjoying similar results as those with more straightforward conditions like short and long sightedness.

That means if you have astigmatism, you’re no longer forever bound to glasses or contact lenses. As Isabella demonstrates in the video below, seeing the world through clear and unrestricted eyes is very much possible.

Isabella, a shortsighted patient with astigmatism describes the process of finding a clinic to treat her unique prescription.

What results can you expect if you have astigmatism?

Like all surgeries, the results vary depending on which clinic you go to. But this is ever truer in the industry of Laser Eye Surgery, where clinics operate free of regulation and offer wildly different standards of treatments. Therefore, it’s important to know how to choose a clinic that can treat your particular prescription.

That being said, Laser Eye Surgery is one of the safest elective procedures in the world. Providing you choose a clinic with expert surgeons and the latest technology, you’re pretty much guaranteed to achieve the high-quality vision you desire.

Speaking as an independent clinic that was founded by an expert surgeon, we can give a clear indication as to what results you can achieve. Data gathered from past patients shows that most people suffering from astigmatism (long and short sighted) can expect to achieve 20/20 vision or better.

As those who’re shortsighted are slightly easier to treat, around 75 percent achieve 20/16 — the standard required to be a fighter pilot — with just under half of long sighted patients reaching the same.

A tad over a third of shortsighted and one-tenth of long sighted patients even surpass this level, attaining 20/12.5 vision or better — close to the highest possible level of visual acuity.

However, the visual outcome depends on the potential vision of your retina. The aim of laser eye surgery is to achieve vision equivalent to that provided by glasses before the procedure.

All three main types of Laser Eye Surgery — LASEK/PRK, LASIK, and ReLEx SMILE — can treat astigmatism. The reality is there are very few barriers to a life free of headaches, eye strain, and pesky visual aids. The biggest one you have to overcome is making the decision.

To find out more about astigmatism, ask us a question in the comments below. To book a consultation with us, contact one of our friendly Patient Care Coordinators today.