Why laser is a better solution if you have astigmatism
Just like no nose is completely straight and no lips are perfectly round and plump (at least naturally), no eye is one hundred percent spherical.
That means the reality is most people have some degree of astigmatism: an abnormal curvature of the eye that causes light to focus unevenly on the retina. Even the eyes of people who have perfect vision are a little skewiff.
However, for most people, a little bit of imperfection in their globular organs doesn’t cause them any trouble. For others, and probably you if you’re reading this, it can be a bit of a nightmare.
Depending on the severity of your astigmatism, your eyes may resemble rugby balls more than footballs. When your astigmatism is to this degree, you’re likely to experience everything from blurry vision and eye strain to headaches, double vision, and eye fatigue.
Unlike those with slight astigmatism, this means you can’t get by without some type of vision correction.
The problem is, whereas it may be crystal clear that you need to correct your astigmatism, it’s not so clear which is the best way to go about it. Fortunately, that’s exactly what we’re here to help you with.
Let’s take a look at three of the most common astigmatism treatments — glasses, contact lenses, and Laser Eye Surgery — and shed some light on which may be the best option for you.
Glasses: Simple and convenient vision
Glasses are the go-to fix for astigmatism and vision problems in general, and not without good reason.
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Aside from being cheap and cheerful — for the little cost and trouble of an eye test and a new pair of supermarket specs, you can be up and running — glasses can even be, depending on the degree of astigmatism, free or discounted on the NHS.
The way glasses work for astigmatism is by using a cylindrical lens that provides power in the specific parts of the lens where you need it. Many people find this is sufficient enough for improving their vision and managing symptoms of astigmatism such as headaches and eye strain.
Glasses as a permanent treatment for astigmatism, however, have their limitations and can bring their own set of problems for some patients. For instance, some people with astigmatism find it difficult to adjust to glasses, while others find their prescription doesn’t seem to be quite right. The price of glasses over the long term has also been found to stack up to a cost that exceeds Laser Eye Surgery.
Contact lenses: Great way to rent invisible vision
If you have problems with glasses, don’t fancy wearing plastic on your face, or are just a more active type, contact lenses were made for you.
There are special types of contact lenses that can help with astigmatism. “Toric” lenses are soft contact lenses that have different powers in different meridians, as opposed to normal contacts which have the same power in all meridians. Toric lenses can work well, but some patients struggle with the vision due to the contact lenses rotating throughout the day.
Another option is rigid gas-permeable lenses (RGPs). RGPs are hard contacts that work by maintaining their shape while sitting on your irregularly-shaped cornea. In doing so, they promote a more spherical shape and help light bend through the lens in a more natural and effective way.
Due to their rigidity and thicker profile, gas-permeable lenses can be even harder to adapt to, and many people simply find the sensation too unnatural and uncomfortable for use during everyday life. Not to mention, many people steer clear of contacts altogether due to the hassle of keeping a strict hygiene routine and the risk of infection.
Laser Eye Surgery: Own high-quality, clear vision
Partly due to established practices and partly due to lack of awareness, many people today still believe they can’t have Laser Eye Surgery if they have astigmatism.
However, clinics with access to the best technology and expertise have been treating astigmatism successfully for nearly two decades, often with just as good outcomes as patients with the more common refractive errors of shortsightedness and longsightedness.
While glasses and contact lenses attempt to adjust your vision by bringing in an extra lens, Laser Eye Surgery treats astigmatism by adjusting the actual shape of the cornea. The treatment involves using an incredibly precise laser to remove a tiny amount of corneal tissue, which amends the irregular curvature of the cornea and makes it more spherical — like the football we talked about earlier.
By addressing the root cause of astigmatism and not bringing in a temporary fix, Laser Eye Surgery can lead to exceptional and permanently clear vision that is yours to keep.
Astigmatism can be improved using glasses and contacts, but it can only be treated by Laser Eye Surgery. To find out if you’re a suitable candidate for laser (your chances are good), contact one of our friendly clinic coordinators today.