Why laser is a better solution if you have astigmatism
Just like no nose is totally straight and no lips perfectly round and plump (at least naturally), no eye is one hundred percent spherical.
The reality is, then, that most people have some degree of astigmatism — an abnormal curvature of the eye that causes light to focus unevenly on the retina. If you’re reading this, chances are your two little globular organs are a little more irregularly shaped than the next person.
Depending on the severity of your astigmatism, they may even resemble rugby balls more than footballs. When your astigmatism is to this degree, you are likely to experience everything from blurry vision and eye strain to headaches, double vision, and eye fatigue. Bottom of Form
If you only have slight astigmatism, it typically doesn’t affect vision and you can likely get away without treatment.
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. Let’s now take a look at three of the most common astigmatism treatments — glasses, contacts, and Laser Eye Surgery — and try and figure out which one is best for you.
Glasses are the go-to fix for astigmatism and vision problems in general, with good reason. They’re cheap and cheerful — for the little cost and trouble of an eye test and a new pair of glasses, you can be up and running with clear vision.
Glasses can even be, depending on the degree of astigmatism, free or discounted on the NHS. Glasses compensate for your astigmatism by using a cylindrical lens prescription that provides power in specific parts of the lens.
Many people find this is sufficient for improving their vision and managing symptoms of astigmatism such as headaches and eye strain. However, glasses can bring their own set of problems for some patients.
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If you have problems with glasses, don’t fancy wearing something on your face, or are just a more active type, luckily, there are special types of contact lenses that can help with astigmatism.
If you have astigmatism, you most likely will need special contact lenses. 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 contact 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 contact lens care and risk of infection.
Laser Eye Surgery
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 more than 15 years!
Laser Eye Surgery treats astigmatism by adjusting the shape of the cornea (front surface of the eye). The treatment involves using an incredibly precise laser to remove a tiny amount of corneal tissue, and in doing so amends the irregular curvature of the cornea and makes it more spherical — like a football that we talked about earlier.
By addressing the root cause of astigmatism, Laser Eye Surgery can lead to exceptional vision.
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.