Mostly unknown today but a Norwegian ophthalmologist with cataracts did astigmatic keratotomy in 1885. Since then, much has been learned in the knowledge of the condition and tools. In modern times the use of photorefractive techniques has treated refractive (bending of the light in the eyes) errors from astigmatism with excimer lasers in myopic eyes.
Astigmatism comes from the eye shape being more elliptical than spherical, which makes light passing through a pupil that does not place light on the retina where needed. The retina contains cells that transmit visual light information to the optic nerve that interprets it and sends back the images we see. New research and techniques make more people become candidates for the surgery. With modern software, excellent results with low to moderate hyperopic astigmatism became obtained.
Which laser tool now?
As good as the results came in with excimer lasers today most astigmatism becomes corrected with wavefront laser treatments added to excimer laser technology. The Hartman-Shack aberrometer became more precise in measuring the wavefront passing through the eyes as well. It allowed ophthalmologists to handle variable degrees of astigmatism better as well as higher-order aberrations. It allowed more people to become a candidate for such a procedure. Laser surgery removes a small portion of tissue from the eye allowing a change in the refraction of the light.
One of the first clinics in the Houston region to do the latest technique with the new Visian Toric ICL became Dr. Amjad Khokhar. Visian Toric ICL became approved of by the Federal Drug Administration (FDA) in September 2018. An artificial lens, a good surgeon can permanently implant it inside a patient’s eye between the iris and the natural lens. It corrects nearsightedness but the FDA extended its use to astigmatism patients as well. The FDA reported in the clinical trial of 210 eyes that Visian Toric ICL achieved 1.0 D in 97.4 % of patients. In a one year follow up the lens had less than or equal to 10 degrees of lens rotation. The technique made more patients a possible candidate for the surgery than previous years.
Issues of Astigmatism
Unlike some other eye conditions, astigmatism has a complexity in the orientation of sight as well as the magnitude of the errors. Finding a good balance for a patient can be difficult. Astigmatism often cannot be adequately corrected with glasses or contact lenses like other eye conditions. It affects visual acuity the most as in sharpness and clarity of sight. Its symptoms appear as eyestrain, headaches, excessive squinting, and sometimes difficult driving at night. When combined with other conditions such as hyperopia and myopia, it presents quite a challenge for doctors to alleviate.
Eyeglass prescriptions for astigmatism prescribe a unique cylindrical lens that compensates for the issue. As people reach the age of 40 years and other problems arise such as an aging lens it may not be enough. Sometimes a doctor chooses orthokeratology which define as a series of rigid contact lenses that reshape the cornea. Worn for limited periods, the contact lenses reshape the cornea. It does not do a permanent change the contact lenses must regularly be worn for the rest of a patient’s life. LASIK provides a permanent solution in a one-day surgical procedure which takes preparation. Most patients report less dependence or glasses or contact lenses for most daily activities if needed at all.
The most important aspect of the surgery remains the skill of the doctor and how all the data becomes interpreted. You want the expertise level like found at Houston Lasik clinic. Astigmatism has much more variations than many other common eye conditions. Take a drive to Houston and receive information on LASIK then arrange a consultation.
Houston Lasik leads in providing premium LASIK technologies to Houston, Sugar Land, and the surrounding region. The center’s award-winning medical director introduced revolutionary technologies such as iLASIK to the region. This technology is used by NASA astronauts, Navy SEALS, and Air Force fighter pilots. At Houston Lasik, you can now receive the same treatment. For more information, please call (281) 240-0478