Can Astigmatism Be Corrected?


Astigmatism is a common vision condition that can significantly impact your daily life. If you've been struggling with blurry or distorted vision, you may be wondering if there are effective solutions to correct this issue.

What is Astigmatism?

Astigmatism is a refractive error that occurs when the cornea, the clear front part of the eye, is not perfectly curved. Instead of having a smooth, spherical shape, the cornea in an astigmatic eye is slightly more curved in one direction than the other, creating an oblong or football-shaped surface. This irregular curvature causes light to bend unevenly as it enters the eye, resulting in blurred or distorted vision.

Astigmatism can be present from birth or develop over time due to various factors, such as the natural aging process, eye injuries, or certain medical conditions. It's a common condition, affecting an estimated 30-60% of the population, and can occur in combination with other refractive errors like nearsightedness (myopia) or farsightedness (hyperopia).

How Does Astigmatism Impact Vision?

The uneven light refraction caused by astigmatism can lead to a range of vision problems, including:

  • Blurred or distorted vision: Objects may appear blurry, stretched, or out of focus, making it difficult to see clearly at any distance.
  • Eyestrain and fatigue: Your eyes have to work harder to compensate for the irregular corneal curvature, which can cause headaches, eye strain, and fatigue.
  • Difficulty with night vision: Astigmatism can make it more challenging to see clearly in low-light conditions, such as when driving at night or in dimly lit environments.
  • Reduced depth perception: The distortion in your vision can make it harder to judge distances accurately, which can impact your spatial awareness and coordination.

These vision problems can have a significant impact on your daily activities, from reading and working on a computer to driving and participating in sports or other hobbies. Fortunately, there are effective treatments available to correct astigmatism and improve your overall visual acuity.

Introducing PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy)

One of the most advanced and effective treatments for astigmatism is a procedure called PRK, or photorefractive keratectomy. PRK is a type of laser eye surgery that uses an excimer laser to reshape the cornea, correcting the irregular curvature that causes astigmatism.

During the PRK procedure, the surgeon first removes the thin, outermost layer of the cornea (the epithelium) using a specialized laser or instrument. This exposes the underlying corneal tissue, which is then precisely sculpted using the excimer laser to flatten or steepen specific areas, creating a more uniform, spherical shape.

How PRK Corrects Astigmatism

The key to PRK's effectiveness in correcting astigmatism lies in its ability to precisely modify the corneal curvature. By precisely removing microscopic amounts of corneal tissue, the surgeon can flatten the steeper areas of the cornea and steepen the flatter areas, effectively creating a more symmetrical, spherical shape.

This corneal reshaping process helps to redirect and focus light entering the eye more evenly, reducing or eliminating the uneven light refraction that causes astigmatism. As a result, patients who undergo PRK for astigmatism correction often experience significant improvements in their visual acuity, with clearer, sharper, and more consistent vision at all distances.

Benefits of PRK for Astigmatism Correction

PRK offers several benefits for individuals seeking to correct their astigmatism:

  • Improved Visual Acuity: By precisely reshaping the cornea, PRK can significantly improve visual sharpness, clarity, and consistency, allowing you to see more clearly at all distances.
  • Reduced Eyestrain and Fatigue: With the irregular corneal curvature corrected, your eyes no longer have to work as hard to compensate for the astigmatism, leading to reduced eye strain, headaches, and fatigue.
  • Enhanced Night Vision: PRK can help improve your ability to see clearly in low-light conditions, such as when driving at night or in dimly lit environments.
  • Improved Depth Perception: The correction of astigmatism can enhance your spatial awareness and depth perception, making it easier to judge distances and navigate your surroundings.
  • Long-Lasting Results: The effects of PRK for astigmatism correction are generally long-lasting, with many patients experiencing clear, stable vision for years after the procedure.

Is PRK the Right Choice for Correcting Your Astigmatism?

If you're struggling with the vision problems caused by astigmatism, PRK may be an excellent solution to consider. By precisely reshaping the cornea, this advanced laser eye surgery can provide you with clearer, sharper, and more consistent vision, allowing you to enjoy your daily activities with greater ease and confidence.

To learn more about how PRK can help correct your astigmatism and improve your overall vision, schedule a consultation with Laser Vision Delaware. We can assess your unique eye health and vision needs and guide you through the process of determining if PRK is the right choice for you. Visit our office in Wilmington, Delaware, or call (302) 515-0700 to book an appointment today.