LASIK May Now Help Patients With Mixed Astigmatism

LASIK May Now Help Patients With Mixed Astigmatism There's good news on the horizon for patients who have trouble focusing at near and far distances. This problem, often resulting from a condition known as mixed astigmatism, formerly required use of progressive lenses or other eyeglasses for treatment.

Mixed Astigmatism Challenges
Mixed astigmatism poses many challenges to doctors. In the past, two consecutive treatments were often necessary to correct this unusual condition. Doctors had to use laser treatments to first correct nearsightedness and then farsightedness.

The FDA recently approved the use of the Allegretto WaveLight procedure to help patients with mixed astigmatism. This allows eye surgeons to provide precise vision correction for patients with mixed astigmatism with just one procedure, and while conserving more corneal tissue.

The WaveLight treatment can help patients with mixed astigmatism up to 6 diopters. The US FDA approval was based on a study where, out of 142 eyes corrected, 95.8% showed 20/40 or better vision at a 3 month followup, and 68% had 20/20 vision.

What is Astigmatism?
There are many forms of astigmatism. Many patients mistakenly call the condition "a stigmatism." It is actually one of the most common vision problems.

Corneal astigmatism is when the cornea is shaped like an oval or oblong shape instead of being round. When the eye is shaped like an oval, typically light rays come in and focus on two points in the eye rather than one. Lenticular astigmatism occurs when the lens behind the cornea is shaped irregularly. Mixed astigmatism involves irregular curving of the cornea. It can lead to nearsightedness, farsightedness or a combination of the two conditions.

Among the signs and symptoms common to patients with astigmatism include:

  • Slightly blurred vision.
  • Headaches
  • Eyestrain.
  • Distance vision problems.

Many times children have this condition, but it goes undiagnosed because they are not aware their vision is any different than everyone else's. That is one reason it is so important you take your children in for routine eye exams.

If you already know you have an astigmatism, next time you see your eye doctor, be sure to ask about new LASIK procedures that may be available to correct your vision and enhance your quality of life!

Learn more about LASIK surgery options for astigmatism patients on our forums!