LASIK Can Fix Astigmatism

Can LASIK Fix Astigmatism?

Many ask: Can LASIK fix astigmatism?  The short answer is YES! Astigmatism affects 1 in 3 people in the U.S. with blurry vision, eye strain, and the potential lifetime dependence on glasses or contacts. However, advances in laser vision correction technology make it possible for those with astigmatism prescriptions to reduce or eliminate their need for glasses with LASIK or other laser vision correction procedure.

Most astigmatism is hereditary, meaning people are born with it. Because astigmatism is the result of an uneven or imperfectly shaped eye (an analogy often used to describe this is to say the cornea is shaped like a football), most people have some – even very slight – degree of astigmatism. If the eye isn’t perfectly round – like a basketball – light can’t focus accurately which leads to blurred vision.

While glasses and contacts can help correct or fix astigmatism, today’s laser eye surgery options can provide more people than ever with clear, reliable, and safe vision without them.  Most people are familiar with LASIK, but there are several alternatives in laser vision correction today including SMILE and PRK.

D is for Diopter

Vision prescriptions are measured in diopters (D), which is a unit of optical power. A perfect eye, also known as “plano,” has 0 D. However, most people – even if they are unaware of it – have at least a small amount of visual distortion – usually between .5 and .75D. Typically, people with prescriptions over .75 require some form of correction to fix their astigmatism, usually in the form of glasses or contacts. 

How can LASIK fix astigmatism?

LASIK, SMILE, and PRK work by using sophisticated laser technologies to reshape the cornea, eliminating the imperfections that create vision problems and improving the eye’s ability to focus clearly. Today’s advanced laser eye surgeries can treat a broad range of vision prescriptions:

up to 6D (diopters) of astigmatism

up to -12D of nearsightedness

up to +6D of farsightedness

It isn’t unusual for people to have both nearsightedness as well as astigmatism in their vision prescription. Fortunately, today’s laser vision correction options can treat those with mixed prescriptions.

Early in the development of laser vision correction, more than 30 years ago, those with astigmatism or a mix of astigmatism and nearsightedness may not have been good candidates. However, today’s advancements in laser technology, along with the development of more types of laser vision correction, make it possible for more patients and more prescriptions to be eligible for laser eye surgery.

Finding out if LASIK can treat your astigmatism

There are so many options in laser vision correction today, having a thorough evaluation by an eye surgeon is the best first step in getting an answer to the question: Can LASIK fix my astigmatism? Importantly, that consultation includes a spectrum of sophisticated diagnostics of your eye to measure all the different aspects of it that go into how well (or how poorly) you see. A lot of data is gathered, all of which helps the surgeon answer a few questions:

Are your eyes healthy?

Is your vision prescription in a treatable range for laser vision correction?

Are you are good candidate for laser eye surgery?

If so, which procedure – or procedures – are best suited for you and your vision?

If not, are there other vision correction options I might consider?

The good news is today there are lots of different procedures your eye surgeon can perform to eliminate or reduce your need for glasses or contacts, even if you have astigmatism.

This information is provided by the Refractive Surgery Council.

Dr. Neil B. Griffin is a leading ophthalmologist and specializes in cataract and LASIK surgery in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. He is committed to providing world class surgical technology and offers the most advanced visual diagnostics to the North and South Carolina area.

Dr. Griffin, has been named a top cataract surgeon by Precision Eye Services. The National Consumer Advisory Board named Dr. Griffin one of America’s Best Physicians 2021 and 2022. He has also received over 16 multiple local distinctions, including Best Laser Eye Surgeon and Best Ophthalmologist from 2018-2022 in the Carolina Forest, Conway, Myrtle Beach, and Little River Readers’ Choice Awards.

Griffin Eye Center offers the latest in cataract surgery with the most advanced Intra-Ocular Lenses available and the new RX Sight Light Adjustable Lens for cataract surgery. The center offers a state-of-the-art on-site LASIK suite for the best Laser Vision Correction possible and offers more options for individualized Laser Vision Correction.

Dr. Griffin is an active member of American Society of Cataract and Refractive Surgery (ASCRS), American Refractive Surgery Council (ARSC), American-European Congress of Ophthalmic Surgery (AECOS), and the International Society of Refractive Surgery (ISRS).

To learn more or to schedule a LASIK consultation visit: