Using LASIK for Astigmatism

LASIK surgery is able to treat a wide range of refractive errors, which compromise how your eyes focus light. In addition to nearsightedness and farsightedness, LASIK can also correct astigmatism. Astigmatism occurs when a patient's cornea is irregularly shaped, causing blurring and distortion. Dr. Gregory Stainer is a board-certified eye surgeon who provides LASIK for astigmatism at our Bakersfield, CA, practice. This advanced laser surgery vastly improves the way your corneas refract light, reducing or even eliminating your need for glasses or contacts. Contact our office today to learn more.

Understanding Astigmatism

Astigmatism is characterized by poor quality vision, squinting, and headaches due to eye strain. These symptoms occur because light does not focus properly on the retina, the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye.

Astigmatism is classified according to the way the meridians of your corneas (the horizontal and vertical planes on the front of each eye) are shaped. You can picture the two meridians like imaginary lines on a clock face, running from the number 12 to the number 6, and from the number 3 to the number 9. The way each of these planes is shaped determines which type of astigmatism you have. Types include:

  • Myopic astigmatism - occurs when one or both meridians are nearsighted
  • Hyperopic astigmatism - results when one or both meridians are farsighted
  • Mixed astigmatism - means one meridian is nearsighted and the other is farsighted

Before LASIK could be used to correct the effects of astigmatism, the condition was treated using eye glasses or contact lenses. Today, Dr. Stainer can provide a more thorough and long-lasting solution with laser vision correction.

Video: Cari - LASIK

After her LASIK surgery, Cari now enjoys swimming without having to worry about being able to see in or out of the water.

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LASIK Surgery

Dr. Stainer is proud to be first surgeon who practiced blade-less LASIK in Bakersfield. Also known as Intralase™ LASIK, this advanced surgery is performed without the use of a microkeratome blade.

To begin the LASIK procedure, Dr. Stainer will create a flap in the top layer of the cornea using an Intralase™ laser. He will fold this flap back, providing access to the stroma layer of the cornea. Next, he will precisely reshape the corneal tissue using an excimer laser. This may involve flattening or steepening the angles of the planes on the cornea. The type and degree of your astigmatism will determine how Dr. Stainer will alter your corneal tissue.

After your cornea has been reshaped, Dr. Stainer will place the flap back in place. As you heal and your corneas begin to properly focus light, you will begin to notice that your vision has become clearer. Many patients notice nearly immediate results, with the full effects of their surgery becoming apparent over several days or weeks.

LASIK Candidates

Despite its broad application, LASIK surgery is not ideal for everyone. Patients should be 18 years of age or older, and have had a stable prescription for at least a year. It is important to note that a number of patients who undergo LASIK for astigmatism and distance correction may still need prescription glasses to read. Others with severe astigmatism may not be considered good candidates for LASIK at all. During your comprehensive examination with Dr. Stainer, we will help you determine whether this type of surgery is a good option for you.

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To learn more about LASIK for astigmatism, contact Southwest Eye Care and Laser today.

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