Category

Lasik Surgery

This informative podcast covers everything from eye diseases and safe corrective eye surgical procedures to candidacy, complication rate and recovery.

Hear from a trusted ophthalmologist in Fresno – Dr. Eric J Poulsen talk about all the surgical options you have to get rid of bothersome eyeglasses or contacts and learn more about the latest ophthalmology treatments like the smile surgery, corneal crosslinking, monovision LASIK surgery, implantable contact lenses and the latest developments in cataract surgery. Know the right treatment for your vision problem, how the surgical procedure is performed, and potential outcomes while also exploring other types of procedures appropriate for your situation and get the best advice.

 

Eye Disease- Eric Poulsen, MD by Central Valley Physicians

LASIK Surgeon

Getting a LASIK surgery can be an exciting prospect. After all, you won’t have to deal with spectacles or contact lenses anymore! However, as exciting as it is getting under the laser, you must avoid some commonly made mistakes since one tiny slip can cost you your vision.

In this article, we will look at some common pitfalls that you must avoid to get the perfect vision with absolutely no side-effects after the surgery.

5 Common Mistakes to Look Out For

Any reputed ophthalmologist in Fresno would suggest you to look out for the following 5 mistakes.

  1. Low-Cost Surgeries

    Price is the first thing you would check and opting for a low-cost surgery would mean risking your vision. It is important to remember that LASIK surgery is affordable but not cheap. If the doctors are charging a low price for the surgery, it should be a warning sign. Some reasons why they offer a low price include:

    • They are inexperienced.
    • They are using older technology which can lead to complications during surgery.
    • They charge extra for medications, enhancements and post-op care.
    • They have limited diagnostic equipment to conduct LASIK surgery exam to determine if you are indeed a good candidate for the surgery or not.

  2. Non-Availability of Documented Results

    Doctors claiming that they have successfully treated hundreds of thousands of patients using LASIK procedure should have solid proof to back it up. Look for a surgeon who is willing to provide you documented results and takes no offense when you ask for them. Keeping a detailed record of the results would be a great service not only to the surgeon but also his patients.

  3. Opting for a Center Based Solely on High Number of Surgeries

    Quality over quantity — you must have heard this phrase many times. The same can be applied for LASIK eye surgery as well. Just because a center has performed a large number of surgeries, it doesn’t necessarily imply that the surgeons perform a good quality job. Centers making these claims generally have numerous surgeons performing a limited number of procedures each. Ask your surgeon how many procedures they have performed — either on a daily or weekly basis. Even if the number is not as high as 100,000 (as some centers claim), check their success rate with the number of surgeries they have performed.

  4. Surgeons Offering Quick Consultations

    The consultation should be an easy process but definitely not a quick one. A good consultation consists of various tests to determine whether you are a good candidate for the procedure or not. You should undergo a minimum of 12 diagnostic eye exams and be personally examined by the surgeon performing the procedure. In case you are subjected just 2 to 3 tests and declared a suitable candidate, it should be a sign to look for another surgeon. The ophthalmologist must take out the time required to carry every single test without rushing. At the same time, they should be able to answer every single question you have regarding the procedure.

  5. Choosing Someone With Obsolete Technology

    Ask the eye specialist what kind of equipment they would use for the procedure. Ensure they are offering only the advanced technology to conduct the surgery. There are numerous centers which follow the ‘one-size-fits-all’ approach which could be disastrous for you. The doctors must invest in different lasers which can allow them to customize treatments based on individual patient cases and offer them the best possible result. Look for those offering a blade-free treatment using only FDA approved equipment.

  6. We, at Insight Vision Center, understand that while getting a LASIK operation is exciting, it can also be slightly nerve-wracking. We assure that we can answer any questions you have regarding the procedure and we will make our best effort to put you at ease. If you need to contact a reputed and experienced LASIK surgeon in Fresno, call us today and make an appointment.

Good candidate for Lasik

Excited about finally ditching your glasses and contact lenses to get LASIK surgery? However, before you enjoy the benefits of LASIK treatment, you must undergo a series of eye exams to ensure that you are a good candidate for LASIK eye surgery. These tests will examine the health of your eyes along with their vision.

Before performing the LASIK surgery exam, the doctor will use eye drops to dilate your eyes as it allows him to examine them more carefully. The drops may cause blurry vision for about 4-6 hours and it is suggested that you don’t wear your contact lenses in the weeks before the tests to ensure that the eye specialist gets correct examination results before performing LASIK.

Various tests that determine the suitability of the patient include:

  • Corneal Examination

    The shape of the cornea will be studied, along with its inside and outside surfaces. A device known as a corneal topographer is used to measure the eye’s curvature and create a map of the eye before the LASIK surgery. This helps in determining the specifications for the surgery. The overall thickness of the corneal walls is checked to determine corneal strength before LASIK and also look for corneal diseases or abnormalities. A thin cornea can cause problems and thus make you non-eligible for LASIK.

  • Intraocular Pressure

    Intraocular pressure examination is done to rule out the chances of glaucoma in your eyes. Glaucoma is an eye-condition that is caused by an increased pressure in the eyes and it could possibly damage the vision and the optic nerve. This usually occurs when the fluid in the eye cannot drain properly, therefore, putting pressure on the optic nerve as a result. You must be examined for glaucoma before undergoing LASIK eye surgery as symptoms can often go undetected in its early stages.

  • Lubrication of Eyes

    Tear production is absolutely crucial to the cornea as tears keep the eyes moist, help in healing wounds and prevent infections. As a pre-operative LASIK test, the eye specialist would scan for the quantity and quality of tears to determine if you are at an increased risk of dryness in your eyes post surgery. If the tear production is satisfactory, he/she would go ahead with the surgery.

  • Pupil Size

    One of the critical pre-operative LASIK tests is conducted by measuring the pupil size of the patient. Those with larger pupils could possibly be at risk of side effects like glare or halos post their LASIK eye surgery.

  • Refraction

    It is important to accurately measure the degree of your prescription. The doctors will examine you for short-sightedness, long-sightedness and astigmatism and the extent of it. To be eligible for the LASIK procedure, you must have a refractive error that has been stable for over a year. The spectacles prescriptions will be confirmed multiple times during the tests and the whole LASIK treatment.

  • Image Quality of Eyes

    Our eyes work as a camera which allows us to see great quality images. The LASIK surgeon in Fresno will scan your eyes to determine the quality of the image that your eye can produce after it is fully corrected with the glasses. The ‘aberrations’ will be measured and it would be assured that the eye is properly focused and capable of producing good images.

  • Medical History

    This isn’t a test, however, it is a crucial part to understand a patient’s medical history. You must inform the doctor of any pre-existing medical conditions that may be a possible threat to your vision after your LASIK operation. The doctor will discuss your lifestyle changes, the medication and prescriptions required post-surgery.

  • You as a patient need to pass these tests to be a good candidate for a LASIK surgery. You can consult an ophthalmologist in Fresno to get these tests done. Contact us at Insight Vision Center and we will help you clear any queries you may have regarding these tests.

LASIK-VS-CORRECTIVE-EYEWEAR-COST

While you might know that about half the population of America (150 million people) wear corrective eyewear, did you know that Americans spend more than $15 billion each year simply on corrective eyewear? Yes, it’s true. While eye glasses and contact lenses might seem like a very cost-effective option, you would be surprised to know how much you actually end up shelling out while using glasses and lenses over your lifetime. Let us take a look at the different kinds of costs associated with the available methods of vision correction:

Cost of Eye Glasses

The cost of glasses includes the cost of your prescription plus the cost of frames and those wearing prescription glasses usually see a change in power every 2-3 years, which means either you’ll have to get your existing frames altered to match the new prescription or buy new glasses altogether. Either way, it means recurring costs.

On an average, a person will buy a new pair of glasses every two years if not every other year. This is because glasses aren’t as durable as perceived. You might be required to replace your glasses due to misalignment within the frame, damage or simply because you misplaced them!

While eye glasses cost about $200 on an average, the designer ones are even more highly priced. So, if you were to go by the estimate that an adult replaces his/her glasses, that cost say $200 every 2-3 years, over a lifetime this cost can range anywhere between $2000-$6000.

Cost of Contact Lenses

When estimating the cost of contact lenses, not only do you have to consider the cost of a particular type of lens, but you also have to factor in the type of lens used (single use contacts or multiple use contacts) as well as the cost of the lens solution required along with that.

While a conservative average of contacts per year can be estimated at about $240, this can largely vary on the need to wear the contact lenses as well as the material used. The daily disposable lenses cost about $20-$30 per box making the yearly average about $450-$650, whereas the long-wear silicon hydrogel contacts cost about $250 -$300 annually.

Cost of LASIK

On an average, the LASIK eye surgery cost can range anywhere between $1,000 to $4,000 per eye. This figure includes the pre-surgery consultations and post-surgery care. On average, it is estimated that you will spend $3,900 to $4,500 on LASIK in total for both of your eyes.

Now, at first glance LASIK may seem like a lot of money, but if you factor in the average cost of contacts or eye glasses, you will see that those costs may actually be higher than what you would be required to spend to undergo LASIK for your eyes. What you must remember when speaking with different LASIK providers about their fees is that the costing of the LASIK procedure may differ from one provider to another depending on the type of pre-operative tests performed as well as the equipment used to perform such tests and the surgery. So, be sure to carefully analyze the prices and check for the type of tests they will be performing to ascertain the right plan of action for the best possible outcome!

Pro Tip – Since the upfront LASIK eye surgery cost is high, many eye clinics also provide very lucrative financing options to help make the procedure more affordable. So, be sure to ask about the available financing options before making your decision!

For more information on LASIK eye surgeries in the Fresno area, contact Insight Vision Centre and book a consultation right away!

LASIK-candidate

Recent data has confirmed that the complication rate with LASIK eye surgery is less than 1% and rarely do the complications have a significant impact. Also, the risk of eye infections following a LASIK eye surgery is negligible. LASIK eye surgery has come a long way with evolving advances in medical technology and this is why the requirements for LASIK surgery have also become relatively relaxed. However, the procedure is not right for everyone and so, LASIK eye surgery candidates are required to undergo a preoperative eye evaluation to help determine if they are eligible.

While there are many eye defects LASIK can treat effectively, the candidate must meet the following eligibility criteria to experience a positive outcome:

  1. Your Age
    • If you are under 21 years of age, your ophthalmologist may recommend that you wait till your vision stabilizes.
    • If you are in your early 40’s, it is important for you to know that you may still need reading glasses at a later stage in your life.
    • If you are in your 60’s, your eyes need to be assessed for any pre-existing cataracts that can interfere with the outcome of your LASIK eye surgery.
    • If you have cataracts, a corrective surgery might actually work to restore your vision apart from correcting any eye condition that you might have.
  2. You Don’t Suffer From any Eye Diseases
    Potential candidates should not be suffering from any eye diseases including corneal disease, keratoconus, glaucoma, cataracts, optic nerve diseases and certain retinal diseases. Also, LASIK candidates must exhibit good general eye health and should not be suffering from specific eye conditions like herpes zoster or herpes simplex.
  3. Your Eyes Have Not Suffered any Injury So Far
    Candidates for LASIK should not have suffered any eye injuries or infections.
  4. Overall Health
    A candidate for LASIK must be healthy and free from autoimmune diseases, uncontrolled diabetes, or collagen vascular disease. Also, they should not be undergoing any treatment where they are prescribed any medication that can compromise the immunity of the patient.
  5. You are Neither Nursing nor Pregnant
    LASIK eye surgery candidates should not be pregnant or nursing mothers because the hormonal fluctuations occurring during this stage affect the stability of your prescription. This is why lactating mothers or expecting women don’t qualify for a LASIK procedure until they discontinue nursing and complete at least three menstrual cycles.
  6. You Have a Stable Vision
    Candidates for LASIK eye surgery must have stable vision for at least a year before they can undergo a minimally invasive LASIK procedure.
  7. You Have Not Been Wearing Contacts Recently
    Ophthalmologists recommend that prior to undergoing a LASIK eye surgery, potential candidates must not wear contacts for a specific timeframe which is typically determined by your ophthalmologist depending on your unique eye condition. This facilitates precise assessment of the patient’s prescription and also ensures corneal stability before the LASIK eye surgery can be performed.

If you want to make sure that you qualify as a candidate for LASIK, schedule a consultation with the most trusted ophthalmologist in Fresno – Dr. Eric J Poulsen at InSight Vision Center.

Nearsighted, Farsighted or astigmatic

When the cornea and lens can focus clearly onto the retina, it means that the eye has perfect near and distance vision. Even though the human body has evolved incredibly well, it has some serious design flaws. The most evident example of this is the rate at which our vision deteriorates with age. More and more people are getting affected due to an increased reliance on technology and electrically operated gadgets.

Nearly 2/3rd of the adult population wears prescribed eyewear, and 20% uses contact lenses but both glasses and lenses have their own limitation. Near-sightedness, far-sightedness and astigmatism are refractive errors that make it difficult for the eyes to focus. In some cases, these vision conditions can be present at birth or it can be the environmental conditions, eye injury or eye surgery which has been done previously.

What is Myopia?
Myopia or Near-Sightedness occurs when light cannot focus on your retina causing faraway objects to appear unclear or blurry. It happens when the eyeball is too long or when you have a cornea which is curved too much. Myopia often begins before you enter your teenage years. Heredity and environmental factors can also be the cause of short sightedness.

What is Hyperopia?
Hyperopia or Far-Sightedness is when the eyeball is too short or the cornea is curved too little. For people suffering from hyperopia, objects that are closer appear to be blurry while distant objects appear clearly. This can cause headache, eye strain and fatigue while doing meticulous work. Severe hyperopia can result in blurred distant vision. Sometimes when it’s just very benign, the eyes may focus without corrective lenses.

What is Astigmatism?
Astigmatism is an eye condition where the cornea is oval shaped, and objects cannot focus properly on the retina causing two focal points. This not only causes blurred vision but also distorts it. People suffering from astigmatism experience eye-strain, headaches or blurred vision at a certain distance. It can be genetic but environmental factors can also add onto the problem. The problem increases very slowly over time, but it remains relatively stable. The symptoms of astigmatism include: blurry vision, headaches and horizontal direction of objects appear unclear. It may appear like a flash or blaze around the object.

Treatment Options
Glasses and contact lenses usually offer clear vision and relieve symptoms. Most people who wear glasses suffer from Myopia, Hyperopia or Astigmatism. People suffering from these vision disorders can consider LASIK eye surgery. Since it’s by far the safest and most frequently performed corrective eye surgery which reshapes the cornea enabling proper focus of light through the retina. The surgery is conducted by trained ophthalmologists who create a small notch to access the inner tissue of the cornea and gently reshape the eye’s curvature to correct the degeneration.

Inherited diseases can be cured if they’re discovered and diagnosed early on. We need to take care of our eyes which we usually take for granted for most of the time. LASIK eye surgery is a quantum leap in curing vision related issues by modern medical science. It is a quick and painless process which helps you get rid of your boring glasses and irritating contact lenses.

If you think that you may be suffering or may suffer from vision loss then come and have a comprehensive eye exam and consultation done with our experts at Insight Vision Center in Fresno! Don’t delay and book your appointment today!

millenials-to-conside-Lasik-eye-surgery

Are you inconvenienced by your glasses or contact lenses?

The millennial generation’s lives are shaped largely by their dependence and use of modern technology and social media. It is therefore needless to say that the digital age has impacted every aspect of their lives, mainly their eye health which is jeopardized due to constantly staring at screens for long durations. But the chances of a millenial having a long-term view on their eye health are very slim when they have coffee sessions, biking, hiking, video games, gym and so many more activities to keep them occupied.

Fast-paced living nowadays has made wearing spectacles and contacts more of a hindrance than ever before. Millenials are also a lot more open to scientific breakthroughs than ever before making them a lot readier to embrace modern solutions.

Here are 6 Reasons Why You Should Consider LASIK Eye Surgery:

  1. LASIK Eye Surgery Can Supports Your Active Lifestyle
    Leading a healthy and active lifestyle is very important for most millennials nowadays. Staying fit through various means like sports, dance and gym are becoming increasingly popular. Wearing glasses can be a hindrance in most sports, even if you’re used to playing sports with glasses, the constant adjustments may hinder you. Wearing contacts can be detrimental to your health as there’s always the offhand chance that your contacts may start to dry out despite the fact that they offer peripheral vision.
    You won’t have to worry about packing your eye drops or glasses cases every time you go out with LASIK.
  2. LASIK Eye Surgery Gives You Confidence
    Being called “four eyes” as a child is pretty common but the teasing and bullying that comes of this leads to a social stigma around wearing glasses and can lead to low self-esteem in adult life. We’re not saying that wearing glasses is bad but why should you wear them if you don’t want to? LASIK eye surgery gives you the confidence to go out in public with no fear.
  3. LASIK Eye Surgery Saves You Money in the Long Run
    A lot of you may think that having LASIK surgery done is expensive but it is just a one-time cost when you look at it in the long term as contacts and glasses have to be checked and replaced constantly every few months. If you want to find out about the cost benefits of having LASIK surgery, visit our professionals at InSight Vision Centre today! Investing in LASIK eye surgery in Fresno will save you a lot more money in the long run.
  4. Recovery Time is Minimum
    Most millennials have busy work schedules and social lives which requires that they can only take minimal time off as they probably won’t get as much leave as their more experienced colleagues. But luckily for you, LASIK eye surgery itself does not take that long and the recovery time is also pretty short, so you don’t have to take that long of a leave.
  5. LASIK Eye Surgery is Safe
    LASIK eye surgery is very safe and technology has helped to improve the safety factor even more. The risks have been reduced due to technology and the benefits have only increased. Using contact lenses can cause infections and dry eyes, and glasses and allergies can limit your ability in maintaining an active lifestyle. All procedures carry a certain risk, but this risk is very minimal with the LASIK procedure.
  6. LASIK Eye Surgery Gives You Convenience
    No matter how long you’ve worn glasses or lenses-the fact is that they are inconvenient at times. Physically active people may tend to be inconvenienced by glasses and contact lenses more than others and LASIK eye surgery will remove this hindrance and give you the freedom to enjoy what you love.

Having LASIK eye surgery done when you’re young will help your body to naturally heal faster. The earlier you have your surgery done the more time you will have to enjoy the benefits of it.
There has never been a better time to have LASIK eye surgery done, to find out if you are eligible to enjoy the benefits of LASIK eye surgery, contact our ophthalmologist at InSight Vision Center in Fresno today!

LASIK-a-perfect-gift

The holiday season is inching closer. Are you still struggling to make up your mind regarding what gifts to give your loved ones? Well, we would like to make a unique holiday gift suggestion. Gifts don’t always have to be materialistic and, most of the times, a thoughtful gesture goes a long way. If you know someone who has been wearing eyeglasses or contact lenses for years, you can gift them a wonderful gift this holiday season — vision correction through LASIK eye surgery

LASIK in Brief

Laser-assisted, in-situ keratomileusis a.k.a LASIK is a pain-free refractive surgery that helps in correcting various vision deficiencies. You can be assured of having a clear vision post-surgery.

Trained ophthalmologists conduct this surgery by creating a small incision to access the inner tissue of the cornea and gently reshaping the eye’s curvature to correct myopia, hyperopia or astigmatism. The LASIK surgeon can also remove the clouded lenses called cataracts and replace them with artificial lenses.

5 Reasons Why LASIK makes an Exceptional Gift

Let us look at some benefits of LASIK eye surgery that your loved ones can enjoy:

  1. It is Permanent

    If you plan on giving clothes or electronics, they won’t last long. Even experiential gifts like holidays or massages have a short life. LASIK is a permanent gift where the recipient will be benefiting for years to come.

  2. Quick and Pain-Free Method

    A beam of laser passing through the eye does sound painful and might make you think twice about your gift. But, fear not, as LASIK is not a painful surgery nor does it take time. It is quick and can be completed in just a matter of minutes. Some people might experience mild discomfort, glare and dry eyes for up to two days following the surgery, however, once the 2 day period is over, their vision will immediately be made more clear!

  3. Procedure is Safe

    LASIK is an extremely safe procedure with a success rate of 99.98 percent. With almost negligible surgery risks, you wouldn’t have to second guess about giving this corrective eye surgery as a gift to a loved one.

  4. Perfect Gift for a Traveller

    If the recipient is an avid traveler, then they would really appreciate LASIK eye surgery as a gift. Traveling can get quite cumbersome when you have to handle spectacles, contact lenses, contact lens solution, contact lens cases, spectacle cases. Phew! Missing out on even one of those items would either mean traveling with a blurry vision or putting the eyes at a risk of infection. LASIK eliminates the need to carry all that! You would help your loved ones travel light and see the world clearer.

  5. Cost-Efficient in the Long Run

    When your loved one receives LASIK as a gift, they would not only enjoy clear vision but also heavier pockets. They would no longer have to spend on prescriptions, broken frames, contact lenses and solution, etc. The cost of these adds up over the years — all of which will be eliminated once they get LASIK.

To know your candidacy for LASIK, call InSight Vision Center at 559-449-5050 , a world class ophthalmology & eye care center in Fresno.

Lasik-eye-surgery-at-any-age

Laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis, or LASIK surgery, has gained tremendous popularity over the years. This form of refractive surgery helps to correct vision problems such as nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism.

The purpose of LASIK eye surgery is to refract or to bend light rays entering the eye at a certain angle (and in a particular direction). Depending on the specifics of an eye problem, tiny amounts of tissue are removed from the cornea to give it a steeper, flatter or more rounded curvature. This improves the way your eye focuses light onto the retina and ensures proper vision.

Your eye doctor will take many factors into consideration before deciding if you’re a good candidate for LASIK treatment. Along with your prescription, eye health, and cornea’s shape and thickness, your age will also be taken into account.

Is There a Right or Wrong Age for LASIK Vision Correction?

Let’s look at how age affects your suitability for LASIK eye surgery:

  • Childhood & Teen Years – A child’s eye is constantly changing shape, and their vision keeps adjusting to these changes during their developing years. Their eyes are not fully developed till they reach adulthood, and any form of corrective eye surgery may only provide temporary correction of visual symptoms or issues.
  • In addition, LASIK is considered an elective surgery that may not be performed till the age of 18 in most cases. However, the treatment has been used to correct severe vision problems such as “lazy eye” in children and teenagers, especially when conventional treatment with glasses or contact lenses proves ineffective.

  • Early & Late Adulthood – By your late teens, your eyes have stopped growing and changing shape, and vision changes are usually minor. Still, most eye doctors suggest waiting till your mid 20s before getting eye surgery, since your prescription may still change. Generally, patients between the ages of 25 and 40 are considered to be at the ideal age for LASIK.
  • However, that doesn’t mean you can’t get LASIK surgery earlier. If you suffer from vision problems but have had a stable prescription for 2 years, lasik eye surgery could be the right choice. It’s also ideal if corrective glasses/lenses are impractical for your profession, e.g. working in the military, law enforcement, sports, etc.

  • Middle-Aged Patients – After the age of 40, your vision may start changing again due to age-related factors. Vision correction procedures are generally preferred at a younger age, but can still be performed between 40-55 years of age depending on your medical history, eye health, and any family history of diabetes, glaucoma or corneal diseases.
  • You may also face conditions such as presbyopia with advancing age, where the lens of your eye becomes rigid and you have difficulty focusing on nearby objects without reading glasses. This is a natural part of the aging process, but presbyopia cannot be treated with LASIK eye surgery.

  • Senior Years – There isn’t a fixed upper limit for LASIK laser eye surgery, but older patients may have age-related complications that prevent them from being good candidates. After the age of 60, you’re at higher risk for vision loss due to cataracts, and you should first get cataract surgery to replace your eye’s natural lens.
  • You can get LASIK even after the age of 60-70 if you have clear eyes, but other conditions such as diabetes, eye diseases such as glaucoma or corneal disease, and certain types of medication also need to be taken into account. These may make eye surgeries such as LASIK and PRK (photorefractive keratectomy) unsuitable.

The bottom line about LASIK for different age groups? There really is no one-size-fits-all answer. If vision loss is affecting your quality of life, an eye exam and consultation with the experts at Insight Vision Center can help you find out if you’re a good candidate for Lasik in Fresno. Book your appointment with us today!

astigmatism-vision

Astigmatism is a common eye problem, where the eyeball isn’t perfectly round. It may be slightly football-shaped or look like the back of a spoon instead, which can cause blurred vision. Light entering a normal eye is bent evenly for clear vision, but an irregularly shaped cornea or lens can cause it to bend more in one direction.Since light doesn’t focus on the retina properly, objects may seem blurry, wavy or out of focus, especially at a distance.

Symptoms of Astigmatism

Astigmatism causes distorted or blurred vision to some level at all distances. The person will experience eyestrain, difficulty in viewing at night and headaches especially after reading or doing any visual task for an extended period. Squinting is another symptom which is commonly seen in people with Astigmatism.

What Causes Astigmatism and How Is It Diagnosed?

Astigmatism takes place when the surface of the cornea or the inner curve of the eye lens is shaped irregularly or changes over time. This often happens during adulthood, but the exact cause is unknown.

The condition can be inherited, and is usually present right from birth. Astigmatism may increase or decrease as you age, occur after eye surgery, disease or injury, and even be followed by the development of cataracts. It may also be caused by keratoconus, a condition where the cornea thins and becomes cone-shaped over time.

A comprehensive eye exam is the only way to diagnose astigmatism, but look out for symptoms such as blurriness, difficulty reading or changes in vision. Refractive eye errors such as nearsightedness/farsightedness can also occur along with astigmatism, and your eye doctor can conduct a variety of tests to find the problem.

Types of Astigmatism

There are 3 types of Astigmatism:

  1. Myopic Astigmatism– One or both central meridians of the eye are nearsighted. If both the meridians are nearsighted, they are myopic in varying degrees.
  2. Hyperopic Astigmatism– One or both central meridians are far-sighted.
  3. Mixed Astigmatism– One central meridian is nearsighted and the other is farsighted.

Astigmatism can also be categorized as regular and irregular. Regular Astigmatism is when the central meridians are 90 degrees away (vertical to each other). In irregular astigmatism, the central meridians are not vertical to each other. Most of the people with astigmatism have corneal astigmatism, which gives the anterior surface of the eye an oval shape. Irregular astigmatism is either the result of an eye injury that has scarred the cornea or keratoconus, a disease that causes a gradual tapering of the cornea or the aftermath of an eye surgery.

Is Eye Surgery Necessary for Treating Astigmatism?

Depending on the degree of astigmatism and your eye health, your optometrist could suggest various options for vision correction. Surgery isn’t always necessary, but it can help you regain clear vision if you have severe astigmatism. If you have slight astigmatism with no vision issues, you may not require any treatment at all.

Let’s look at the common options for astigmatism treatment:

  1. Corrective Lenses
    Eyeglasses and contact lenses can correct vision problems caused by moderate cases of the condition. Single-vision glasses with a cylindrical lens provide additional power in specific parts of the lens for clear vision at all distances, but bifocal or progressive addition lenses may be prescribed if you’re over 40.Your eye doctor may prescribe special soft contact lenses that bend light in the correct direction, but you may need gas-permeable rigid contact lenses if you have severe astigmatism. However, both glasses and lenses can be uncomfortable and inconvenient for many people, and neither can correct astigmatism completely.
  2. LASIK Surgery
    LASIK or laser in situ keratomileusis is a form of laser eye surgery conducted to remove the underlying flap of the cornea. It corrects vision by refracting or bending light entering the eye, and is often preferred over other refractive surgeries since it only removes tissue from the inner layer of the cornea.In the past, LASIK was considered ineffective for correcting astigmatism completely. With modern advances in technology and eye surgery methods, however, this laser guided treatment can treat astigmatism as well as other vision problems such as nearsightedness and farsightedness, eliminating the need for glasses or contacts.
  3. Other Options
    Astigmatism may also be treated with orthokeratology, or ortho-k, where a series of rigid contact lenses are fitted over the eye to reshape the cornea. You need to wear these retainer lenses for a specified period of time, usually overnight, before removing them. Ortho-k can improve vision in moderate cases, but only if you continue wearing the lenses. If you stop wearing them, your vision can return to the original condition. Other options include photorefractive keratectomy or PRK, a form of eye surgery where tissue is removed from the cornea’s superficial and inner layers.

Astigmatism and its treatment

Today, LASIK is one of the most popular choices for permanent and practically painless vision correction. Of course, the right treatment choice depends upon the degree of astigmatism, health of your retina and cornea, as well as your lifestyle and vision needs. Your eye doctor can help you choose what’s right.

To learn more about astigmatism treatment or to book an appointment for LASIK in Fresno, contact Insight Vision Center today!

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