Treatment of Astigmatism
Usually astigmatism is treated with spectacles and contact lenses. Many people with astigmatism can achieve better vision with specially designed toric lenses. They are made with the same materials as regular contact lenses but it has an additional power element called a cylinder. This cylinder has greater light-bending powers to focus light clearly.
Corneal modification is another option for people with astigmatism - this is done by surgical operations.
- Laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) is the most commonly performed refractive procedure. A flap is cut through the top of the cornea, a laser removes some corneal tissue and then the flap is dropped back into place. It smoothes an irregular cornea into a more normal shape.
- Astigmatic Keratotomy (AK) is also used to correct astigmatism. Incisions are strategically placed on the steepest curves. The steep areas flatten, and the cornea heals into a more spherical shape. This allows light to focus more precisely on the retina. AK can be performed alone or in conjunction with other refractive procedures.
- Limbal Relaxing Incision (LRI) is performed to correct mild astigmatism. This procedure is similar to radial keratotomy. Incisions are made at the limbus, (the visible borderline between the clear window (cornea) and the white globe (sclera) of the eye) and the cornea is made more spherical and is relaxed, to give a clear vision