Astigmatism Treatment in Newport Beach, Los Angeles
An astigmatism is a common vision disorder where light does not reach the retina properly because of an irregularly shaped cornea. Astigmatism may occur with patients who suffer from nearsightedness and farsightedness, and will cause objects to appear unclear. People with astigmatism may have difficulty distinguishing an “R” from a “B”. Untreated astigmatism may cause eye strain or headaches if untreated. Astigmatism is easily treated with glasses, contact lenses, or LASIK. Depending on your level of astigmatism, Dr. Feinerman will make a recommendation as to which will work best for you.
What is Astigmatism?
Astigmatism is a refractive error that causes light to focus at different points in the eye. Since the light is focusing at different points, a blurring affect is created at both near and far distances. Astigmatism can be caused by the shape or curvature of the cornea being more like a football rather than spherical like a normal cornea (which has the curvature of a basketball).
There are two types of astigmatism: regular and irregular. Regular astigmatism, which is the dominant form of astigmatism, occurs when the part of the eye which needs the most amount of power is located 90 degrees away from the area in the eye that needs the least amount of power. It is symmetrical which is easy to correct with glasses and contacts. In irregular astigmatism, the corneal astigmatism is asymmetric. This causes light to scatter throughout the eye with many different focus points. Neither glasses nor soft contacts can correct this condition and rigid gas permeable lenses (hard contact lenses) are often medical necessity for better vision.
How is Astigmatism Detected?
It is easy to identify astigmatism by two common tests that Dr. Feinerman will perform. The first test is a keratometry, which measures the two main curvatures of the cornea. Dr. Feinerman may perform this during your routine eye exam. The keratometry is important if you are having LASIK, cataract surgery, or going to fitted for contact lenses. The second exam is refraction. During this part of the exam your eyeglass prescription is determined. Topography is another exam that is commonly used at Feinerman Vision Center; and it provides a detailed map of the cornea. Topography is essential if you are seeking LASIK or cataract surgery, which is why it is routine at our center.
How is Astigmatism Corrected?
If you have regular astigmatism and are seeking LASIK, than you can rest assured that astigmatism can be easily corrected with LASIK. In fact, LASIK is the most accurate way to remove astigmatism. Dr. Feinerman will evaluate your eyes and determine whether you qualify for LASIK. If you qualify then rest assured your astigmatism will be corrected.
For those with astigmatism and cataracts, Dr. Feinerman may choose an intraocular lens (IOL) with astigmatism correction built into the lens. These toric IOL designs can reduce moderate amounts of astigmatism. If you have a large amount of astigmatism, Dr. Feinerman can correct it on the cornea as well. He may choose to do an “arcuate keratotomy”, which is a simple incision made on the cornea during cataract surgery. For the small number of patients who have some remaining astigmatism after cataract surgery, Dr. Feinerman can easily and accurately remove it with LASIK.