Astigmatism refers to the curvature of the surface of your eye. If your eye is round like a baseball, you do not have astigmatism and can quit reading now! But if the front of your eye has a curvature, making it shaped more like a football than a baseball, then you have astigmatism.
Generally patients don’t realize they have astigmatism. We may mention it when we determine your glasses prescription but often we just write the prescription to compensate for it.
Serious discussions of astigmatism generally start when a patient is considering cataract surgery, LASIK vision correction or contact lenses. There are special Toric contacts available for those with astigmatism and often they work quite well. Many, however, find that toric contacts don’t provide consistent vision as they tend to rotate on the eye with blinking.
There is a common misconception that you cannot have LASIK if you have astigmatism but this is absolutely not true. In fact this is actually a frequent reason for patients to elect to have LASIK as they are unhappy with their vision in glasses or contact lenses.
If you have astigmatism and cataracts, we can insert Toric implants at the time of surgery to improve your vision. More recently, Bifocal Toric implants have become available, now making bifocal implants an option for those with astigmatism.
Still confused? Call for a complete eye examination and we will determine if you have significant astigmatism and how best to compensate for it.
Dr. Martha Jay is a Board Certified Ophthalmologist specializing in medical and surgical eye care such as blade-free LASIK and small incision cataract surgery. For more eye care information, call 262-241-1919 or visit www.LakeShoreVision.com.