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Will Lasik Work in Extreme Astigmatism Cases?

I've tried glasses but never contacts. Glasses for me do almost nothing but give me a headache. My vision improves only marginally to the point I don't know much of a difference with or without. When I have both eyes open I see fine, but when I close my right eye everything is blurry. Just wondering if Lasik would make a noticeable difference. I'd rather not spend the money if it won't considering what it costs to have done.

Doctor Answers (3)

Effectiveness of LASIK

+1

It sounds as if you might have significant anisometropia (a difference in prescription between the two eyes).  This might be a good reason to have LASIK but you should see an eye care specialist for a better evaluation. 

1. Glasses for me do almost nothing but give me a headache.

Perhaps your glasses prescription is wrong.  If you have high astigmatism a small error in your prescription (as little as a few degrees) would easily eliminate the advantage of the prescription.  If the glasses were decentered, the prescription was incorrect, or the prescription was remarkably different between the two eyes (even if it was correct), you could easily experience headaches.  LASIK might help with all three of these.

2. My vision improves only marginally to the point I don't know much of a difference with or without.

If you have high astigmatism and did not wear glasses as a child you might have a level of amblyopia (an inability to see well that occurs in the brain due to a lack of clear visual stimulus as a child).  You might also have keratoconus or some other optical disorder which creates aberrations which are not correctable with glasses.  Keratoconus is not correctable with LASIK but some other higher order aberrations are.

3. When I have both eyes open I see fine, but when I close my right eye everything is blurry.

This sounds like you have anisometropia (and possibly amblyopia as well) and your brain is repressing the image in your left eye when both eyes are open.  Glasses might be clearing up the left eye partially but causing you more discomfort as it becomes more difficult to repress the blur in that eye.

I would suggest a more in-depth eye examination in which you explain these problems and make certain you receive a satisfactory answer.  LASIK might be helpful to you.  It also might not be a good choice depending on your condition.  If you are better of repressing the left eye, LASIK could force you to use it and cause significant discomfort.  If you have keratoconus, LASIK would definitely be a bad choice.  On the other hand, if your discomfort is caused by anisometropia (and a resulting difference in image sizes), LASIK would be better than glasses.  Also, if your discomfort is caused by an improper prescription, LASIK might be better but only if the LASIK surgery was more accurate than the glasses, which can never be guaranteed 100%.

San Francisco Ophthalmologist

Lasik For Extreme Astigmatism

+1

 

I agree with Dr. Kameen, we also have had much success in treating high degrees of astigmatism with LASIK or PRK.  I would just emphasize that you be checked to make sure that the high degree of astigmatism is not due to a condition know as keratoconus which or course, could require a different treatment such as corneal cross-linking.

Boulder Ophthalmologist

Lasik For Extreme Astigmatism

+1

In the 20 years I have been performing Lasik, our ability to correct extreme astigmatism has improved tremendously. For the past 7 or 8 years, with the advent of laser created corneal flaps and radar guided laser corrections, astigmatism is no longer a difficult treatment. Currently, I am treating up to 6 diopters of astigmatism with tremendous results. For those of you who are unfamiliar with that unit of measurement, 6 diopters is a ton of astigmatism! I have never been happier with my results in treating astigmatism than I am with the laser platform I currently use.

Web reference: http://www.kameen.com

Baltimore Ophthalmologist

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.