Lasik for Astigmatism and Currently See Night Starburst?

I've been contemplating having intralase wavefront lasik performed, but I have some reservations. I had been approved at 3 places (Cleveland Clinic, Lasik Plus, and TLC). However, I already see starbursts at night, particularly when driving. Although it's more of an annoyance at the moment, I fear it will be worse and detrimental after surgery. One place told me it will actually be better post-surgery with wavefront, but I'm highly skeptical. Will I still see starbursts after surgery?

Doctor Answers 2

LASIK for Astigmatism

One of the stubbornly persistent misconceptions from the early days of Lasik and PRK(the 1990's) is that the excimer laser has trouble correcting astigmatism. You don't know how many thousands of patients I have talked to about this misinformation, and, I even heard  it from a stranger at a Christmas cocktail party a few weeks ago. So, "I can't have Lasik because I have an astigmatism" is almost always an incorrect statement and has been for over a decade. So, it sounds like you are a good candidate for Lasik, although I have not seen any of your preoperative testing.

Now, on to starbursts. Another misconception from the "90's, is that Lasik will leave you with lots of starbursting(also known as halo, ghosting, glare). While the early lasers were not great at treating preexisting glare, they sure are now. There are computer mapping devices that allow us to build preoperative models of exactly where the uneven portions of the cornea(the cause of starbursting) are, and then factor the smoothing out of these problem areas is built in to the Lasik or PRK procedure. As a result,, patients treated over the last 5-7 years have seen improvements in postoperative glare and halos, rather than an increase(as sometimes occurred in the 1990's).

I wish there was a way to create a "time sensitive" Lasik blog, that would allow people to read about topics like "Lasik glare" as it pertains to current treatments, rather than reading a blog which is an amalgam of 20 years of results on hundreds of different laser systems and software iterations. If I were only that computer savvy!

Baltimore Ophthalmologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Lasik for Astigmatism and Currently See Night Starburst?

Is your vision completely corrected with glasses or contacts?  Do you have dry eye or is it controlled?  If yes and you still have night starbursts, you may still see them after LASIK - they might be better with wavefront, but I would expect to see them still.  The question is how much they bother you.  Assuming you are a good candidate (i.e. you dont have irregular astigmatism to begin with) you can still have LASIK if you want to improve your vision without glasses or contacts.

Parag Majmudar, MD
Hoffman Estates Ophthalmologist

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