I Am Considering PRK or Lasik for Astigmatism, but is It Too High?

My prescription is Left eye S -1.25 C -3.75 and right eye S -.50 C 2.75. I have heard if the astigmatism is more than half the Sphere it does not yield good results. Is this true? I am worried that because my spherical numbers are so low... my outcome will not be very good. :(

Doctor Answers 6

PRK or LASIK for High Astigmatism

Custom LASIK is available for patients with higher astigmatism and the outcomes are great!


You can have either PRK or LASIK, however generally, patients have PRK when they are not a candidate for LASIK. Make sure you have a skilled surgeon and that you are receiving a custom treatment. The lasers routinely correct high astigmatism without any issues.

San Diego Ophthalmologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

PRK or LASIK for Astigmatism

You can have either PRK or LASIK for your level of astigmatism. Which procedure you have is not as important as the technology and surgeon that does your procedure.  For the past 15 years we have done PRK and LASIK BOTH for your level of astigmatism with excellent results.  

Good luck, you only have 2 eyes!


Arkady Kagan, MD
Los Angeles Ophthalmologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Astigmatism Worse Than Myopia PRK vs LASIK vs LASEK

i have done about 20,000 procedures over the past 15 years, and was the 1st eye surgeon in NYC to get LASIK himself in 1999 for high myopia and high astigmatism, so i am uniquely qualified to answer this question, both from a patient and MD POV

i was also Principal Investigator for the 1st solid state refractive laser, so have an additional perspective on this issue

when the excimer laser was 1st FDA approved, the software that was approved couldn't correct astigmatism if the amount was more than the myopia. but this was true about 10 years ago

newer software (not new, but newer) allows for the full and successful correction of astigmatism greater than the degree of myopia

you're also not too thin for LASEK or PRK, you may be too thin for LASIK but i don't think that's true, either, but almost everyone who is too thin for LASIK can get a surface ablation safely

LASEK is the more advanced form of PRK, btw, nobody performs both, they perform one or the other, and nobody who performs LASEK still performs PRK, as LASEK is the more modern version of PRK that has supplanted it for many refractive surgeons

Emil William Chynn, MD, FACS, MBA
New York Ophthalmologist
4.6 out of 5 stars 20 reviews

LASIK and Astigmatism

With the level of astigmatism you have, it would be unlikely that your cornea is too thin to do either LASIK or PRK. You still need a consultation in order to make sure there are no corneal irregularities and no other problems but you will more than likely be a candidate. 

Ilan Cohen, MD
New York Ophthalmologist

Are My Eyes Too Severe To Treat With PRK or Lasik?

I appreciate your giving me your prescription. That partially helps me to give you the best advice, but knowing your corneal thickness would help a great deal. So, assuming your cornea is healthy and its thickness is normal, I think you would do beautifully with either PRK or Lasik. Obviously, your visual result will return more rapidly with Lasik, but long term studies comparing PRK and Lasik, head to head, have shown relatively equal results.


I prefer the laser combination of the AMO Intralase iFS to create your corneal flap and the Wavelight 400hx excimer laser to fix your prescription. It is my opinion that this is the best laser combination in the world for treating the prescription you describe here. Good luck!! I think you will do great!

Anthony J. Kameen, MD
Baltimore Ophthalmologist
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Astigmatism correction

Not true.  Both PRK and LASIK are capable of correcting your amount of astigmatism with excellent results.  Your doctor will be able to determine which procedure will suit you best.

Inna Ozerov, MD
Long Island 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.