Eliminate Blurry Vision with Astigmatism Treatments
Astigmatism is responsible for many patients' blurred vision. This refractive error is typically caused by an irregularly-shaped cornea, which in turn distorts the light that enters the eye. At Contemporary Ophthalmology of Erie in Erie, PA, our doctors offer both nonsurgical and surgical treatments for astigmatism. Patients can opt for corrective glasses and lenses or refractive surgery such as LASIK, PRK, and LASEK, to refine their vision.
A typical, healthy cornea is usually shaped like a smooth sphere. Patients with astigmatism have corneas that are slightly oval like a football. This irregular shape scatters light entering the eye, undermining vision at any distance. Although there are cases when surgery or injury cause astigmatism, it is usually present from birth.
This refractive error causes light to scatter upon hitting the cornea. Without a focused beam of light on the retina, patients are left with blurred sight.
While the most notable symptom of astigmatism is blurred vision at every distance, patients may notice other symptoms such as:
- Chronic headaches
- Distortions of horizontal, vertical, or diagonal lines
- Eye pain, irritation, or discomfort
- Frequent squinting
However, these symptoms are not exclusive to astigmatism. In most cases, this condition is diagnosed during routine examinations with your ophthalmologist. We can diagnose astigmatism with visual acuity tests or by visually assessing the cornea with a keratometer.
Treatment Options for Astigmatism
We offer treatments for all types of refractive errors and can recommend personalized care based on your specific and unique needs. Some of the most common options include:
- Traditional Eyewear: Glasses and contact lenses were the only ways to treat astigmatism before refractive surgery and remain incredibly reliable options for correcting vision. Contact lenses include disposable, hard, soft, extended wear, rigid gas permeable, and bifocal options.
- LASIK: This procedure corrects astigmatism by reshaping the cornea with a cold-beam laser. The surgeon creates a small flap in the cornea and reshapes the underlying tissue. Many patients enjoy improved vision as soon as the first day of recovery.
- LASEK: Not to be confused with LASIK, LASEK is a laser-based procedure designed for patients with ultra-thin or flat corneas. During this procedure, the surgeon creates a tiny incision on the outer layer of the cornea. Using an alcohol solution, they can then loosen tissue, pull the flap back, and remove cells from the cornea. This is an excellent option for patients who are not eligible for LASIK.
- PRK: Photorefractive Keratectomy, or PRK, was the first refractive surgery performed in the United States. It is still widely used today to treat astigmatism in patients with thin corneas or large pupils. During this process, surgeons remove the outer layer of the cornea and then alter the surface of the remaining tissue with a cool UV light. While recovery time is longer, the procedure offers reliable results with a lifetime of benefits.
- AcrySof® TORIC® Intraocular Lens: Placed surgically, these artificial lenses can permanently correct blurred vision in the same way that traditional eyewear can.
The doctors at the Contemporary Ophthalmology of Erie will walk you through the stages of treatment so that you know what to expect and can make an informed decision about your health.
Clear Blurred Vision Today
If you are interested in learning more about the treatments offered at Contemporary Ophthalmology of Erie, schedule a consultation with one of our doctors. Call us at (814) 838-9555 or contact us online anytime.