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Can LASIK treat Astigmatism?

December 8, 2012

I still come across quite a few people who are not sure if astigmatism can be treated by LASIK.

What is Astigmatism?

This focusing problem of the eye is usually due to an uneven cornea. Cornea is the front layer of the eye, the transparent curved portion that you can see when you look into the mirror.


Think of a soccer ball, cut this in half, all the meridians of this ball have the same curvature… so there is no astigmatism.

Now think of a rugby ball, cut this ball in half, one surface is more curved than the other. This is like a cornea with astigmatism.

Check out this animation on the Shinagawa website to learn more about astigmatism.

LASIK can treat astigmatism. LASIK works by reshaping the cornea. The laser will laser more in one meridian of the cornea than in the other meridian in order to change the rugby ball shape into more of a soccer ball shape. Most lasers can treat up to 600 degrees (6 diopters) of astigmatism. Learn more about LASIK from this site.

3 Comments leave one →
  1. May 8, 2013 7:32 pm

    I am really appreciating your blog. Your blog for Intralase Lasik Surgery are very valuable for me. Thank you so much for giving such a good information.

  2. ryan permalink
    June 23, 2013 11:30 pm

    Hi Dr. Lee,
    Lasik cannot treat astigmatism according to the article you published here:
    Which one is right? 🙂

    • June 24, 2013 9:55 pm

      Hi Ryan,
      Thanks for your question. The writer was asking me if there are any misconceptions about LASIK. My answer was there are a few and one of them is that LASIK cannot treat astigmatism. In other words, LASIK can treat astigmatism. 🙂

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