Astigmatism Treatment Options You Can Consider

ophthalmologist doctor advising patient

Story at-a-glance -

  • Wearing eyeglasses may be the simplest and safest method for astigmatism correction
  • Contact lenses are also used by many people with astigmatism. They work by serving as the first refractive surface that allows light rays to enter the eye
  • For people with severe cases of astigmatism, refractive surgery may be advised by physicians

There are cases of astigmatism that are mild and do not cause any symptoms. In these instances, the doctor may not require treatment,1 especially if the refractive error does not hinder the affected person’s life. However, if astigmatism is interfering with your daily visual tasks, then corrective treatment may be prescribed by your eye doctor. If you want to learn how to treat astigmatism, keep reading.

Corrective Lenses Are the Typically Prescribed Solutions

Wearing eyeglasses may be the simplest and safest method for astigmatism correction. However, you will need to consult an eye care professional so that you can be fitted with lenses that allow you to see as clearly as possible.

As an alternative, contact lenses are also used by many people with astigmatism. They work by serving as the first refractive surface that allows light rays to enter the eye. This gives a more precise focus (refraction).2 People who find eyeglasses cumbersome often prefer wearing contact lenses.

However, keep in mind that using contact lenses can come with certain drawbacks. One study found that contact lens wearers have increased levels of potentially harmful microbes in their eyes, and these organisms are linked to different inflammatory eye problems, such as conjunctivitis, endophthalmitis and keratitis (corneal infection). This may be one reason why using contact lenses increases the risk of eye diseases and infections.3

Thus, if you resort to this solution, you will need to practice proper hygiene methods to ensure that the contacts will not harm your health in any way.

The Bates Method May Be a Natural Treatment for Astigmatism

Greg Marsh, a certified natural vision coach, believes that it’s possible to get clear vision without the use of corrective lenses. He explains that corrective lenses, in fact, cause you to retrain your eyes to strain so that you can see all day long – the exact opposite of healthy vision. Instead, he recommends trying the Bates Method to help address your eyesight problems.

Initially conceived over 100 years ago by Dr. William H. Bates, this mental approach basically operates on the principle that the act of straining, based on different reasons, causes the eyeballs to squeeze and contort, making your vision blurry. By identifying what’s causing the stress that makes you strain and letting it go, you can get your vision back.

Marsh says that both myopia and presbyopia (a type of farsightedness) both respond well to the Bates Method. Other eye problems like cataracts, cross-eye, glaucoma and astigmatism may also benefit from this technique.

However, remember that the Bates Method is not a medical approach – rather, it can be likened to yoga or meditation, as it allows you to engage your mind and imagination, so you can relax your eyes and prompt natural healing. You also need to seek a licensed physician to help you with your diagnosis, prescription and treatment.

Is LASIK Surgery for Astigmatism Recommended?

For people with severe cases of astigmatism, refractive surgery may be advised by physicians. There are many different types of laser eye surgery available, the most common of which is laser in situ keratomileusis or LASIK.

In this method, a device called keratome is used to make a thin and round hinged cut in the cornea. The flap is lifted and an excimer laser then sculpts the cornea’s shape. Compared to other surgical procedures, this is less painful. Other surgical options include:

  • Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) – The cornea’s outer protective layer is removed, and a laser alters the cornea’s shape through tissue removal. Once it heals, its curve is more even and spherical. This procedure is painful, though.
  • Laser epithelial keratomileusis (LASEK) – The surface of the cornea is loosened using alcohol before the procedure is conducted, wherein the cornea is shaped with a laser. Since the layer affected is thinner, the eye is less prone to injury or damaged as compared to PRK. However, LASEK causes more intense pain than LASIK.

Not everyone can undergo laser surgery, though, and it is ill-advised for certain groups of people, like:

Patients ages 18 years or younger

Patient whose vision is still changing. One example is in older people. Ideally, the vision should be stable for at least a year before surgery.

Diabetic patients

Breastfeeding or pregnant women

People with immune-related conditions like HIV, rheumatoid arthritis or lupus, as they might find post-surgery recovery difficult

Those with another existing eye condition, such as cataracts and glaucoma

People who take certain medications such as Accutane or oral prednisone


Remember that invasive surgical procedures like this can be risky and may lead to certain side effects. In some cases, the procedure makes patient’s vision worse or causes dry eyes. Make sure you discuss these factors with your physician before choosing surgery for astigmatism.4

MORE ABOUT ASTIGMATISM

Astigmatism: Introduction

What Is Astigmatism?

Astigmatism Symptoms

Astigmatism Causes

Astigmatism Test

Types of Astigmatism

Astigmatism Treatment

Contact Lenses For Astigmatism

Astigmatism Prevention

Astigmatism FAQ



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