If your vision is blurry and/or you are near-sighted or far-sighted, chances are you have astigmatism. This condition is caused by an irregularly shaped cornea and is common for both adults and children. Without treatment, it can worsen so it is definitely important to visit your optometrist regularly for evaluation and corrective measures.
How Is Astigmatism Corrected?
You can wear glasses or contacts to correct your astigmatism, but these days you can also take advantage of surgical correction through laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis (LASIK). This is a convenient, fairly painless and permanent fix.
If you have tried to get a LASIK appointment in years gone by and been turned down, it is well worth trying again. These days, you can usually get a free initial consultation to find out whether or not you would be a good candidate so you have nothing to lose and everything to gain by inquiring.
In the past, people with astigmatism were not considered good candidates for LASIK surgery. Today, thanks to improvements in laser technology, this situation has changed and quite a few doctors will gladly provide this valuable service to patients who have mild-to-moderate astigmatism.
Are There Extra Risks With Astigmatism?
Generally speaking, if you have mild-to-moderate astigmatism, you will have no more complications and side-effects than anyone else. Most people are very happy with this surgery and do not complain of any problems. People with astigmatism typically face the same minor inconveniences as others undergoing this surgery.
In terms of recovery time, you’ll be happy to know that LASIK is an outpatient procedure. You’ll need to take it easy and follow doctor’s orders for a couple of weeks, but you will not have to stay overnight in the hospital.
The pain of the surgery is minor. You do not need to have an injection for anesthesia. Topical numbing agents are used around the eye; numbing eye-drops are instilled in the eye, and you may be given a mild sedative in advance. You will remain conscious for the procedure, and you should not experience much pain.
Of course, for a few hours after your surgery you will experience some pain and perhaps some burning sensations. As the very small corneal incision heals, this minor pain will subside. You should feel much better and see fairly well the day after surgery.
Is LASIK Expensive?
When considering the price of LASIK, remember that costs vary from one provider to the next. Additionally, many doctors provide special discounts for new patients or under other circumstance. There is also credit available to help people defray medical costs of all kinds, or your doctor may be willing to make private installment arrangements with you.
One thing you will want to be very cognizant of is whether or not your health insurance will cover the procedure. If it is considered medically necessary, it may very well be covered. If your vision could be corrected just as well with lenses, it probably would not.
When it comes to monetary concerns, you will just need to weigh your insurance coverage, the amount of money you have to spend and the amount you believe you will benefit from the surgery. Keep in mind that, in the long run, LASIK saves money and resources because you will not need to buy new glasses annually once your eyesight has been surgically corrected.