-.75 and astigmatism

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-.75 and astigmatism

Postby GeneralPatientInquiry » Wed May 31, 2006 5:30 am

My correction is -.75 in both eyes, with a significant astigmatism in one eye. Would I be crazy to consider corrective surgery?
This post is a reprint of a previously requested inquiry received by USAEyes.org via email.
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Postby LasikExpert » Wed May 31, 2006 5:32 am

There are those who would argue that if not crazy, you would certainly be one taco short of a combination plate if you had surgery on your eyes for such a small refractive error.

All elective surgery is a balance between potential benefit and potential risk. You would incur all the potential risk, but it appears that you would have very little potential benefit. However, high astigmatism can provide very poor vision, especially in low light environments. Depending upon how high (you didn't give me that number), astigmatism can be a real vision and lifestyle limitation. For this reason, the potential benefit of refractive surgery may be greater than first indicated by your small myopia (nearsighted).

A reason you may want to not have the myopia removed at your age is due to the eventual process called presbyopia. This is when the natural lens of the eye is no longer able to change shape from distance focus to near. Presbyopia is first revealed around age 40 as needing to move items farther away to be able to read, and then the need for reading glasses.

Being mildly myopic can be described two ways. One is that you cannot see things far away so very well. The other is that you can see things close very well. At this point in your life, you are undoubtedly still able to change focus and your myopia is actually a nuisance. At around age 40, that small amount of myopia will enable you to see things close very well and will delay or even eliminate the need for reading glasses.

So the questions to you are if the astigmatism is so significant as to cause real vision dysfunction and if you are willing to put up with a few more years of myopia in order to delay and possibly eliminate the need for reading glasses later in life. Yes, it is possible to have the astigmatism reduced and leave some myopia.

If you are going to proceed with refractive surgery, I very highly recommend that you investigate the surface ablation techniques of PRK or its cousins LASEK and Epi-LASIK. These techniques have a slightly longer recovery time, but are somewhat safer than LASIK and have a better long-term outcome for someone in your situation.
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