Can Astigmatism Get Worse?
Exploring LASIK as a Solution for Long-term Clarity
Struggling with glasses and contacts due to astigmatism can be a frustrating experience. The constant need for corrective eyewear can affect your daily life and limit your options. If you find yourself wondering whether astigmatism can get worse over time and seeking a more permanent solution, LASIK eye surgery might be the answer you’ve been looking for. In this blog, we’ll dive into the nature of astigmatism, its potential progression, and the benefits of LASIK as a long-term solution to regain clear vision and enjoy life without the constraints of glasses and contacts.
What Causes Astigmatism To Begin With?
Astigmatism is a common vision problem that affects the shape of the eye’s cornea or lens. Unlike nearsightedness (myopia) or farsightedness (hyperopia), which focus on a single point on the retina, astigmatism causes light to focus on multiple points, leading to blurred or distorted vision. It often results from an irregularly shaped cornea or lens, creating an uneven focus of light entering the eye.
Does Astigmatism Get Worse?
The progression of astigmatism varies from person to person. In some cases, astigmatism may remain stable throughout one’s life, while in others, it can worsen gradually. Factors like genetics, age, eye health, and environmental factors can influence the development and progression of astigmatism.
For those struggling with astigmatism, the fear of worsening vision is a legitimate concern. It’s important to note that while astigmatism can change over time, the rate of change is not drastic for most individuals. Regular eye examinations with an optometrist or ophthalmologist can help monitor any changes in your astigmatism and determine the appropriate course of action.
The Limitations of Glasses and Contacts
Glasses and contact lenses provide a reliable way to correct astigmatism and achieve clear vision. However, they come with their own set of limitations:
Dependency: Wearing glasses or contacts is a lifelong commitment, and the dependency can become cumbersome. Daily maintenance and the risk of loss or damage can be frustrating.
Lifestyle Restrictions: Active individuals often find glasses and contacts hindering their activities. Engaging in sports, swimming, or even just enjoying a windy day can be problematic.
Visual Distortions: Glasses may cause visual distortions at the edges of the lenses, and contact lenses can sometimes lead to dry eyes or discomfort.
LASIK for Astigmatism
Laser-Assisted in Situ Keratomileusis (LASIK) is a widely recognized and highly effective surgical procedure designed to correct a variety of refractive errors, including astigmatism.
Here’s why LASIK could be the solution you’re seeking:
Permanent Correction: LASIK reshapes the cornea using advanced laser technology, allowing light to focus correctly on the retina. This precise alteration can provide long-lasting results, likely eliminating your dependence on glasses or contacts.
Enhanced Quality of Life: Imagine waking up in the morning with clear vision and being able to engage in activities without the hassle of corrective eyewear. LASIK can improve your quality of life by offering newfound freedom and convenience.
Minimal Discomfort and Quick Recovery: LASIK is a quick and a typically painless procedure. Most patients experience improved vision within minutes, and the recovery time is remarkably short. Most people return to their normal activities the very next day!
Predictable Outcomes: Advances in technology have made LASIK a highly predictable procedure. Your surgeon will use advanced mapping techniques to create personalized treatment plans.
Customized Approach: LASIK can be tailored to your specific needs. Whether you have astigmatism along with other refractive errors or astigmatism alone, your surgeon can customize the procedure to address your unique visual requirements.
Does Astigmatism Get Worse With Age?
Astigmatism, like other refractive errors such as nearsightedness (myopia) and farsightedness (hyperopia), can change over time, but it doesn’t necessarily get worse with age for everyone.
The progression of astigmatism varies from person to person and can be influenced by several factors. Here are some key points to consider:
Stability: Astigmatism can remain stable throughout your life. Some individuals experience minimal changes in their astigmatism prescription as they age, while others might notice a more significant progression.
Genetics: Genetics play a role in the development of astigmatism, and if your parents or close relatives have astigmatism, you might be more likely to develop it as well. However, the rate of progression is not solely determined by genetics.
Age-Related Changes: The shape of the cornea and the lens within the eye can change naturally with age. These changes can sometimes result in shifts in the degree of astigmatism. This is particularly true during childhood and adolescence when the eye is still growing and developing.
Environmental Factors: Factors such as prolonged near work, improper reading distance, and extended screen time can potentially contribute to changes in astigmatism over time. These factors might have a more pronounced effect on children and young adults whose eyes are still developing.
Pregnancy: Hormonal changes during pregnancy can affect the cornea’s shape temporarily, leading to shifts in vision. This can also influence the perception of astigmatism.
Eye Health: The overall health of your eyes can impact the progression of astigmatism. Conditions like keratoconus (a thinning and bulging of the cornea) can lead to significant changes in astigmatism.
Regular Eye Exams: Regular eye exams are crucial in monitoring the status of your astigmatism and detecting any changes. An optometrist or ophthalmologist can help determine whether your astigmatism has progressed and recommend appropriate measures.
In conclusion, while astigmatism can change over time due to various factors, it doesn’t necessarily get worse with age for everyone. Regular eye check-ups and early intervention can help manage any changes and ensure that you continue to enjoy clear vision.
LASIK offers a promising alternative, providing the potential for clear vision without the need for glasses or contacts. The benefits of permanent correction, improved quality of life, minimal discomfort, and customized treatment plans make LASIK an appealing option for those struggling with astigmatism.
Be sure to talk to one of our doctors about not only the benefits of LASIK, but also any risks of LASIK that may pertain to your individual needs and circumstances.