One of the myths of LASIK surgery is that it cannot be offered to patients with astigmatism. Although this was true when LASIK technology was in its infancy, it is no longer the case. Modern laser systems can treat astigmatism very well. However, Dr. Kugler takes astigmatism analysis and treatment a step further to ensure that the visual quality is improved and not compromised by inappropriate astigmatism treatment.
What is astigmatism?
Astigmatism means that the eye is not perfectly round, like a basketball, but rather is irregularly shaped, like an American football. Astigmatism affects 50-75 percent of the general population and most patients with astigmatism are aware that they have it. However there are many patients who have subtle forms of astigmatism that are not detected without advanced astigmatism analysis.
Dr. Kugler recently discussed Astigmatism on WOWT Channel 6 in Omaha:
Astigmatism Analysis using vectors
The cornea, or front-surface, is the structure of the eye that is most responsible for astigmatism. Other structures within the eye, such as the posterior surface of the cornea or the crystalline lens, also contribute to astigmatism.
Laser vision correction changes the shape of the front surface of the cornea and is not able to change the shape of other parts of the eye. Therefore, if astigmatism is confined to the front surface of the cornea then laser vision correction is very successful in correcting the problem at its source.
If the astigmatism is elsewhere in the eye, however, then most laser systems try to reverse the astigmatism by reshaping the cornea even though the cornea may be perfectly normal. Although this approach results in good vision for patients in the short-term, it may cause poor quality vision long-term and may also reduce the success of cataract surgery for the patient in the future.
Avoiding this long-term astigmatism issue is complicated and requires special expertise in “vector analysis.” In fact, Dr. Kugler is one of only a few surgeons in the world who is actively using vector analysis software for all of his LASIK patients with astigmatism. This analysis allows him to identify patients at risk for long-term astigmatism problems and address them at the time of surgery or recommend another type of vision correction
Advanced astigmatism analysis using vectors increases the long-term success of laser vision correction.
Kugler LJ, Cohen I, Haddad W, Wang MX. Efficacy of LASIK in correcting anterior versus non-anterior corneal astigmatism. J Cataract and Refractive Surgery. 2010 Oct;36(10) 1745-1752