Astigmatism is an eye condition in which the shape of the cornea or lens of the eye is abnormally curved. Due to the irregular curvature, light does not hit the eye in such a way that it is properly focused on the retina and both distance and close range vision is affected.
People who are nearsighted or farsighted may still have astigmatism. Symptoms of astigmatism include blurry vision, eyestrain, headaches and squinting to see clearly. Some people may have astigmatism, as well as another refractive error, such as nearsightedness or farsightedness. There are several treatment options for correcting astigmatism, including limbal relaxing incisions, or LRI.
Mild to moderate astigmatism is most commonly treated with eyeglasses or toric contact lenses. LRI is one surgical option for astigmatism correction. Limbal relaxing incision is commonly used to correct minor astigmatism during cataract surgery. During the procedure, small incisions are made at the opposite edges of the cornea, following the curve of the iris, causing a slight flattening in that direction. Because the incisions are outside of the field of view, they do not cause glare and other visual effects that result from other corneal surgeries like Radial Keratotomy.
LRI are simpler and less expensive than laser surgery such as LASIK or photorefractive keratectomy. Good results do not require the location and length of the incisions to be highly precise. And the incisions can easily be extended later if the original procedure did not correct all of the astigmatism. Recovery from LRI is generally quick and painless, although the patient may experience discomfort.
A consultation with your eye doctor is necessary to determine the best treatment options for astigmatism and cataracts. The specialists at Key-Whitman will recommend the option that is best for you. Contact us to schedule a free consultation to determine if you are a candidate for LRI to correct astigmatism.