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Can Astigmatism Be Cured?

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A young woman squinting while looking through her pair of prescription eyeglasses

Living with blurred vision can feel like viewing the world through a constantly out-of-focus camera. For those grappling with astigmatism, this isn’t just a metaphor—it’s a daily reality. Though it can be corrected with glasses and even some modern contact lenses, you may wonder if it can be cured.

Astigmatism is typically caused by an irregular cornea, which can be corrected to an extent with laser eye surgery. If you’re curious about this popular surgery for a common visual impairment, your optometrist is here to help you explore laser eye surgery.

What Is Astigmatism?

First things first: What is this condition that can skew your vision? Astigmatism is a common refractive error caused by an irregularly curved cornea or lens. This can interfere with the proper focusing of light on the retina, an essential feature for clear vision. Typically, light enters the eye through the cornea, the eye’s curved front, and the lens, landing directly on the retina. 

With astigmatism, the light rays are scattered around the retina. The result? Vision that’s often described as “blurry,” “distorted,” or “patchy.”

Most people have some level of astigmatism, but it may not affect their lives in any meaningful way. Others experience blurriness at all distances.

Causes & Types of Astigmatism

Astigmatism is typically due to small differences in how your eye grows and can change over time. Some factors that can play a role in astigmatism include:

While nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism are all discussed separately, you can actually have astigmatism alongside any other type of refractive error. This all has to do with the shape of your eye’s meridians. Think of a meridian like a compass. North to south is one meridian, and east to west is another. This leads to 3 types of astigmatism:

  • Myopic astigmatism: Nearsightedness, or myopia, combined with astigmatism.
  • Hyperopic astigmatism: Farsightedness, or hyperopia, combined with astigmatism.
  • Mixed astigmatism: One meridian is nearsighted, and the other is farsighted.

Each kind can vary in severity from very mild, which doesn’t always require corrective treatment, to severe cases that significantly affect the quality of life.

Astigmatism Correction Options

The good news is that correction options for astigmatism are as varied as its causes and types. From non-invasive correction methods to popular surgical procedures, a world of visual clarity awaits those willing to make the leap.


For many, the path to clear vision starts with glasses. These provide a simple, non-invasive way to counteract the uneven corneal curvature. Because astigmatic eyes have an irregular shape, contact lenses may be difficult to wear—though this isn’t necessarily true thanks to modern optometry. More on that later!

Your optometrist examines your cornea to determine your prescription, and the glasses mechanically change how light enters your eyes.

A woman uses her index finger to place a contact lens on her eye

Contact Lenses

Astigmatic eyes were considered “hard to fit” concerning contact lenses for a long time. Fortunately, that not’s necessarily true anymore. Toric, rigid gas-permeable, hybrid, and scleral lenses could be options for correct vision for astigmatism people.

Contacts aren’t a one-size-fits-all solution. Different lens types serve different astigmatism needs, but a contact lens fitting helps your optometrist recommend solutions. 

Laser Eye Surgery

Surgical procedures to reshape the cornea can also effectively treat astigmatism. These range from photorefractive keratectomy (PRK), a precursor to LASIK, to the more recent small-incision lenticule extraction (SMILE). However, it’s essential to consult with an eye care professional to determine which, if any, is the right fit for you.

Exploring Laser Eye Surgery

Laser eye surgery, also known as refractive surgery, holds a particular allure for many astigmatism patients. It’s been performed in some form in Canada since the 90s, with new procedures being introduced recently.

While some claim people with astigmatism can’t benefit from laser eye surgery, that’s not necessarily true. While many factors play a role in determining if you’re suitable for laser eye surgery, simply having astigmatism doesn’t immediately disqualify you.

Here are some requirements to be a good candidate for laser eye surgery:

  • Be over the age of 18
  • Have a stable vision prescription
  • Have healthy corneas free from active infections
  • Have good overall eye health
  • Your corneas will need to be thick enough for surgery
  • Have a level of refractive error that laser eye surgery can address

Eye conditions that may need to be addressed before surgery is an option include:

One of the most important factors is having realistic expectations about laser eye surgery outcomes. While many people achieve 20/20 vision, higher levels of refractive error can result in you potentially still needing to wear corrective lenses, though it can reduce your reliance on them.

This is why consulting with a knowledgeable professional is essential before pursuing any surgical intervention.

Types of Laser Eye Surgery

Each laser eye surgery procedure has unique benefits and is tailored to your needs.

  • LASIK: LASIK is the most commonly known and performed refractive surgery. It involves creating a flap in the cornea, reshaping the underlying tissue with a laser, and repositioning the flap.
  • PRK: PRK also reshapes the cornea but does not create a flap. It offers an alternative for individuals with thinner corneas or those less suited for LASIK.
  • SMILE: SMILE is a minimally invasive procedure that corrects moderate-to-high myopia with or without astigmatism, removing the need for a flap. Recovery is often quicker.

Clearing Your View in Regina

Curing astigmatism is a multifaceted process. Though a complete, permanent reversal of astigmatism may remain a dream for those facing this visual challenge, it’s still considered a treatable refractive error.

Advance Eye Care Center offers a range of corrections for all refractive errors—astigmatism and beyond. Whether you need glasses, contact lenses, or want to explore laser eye surgery, we can help you work towards a clarity of vision—and a future less impeded by astigmatism.

We’re thrilled to join you on your journey to clearer vision. Book your eye exam today, or contact us for a laser eye surgery consultation.

Written by Myles Bokinac

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