Waite Vision

Can LASIK Fix Astigmatism?

What is Astigmatism?

The idea that astigmatism cannot be corrected with LASIK laser eye surgery is one of the most prevalent myths concerning laser vision correction. In fact, laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) is the most popular method for treating astigmatism and nearsightedness (myopia). This misinformation may have deterred thousands of people with astigmatism from enjoying the benefits of clear vision sooner, and is a common thing we hear when patients visit Waite Vision in Lehi, Utah. It’s unfortunate since this isn’t the case at all, and many people may have freed themselves from glasses or contacts if they astigmatism can be corrected with LASIK eye surgery.

Astigmatism is a deviation in the cornea’s curvature. The shape of a normal cornea is commonly compared to a baseball, whereas the shape of an astigmatic cornea is frequently compared to a football. When there is a particularly pronounced cylinder-shaped curve on the front surface of the eye, one is said to have a steep or strong astigmatism. Refractive errors, sometimes referred to as aberrations, are frequently caused by the distortion of light entering the front of the eye as a result of this odd curvature. In other words, rather than being bent toward the retina, the light is delivered to an incorrect area of the eye, causing refraction error. Astigmatism frequently manifests in patients with signs and symptoms such as blurry vision, eye strain, headaches, squinting, and problems with night vision. In the past, the only ways to increase visual acuity was to wear a corrective lens such as glasses or special contacts called toric lenses that corrected the refractive error caused by astigmatism.

Can LASIK Treat Astigmatism?

When LASIK was first introduced, people with severe astigmatism were not candidates for laser eye surgery. According to previous ophthalmology standards, it was impossible to do the procedure because of the astigmatism’s bent anatomy. Thankfully, LASIK surgery technology in the United States has come a long way, and the previous scenario is no longer the case.. Since astigmatism affects a large population, scientists have worked hard to produce therapies with impressive success rates for those who suffer from nearsightedness (myopia), far-sightedness (hyperopia), and astigmatism. Modern excimer lasers give LASIK surgeons more options for treating patients with mild to moderate astigmatism, but also brand-new procedures like SMILE, implantable contact lenses (EVO ICL), refractive lens exchange (RLE), and advanced surface ablation (ASA/advanced PRK) have been developed especially with astigmatism in mind. Your vision is our passion, so Waite Vision strives to help every patient who walks through our doors achieve perfect vision. Call our office today to schedule your initial consultation and see if LASIK or another type of vision correction procedure is right for you. It’s time to enjoy life in focus!

FAQ’s About If LASIK Can Fix Astigmatism

Can LASIK make astigmatism worse?

LASIK does not make astigmatism worse. After laser vision correction, it is unusual to observe an increase in corneal astigmatism. There are other factors that can contribute to astigmatism, with age being the most common. Astigmatism is a common vision issue that typically stays stable until around age 50. Around that age, your eyelids lose muscular tone, and pressure from them may cause your cornea to become more irregular. Your situation will change as you age since your cornea and lenses’ curvature change with time.

Astigmatism may also be exacerbated by keratoconus, an astigmatism complication caused by a cornea with a narrow, pyramidal shape. Blurred vision might result from your cornea’s uneven shape interfering with your eye’s ability to focus light on the retina. Fortunately, at Waite Vision, you will undergo your LASIK procedure with a highly experienced eye surgeon, and our visual outcomes for our patients are remarkable, and we are more than happy to discuss any concerns you have about astigmatism at your initial consultation.

Will the Cost of LASIK for Astigmatism be covered by Insurance?

Insurance plans consider the expense of LASIK surgery for astigmatism to be an “elective procedure,” regardless of how necessary the procedure may be. Waite Vision assists you in improving the quality of your life by offering 24 month interest free financing. We also accept major credit cards, health savings accounts (HSAs) and Flex Spending Accounts (FSAs), and the majority of laser vision correction operations are eligible for tax deductions.

How Long is the Recovery for LASIK that treats Astigmatism?

One of the amazing things about LASIK is the quick recovery. You’ll notice and enjoy an immediate difference although it takes approximately three to six months for your eyes to fully recover. Follow the post-LASIK instructions closely for a safe and thorough recovery and to prevent any issues or surgical complications.

Can LASIK treat irregular astigmatism?

Most of the time, the answer is yes. There are certain corneal diseases such keratoconus, pellucid marginal degeneration, and epithelial basement membrane dystrophy, among others, that can cause irregular astigmatism. In these cases, LASIK may not be the best option, however, the good news is there are other procedures available to address these particular cases. A highly skilled eye surgeon like Dr. Waite, will be able to discuss with you the best options for your unique situation should you have an irregular astigmatism.

Can LASIK permanently cure astigmatism?

Vision correction surgery is the only way to permanently correct astigmatism. When you come infor your initial invation with Waite Vision, we’ll perform a full diagnostic workup gathering numerous points of information about your eyes and astigmatism . This information will help us understand which vision correction procedure is best suited for your specific situation.

The most common types of laser eye surgeries that treat astigmatism are LASIK, SMILE, and PRK. LASIK involves a thin flap created on the epithelium of the cornea and folded back so an excimer laser can gently reshape the cornea. Reshaping the cornea improves vision and treats astigmatism. During SMILE eye surgery, the epithelium is left intact, and a small incision is used to remove a tiny shaped piece of corneal tissue to provide vision correction. Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) is a refractive procedure much like LASIK. The only difference is instead of a wafer thin flap being created, the cells on the surface of the cornea are gently removed then the excimer laser is able to reshape the cornea. By altering the curvature of the cornea, these laser refractive surgery procedures can treat astigmatism resulting in amazing vision.

Is there an astigmatism limit for LASIK surgery?

To qualify for LASIK, your eyes must meet a number of conditions. A LASIK evaluation is necessary to assess your eye health and establish your eligibility for the surgery. Waite Vision has the ability to treat patients with severe amounts of astigmatism thanks to our state-of-the-art technologies. To find out if you are an ideal candidate for LASIK, make an appointment for your comprehensive eye exam at our Lehi office in Utah.

Can astigmatism come back after LASIK eye surgery?

Remaining astigmatism after LASIK surgery is referred to as residual astigmatism. The likelihood of developing astigmatism after LASIK surgery is significantly reduced when working with a skilled and competent LASIK surgeon. We do not believe in compromise when it comes to your vision, and you shouldn’t either. Waite Vision was created with you in mind, and we are pleased to be redefining vision correction in Utah.

How can I treat my astigmatism if I’m not a candidate for LASIK eye surgery?

You still have options to enhance vision and treat astigmatism if you have thin corneas, dry eyes, or are not a candidate for laser surgery. During your LASIK consultation, we will evaluate your eyes to see if you are an ideal candidate for astigmatism-related laser vision correction. If you are not a candidate for LASIK, we will discuss other vision correction options available to you , such as Custom Lens Replacement (also called Refractive Lens Exchange or RLE), or Implantable Collamer Lens (ICL). With today’s advanced technology, we are able to offer our patients solutions for almost any problem. Don’t be discouraged if you are not eligible for laser eye surgery, there are other vision correction options available to you, and will find the best type of refractive eye surgery to correct your astigmatism and help you gain freedom from your glasses or contacts.

Why Waite Vision?

Waite vision is a premier vision correction facility in located in Lehi, Utah, where each patient is treated like a VIP. Our goal is to WOW you with stunning visual outcomes so you can play, explore, and, most importantly, live your life how you want to, hassle-free from the burden of glasses or contact lenses. Call our office to make an appointment or schedule online to learn more about treating astigmatism with LASIK.


Dr. Aaron Waite is a fellowship trained, board-certified ophthalmologist and the founder of Waite Vision. He discovered his passion for ophthalmology while working as an ophthalmic technician and scribe. During this time, he witnessed the life-changing impact modern eye surgery can have on an individual’s life.