Before Parkhurst NuVision, Dr. Parkhurst was the Chief of Ophthalmology and Refractive Eye Surgery at the world’s largest military base, where he performed over 6,000 successful refractive eye surgery procedures including Visian ICLs, LASIK, and PRK.
Is having vision corrected with the Visian ICL advisable for people who have astigmatism?
In many cases, yes! I remember when I was first told I had astigmatism as a child. At the time I wondered: what is astigmatism anyway? Is this a really bad eye disease? Does this mean I’m going to lose my vision? Thankfully, the answers were no, and no.
In fact, even though having astigmatism may sound like you have some sort of bad “stigma” about your eyes, astigmatism is one of the most common vision disorders we treat at Slade & Baker Vision Center. We implement a variety of surgical techniques to fix astigmatism permanently, and that is part of the reason people come to see us in Houston from all over the country.
What is Astigmatism?
Astigmatism is the optical property that causes light rays in one meridian of the cornea to be focused more strongly than light rays in another meridian.
Rather than being shaped like a pure sphere (think basketball), in the case of astigmatism, the cornea is shaped more like the back of a spoon, or the side of a football.
This “out of round” shape results in vertical light rays getting focused more strongly compared to horizontal ones. Multiple light rays focused in different optical planes causes blur. There are varying magnitudes of how severe astigmatism is, but to many people’s surprise, we are able to fix even large amounts of astigmatism surgically.
Does my astigmatism mean I can’t get the Visian ICL?
Absolutely not! Most people that are considering having Visian ICL’s have relatively strong glasses, and the astigmatism portion is typically only a small fraction of their total prescription.
One of the ways I offer astigmatism correction when I place Visian ICL’s, is to insert the lens in a fashion which relaxes astigmatism. In other words, we help the cornea go from being shaped like a football, to being shaped more like a basketball. This is called an “on-axis” approach with or without the use of a “limbal relaxation.”
With this technique, I’ve had success correcting up to more than 2 diopters of astigmatism.
For people with more than 2 diopters of astigmatism, I routinely perform a very mild laser vision treatment in combination with the Visian ICL. The most astigmatism I’ve ever fixed surgically is 6 diopters.
These are some of the happiest people I’ve treated because of the huge impact minimizing or eliminating astigmatism can have on someone’s vision.