The Truth About LASIK and Astigmatism

There’s a popular, erroneous belief that people with astigmatism can’t get LASIK. This may have been the case a couple of decades ago, but laser eye surgery has come a long way since its inception.

Glasses and hard contact lenses used to be the go-to corrective measures for astigmatism but today there are more options. As technology and techniques advanced, more and more astigmatic patients have experienced dramatic improvements in eyesight from LASIK.

More than 19 million people in the United States have received LASIK since its approval by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in 1996. The procedure has a patient-satisfaction rating of 96 percent, with more than 90 percent of patients achieving 20/20 or better vision. That now includes thousands of people who receive LASIK or a LASIK alternative for astigmatism every year.

How does LASIK treat astigmatism?

LASIK is used to correct astigmatism in the same way that it’s used to correct nearsightedness or farsightedness. A precise laser is used to reshape the cornea to correct refractive errors that cause blurriness and visual distortion.

Astigmatism can usually be corrected with a single LASIK surgery. However, the more severe the astigmatism, the more likely a follow-up “enhancement” procedure may be necessary to fine-tune the results.

Who’s a good candidate for LASIK?

Most people with mild to moderate astigmatism can achieve impressive results from an experienced Detroit LASIK surgeon like Dr. Khambati, as long as they are in good general health. But whether you are a candidate for LASIK for astigmatism also depends on what type of astigmatism you have. There are two: regular and irregular. 

If you have astigmatism and are considering LASIK, your surgeon will want you to have had a stable vision correction prescription for at least one year, generally healthy or with chronic conditions well under control, and with corneas that are healthy and thick enough for a successful surgical outcome.

Regular vs Irregular Astigmatism

Regular astigmatism – where the lens curves in one direction – is the most common type. Most people with astigmatism fall into this category. Mild to moderate regular astigmatism is very treatable with LASIK surgery. 

A small number of people with astigmatism have what’s called “irregular astigmatism,” in which the cornea curves in more than one direction. Irregular astigmatism is often caused by eye trauma, keratoconus or an earlier radial keratotomy (RK) procedure. Treating irregular astigmatism with LASIK is decidedly more difficult and will not likely be an option.

What if I’m not a candidate for LASIK? 

This does not mean that a person with irregular astigmatism cannot get permanent vision correction: There are other vision correction procedures that may be used to treat it, including PRK or the SMILE procedure.

The only way to know for sure if there is a permanent vision correction option that suits you is to consult with an eye surgeon. The team at Lake Lazer Eye Center can provide you with a thorough and detailed eye examination to help determine a treatment plan for you at your free consultation with Dr. Khambati. Call (586) 792-3891 or complete our appointment request form to schedule –


Lake Lazer Eye Center offers up-front pricing, and convenient and affordable payment plans for SoftTouch LASIK and the SMILE procedure. Dr. Khambati has helped thousands of people from all over the world escape the restrictions of glasses and contacts. In the event that you’re not a candidate for vision correction, we’ll assist you with a contact lens evaluation or a selection of designer and specialty eyewear.