Refractive errors are imperfections in the eye that prevent light from focusing properly onto the retina, causing blurred vision. One of the most common types of refractive error is astigmatism. Astigmatism is usually present from birth and can blur vision at all distances, from near to far.
Astigmatism occurs when the cornea is more curved in one direction than the other. A normal, healthy cornea is spherical like a basketball, while an astigmatic cornea is shaped more like a football. This causes light to become bent and distorted as it passes through the lens, creating blurry vision. LASIK can correct this by removing tissue from the steeper area of the cornea, making it more spherical.
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WaveLight® Excimer Lasers are prescription medical devices that are approved for use in performing laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) to correct certain kinds of nearsighted (myopia), farsighted (hyperopia), and astigmatism. Only doctors who have been trained in laser refractive surgery (including laser calibration and operation) should use an WaveLight® Excimer Laser.
You should not undergo LASIK surgery if you are pregnant or nursing; if you have a collagen vascular, autoimmune or immunodeficiency disease; if you show signs of keratoconus or any other condition that causes a thinning of your cornea; or if you are taking isotretinoin (Accutane*) or amiodarone hydrochloride (Cordarone*). The most common risks of LASIK vision correction surgery with refractive lasers include dry eye syndrome; the possible need for glasses or contact lenses after surgery; visual symptoms including halos, glare, starbursts, and double vision; and loss of vision.
Talk to your doctor and review the appropriate WaveLight® Excimer Laser Patient Information Booklet for your condition to learn more about the potential risks and benefits for laser refractive surgery. For further information, please refer to the additional Important Product Information on this site, or FDA’s web page on LASIK surgery.
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