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Astigmatism is a relatively common eye disorder that causes the vision to be blurred or distorted. It occurs when the lens part of the eye, known as the cornea, isn’t perfectly curved and instead resembles a football rather than a soccer ball. This means that the light entering the eye comes through at a distorted angle, making the object appear blurry and out of focus. There are several ways in which it is possible to treat astigmatism, including laser eye surgery and corrective lenses. However, another possibility is a solution referred to as limbal relaxing incisions.
Limbal relaxing incisions are microscopic cuts to an area in the eye known as the limbus. This helps to relax the curve in the cornea and improve its ability to focus light correctly. It can significantly improve your astigmatism and the overall quality of your vision.
If you have astigmatism, are over 18, in good general health and have no major eye conditions, then chances are you are a good candidate for limbal relaxing incisions. Make an appointment with your eye doctor to discuss your candidacy further.
The surgery itself is relatively straightforward, but you will not be able to drive yourself home afterward. Therefore, it is necessary to arrange for reliable transportation after your procedure and, ideally, someone to stay with you for at least six hours afterward. You will also need transport to bring you to your post-operative visit, where your doctor will tell you when you will be able to resume driving.
You may be asked to refrain from eating or drinking anything after midnight the day before your surgery. This is to prevent any sickness that may be caused by the anesthesia during your operation. You will also be asked to refrain from wearing make-up, perfume, after-shave or any hair products that may contain alcohol.
The procedure is usually quite quick and you will be able to go home shortly after it has finished. Occasionally, a patch may be placed over the eye, and you should leave this in place until you have had your follow-up appointment the day after your surgery. You should also wear the provided shield over your eyes whenever you sleep for a minimum of one week after surgery.
After your limbal relaxing incision surgery, you will be given a set of eye drops to take which will include antibiotics, NSAIDS and steroid anti-inflammatories. It is perfectly normal to experience a pink/red tint to your vision immediately after your procedure, and it may feel like you have grit or sand in your eyes. This feeling should abate after a day or two. If you have any severe pain that is not helped by your medication, you should contact your eye doctor for further advice.
You will have several post-operative appointments to assess the success of your procedure, check on the progress of your healing and to test your eyes again, as you will likely find that you need a change in your prescription as a result of your surgery.