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Health A-Z

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Harvard Medical School

Treatment

It is possible to correct astigmatism using glasses, certain types of contact lenses or surgery. Glasses are a good, reliable choice. Patients who prefer contact lenses may find that they are limited to hard lenses. Soft lenses sometimes can be used, but they aren't as effective for severe cases. Surgery may be a choice, especially for people who have dry eyes or other conditions that prohibit them from wearing corrective lenses. The most common type of surgery used to correct astigmatism is LASIK (laser in situ keratomileusis).

In LASIK, a small incision is made on the surface of the eye to create a small flap of tissue, which then is lifted up. A cool laser beam then is used to correct the irregular curvature seen in astigmatism. The flap is replaced, and recovery is usually quick and painless.

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