Patient Profiles: LASIK

Michael M
24, Engineering Graduate Student

Treatment Type:
  • Astigmatism Significant
  • Astigmatism
Pre/Post Unassisted Vision
  Pre-UCVA Post-UCVA
OD (right): 20/800 20/25
OS (left:): 20/1600 20/25
Pre/Post Refractive
  Pre-Refractive Post-Refractive
OD (right): -2.00 - 4.00 x 178 - 0.25 - 0.50 x 67
OS (left:): -4.75 - 3.75 x 180 +0.37 - 0.75 x 144

Michael M says:

Before I had LASIK, I used to have really bad astigmatism. Frankly, I don't know exactly what 'astigmatism' means, except that I needed strong glasses to see clearly, and contacts never worked for me.

I had heard about the good results of LASIK for nearsightedness, but I did not know whether it was also a good treatment for astigmatism. My mom suggested I see Dr. Wallace. I'm sure glad she did.

Dr. Wallace carefully examined me, and then patiently explained astigmatism and other focusing problems to me in a way that was straightforward and clear.

He then gave me the good news that my astigmatism could be treated, and significantly reduced or eliminated with LASIK. I'm kind of impulsive, and decided I wanted LASIK just as soon as I could check out and verify what I had been told. I called around, talked to friends, talked to patients of Dr. Wallace, and browsed the internet for information. I found a lot of information about LASIK on the web, and I thought Dr. Wallace's own web site was very helpful. I had it done over Christmas vacation.

The day after surgery I was seeing the smallest letters on the eye chart, without any glasses! This is a truly unbelievable experience, and I would recommend it to anyone. I am also grateful to Dr. Wallace for explaining the importance of follow-up care to me, and for going out of his way to see that my healing would be monitored by an eye doctor in Santa Cruz, near UCSC, where I'm doing my graduate work.

I'm also grateful to my Mom, who made it possible for me to have LASIK. This is truly one of the best gifts that I have ever received, and one of the best I can ever imagine! Thanks, Mom!

Doctor Wallace says:

Astigmatism sounds complicated, but really isn't. If a lens (or the cornea of the eye) has even and uniform curvature, it is referred to as spherical. If the vertical curve is steeper than the horizontal curve, for example like the side of a donut, then the curve is astigmatic. Astigmatism can not be corrected by concave or convex lenses like those that work for near- or far-sightedness. Instead, it is corrected by a toric or cylindrically curved lens.

Excimer laser therapy and LASIK is an excellent option for most people with astigmatism, but not all. We need to check and make sure that there is no unusual corneal distortion, causing irregular astigmatism, which can not yet be treated by current methods. Outcomes of laser care for astigmatism compare favorably with outcomes of care for nearsightedness.