Astigmatism is one of the most common eye conditions in the UK, and can be genetic or simply develop with age. Sufferers experience blurred vision due to a misshapen lens, and are often long or short sighted.
The good news is astigmatism can be treated with glasses, contact lenses, laser eye surgery or lens replacement surgery. If you are interested in surgery, we have over 8,600 independent reviews from people up and down the country who have gone under the laser, and shared their stories.
Below we break down what they told us, so you get a real idea of the costs for the different types of astigmatism surgeries and clinics, as well as honest reviews of laser eye surgery for astigmatism.
Read on, or skip to the section you want:
1. Laser Eye Surgery Astigmatism Cost
The cost of laser eye surgery for astigmatism ranges between £1,195 and £4,300 per eye, depending on the type of surgery you choose, the technology involved, and the experience of the surgeon. Astigmatism laser eye surgery typically costs above average, since it requires specialist treatment.
On a budget? LASIK for astigmatism will be the most affordable option, since it is the simplest to perform, and you avoid the costs of the pricey artificial lenses themselves.
You may have seen lower starting prices online, but these tend to be reserved for a minority with very mild prescriptions. In our thousands of reviews nationwide, most people end up paying around £3,000 per eye, but you can pay the price you feel most comfortable with.
|LASIK (with Wavefront)
|LASEK (with Wavefront)
|Lens Replacement Surgery
How can you pay less? Optical Express is the cheapest clinic we found offering astigmatism surgery – you’ll find high street clinics in general cost less than eye hospitals, and clinics in London often charge a premium to cover higher rents and surgeon fees.
Astigmatism eye surgeries explained
- LASIK: The most popular eye surgery for mild and severe astigmatism, using two lasers to reshape the lens.
- LASEK: If you have a thinner eye surface, only one laser will correct your vision.
- Wavefront Technology: Using the exact measurements of your eyes, the eye laser surgery is as accurate as possible.
- ReLEx SMILE: A flapless surgery to treat astigmatism or myopia.
- Lens Replacement Surgery: The natural lens inside the eye is removed and replaced with an artificial one.
All types of laser eye surgery for astigmatism can be performed alongside treatment for other conditions, such as myopia.
What is the average cost of LASIK with astigmatism?
According to our reviews, the average price paid for astigmatism laser eye surgery is £3,420. This is higher than the average cost of laser vision correction, since patients with astigmatism often want specialised treatment such as Wavefront technology, which can cost more.
If you only have a mild astigmatism, you may be suitable for standard LASIK surgery, which averages £2,800 in the UK, or £2,500 for LASEK without Wavefront. However, you will want to discuss all your options with an eye specialist at a clinic near you.
Can I get astigmatism surgery on the NHS?
Astigmatism eye surgery is not available on the NHS, since it can be treated using glasses or contact lenses, and does not cause blindness. You can still have laser eye surgery for astigmatism through an NHS Trust, but it won’t be free.
Is astigmatism covered by insurance?
Your medical insurance provider will only cover eye surgeries that are medically necessary, such as cataract surgery but not astigmatism. Like the NHS, insurers consider astigmatism eye surgery a cosmetic procedure to free you from glasses, rather than save you from blindness.
2. Laser Eye Surgery Astigmatism Reviews
Thousands of you have told us about your experiences with astigmatism correction surgery – and based on your independent reviews, we’ve been able to track down the best laser eye surgery clinics for astigmatism.
Here are the UK’s favourite clinics for laser eye surgery with astigmatism, ordered by the ones with the highest number of five-star reviews, as voted by you:
1. Optical Express
Treatment cost: £3,000
Treatment type: LASEK iDesign
“I have to say the staff and the surgeon made the whole process easy to understand and 60 minutes later I was heading out of the Optical Express with 20/20 vision. A week later now that the misty vision has subsided and I can see perfectly, better than I was expecting.” – Darren Turner
2. Moorfields Private Eye Hospital
Treatment cost: £4,500
Treatment type: IntraLASIK
“The whole process at Moorfields was simple and efficient and all the staff were friendly and helpful. Occasionally my eyes are a little dry, but better than when I was wearing contact lenses previously. All in all a great outcome and no more glasses!” – David
Treatment cost: £3,790
Treatment type: Wavefront LASIK
“I was very hesitant about having laser surgery, but my sister who had previously had it done talked me into it for my wedding day. I would encourage anyone who is nervous just to get on and do it, it really did not hurt, and was over in 20 minutes.” – Claire Wallis
4. Advanced Vision Care
Treatment cost: £3,390
Treatment type: LASIK
“It’s been a year since my surgery and I couldn’t be more pleased with the results! My vision was -7.00 with astigmatism and I needed a bit of a fine tuning treatment which was explained to me by the surgeon as higher chance with my type of prescription. After the re-treatment I can see better than 20/20.” – Fash
5. Centre for Sight
Treatment cost: £3,950
Treatment type: IntraLASIK
“Everything was really smooth. The staff are very helpful and lovely – very friendly, informative and answered by questions all along. My ‘new me’ feels ecstatic!” – Emily and Chris Hutchinson
6. FOCUS Clinics
Treatment cost: £3,800
Treatment type: Z LASIK
“The surgery was a bit of a daunting experience but the expectation was worse than the reality. I couldn’t believe how quick the process was, the efficiency of the team really showed here which was reassuring.” – A. Brooks
7. Manchester Royal Eye Hospital
Treatment cost: £3,355
Treatment type: LASIK
“Having worn glasses and contact lenses for most of my life (from the age of 6, now 46) the laser treatment has been life changing for me.” – Bushra Hussain
8. London Eye Hospital
Treatment cost: £4,470
Treatment type: LASIK
“I had a huge prescription of minimum 5.5 in both eyes by the age of 46, what is commonly known as astigmatism and also a lazy left eye. Yet, Dr Mark Wilkin with his wonderful team have amazingly freed me of glasses on a daily basis. He has achieved for me something which I would never have been able to imagine.” – Suzanne Moen
What eye surgery is best for astigmatism?
Patients with astigmatism have two surgical options: laser eye surgery and lens replacement surgery. LASIK is the most common surgery for astigmatism, and surgeons often recommend the added accuracy of Wavefront technology, or toric lens implants, which are designed for this condition.
1. Laser eye surgery
LASIK, LASEK or SMILE laser eye surgeries are all used to treat astigmatism, and Wavefront LASIK surgery is effective for severe astigmatism, since it tailors the surgery to the exact measurements of your eye.
2. Lens replacement surgery
Lens replacement surgery uses a special intraocular lens to correct your blurred vision. This treatment replaces your rugby-shaped natural lens with a football-shaped artificial lens, and toric monofocal lenses are used to correct astigmatism specifically.
You don’t have to decide now. We recommend booking an initial consultation by comparing quotes from well-rated clinics for astigmatism, so you can discuss with a qualified surgeon the best option for you.
3. Laser Eye Surgery Astigmatism Risks
There are no specific risk considerations for patients looking to treat astigmatism with laser eye surgery. However, the normal risks of laser eye surgery apply. The most common risk is a tissue healing complication that needs further laser correction, or suboptimal visual improvement. Permanent eye damage is almost unheard of.
Recent RCOphth (Royal College of Ophthalmologists) reports show that over 90% of patients achieve at least 20/20 vision, and 98% of people are satisfied with their LASIK surgery.
You can read our reviews to find out how successful laser eye surgery has been in correcting the vision of other astigmatic patients like you, as well as getting first-hand information about clinics and surgeons around the UK.
Laser eye surgery recovery:
- With LASIK, including Wavefront, you may experience some blurring immediately after surgery, and should make arrangements for someone else to transport you home. However, many patients start enjoying clear vision within hours after the surgery, and you can normally go back to work within one to four days.
- LASEK can have a slightly longer recovery period, and you will need to wear ‘bandage’ contact lenses for three or four days following surgery. Most people return to work within two days, but may experience some discomfort, for which your surgeon will normally prescribe pain relief.
Laser eye surgery side affects:
Patients should be aware that after surgery you may be affected by side affects such as:
- Teary Eyes
- Dry eyes
- Bloodshot eyes
- Aberrations such as ‘halos’ or ‘ghosting’
There is a slim chance that astigmatism could come back too, but for the majority of patients this is an effective and permanent solution to vision correction for life.
What is Astigmatism?
Astigmatism is a common eye condition that causes blurry vision, and can affect anyone. It is most common in those over the age of 30, and becomes more likely and more severe as we age.
Eye surfaces (corneas) are supposed to be football-shaped, but sometimes they are oval-shaped if the curve is too steep or tilted in one direction. This causes light to spread when it enters the eye, and vision appears blurred.
Although a little more complex than short or long sightedness, the end result is very much the same. Here’s what it looks like:
What causes astigmatism? Astigmatism can crop up for many reasons – it’s mostly age-related, hereditary or to be due to injury or trauma to the eye area.
Read more: The NHS’s Guide to Astigmatism
What are the symptoms of astigmatism?
Many people live with astigmatism without really noticing the effect. However, when the condition starts to cause problems, it’s time to seek treatment. Some of the most common symptoms include:
- Headaches, caused by straining to focus on objects
- Fatigue after focusing on something for a long time, such as using the computer or reading
- Blurred vision or an inability to see well at certain distances
Should I get laser eye surgery for astigmatism?
Glasses and contact lenses can be a suitable treatment for astigmatism, but for a permanent and complete recovery, laser eye surgery is an option to consider. The surgery will involve reshaping your cornea to make it more spherical, helping the light focus on the retina more precisely and improving the quality of your vision.
Modern laser eye surgery methods can treat even the most severe of astigmatic patients with great success. Whether or not it is right for you will be down to your personal health and preferences, and a consultation with a surgeon will help you decide. At your consultation, your surgeon will be looking to find out:
- If you have any signs of eye disease
- Whether your vision is still deteriorating or has stabilised
- How thick your cornea is and the degree off correction required
- If you are good health overall
If your surgeon thinks you are a good candidate for laser eye surgery to treat your astigmatism, you can be confident that this treatment will work well for you.