Science: Health: Eye
Astigmatism correction implant   (+2, -3)  [vote for, against]
Alternative solution to laser correction

As some or all (at least one or two) of you probably, but not certainly, know, astigmatism is a vision deficiency caused by the eye not being completely spherical. Wikipedia tells me this is quite frequent, apparently one out of three people suffer for it. I've been wearing glasses since the age of 4, so this piece of statistics doesn't make me feel any better. But anyway. Currently the permanent solution for this is obtained through refractive eye surgery, which means subjecting your eye(s) to terrifying cutting/lasering procedures representing variable degrees of risk. So I thought that instead of using such techniques, other avenues could be explored. For example, isn't the eye flexible? It is. I can actually correct my astigmatism by pressing my eye on a certain spot with my finger. So why not insert a subdermal rigid implant on the eye socket that would slightly change the shape of the orbit, correcting the shape of the eye in turn?

P.S.: apart from the fact that when your eye is not looking exactly straight you would just get a different astigmatism then the one you initially had...
-- PauloSargaco, Oct 11 2006

Intacs http://www.medicine...sp?articlekey=43329
[Shz, Oct 11 2006]

Having had a corneal transplant (i.e., terrifying eye surgery), I'm thinking that having a rigid implant implanted would be just as terrifying as any of the procedures you cite.

Having said that, this seems like a great idea for fixing astigmatism! (At least in some cases.)
-- DrCurry, Oct 11 2006

Umm, something very much like this is baked. A gentleman I knew had a ring implanted into, or behind his cornea, to stretch the lense of his eye. His vision problems were solved, no matter which way he looked.

I believe it was for nearsightedness, or farsightedness, not astigmatism, which would be tougher due to the added trouble of making the ring a funny shape, setting it in so it is lined up with the unevenness of the eyeball, keeping it from slipping, etc, but these are minor details.

The terrifying operation of having someting inserted into your eyeball of course is still a problem.
-- ye_river_xiv, Oct 12 2006

Oh, oh, another idea. How about making the eyelid tighter, thus pressing the eyeball into the desired shape?
-- PauloSargaco, Oct 12 2006

random, halfbakery