All About Astigmatism

What Is Astigmatism?

Astigmatism is an abnormality of the roundness of your eye’s cornea. In someone who does not have astigmatism, the cornea is shaped like a perfectly round ball. If your cornea isn’t perfectly round and is curved more in one direction than another (imagine a football rather than a basketball), light rays are focused differently and your vision for both near and far objects may be blurry or distorted. Astigmatism frequently occurs with other vision conditions like myopia (nearsightedness) and hyperopia (farsightedness). Your eye doctor can easily diagnose and treat with glasses, contacts, in some cases surgery.

What Causes Astigmatism?

Astigmatism is very common, natural, and most people are born with it. Astigmatism can also develop after an eye disease, eye injury, disease, or surgery. Although the highest likelihood of developing astigmatism is inherited.

What Are the Symptoms?

Some common symptoms of astigmatism include:

  • Blurry or distorted vision
  • Eyestrain or discomfort
  • Headaches
  • Excessive squinting
  • Fatigue

How is Astigmatism Diagnosed?

If you have any of the symptoms above, you should schedule a comprehensive eye exam with your optometrist or ophthalmologist. When testing for astigmatism, your eye doctor will measure how your eyes focus light and determine what is needed to improve your vision. This comprehensive eye exam may include a visual acuity test, keratometry exam, and refraction exam.

With the results, your doctor can either diagnose or rule out astigmatism as a cause of your symptoms. Even if you do not have astigmatism, your eye doctor can evaluate your symptoms and diagnose any other condition at hand.

How is Astigmatism Treated?

If you are diagnosed with astigmatism, below are some of the ways you may be treated:

Contacts and Eye Glasses. Almost all cases of astigmatism can be corrected with eyeglasses or contact lenses. Your doctor will likely prescribe a special type of soft contact lenses that are made to bend light more in one direction than the other. If you have a more severe case of astigmatism, your doctor may prescribe a gas-permeable rigid contact lens.

Refractive Surgery. In some cases, your eye doctor may prescribe refractive surgery. This laser surgery changes the shape of your cornea to help your vision get back to where it needs to be.

If you have astigmatism, you have a wide range of options to correct your vision problem. By consulting with your doctor, you can determine the treatment that best meets your visual and lifestyle needs.


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