Astigmatism is considered a vision condition that is common and results in blurred vision. It tends to occur when the clear front cover of your eye, which is known as the cornea, is shaped irregularly or due to the lens’ curvature within the eye.
If the cornea or lens is irregularly shaped, it can keep light from properly focusing on the retina, which is the light sensitive surface located at the back of your eye. Because of this, you have blurred vision, leading to discomfort as well as headaches.
Astigmatism often occurs with various other eye conditions like nearsightedness (myopia) and farsightedness (hyperopia). These eye conditions are known as refractive errors together since they impact how the eyes refract or bend light.
There are numerous causes for astigmatism. In some cases, it may be hereditary and present at birth. Over time, it may increase or decrease.
A comprehensive eye exam will include various testing for this condition. If needed, your eye doctor will provide eyewear that can correct astigmatism by changing the way that light enters your eyes.
Another way that astigmatism can be treated is orthokeratology, which is a corneal procedure and often referred to as ortho-k. It is a painless and non-invasive procedure in which the patient will wear a series of rigid content lenses that are specially designed to reshape the cornea’s curvature over time.
Laser surgery is another option of treatment in some cases. The laser will alter the cornea’s shape by removing a small portion of the eye tissue.
What Is the Cause of Astigmatism?
The curvature of the lens and cornea bends the light that enters into the eye in an effort to focus it on the retina. With astigmatism, the surface of the lens or cornea has a different curvature.
The surface is shaped similar to that of a football as opposed to a basketball, and because of this, the eye can’t focus light to a single point. As a result, vision is out of focus.
Also, the curvature of the lens within the eye may change, causing a decrease or increase in astigmatism. This alteration may occur during adulthood and occur before the development of cataracts.
In some cases, astigmatism may occur after eye injury or surgery.
Astigmatism may occur as a result of keratoconus, which is a relatively rare eye condition where the cornea becomes cone-shaped and thinner. This can result in a significant amount of astigmatism, and it causes inadequate vision that can’t be properly corrected with prescription eyewear. Individuals with this condition generally need contacts for clear vision and may even eventually require a corneal transplant.
How Can Astigmatism Be Diagnosed?
An eye doctor can work to properly diagnose the condition with a comprehensive eye exam. Testing for the condition measures the way that the eyes focus light and also determines the power of optical lenses that are necessary to improve the vision. The exam might include the following:
With the data from the aforementioned tests, your eye doctor will be able to determine whether you have astigmatism. He or she will utilize this information, combined with the data from any other tests conducted, to determine the power of any potential lens correction that may be needed to offer clear and comfortable vision. As soon as testing has been completed, your eye doctor will discuss potential options for treatment.
How Can Astigmatism Be Treated?
Individuals with astigmatism have multiple options at their disposal to regain clear and comfortable vision. Some of these include the following:
If you have been told you have an astigmatism, there are many options for treatment. If you would like to learn more, get in touch with us at Performance Vision Inc.