What Is Astigmatism?
Astigmatism is a refractive error that happens due to the abnormal shape of the cornea. It is a common eye condition found around the world and is not an eye disease or an eye health issue. When a person has astigmatism, the eye is unable to focus the light equally on the retina. It results in a distorted or blurred vision. It can either develop gradually or be present at birth. This eye condition can cause either hyperopia (farsightedness) or myopia (nearsightedness). This issue can be easily fixed by an astigmatism doctor using glasses, contact lenses, or surgery.
The following are the symptoms of astigmatism:
- Blurred or distorted vision
- Eye strain when focusing on an object like a computer monitor or newspaper for a long time.
- Difficulty while driving at night
- Excessive squinting
- Eye irritation
It is essential to note that some people have no signs of this eye condition at all hence it is best to have regular eye checks. If you have symptoms of astigmatism, see an Astigmatism doctor, and determine if this eye condition is the cause. Some of the above signs can also be due to other vision health problems.
Who is at Risk?
This eye condition can occur in children as well as adults. If symptoms are seen in kids, contact your pediatricians. Many people suffer from this condition but Astigmatism risk factors are:
- People with a thin or scarred cornea
- People with a family history of astigmatism.
- Patients suffering from Eye disorders like keratoconus which is a condition where the cornea degenerates.
- People who have undergone cataract surgery or other types of eye surgery
- Women smokers who smoke during pregnancy increase the chances of kids getting this eye disorder.
- African and Hispanic people are at a higher risk of astigmatism.
The cornea is a tissue that covers the front of the eye. It helps to focus and transmit light to the eye and also protects it from damage and infection. If the curvature of the cornea is perfectly curved it can refract light properly. Reasons for astigmatism is due to the irregular curvature of the lens, cornea, or both. A person having astigmatism will have a cornea that is egg-shaped rather than round. As there are two different curves the light is focused on two points instead of one. This leads to blurry vision or even double vision in severe cases.
A genetic component is thought to be responsible for kids born with improper curvature.
How is Astigmatism diagnosed?
Astigmatism Diagnosis is done using one of the below tests:
- Vision test: This is the most common astigmatism test where a person is made to read letters from a chart 20 feet away.
- Refraction: A philosopher that has a big lens is used to test your eye. The patient is asked to look through it and tell the care provider if the lens used gives a clear image. This is used to prescribe glasses. Retinoscope can also be used to find the lens that gives proper vision.
- Keratometry: This is used to determine the shape of the cornea.
- Corneal topography: This is used to collect measurements in case of surgery for cataracts and other such. It is also used to diagnose keratoconus.
How is Astigmatism Treated?
Astigmatism cure involves the following along with medicine for astigmatism to treat symptoms like eye irritation and headaches.
- Eyeglasses: These are curved and are given to counteract the shape of the original curvature of the eye. But depending on the correction needed, it works only when you look straight.
- Contact lenses: These are a special pair of lenses that are used to correct the original cornea.
- LASIK or laser eye surgery: This is a procedure to correct the shape of the cornea so that it focuses light properly.
- Keratotomy: This is done for severe astigmatism where incisions are made to help focus light better on the retina.
Contact our ophthalmologists at Cure.fit, if you have symptoms of astigmatism and discuss the most suitable Astigmatism treatment option for the various types of Astigmatism
How can Astigmatism be Prevented?
There are not many ways to prevent astigmatism from developing. But certain things like the below can help for Astigmatism prevention:
- Avoiding stress to the eyes can help in astigmatism from increasing in severity. Corrective lenses or glasses can help in restoring normal vision
- LASIK or other types of corrective surgery can be done for conditions like Keratoconus.
- Eating food that is rich in Vitamins
- Certain eye exercises can help in reducing strain
- Take breaks while working on screens like laptops, mobiles, etc.