Do You Have an Astigmatism?

Contacts and eyeglass wearers will commonly have impaired vision. Multiple conditions can cause impaired vision, and most often, people will define their vision impairments by either nearsightedness or farsightedness. However, when astigmatism comes into play, the refractive errors can be affected by how the eye bends and refracts light. Astigmatism causes blurred vision but can be hard to detect due to how hidden the condition is on the surface of the eye. However, when diagnosed, the condition can easily be adjusted for and treatable. In this article, we’ll inform you of the information surrounding astigmatism, how it can be diagnosed, and what treatment options are available.

What Is Astigmatism?

As a common vision condition, astigmatism causes blurred vision and frequently occurs alongside other vision conditions. Astigmatism can happen when the cornea of the eye is irregularly shaped, or when the curvature of the lens inside the eye is shaped irregularly. These irregularities prevent the cornea or lens from focusing properly on the light, making the eye light sensitive. This discomfort over time can lead to eye discomforts and headaches.

What causes astigmatism?

Astigmatism can occur due to hereditary reasons and can increase and decrease over time. The shape of the cornea or lens will typically be football-shaped, and overtime, as the lens curvature decreases and increases, cataracts can occur. Some forms of astigmatism can be caused by eye injury or recent eye surgery. In rare cases, astigmatism can occur from keratoconus, a rare condition when the cornea of the eye becomes thinner and cone-shaped.

How Does an Optometrist Diagnose Astigmatism?

Astigmatism occurs as a common condition, as about 25 percent of adults between ages 50-59 have astigmatisms, and also occur in children regularly. Your eye doctor will have the equipment necessary to diagnose astigmatism through a comprehensive eye examination. Your doctor will test for astigmatism to measure how the eyes focus on light and then will determine what kind of optical lenses are necessary for treatment. One of the most common methods includes the visual acuity test. For those most familiar, it involves reading letters on a vision chart. Visual acuity is measured as fractions, such as 20/40 vision, with the top number measuring the standardized vision, and the bottom measuring the smallest letter read. Normally, a person with a healthy vision will have a clear 20/20 vision, which doesn’t require them to move closer or further to see.

How is Astigmatism Treated?

Astigmatism can be treated through multiple methods, including eyeglasses and contacts, both containing either cylindrical lens prescriptions to help improve the symptoms. Other methods include orthokeratology; a series of fitted contact lenses will be fitted to the cornea of the eye, and help reshape the eye back to normal conditions. Other refractive surgery methods can also improve the symptoms, including laser surgery and photorefractive keratectomy.

If you’ve been experiencing a blurry vision that’s distorted and uncomfortable, then contact Dr. Paul Trapeni, Jr at The Optical Shoppe in Smyrna, TN, for more information. At Dr. Trapeni’s office, you’ll receive comprehensive eye care that’s focused and dedicated to your needs.