Astigmatism is a common eye condition that causes unfocused vision — typically as a result of irregularities in the shape of the cornea or in the curvature of the eye's lens. Most people have astigmatism to some extent, and more serious cases usually require corrective eyewear. To shed more light on this subject, below are answers to common questions about astigmatism.
Answers to Common Questions About Astigmatism
What causes astigmatism?
A normal cornea is round, but with astigmatism, it’s more oval-shaped. When the cornea is misshapen, light is not properly refracted through the eye, leading to blurry vision. This alteration in shape may be present at birth, or it could be the result of eye surgery or trauma to the eye. It can be caused by an eye condition called keratoconus, in which the cornea thins and becomes misshapen. People with nearsightedness or farsightedness usually have some degree of astigmatism.
What are the symptoms?
The primary symptom of astigmatism is blurry vision. Distortions in vision might also be present. Your eyes work extra hard with astigmatism to maintain clear sight — without corrective eyewear, this can lead to eyestrain, fatigue, and headaches.
How is astigmatism diagnosed?
Your eye doctor can diagnose this eye condition via tests like a standard eye chart. A retinoscopy is a procedure in which the patient looks straight ahead, and the doctor shines a light in the eyes to measure the reflection of light off the retina. This procedure also uses keratometry, which measures the curvature of the cornea’s surface.
Can astigmatism be corrected?
In most cases, yes. Mild forms of astigmatism may require no treatment at all. Moderate or severe cases can often be corrected with prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses. LASIK® treatment, which modifies the shape of the cornea, is another popular treatment option. Alternately, orthokeratology utilizes special contact lenses to reshape the cornea while you sleep.
If you suspect you have astigmatism, visit an eye doctor. Tri-State Ophthalmology provides exams, diagnoses, and treatments for a wide range of eye conditions. Since 1963, they have served patients throughout the Boyd County, KY, region. They maintain high standards of professional excellence and superior customer care to best support you and your eye health. Call (606) 324-2451 to schedule an eye exam or visit them online to learn more about their services.