Astigmatism is one of the most common eye conditions people face. Astigmatism is a vision condition, but not a disease or illness. It is simply an error in your refractive vision. If you have been recently diagnosed with astigmatism, or if you think you might have it, the following may be helpful:
What Causes Astigmatism?
Astigmatism is a treatable issue in the eye, typically due to genetics. Astigmatism has to do with improper curvature of the eye in either the cornea or the lens inside the eye. When the curvature is not correct, you can suffer from near vision and blurred vision at a distance. Astigmatism occurs when one part of the eye's curves don't match the other. If the lens or cornea is curved like an oval instead of a circle like the rest of the eye, you will have astigmatism.
What Are the Signs of Astigmatism?
Some of the most common signs of astigmatism include squinting when trying to focus, blurred vision, the inability to see well at night, double vision, headaches, and eye strain.
How is Astigmatism Diagnosed?
Your eye doctor will test your vision to measure the surface of the eyeball. The measurements are three-dimensional, so the doctor can better see any low areas on the cornea. The doctor will also perform a measurement called a diopter to see how much refraction there is in the eye. The doctor will compare the measurements to measurements of a typical eye to determine the level of your astigmatism.
Is There More Than One Type of Astigmatism?
There are several types of astigmatism. Myopic astigmatism is a form of condition that also includes nearsightedness. Hyperopic astigmatism is the opposite, with farsightedness being a significant factor. Mixed astigmatism is a combination of both near and farsightedness.
How Is Astigmatism Treated?
There are several options when it comes to treating astigmatism. Prescription glasses are the most common treatment. Contact lenses are also a common tool used to help improve vision.
In some cases, surgery may be an option. The surgeon will reshape the cornea to correct astigmatism. The surgeon may implant an intraocular lens to help correct astigmatism and remove cataracts if you have those as well.
If you think you are suffering from astigmatism, make an appointment with your eye doctor right away. Some of your problems may be due to astigmatism, but they could be a sign of a completely different issue, so be sure to get your eyes checked.
For more information on eye exams, contact a doctor like Northwest Ophthalmology.