What Is Astigmatism?

How much do you know about astigmatism? Most people have very little understanding of this condition, but it’s a common problem. Like nearsightedness or farsightedness, astigmatism is not an eye disease, but merely a problem with how the eye focuses light. Astigmatism causes blurry vision and often occurs alongside other vision conditions.

Put simply, astigmatism means your eye shape is not completely round. It’s a condition with no known cause, and if it’s mild enough, it may not even give you any trouble. It can be present at birth, or it can happen after an eye injury or surgery, but it isn’t caused by sitting too close to the television or reading in low light. Most people have astigmatism to some degree, and it’s not really a problem unless it prevents you from seeing clearly.

Astigmatism is diagnosed through an eye exam. Some doctors use retinoscopy to determine the amount of astigmatism a person has. This process involves shining a light into the person’s eye while putting a series of lenses between the light and the eye. On the other hand, many doctors have replaced this manual procedure with a test by an automated instrument that checks for astigmatism and other refractive errors. However your eye exam is performed, your eye doctor will probably follow up with a test called manual refraction, to refine the results of your preliminary examination. The doctor will place an instrument called a phoropter in front of your eyes, and you’ll look through different lenses to determine which make your vision clearer. Once that’s established, your doctor can write an eyeglasses prescription. Sometimes, wearing glasses or contact lenses is a good solution for your astigmatism.

Another option for the treatment of astigmatism is refractive eye surgery. This might be LASIK surgery, or your doctor might recommend PRK (photorefractive keratectomy). Each of these procedures reshapes the cornea using lasers. PRK does this by removing tissue from the superficial and inner layers of the cornea, while LASIK only addresses the inner layers.

If you’re experiencing blurred vision or eye strain, particularly after reading, you may be suffering from astigmatism. If your vision is unclear for any reason, you should schedule an eye exam. When you’re looking for an experienced eye doctor in Derry, you should check out Spindel Eye Associates. Celebrating our thirtieth year of eye care, we proudly serve patients in Derry, Londonderry, Windham, providing personalized eye care using top of the line technology. For more information or to schedule an appointment call 603.421.6536 or contact us through our website.

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