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.
If you think you may have astigmatism and live in Derry, Londonderry, or near Windham, visit your eye specialist for an eye exam . There are several types of astigmatism which all have similar symptoms.
Symptoms of Astigmatism
People who have astigmatism in one or both of their eyes will typically experience vision that is blurred or distorted at any distance instead of only objects that are near or far. It’s common for astigmatism sufferers to find themselves squinting frequently. The eye strain caused by uncorrected astigmatism can lead to headaches after activities such as reading.
Causes of Astigmatism
Most cases of astigmatism are caused by an irregularly shaped cornea, which is the transparent part of the eye that covers the pupil and iris. A healthy cornea is round and symmetrical in shape while one with corneal astigmatism is oblong. In some cases, astigmatism is caused by an irregularly shaped lens inside of the eye, referred to as lenticular astigmatism.
Types of Astigmatism
Ophthalmologists describe astigmatism in terms of meridians, which can be thought of as two perpendicular lines, with one wrapping vertically around the eye and the other crossing it horizontally. Myopic astigmatism occurs when one or both meridians of the eye are affected by nearsightedness, and hyperopic astigmatism describes the condition where one or both meridians of the eye are farsighted. When both meridians are either farsighted or nearsighted, they will always be of differing degrees in the case of astigmatism. When a patient’s eye has one nearsighted and one farsighted meridian, it’s described as mixed astigmatism.
Regular and Irregular
When looking at an eye afflicted with astigmatism, the meridians that are the flattest and the steepest are referred to as the principal meridians. When the principal meridians are perpendicular to each other, it’s called regular astigmatism and gives the front surface of the eye a pointed shape. Irregular astigmatism describes an eye where the principal meridians aren’t perpendicular and can result from injury or keratoconus, a condition that causes a thinning of the cornea.
Are you concerned about your eye health and do you live in Derry or Londonderry? Consider scheduling an appointment with an eye doctor to check for common vision problems like astigmatism. Astigmatism is known as a refractive error because it affects the way the eye bends light. It is possible to have astigmatism and another refractive error, such as nearsightedness or farsightedness. Fortunately, your eye doctor can recommend eyeglasses or contact lenses to correct astigmatism.
Watch this video for a brief introduction to astigmatism. You’ll see a diagram that explains how light fails to bend or refract properly when a person’s cornea is abnormally shaped. This causes vision blurriness and may lead to headaches or eye strain.
Do you have astigmatism and live near Manchester, Londonderry, or Windham? If so, you’re not alone. Astigmatism is a very common condition in which the cornea has an oblong shape, like a football, rather than a round shape. The condition can cause vision distortion and blurriness, as well as squinting, headaches, and eye strain. Fortunately, many types of astigmatism can be treated with bladeless LASIK eye surgery . That means you can leave the squinting and blurriness, as well as the eyeglasses and contacts, behind for good.
LASIK surgery is a procedure in which eye doctors use infrared laser energy to create thin corneal flaps and reshape and adjust the cornea. The femtosecond laser works at super high speeds, separating the target tissues at a molecular level without harming the surrounding area. This state-of-the-art procedure is now very common in the field of eye care; it is used not only to safely treat astigmatism, but also to eliminate the need for eyeglasses and contacts in those who have minor vision problems. If you’re tired of living with astigmatism, talk to your eye doctor to find out if LASIK eye surgery could be a good option for you.
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