Astigmatism

What You Need to Know

In simple terms, astigmatism means the lack of focal point. It is a common eye condition characterized by blurry vision. In fact, 1/3 Americans have this type of refractive error. The vision is blurry because the cornea or the lens of the eye is irregularly shaped. This irregular curvature prevents light rays from focusing correctly on the retina. Astigmatism may be present when you are born, may develop over time, or due to eye injury or surgery.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS?

The symptoms associated with astigmatism are blurry vision or distorted images, problems with night vision, headaches, squinting, and burning sensations in the eyes. If you notice any of the above symptoms, please schedule an eye examination with an ophthalmologist so that it can be corrected.

WHO IS AT RISK?

The risk of having astigmatism in both children and adults may be higher if they have one or more of the following risk factors

  • A familial history of astigmatism
  • A history of other eye problems like keratoconus, myopia, and hyperopia
  • A history of eye surgery, e.g., cataract surgery
  • Thin or scarred cornea

How Is Astigmatism Treated?

Astigmatism can be easily corrected by glasses or contact lenses. If the degree of astigmatism is slight, no treatment might be required. Contact lenses that are prescribed for astigmatism could either be cylindrical or spherical. Cylindrical lenses help to converge the light rays on the retina while spherical lenses help to shift the focal point on the retina. The type of contact lens your eye doctor will prescribe depends on the severity of your astigmatism. Soft contact lenses are usually prescribed since they are flexible and can easily bend light rays. Gas-permeable rigid contact lenses are only prescribed by doctors if the astigmatism is very severe. If you are interested in contact lenses to correct astigmatism  please contact our office to make an appointment!

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