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Astigmatism FAQs

What’s Astigmatism?

Your eyes are usually in the shape of a sphere, which refracts light, making it possible for you to see everything around. However Astigmatism occurs when the eye is not exactly a sphere. This condition is such that it occurs to some extent for everyone.

As the eye is spherical in shape, when light enters the eye it either refracts or it bends proportionally everywhere and creates a clean image. But in case of astigmatism the shape of the eye is slightly curved like the back of the spoon. Thus when light refracts, it is more towards one particular direction, so one is only able to focus on parts of the object clearly. This condition cannot be considered a disease, as it is merely a distortion in the shape of the cornea.

Causes

Astigmatism as a condition is natural.

In this condition the front of the cornea is more curved in one particular direction. Thus the image that the eye sees is unfocused and distorted. The exact cause of the disease is not known in medical science yet.

Symptoms

The symptoms as a result of astigmatism can be blurry vision, headaches, eye pain and irritation or squinting of the eye. But if you experience these symptoms it does not necessarily mean you suffer from this condition. It is important that you consult your ophthalmologist as soon as possible.

Risk factors

The eye is not exactly spherical for everyone, so it is probable that you might suffer from this condition to a small extent. Also the inclination to develop astigmatism is also inheritable. Astigmatism in many cases has occurred because of the Keratoconus which is a degenerative eye disease.

Diagnosis

The degree of astigmatism of the eye can be measured either by auto refraction or subjective refraction which are two tests that are done during an eye examination. It can also be measured by a diagnostic instrument by the name of Keratometer.

Treatment

  • Astigmatism at all levels of intensity can be treated with the right power glasses or contact lenses. For those whose condition is minimal, glasses or lenses is not even required, unless they have a problem of nearsightedness or farsightedness.
  • When it comes to glasses or lenses for this condition, toric lenses are usually worn. These are a soft type of lenses that tend to bend light more in one direction than the other. However for high level of astigmatism, gas permeable rigid contact lenses are used.
  • If the astigmatism has to be surgically treated then the refractive surgery is performed. Through this surgery the shape of the cornea is changed. There is more than one kind of refractive surgery. Before performing a refractive surgery it is necessary that your eye is healthy and does not have any other retinal or corneal disorders.
  • Astigmatism is a condition that tends to worsen with time. It is essential that you go for regular eye checkups so that the condition may be controlled. If you are diagnosed with this eye condition then it is best to follow the medical treatment prescribed by your doctor.