Astigmatism is a vision condition that occurs when the cornea or lens of the eye, which helps to refract light, are not perfectly round or have different curvatures. This can cause multiple focal points of light, resulting in blurred vision, difficulty seeing letters and numbers, double vision, or distorted vision. Astigmatism can also occur with other vision problems, such as nearsightedness and farsightedness. Therefore, astigmatism alone is rare.
These abnormal vision mechanisms can also lead to headaches, eye pain, or eye fatigue after reading or staring at a computer screen. Astigmatism can be present from birth or develop later in life, after surgery or an accident.
How to know if you have Astigmatism?
Here are four signs of astigmatism:
- Blurred or distorted vision that may cause you to squint
- Difficulty seeing letters and numbers, or seeing double vision
- Seeing white light scattered
- Headaches when focusing on something for a long period of time
Causes of Astigmatism
This type of astigmatism is caused by an abnormal curvature of the cornea or a misshapen cornea. It can occur in both vertical and horizontal directions, and it can be congenital or acquired.
- Congenital astigmatism is caused by the pressure of the upper eyelid on the eyeball, which causes the vertical curvature to be slightly greater than the horizontal curvature. This type of astigmatism is considered normal, but if it is caused by abnormal development of the organs in the womb, it may be a sign of a more serious condition.
- Acquired astigmatism can be caused by diseases or injuries to the cornea, such as pressure from styes or other growths on the eyelid, accidents to the cornea, or surgery.
This type of astigmatism is caused by a difference in the refractive index of the lens of the eye. This can cause distorted vision. For example, the habit of watching television while lying on your side can cause the muscles that help you see to work unevenly in different directions. This can be a factor that causes astigmatism at the time, and it may have a lasting effect in some patients.
Treatment for Astigmatism
There are several treatment options for astigmatism, including glasses, contact lenses, and surgery.
- Glasses are the most common treatment for astigmatism. They use lenses that have different curvatures in different directions to correct the focus of light.
- Contact lenses can also be used to correct astigmatism. They come in a variety of types, including soft lenses, hard lenses, and toric lenses.
- Surgery is another option for astigmatism. There are several types of surgery that can be used to correct astigmatism, including LASIK, PRK, and SMILE.
If you think you may have astigmatism, it is important to see an eye doctor for a comprehensive eye exam. The doctor will be able to diagnose your condition and recommend the best treatment option for you.