Astigmatism is a condition of the eye where the shape of the cornea is irregular. Instead of being round, it is more like the shape of a football. Since the cornea is not shaped correctly, it causes vision problems and can make it difficult to see clearly.
What Are Common Astigmatism Symptoms?
Some of the more common astigmatism symptoms can include one or more of the following:
- Poor Night Vision
- Blurry Distance Vision
- Eye Fatigue
- Dry Eye
- Frequent Squinting
- Eye Strain
Yet, it is worth noting that many of these symptoms are also common in people who have other vision problems like nearsightedness or cataracts.
What Causes Astigmatism?
When images and light enter the eye through the iris and pass through the cornea on a normal-shaped eye, the light waves form a single point in the retina. In someone who has astigmatism, as the light waves pass through the irregular-shaped cornea, they bend and distort, causing the light waves to form multiple points in the retina, which results in blurred vision.
The causes of astigmatism are not yet fully understood or known. However, there are several factors that could contribute to this condition, including:
- Genetics: If one or both of your parents have astigmatism, there is a good chance you will also develop astigmatism at some point.
- Overuse of Electronic Devices: The excessive use of smartphones, tablets, computers, and other electronic devices could lead to astigmatism, as well as dry eye.
- Improper Light Levels: Watching TV or using electronic screens in the dark can cause eye strain and eye fatigue and possibly be a cause for astigmatism.
- Previous Eye Injury: If one of your eyes was injured and caused a thinning of or scarring on the cornea, it could develop into astigmatism.
How to Correct Astigmatism
How to correct astigmatism depends on the severity of the condition. For mild astigmatism, most people can successfully live with the condition by wearing glasses or contacts to correct their vision. For people who don’t want to wear glasses or who have severe cases, there are other alternative options such as LASIK, PRK, or Visian Implantable Contact Lenses (ICLs).
What Is the Treatment for Astigmatism?
The first thing you need to do is visit an optometrist and have an eye exam conducted to determine whether you have astigmatism or other eye conditions. After your exam, then you can decide on how you want to treat astigmatism.
Some people are ideal candidates for LASIK and PRK laser vision corrective surgeries. These procedures can correct the irregular shape of the cornea and restore clear vision. If one is not a candidate for either procedure, another option is the Vista Vision Implantable Contact Lens Procedure.
The Vista Vision ICL Procedure is where permanent contact lenses are inserted into the eyes to correct vision problems and astigmatism. Many people choose this option when they don’t want to wear glasses or regular contact lenses because it is reversible if they do not like the results. Plus, LASIK can be used afterward to make minor vision corrections without having to remove the ICLs.
If you think you have astigmatism or if you want to explore laser vision correction surgical options with one of the best eye surgeons, Dr. Dougherty, please feel free to contact Dougherty Laser Vision at (805) 987-5300 to schedule a free consultation today!
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