Astigmatism is a very common eye condition. It is caused by a mismatch of the curvature of the eyes’ lens or cornea. It is a type of refractive error within the eye because it causes the cornea to unevenly focus light on to the retina. Frequently, it may also accompany other eye conditions such as farsightedness (hypermetropia) and nearsightedness (myopia). The good news is that astigmatism can be corrected!

Most Common Treatment is Eyeglasses

Astigmatism is most commonly corrected through wearing prescription eyeglasses. This is typically the first course of treatment. A special cylindrical lens prescription is used in the eyeglasses to compensate for this eye condition. Eyeglasses can usually give the patient 20/20 vision.

Special Contact Lenses

Patients with astigmatism require a special type of soft contact lens call toric lenses. However, there are also rigid lenses that can be worn while sleeping at night that can help even out the eyes’ curvature. This treatment is known as orthokeratology. Over time, the lenses can be worn less frequently, however, when discontinuing this treatment, the eyes may return to their original shape and refractive error.

Signs You or Your Child Might Have Astigmatism

People who have astigmatism are typically born with it, usually in both eyes, even if the curvature is not entirely exact. It may also develop after an eye trauma. Common signs and symptoms may include:

  • Blurry or distorted vision
  • Squinting
  • Headaches
  • Eyestrain
  • Difficulty with night vision

Children may not realize that they have blurry vision. Often, astigmatism is the underlying cause with difficulties seeing chalkboard/whiteboard in class and can also cause difficulties with reading and writing. Therefore, yearly eye exams are crucial for uncovering conditions like astigmatism that can interfere with your child’s learning success.

Contact Valley Eyecare Center at (602) 955-2700 to schedule your or your child’s next comprehensive eye exam.