You may not have heard of it, but astigmatism is a very common eye condition that affects the shape of the eye and results in blurred vision.
What happens–When functioning correctly, the curvature of the cornea and of the lens of your eye bends light and focuses it in a single point. With astigmatism, the cornea or the lens becomes more irregularly shaped. The eye is no longer able to focus light to a single point and instead bends the light unevenly.
Causes of Astigmatism–Astigmatism occurs naturally and may increase or decrease at various times during adulthood. Most people have some degree of astigmatism that doesn’t negatively affect their vision or require any treatment. Sometimes the cornea or the lens of an eye can become irregularly shaped following an injury, disease, or surgery. Severe astigmatism can also be the result of a rare condition called keratoconus, in which the cornea becomes thin and cone-shaped.
Symptoms– Patients with astigmatism will experience blurred or distorted vision at most distances.
Treatments–There are a variety of options for treating astigmatism that can be discussed with your optometrist. Common treatments include eyeglasses and contact lenses that change the way that light enters your eye. These special lenses help your eye to direct light to a single point and generate sharp vision.
Orthokeratology–Another treatment, orthokeratology, is a noninvasive procedure in which a patient wears a series of specially designed, rigid contact lenses that gradually reshape the shape and the curve of the cornea to correct astigmatism. While orthokeratology cannot permanently improve vision, it may allow patients to temporarily obtain corrected vision without lenses.
Having your eyes checked regularly is essential for diagnosing and addressing astigmatism right away. Book your appointment with your Valley Eyecare Center optometrist. Call us at 602-955-2700 or schedule online today.