Have you been told you have an astigmatism? If so, you aren’t alone. It is a very common condition, but one that can be corrected by contacts or even LASIK. Read on for some more information about astigmatism, how it affects your vision, and what you can do about it.
What is an astigmatism and how does it affect vision?
The ideal shape of the eye is perfectly round; this makes it so that light comes into the eye evenly. If you have an astigmatism, parts of the eye are shaped more like a football, which means light isn’t refracted in the eye properly, which makes it difficult for the eye to focus. Researchers aren’t exactly sure why one person might have an astigmatism and another person doesn’t – it may be inherited or it may develop after an eye injury, an eye disease, or eye surgery such as cataract surgery. It is very common in patients who are near- or farsighted. Often it is present from birth, and can occur in both children and adults. Patients with astigmatism might have blurry vision, eyestrain, headaches, and trouble seeing at night – it may be worse when the light is dim, and it may be especially noticeable when you try to drive at night. Patients may squint a lot to try to see better (which may be one cause of the increase in headaches). It is something that comes on slowly, and you might not even realize you have an astigmatism until your eye doctor tells you.
How is astigmatism corrected?
Some people might have such a mild case of astigmatism that no treatment is needed. It can be treated with special contacts – in the past, rigid contacts were used for patients with astigmatism, but now soft lenses can be prescribed – or with glasses. LASIK or another surgery procedure could be used to reshape the eye and correct astigmatism.
If you just aren’t seeing as well as you used to, it may be because of an astigmatism. You should make an appointment with your eye doctor right away. Call The Eye Care Institute in Louisville, KY, (502) 589-1500 today!