Astigmatism is a highly common eye condition which is easily corrected through the use of contact lenses, glasses or surgery. Astigmatism occurs when your cornea has an irregular curvature and is part of a group of disorders known as refractive errors which includes far and nearsightedness. Although astigmatism occurs in a high percentage of the population to some degree, only a small portion of people are severely affected by it. If the curvature of the cornea is excessive, then this can greatly interfere with vision and treatment may be required. The eye is naturally spherical in shape and normally, when light enters the eye it’s refracted evenly, which creates a clear view of the object you’re seeing. However for a person with astigmatism the eye is shape is not completely spherical, so when light enters the eye it’s refracted in one direction more than the other. This means only part of the object will be in focus at any one time and can cause objects at a distance to appear blurred or wavy.

Causes of Astigmatism

Research has shown that astigmatism has a strong genetic factor, meaning it runs in families. And it’s often present from birth. It may also result from pressure which the eyelids put on the cornea, an increased use of eyes for close work or incorrect posture.

Symptoms of Astigmatism

People with astigmatism often experience headaches, fatigue, eyestrain and blurred vision at a wide variety of distances. While such symptoms aren’t necessarily caused by astigmatism, if you think you are experiencing one or more you should consider scheduling an eye examination.

Treatment fpr Astigmatism

Astigmatism is diagnosed through a thorough eye examination and can often occur in conjunction with other refractive errors like long or nearsightedness and it often goes undetected in young children. It’s important to have regular eye exams as astigmatisms can increase slowly over time. For those suffering only a slight amount of astigmatism, there may be no need for corrective lenses at all. If the astigmatism is excessive then it will require treatment. One of the most common ways of correcting astigmatism is through special corrective lenses known as toric lenses. These lenses have greater light bending power in one direction than the other and after a few tests your optician can determine a prescription which is ideal for you. An alternative method for correcting astigmatism is through changing the shape of the cornea by using refractive or laser eye surgery. There’s several types of treatments and which one is recommended to you will be based on a number of individual factors.