What is Astigmatism?
What is astigmatism? Astigmatism is a common eye condition that causes blurry vision. This is due to an imperfection where the eye isn’t completely round. Ideally, a perfectly round eyeball should distribute light evenly throughout your cornea for clear vision. If your eye is shaped more like an egg or football, the light entering your eye will bend more in one direction. An eye with a bend or curvature will cause you to see only part of an object in focus, or things at a distance will appear blurry.
Astigmatism is often accompanied by other refractive errors, such as nearsightedness and farsightedness. If you’re having trouble seeing clearly or focusing your vision, schedule an eye exam at your local Pearle Vision EyeCare Center. An eye doctor can help diagnose the problem and recommend the appropriate treatment, such as astigmatism glasses or contact lenses.
What causes Astigmatism?
Astigmatism is often present at birth but can also be later developed after an eye injury, disease, or surgery. It’s important to note that astigmatism causes don’t include reading in poor light or staring at a digital screen too closely. In some rare cases, an eye condition called keratoconus can also cause astigmatism. This condition can make your cornea thinner and more cone-shaped.
Signs and symptoms of astigmatism may include:
- Blurry vision
- Eyestrain, including fatigue and burning eyes
- Headaches caused by eyestrain
- Difficulty with night vision
- Squinting to see clearly
What does astigmatism look like to a person who has it? Unlike nearsightedness and farsightedness, astigmatism causes vision to be blurry at any distance. In some cases, it may also cause you to see double.
- Refraction: As the name suggests, this test checks to see if you have a refractive error. During this test, you’ll be asked to look at an eye chart through different lenses. Your eye doctor will then ask you which lens makes your vision clearer.
- Visual acuity: This test measures how well you can see details from a distance using an eye chart to help determine the degree of your astigmatism (if any).
- Keratometry: This test uses a tool called a keratometer to measure the curvature of your cornea.
How To Correct Astigmatism
An eye doctor can help determine whether you have astigmatism, and if so, to what degree. In some minor cases, corrective action may not be needed. However, if your astigmatism is affecting your ability to perform everyday tasks, your eye doctor may prescribe corrective lenses, or recommend surgery. Children born with astigmatism may not know their vision is blurry, therefore it’s important their eyes are screened starting at six months old to diagnose any issues early on. If your child hasn’t had an eye exam yet or you’re experiencing symptoms of astigmatism, schedule an eye exam page