What is Astigmatism?
Astigmatism is a very common visual condition in which the surface of the eye (the cornea) or the lens inside the eye takes on a cylindrical or oval shape as opposed to a round one. Put simply, the eye is meant to be shaped like a round soccer ball, but with astigmatism it’s shaped more like a football. For this reason, when light enters the eye it hits the retina (the back of the eye) on multiple focal points instead of one central focal point, resulting in blurred or distorted vision at all distances.
What causes Astigmatism?
Astigmatism is often hereditary, but can also be caused by other factors such as pressure from the eyelids on the cornea. Keep in mind that most people have some degree of astigmatism and it is rare to find a perfectly round cornea. However, mild degrees of astigmatism may be so subtle that they don’t require correction.
How do I know if I have astigmatism?
Symptoms of astigmatism are fairly general and present with things like headaches, eye strain, fatigue and most commonly blurred and/or distorted vision. If you’re experiencing any of the aforementioned symptoms, book an appointment with your optometrist for a comprehensive eye exam. Astigmatism can change over time, so it’s important to receive regular eye exams to ensure proper vision correction is maintained.
How is astigmatism treated?
Astigmatism is a structural condition and is not considered a disease or eye health problem. Treatment involves corrective lenses in the form of glasses or contact lenses and if appropriate, may be treated with refractive laser surgery.