If you take a look around you, there’s a good chance that there are a number of people wearing glasses. And even though you can’t tell, many others are wearing contact lenses. And one of the reasons may be that they have astigmatism.
In today’s blog, we’re going to talk about what astigmatism is, what signs and symptoms that you can look out for, and how to treat it. If you are having issues with your vision, get in touch with your eye doctor as soon as possible. There are several treatment options depending on your case, so getting an eye exam and speaking with a qualified ophthalmologist is essential.
What Is Astigmatism?
Astigmatism is a type of refractive error where either the cornea or the lens is irregularly shaped, causing blurred vision. Both the cornea and the lens work together to direct and focus light in the back of the eye. There are two main types of astigmatism: corneal and lenticular.
- Corneal: When the surface of the cornea, which controls the amount of light coming into the eye, is shaped more like an oval or a football rather than a round ball, the eye is unable to focus the light.
- Lenticular: The same problem occurs, except the lens is irregularly shaped.
Both types of astigmatism cause blurry vision at any distance.
Myopia and Hyperopia: Other Refractive Errors
You may be more familiar with nearsightedness (myopia) and farsightedness (hyperopia).
- Myopia: This causes objects that are far away to appear blurry and occurs when the eyeball is too long or when the cornea has too much of a curve.
- Hyperopia: Objects in the distance are clear, but objects close up are blurry. This occurs when the eyeball is too short or the cornea is curved too little.
Signs and Symptoms
Now that you know what an astigmatism and other refractive errors are, it may be obvious that one of the biggest signs is blurry vision, but it’s not the only one.
- Blurry Vision: Both the cornea and lens work together to direct and focus light. Because refractive errors involve a dysfunction of both or either the cornea or lens, the eye cannot focus properly, which results in blurred vision. The quality of vision can vary depending on the severity of the dysfunction.
- Eyestrain: Our eyes use muscles to control vision and help us see clearly. With a refractive error, our eyes are constantly using these muscles trying to focus light and produce a clear image. If you struggle with tired eyes, are frequently squinting, feeling dizzy, or have frequent headaches, consult with your eye doctor.
- Poor Night Vision: At night or in environments with low light, it makes it even harder for the eyes to function properly, making the symptoms worse.
Treatment For Astigmatism
Treatment will depend on the severity of the error, but here are two common methods.
- Corrective Lenses: One of the most common treatment options is corrective lenses. This is a non-invasive option and requires an eye exam and prescription from an eye doctor.
- Surgery: Typically reserved for severe cases, surgery involves reshaping the cornea. LASIK surgery is a common type of surgery to permanently correct refractive errors.
Contact Your Local Eye Doctor at Spectrum Eye Care
When left untreated, blurry vision can be incredibly frustrating and even harmful. At Spectrum Eye Care in Colorado Springs, our team wants to provide the best possible eye care services, including comprehensive eye exams and contact lenses. If you are experiencing any issues with your vision, don’t wait to schedule an appointment with an eye specialist. Vision problems rarely go away and could be a sign of a more serious problem.