What Is Astigmatism?
Astigmatism occurs when the front surface of your eye (cornea) or the lens inside the eye is slightly irregular in shape, resulting in vision being blurred at all distances. Astigmatism is not a disease, but is actually a vision condition that is quite common. Astigmatism is present in nearly 100% of the population to some degree.
What causes astigmatism?
When the front of your eye or the lens inside the eye is more oval than round, light does not focus properly on the back of your eye (retina). The causes of this irregular shape are unclear. In some cases, it may be hereditary or it may result from such factors as pressure of the eyelids on the cornea.
Astigmatism is usually caused by an abnormal corneal curvature that resembles the shape of a football rather than that of a basketball. Light rays focus at different places depending on their orientation, and objects at all distances appear blurred. Astigmatism may be accompanied by myopia or hyperopia.
How common is astigmatism?
Most people have some degree of astigmatism. However, only moderate to highly astigmatic eyes may need corrective lenses.
What are signs/symptoms of astigmatism?
People with severe astigmatism will usually have blurred or distorted vision. Those with mild astigmatism may experience headaches, eyestrain, fatigue or blurred vision at certain distances.
How is astigmatism diagnosed?
A comprehensive eye examination by Dr. Milano will include tests for astigmatism.
Can astigmatism be corrected?
Almost all levels of astigmatism can be optically corrected with properly prescribed and fitted eyeglasses or contact lenses. A special type of lens is needed to correct astigmatism. Soft contact lenses are not able to correct astigmatism unless they are a special type known as toric lens. Large amounts of astigmatism often can only be treated by rigid contact lenses.
Does astigmatism get progressively worse?
Astigmatism may increase slowly. Regular optometric care can, however, help to insure that proper vision is maintained.
How will astigmatism affect my lifestyle?
You may have to adjust to wearing eyeglasses or contact lenses if you do not wear them now. Other than that, astigmatism probably will not significantly affect your lifestyle.