Astigmatism is a “refractive error.” Refractive errors cause problems with the way light rays focus within the eye. Astigmatism focuses light in such a way that both nearby and faraway objects can appear blurry.
A normal cornea is smooth and equally curved over its entire surface. Having astigmatism simply means that the abnormal shape of your cornea prevents you from seeing as well as you should. If the problem is severe enough, you may need corrective eyewear, such as eyeglasses, to see better.
With astigmatism, the front surface of the cornea is uneven, which causes light rays to pass through the irregularly shaped cornea in a way that prevents focus into a single point onto the retina. Instead, they focus into two or more points. This results in distorted, blurred vision.
The symptoms of astigmatism include a blurring of images at varying distances. Depending on the severity of your astigmatism, vision may still be fairly sharp. However, astigmatism can cause headache, squinting, eye fatigue, discomfort, or irritation.
The cause of astigmatism is unknown. However, if you have family members with astigmatism you are more likely to have astigmatism yourself.
Astigmatism can be diagnosed during a comprehensive eye exam. During this exam, near vision, distance vision, and vision clarity are checked. It’s important to note that with children, astigmatism frequently goes undetected during routine eye screenings in school. This means that children need to be examined by an eye care professional at the recommended intervals.
Astigmatism is often treated with corrective lenses. These help focus the light more effectively on the retina.
If you think you may have astigmatism, or just need a regular eye exam schedule an appointment with Nationwide Vision online or call 1-800-EYECARE today.