Astigmatism: Symptoms, CAUSES and SOLUTIONS

What is astigmatism?

In today’s digital world, we are exposed to conditions far different from the days of our ancestors – and these, in turn, can affect our eyesight. This has led to increased numbers of people suffering from astigmatism, which can result in distorted or blurred vision. In fact, astigmatism, one of the world's most common optical diseases now affects one in three U.S. adults.

Understanding Astigmatism

Astigmatism is often the result of a bent or misshapen cornea, which is the transparent covering of your eye. If a cornea is distorted in any way, it affects our vision. It can affect us at any age, with recent studies showing that astigmatism can occur in children as young as five.
 

Example of vision with astigmatism
Vision affected by astigmatism (left) versus normal vision (right)

Common Symptoms Of Astigmatism

Astigmatism can affect you at any time, so it is necessary to be aware of any signs that you may be suffering from it. The most common symptoms include:

When vision begins to appear blurred or fuzzy, either from a known injury or an unknown development over time, a visit to an optician is required. Some vision problems like eye strain can come and go on their own but can still be symptomatic of a more serious disease like colour blindness, lazy eye, cataracts or astigmatism, which would require treatment.

Testing For Astigmatism

Testing for astigmatism is usually part of a comprehensive dilated eye exam. It is important to always be aware of any changes in your vision. Besides astigmatism, it is also useful in detecting any common vision problems. If you notice any changes in your vision, visit your eye care professional for a comprehensive eye examination.

Can Astigmatism Be Cured?

No known cure for astigmatism has been reported. There are, however, treatments that can help to correct impaired vision caused by astigmatism. The two treatments for the common levels of astigmatism are:

If you have astigmatism, prescription glasses with correction are the most common solution. In addition, lenses with special coatings such as Crizal can improve your vision as well as alleviate any discomfort caused by the condition. This includes eye strain and headaches. It is a simple and effective way to manage your astigmatism.

The other common option is to use refractive surgery. This laser surgery changes the shape of your cornea but comes with the risks associated with most surgeries.

Once diagnosed, astigmatism should be treated as soon as possible. In addition to treatment, regular visits to an optician are required. Astigmatism can fluctuate over time, making it necessary for prescriptions to be modified. Follow your optician’s instructions at all times and stay alert to changes in eyesight which you should report at follow-up visits.

SUFFERING FROM DISTORTED OR BLURRED VISION?

Visit your nearest optician for a complete eye examination today

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