What Is an Astigmatism?

Have you been told that you have an astigmatism? This very common condition is nothing to worry about, and it may not even affect your vision so much that you have to do anything about it. Are you wondering exactly what an astigmatism is and how it is treated?

What causes an astigmatism?

Researchers aren’t exactly sure what causes an astigmatism in one person and not in another, but it may be an inherited condition, or it may develop after an eye injury, an eye disease, or eye surgery. It is very common in patients who are near- or far-sighted, and some people are born with an astigmatism.

An astigmatism is simply an irregular curvature of the eye’s cornea or lens – these parts of the eye need to be curved just-so or your eye will have difficulty focusing light properly so that your vision will be sharp. The ideal shape for the eye is perfectly round, but with an astigmatism the eye is shaped more like a football. This means the eye can’t focus as well, and vision may be blurry. If you have an astigmatism, you may notice eyestrain, and you may start to have headaches. You may have trouble seeing in dim light or at night, and you may find yourself squinting a lot as your eyes are working hard to see clearly.

How is an astigmatism treated?

There are different options available if your astigmatism is affecting your vision. Eyeglasses or contacts can help, if you prefer a nonsurgical option. There are also different surgeries that can help an astigmatism, such as LASIK, limbal relaxing incision surgery, astigmatic keratotomy surgery, and astigmatic-correcting cataract surgery. Surgery is used to permanently reshape the surface of the eye, while contact lenses only reshape the surface of the eye while they are being worn.

Do you think your vision is getting worse since your doctor told you that you have an astigmatism? Fortunately, you have a few different options for dealing with this problem. Contact Southside Eye Care if your vision isn’t as good as you know it should be. Call (757) 484-0101 for an appointment today!


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