What is Astigmatism?
Refractive error as a result of an imperfect curvature of the cornea. Such that the light rays are not being properly reflected back into the eye that leads to blurred and distorted vision.
What are Refractive Errors?
Refraction is the bending of light as it passses through one object to the next object. Light is bend differently depending on the location at which it hits the cornea. When the cornea is unable to reflect the light back properly, the image is no longer appears clear to the viewer. Astigmatism is one type of the many refractive errors that include myopia and long-sightedness.
Types of Astigmatism:
- Myopic astigmatism that causes the viewer to be short sighted.
- Hyperopic astigmatism that causes the viewer to be long sighted.
- Mixed astigmatism that causes the viewer to become both short sighted & long sighted, although there is a principal condition that is normally near-sightedness.
Alternatively the types of Astigmatism can be classified as
- Regular which results in the progression of the cornea to an irregular shape.
- Irregular which is the result of cornea injury either due to a violent impact directly on the eye, due to an eye surgery or by Keratoconus.
Keratoconus is a eye disease that will eventually cause the cornea to bulge out. It will cause severe distortion of images.
Causes of Astigmatism:
- Both young children and adults may be at risk.
- Irregularly shaped cornea is the cause.
- May be as a result of an eye injury through an eye operation or an eye disease.
- Similar trauma to the eye will cause tissue scarring on the cornea that leads to Astigmatism.
Symptoms of Astigmatism:
- Blur and distorted vision
- Eye strains
Ways to cope with Astigmatism:
- Glasses that will be prescribed by optometrist which is meant for external use.
- Contact lenses that will be prescribed and is a temporary fix to the wearer’s vision.
- Refractive surgery which will offer an option for patients who intend to avoid the inconveniences or discomfort that may be accompanied by wearing contact lenses or glasses. It should be made known that the surgery will permanently change the shape of the cornea. This change is irreversible and patients should seek professional advice on the pros and cons before proceeding with this procedure.
The best way to determine if you have any form of Astigmatism is to undergo an eye check by professional doctors. Automated machines are available at clinics and hospitals to determine if you have Astigmatism and the extent of it. The medical team would be able to give you your accurate eye diagnosis and in addition, offer you advice about the best option for you.