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Astigmatism of the Eye

Astigmatism is one of the most misunderstood terms in the optical world. While quite a few know that they have astigmatism, lots of people really don't have an understanding of what it implies. In reality, most adults do have an astigmatism to some extent. Determined by the severity, it could or could not have an effect on overall eyesight.

What causes astigmatism?

Astigmatism happens when the cornea is not completely spherical in form. This incorrect curvature of the cornea leads to light refracting improperly in the eye, forming multiple focal points. When light is not processed the correct way by the eye, it can cause vision problems. For individuals with astigmatism, viewing objects at any distance may be difficult.

What are astigmatism symptoms?

Individuals with astigmatism usually suffer from headaches, eye strain, blurred vision and eye fatigue. While most people are born with a slight curvature of the cornea, some will develop it later in life as the result of an injury to the eye or other eye condition. If you detect any change in your vision, it's important to visit an optometrist.

How is astigmatism treated?

This problem is easily treatable in most people. Toric lenses will be prescribed to correct astigmatism. These lenses bend the incoming light to account for how the cornea is reacting to light entering the eyes. A laser surgical procedure is another possibility to properly treat astigmatism, although many people opt for the significantly less invasive method of contact lenses or eyeglasses.

For anyone with astigmatism who doesn't have farsightedness or nearsightedness, vision correction may not be necessary. For people whose astigmatism is serious or accompanied by farsightedness or nearsightedness, vision correction is usually needed. An eye exam by a Doctor of Optometry can easily diagnose astigmatism.

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