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Common Eye Conditions: Astigmatism

Illustration of an eye

Learn About Vision Issues: Astigmatism

At Eyeglass World, we are constantly emphasizing the importance of an annual eye exam, even to those who don't wear contacts or eyeglasses. Regular eye exams can detect general health problems, such as diabetes or high blood pressure and can also help detect vision problems early on. Annual exams help patients to discover any possible health issues, address them and prevent serious conditions from progressing.

Astigmatism is one of the conditions optometrists test for during a comprehensive eye exam. Astigmatism is a refractive error in which there is an imperfection in the curvature of your eye. This imperfection can cause blurred vision and difficulty seeing small details.

The naturally spherical shape of your eye allows light to come in and distributes it evenly giving you clear and crisp vision. However, if the shape of your eye changes, creating a refraction, the cornea or lens can't focus light correctly onto the retina, causing blurred vision.

What causes astigmatism?

Astigmatism is one of the most common vision problems. However, the specific cause for astigmatism remains unknown. It can occur because of hereditary reasons, which usually causes it to be present at birth. Astigmatism is more likely to occur if you have conditions such as hyperopia (farsightedness) or myopia (nearsightedness). It can also occur from putting pressure on your eyeball or straining your eyes.

Astigmatism develops over time. It can develop slowly but it is still important to get your eyes examined regularly in order to catch it early. Identifying astigmatism early allows you to take the necessary steps to keep it under control.

What are the symptoms of astigmatism?

According to the Mayo Clinic, some symptoms of astigmatism are:

  • Blurry vision
  • Eyestrain
  • Headaches

How do you find out if you have astigmatism?

Astigmatism can be easily detected through a standard comprehensive eye exam performed by your local optometrist or ophthalmologist. The doctor can determine if you have astigmatism, if you have it one or both eyes and to which degree you have it.

How is astigmatism corrected?

The good news is simply wearing glasses or contacts can correct most astigmatisms by altering the way light enters your eyes. Standard soft contact lenses conform to the shape of your eye; therefore you need to wear toric lenses, which are soft contacts specifically created for astigmatism.

Visit your local Eyeglass World today if you are experiencing vision difficulties.

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