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What Is Astigmatism? Causes, Symptoms, and How Can It Be

A woman applying glasses to another woman

About 1 out of 3 people have astigmatism that can cause blurry vision and other uncontrolled symptoms. Although this condition is common, it should not be taken lightly. No matter the severity of your astigmatism, seeing an optometrist is necessary. Read our guide to what astigmatism is and other important factors.

What Is Astigmatism?

Astigmatism is a condition that has to do with your eye not being completely round. A lot of people have astigmatism to some degree.

An eyeball should be shaped perfectly round, and as the light gets into it, the eye begins to bend evenly, giving you a clear view. However, an eye that is not round will get bent in one direction more. This makes it hard for your eye to focus completely, and you may deal with blurry or wavy vision.

Commonly, you can have astigmatism with near or farsightedness. All of these conditions get referred to as refractive errors because of how the eye takes in light.

Symptoms and Causes

Important astigmatism facts to consider are the symptoms. The most common symptoms include eyestrain, headaches, blurry vision, distorted vision, and trouble seeing at night. Having these symptoms could be considered an eye emergency.

The cause of astigmatism can be tricky to determine because many people are born with the condition. Although this is the most prevalent cause of astigmatism, there are other potential reasons. You can get this condition from an eye disease, surgery, or after an eye injury.

Even more rarely, keratoconus can cause astigmatism. This condition makes the clear front of your eye more cone-shaped and thinner. If you get astigmatism through keratoconus, you may need contacts instead of glasses. Contrary to popular belief, you cannot get astigmatism from sitting too close to a screen or from reading without enough light. If you believe you have astigmatism, visit an optometrist right away.

Type of Treatment

Different levels of this condition will require different treatments. Most of the time, astigmatisms can be corrected with contacts or glasses. However, it’s possible you won't need it if the issue is minimal.

  • A special type of contact lenses may get prescribed to you. These soft lenses are called toric lenses and can bend light in one direction.

  • A more severe case will need rigid contact lenses. These can be worn when you sleep to reshape the cornea. These don't need to be worn as often, but you should continue to wear them to keep the right shape.

  • Lastly, you may need refractive surgery if you have astigmatism. Healthy eyes without retina problems or scars can get LASIK or PRK surgery.

Your Eye Health

Learning about astigmatism is the first step to making progress towards better eye health. If you believe you have astigmatism, you should visit an optometrist right away. With glasses, contact, or surgery, you can experience clear vision once again.

Visit our directory to find an optometrist in Victoria who can offer professional help for a fair price.


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