- Astigmatism and Your Eyes Center
- Laser Eye Surgery Pictures Slideshow
- Anatomy of the Eye
- Your Eyewear Guide for Vision
- Find a local Doctor in your town
What Is Astigmatism?
Astigmatism is characterized by an irregular curvature of the cornea. This is one type of refractive error. Astigmatism occurs in nearly everybody to some degree. For significant curvature, treatment is required.
A person's eye is naturally spherical in shape. Under normal circumstances, when light enters the eye, it refracts evenly, creating a clear view of the object. However, the eye of a person with astigmatism is shaped more like a football or the back of a spoon. For this person, when light enters the eye it is refracted more in one direction than the other, allowing only part of the object to be in focus at one time. Objects at any distance can appear blurry and wavy.
What Causes Astigmatism?
Astigmatism can be hereditary and is often present at birth. It can also result from pressure from the eyelids on the cornea, incorrect posture or an increased use of the eyes for close work.
What Are the Symptoms of Astigmatism?
People with undetected astigmatism often experience headaches, fatigue, eyestrain and blurred vision at all distances. While these symptoms may not necessarily be the result of astigmatism, you should schedule an eye exam if you are experiencing one or more symptoms.
How Are Astigmatisms Diagnosed?
Your optometrist or ophthalmologist can diagnose astigmatism with a thorough eye exam. Astigmatism may occur with other refractive errors such as myopia (nearsightedness) and hyperopia (farsightedness). Unfortunately, astigmatism often goes undetected in school-age children.
Because astigmatisms may increase slowly, you should visit your optometrist or ophthalmologist whenever you notice significant changes in your vision. Optometrists are trained specifically to examine the general health of the eyes and prescribe eyeglasses and contact lenses. Ophthalmologists provide total eye care, including exams, diagnosis, and treatment of disease through medication and surgery.
How Are Astigmatisms Treated?
Almost all degrees of astigmatism can be corrected with properly prescribed eyeglasses or contact lenses. For a person with only a slight degree of astigmatism, corrective lenses may not be needed at all, as long as other conditions such as nearsightedness or farsightedness are not present. If the astigmatism is moderate to high, however, corrective lenses are probably needed.
- Corrective lenses (eyeglasses or contact lenses). For astigmatism, special corrective lenses called toric lenses are prescribed. Toric lenses have greater light bending power in one direction than the other. After performing various tests, your eye doctor will determine the ideal toric lens prescription for your astigmatism.
- Refractive surgery. Another method for correcting astigmatism is by changing the shape of the cornea through refractive or laser eye surgery. While there is more than one type of refractive surgery, specific treatments are recommended on an individual basis.
Refractive surgeries require healthy eyes that are free from retinal problems, corneal scars and any eye disease. As technology progresses, it is becoming more and more important that you explore all options and possibilities before deciding which refractive surgery and treatment is right for you.
WebMD Medical Reference
Health Solutions From Our Sponsors
Top Astigmatism and Your Eyes Related Articles
AstigmatismAstigmatism is an eye condition in which the cornea is abnormally curved and causes out-of-focus vision. Symptoms of astigmatism may include eye strain, squinting, eye fatigue, and headaches. Most astigmatism arises within the cornea although some forms occur in the lens. Astigmatism is diagnosed via a complete eye exam. Some cases of astigmatism can be treated with corrective eyewear. Astigmatism can also be treated with LASIK surgery.
Corneal DiseaseThe cornea is the clear outer layer of the eye. If it is damaged by disease, infection, or injury, vision problems may occur. Corneal problems can be detected by having an eye exam. Corneal problems can be prevented by protecting the eyes from injury and avoiding contact with people who have eye infections.
Fatigue can be described in various ways. Sometimes fatigue is described as feeling a lack of energy and motivation (both mental and physical). The causes of fatigue are generally related to a variety of conditions or diseases, for example, anemia, mono, medications, sleep problems, cancer, anxiety, heart disease, and drug abuse.Treatment of fatigue is generally directed toward the condition or disease that is causing the fatigue.
Qoliana (brimonidine tartrate) Ophthalmic SolutionQoliana (brimonidine tartrate) ophthalmic solution is a selective alpha-2-adrenergic agonist used for the lowering of intraocular pressure in patients with open-angle glaucoma or ocular hypertension. Common side effects of Qoliana include eye redness, inflammation, itching, and tearing.
What Is the Best Way to Correct Astigmatism?Astigmatism is a type of vision problem due to imperfection in the curvature of the eye's cornea or lens. Hence, the cornea is unable to evenly focus light on the retina (the inner light-sensitive layer of the eye). Signs and symptoms of astigmatism may include blurred vision, headaches, eyestrain, squinting and decreased night vision.
What Is Wavefront Aberrometry?When light hits the interior surface of our eye (retina), the light-sensitive receptors turn this light into electrical signals. These signals travel to the brain through the nerve (optic nerve). Then, the brain converts these signals into the images that we see perfectly. Wavefront aberrometry is the refractory test to measure vision errors. It is performed by using a wavefront aberrometer machine.