What is Astigmatism? What are its Implications on Vision?

What is Astigmatism?

Astigmatism is a word that we may hear at an eye appointment, but many of us are not quite sure what it means. To keep it short, it is essentially, an imperfection in the curvature of your cornea. This is the clear, round dome covering the eye’s iris and pupil. Quite typically, in the shape of the eye’s lens. Normally, the cornea and lens are smooth and curved equally in all directions, helping to focus light rays sharply onto the retina at the back of your eye. However with astigmatism, this is not the case for its victims.

What are the different types?

A normally shaped cornea correctly refracts light rays onto the retina so you can see clearly. Astigmatism comes in two different types. If your cornea is irregularly shaped, it is referred to as corneal . If the lens shape is distorted, it is called lenticular. Either way, both these diagnoses results in near and far objects appearing blurry and distorted which consequently, causes visionary problems.

How is it Developed?

Most people are born with some degree of astigmatism. Just like many people are born with other refractive errors like nearsightedness and farsightedness. If for whatever reason you develop and are diagnosed later on in your life, you may notice a significant change in your vision. Therefore, you may have to take a series of steps to have it corrected. Comparatively, those who were born with the disorder may not complain of vision difficulties because they have never known anything different. The main difference in both cases is both time and experience with the disorder.

What can be done about astigmatism?

Having yearly comprehensive eye exams is the best way to have astigmatism diagnosed. The eye doctor will test your visual acuity and refraction. In addition, they will test for eye diseases and other chronic conditions. If you are diagnosed with astigmatism, your doctor can prescribe lenses to correct your refractive errors. It is important to have exams because if astigmatism goes undiagnosed, the cornea can develop a cone-shaped bulge known as keratoconus.
Astigmatism can cause children to perform poorly in school and prevent them from achieving in sports and activities, so make eye exams a part of your preventative health care regimen.
Make a commitment today to yourself and your family to make appointments for yearly eye exams.