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Astigmatism - Symptom, Treatment And Causes

What is Astigmatism?

Astigmatism means that the eyeball isn’t entirely round. Most of us have astigmatism to a certain extent. Light enters a normal eye ball and bends uniformly, giving a clear view. However if the shape of your eye is curved, light bends more towards one direction. This results in only parts of anything being in focus. Distant objects might appear wavy or blurry. It is quite easy for an ophthalmologist to fix astigmatism using surgery, glasses or contacts. It is not abnormal for people to have it and in most instances, people have it since birth. The exact reason isn’t known. Surgeries, eye diseases and eye injury may also cause it. Sitting too close to the TV or reading in poor light conditions don’t cause it. A proper eye exam may be needed if you have blurred vision as it may also mean that you are farsighted or nearsighted. As the symptoms of astigmatism gradually appear, a visit to the eye doctor is essential if vision changes are apparent. Contacts or glasses can correct most cases of astigmatism. If the extent of astigmatism is very less, then corrective measures may not be needed. The cornea is the frontal portion of the eye and gets affected in irregular astigmatism, which is quite uncommon. Keratoconus is one such type where the usually round cornea turns cone shaped.

Two treatments are available for the common types of astigmatism:

  • Corrective Lenses –These are contacts or glasses. If astigmatism affects you, then the doctor would prescribe a type of soft, special contact lenses (also called toric). They can bend light, to a greater degree in one direction. If the degree of astigmatism is severe, then a rigid gas-permeable lenses may be needed. The ophthalmologist will be best able to choose the right one for you.
  • Refractive Surgery- The cornea’s shape gets changed due to this laser surgery. There are multiple types, so an ophthalmologist can help you choose the right one. In order to do this, there shouldn’t be any corneal scars or retinal problems.
Treatable by medical professional Require medical diagnosis Lab test not required Chronic: can last for years or be lifelong Non communicable
Blurred vision Far or near sightedness

Popular Health Tips

Astigmatism - Ways They Can Be Diagnosed!

FAECS, DNB Ophtalmology, DO Ophthalmology, Fellowship In Phacoemulsification & Refractive Surgery
Ophthalmologist, Indore
Astigmatism - Ways They Can Be Diagnosed!

People may have weak eyes due to a variety of reasons. Astigmatism happens to be one of those reasons. When one is affected by astigmatism, it results in blurry vision. The eye has a part called the cornea, which is the outermost layer of the eye and is responsible for allowing light to enter. When the cornea is not shaped as it should be, it leads to astigmatism.

However, this is not the only condition under which it can occur. In fact, there are two different types of astigmatism. One is corneal astigmatism which is the result of an odd-shaped cornea. The other is lenticular astigmatism, which occurs when the lens has an incorrect shape. More often than not, people are born with astigmatism. However, there are chances of developing this eye disorder after an eye injury or after an eye disease.

How to diagnose?
There are a few ways in which astigmatism can be diagnosed.

  • One of the most popular methods is the visual acuity test. This measures the distance at which a letter is read clearly, as compared to what it should be.
  • Another way is by refraction. By placing lenses in front of the eyes, the way they focus light is measured.
  • The third way by which astigmatism can be detected is by keratometry, also known as topography. Light is focused on the cornea and the reflection is measured to find the curvature of that area.

Treatment options
The easiest way to go about treating astigmatism is by using corrective lenses. This is usually the method of treatment for people whose astigmatism is not that bad. The lenses could either be a part of spectacles or used as contact lenses. The good part about contact lenses is that the field of view is wider.

Orthokeratology (Ortho-k) works to improve astigmatism by using lenses as well. However, the lenses are of the hard variety. These lenses are useful for corneal astigmatism patients as they reshape the eye. Usually, they are worn while sleeping and most people can have normal vision the next day. However, if one stops using them, the eye goes back to its original state. So, they are not a permanent solution.

Surgery, however, can be a permanent solution to astigmatism. LASIK and PRK are two of the most popular types. RK is also popular, but to a lesser extent. It is good to remember that the risks of surgery should be discussed with a doctor prior to undergoing one. In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

2389 people found this helpful

Decode Lasik - C-Lasik, I-Lasik, Contoura Vision Lasik

MS - Ophthalmology
Ophthalmologist, Delhi
Decode Lasik - C-Lasik, I-Lasik, Contoura Vision Lasik

LASIK or Laser-Assisted in-situ Keratomileusis is a kind of eye surgery used for correcting certain vision problems as well as reducing or doing away with the need for corrective lenses or eyeglasses. It is a widely used refractive surgery that alters the shape of your cornea, the transparent tissue on the frontal portion of the eye. The fundamental aim of this surgery is to refract (bend) light rays in order to make them focus on the retina with improved precision, thus creating a sharper and clearer vision.

You can go for a LASIK eye surgery if you are experiencing any of these problems:

  1. Myopia or Nearsightedness: It is a condition wherein you enjoy a clearer vision while looking at objects that are close to you. However, distant objects would appear blurred.
  2. Hypermetropia or Farsightedness: Here, you may experience blurred vision while focusing on objects which are near to you but tend to enjoy better clarity in vision while viewing objects which are placed at a distance.
  3. Astigmatism: It is a condition disrupting focus of both the distant and close (near) vision.

Learn About The Different Tyoes Of Lasik-

  1. C-Lasik- C-Lasik or Customized Lasik is gaining ground as the latest and the most effective tool for restoring the quality of one’s vision. It uses a Wave front Guided customized ablation to render personalized treatment to each individual. While the surgical procedure stays the same, C-Lasik, also known as “Eagles’ Eye Vision” can provide the perfect shape to the eye surface, helping one to focus accurately. C-Lasik means that laser eye treatment is now unique to each eye. With C-Lasik, treatment is designed specifically to treat your individual vision errors. It improves the quality of your vision. Each C-Lasik assessment involves an extra diagnostic (screening) process to let the surgeon understand your vision better and select the most suitable treatment for you.
  2. iLasik- iLasik is the first vision rectifying procedure that is fully customized, done with the use of a laser. It is used to rectify myopia till a measure of 10 diopters, hypermetropia up to +5 diopters and astigmatism, till -5 dioptersafter evaluation of cornea. iLASIK is different from normal LASIK surgery because it recognises that every eye is different. Using 3D mapping technology, the characteristics along with the uniqueness of each eye is recognised. Then using this information, a blueprint is developed so that the lasers can target the right areas. High-frequency pulses are used to create a corneal flap which is lifted so that another laser can repair your eyes. iLasik is the only procedure that has the technology to personalize treatment to individual vision needs. In fact, wavefront measurements are 25 times more precise than those taken with conventional methods used for eyeglasses and contacts.
  3. Contoura Vision LASIK- Contoura Vision is the most advanced technology available for laser vision correction when it comes to accuracy and precision. This diagnostic technology is able to meticulously identify and record irregularities in the cornea’s curvature as well as its optics. During the procedure, this information is combined with the patient’s corrective eyewear prescription to dramatically improve vision for those suffering from nearsightedness (myopia) and astigmatism. While standard LASIK surgery has been helping individuals enhance correct visual refractive errors for many years, Contoura Vision takes the treatment a step further by offering even greater degrees of enhanced vision quality. Potential benefits of this technique can also include a reduced “glare” at night and even an increase in reading speed. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult an ophthalmologist.
3948 people found this helpful

LASIK - Say No to Boring Glasses!

Ophthalmologist, Thane
LASIK - Say No to Boring Glasses!

While spectacles are a fashion statement for some people, for others they are an uncomfortable necessity. Though contact lenses may be a little more aesthetically pleasing they too can be quite uncomfortable and cannot be worn throughout the day. Thankfully, there is a third way to correct vision. Laser surgery or LASIK, it is a popular refractive procedure that can correct common vision problems, such as nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism. This procedure aims at reshaping the cornea so that light entering the eyes can be focused onto the retina for the person to have a clearer vision. 

Laser surgery is pain-free and quick in most cases. Usually, it does not take more than 15 minutes to correct vision in both eyes. The results of this surgery can be seen in as little as 24 hours. 

The first step of laser surgery to correct vision is to create a thin, circular flap in the cornea. This is then folded back to access the stroma or underlying cornea. An excimer laser is then used to remove some of the corneal tissue. For people suffering from nearsightedness, the cornea is flattened while for people suffering from farsightedness, the cornea is made steeper. In cases of astigmatism, an irregular cornea is smoothened. Once the correct gradient has been achieved the corneal flap is put back into place and the cornea is allowed to heal naturally. There are no stitches or bandages required in a laser eye surgery. You may feel a temporary burning or itching sensation in your eyes immediately after the procedure. It is important not to rub your eyes or place any pressure on them. Your vision may also be cloudy or blurred for the first few hours. A doctor will usually advise you to rest for a few days after the surgery so that your cornea can heal properly. In a few days, your eyesight should stabilize, though, in a few rare cases, it may take a little longer. You should also avoid any form of strenuous exercising for a few days after the surgery. 

Though LASIK surgery has a very high success rate, there are very rare occasions where spectacles may still be needed even after the surgery. Thus LASIK is a choice of treatment for many who seek freedom from glasses. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult an ophthalmologist.

4308 people found this helpful

LASIK - Dispelling Myths About It!

Ophthalmologist, Thane
LASIK - Dispelling Myths About It!

One of the most cutting edge eye procedures which has been very successful in practice and has been loved by millions of patients is LASIK. LASIK is a form of eye surgery performed with the help of a precise laser and is very effective in correcting nearsightedness, farsightedness as well as astigmatism (imperfections with the shape of the cornea). With any such procedure, there are bound to be myths which arise out of misconceptions. Some of those myths as well as the advantages of LASIK have ben enumerated below:

Myth # 1 – Lasik can only be performed up to a certain age
Many people think that LASIK cannot be performed on people of advanced age. This is a misconception as LASIK has been performed on people above 90 as well. There are some considerations however, such as the health of the person and the condition of the eyes. If there are no medical objections, then LASIK can be performed regardless of the age of the person. Doctors also tend to wait till young adulthood (around 18-20 years of age) before performing LASIK. However, LASIK procedures have been performed on young children with severe vision problems as well.

Myth # 2 – The technology behind LASIK is too new and thus not yet perfected
This is yet another commonly propagated myth about LASIK. The technology for this procedure has been around for quite some time and has ben performed with increasing regularity since the 1980s. There have been multiple long term studies done on people who underwent LASIK surgery and almost all of them have had favorable results both in the short term as well as the long term. It is a properly established field and means of treatment within ophthalmology and is subject to the same stringent standards testing as other treatments within the field of medicine.

Myth # 3 – LASIK can cause many complications such as dry eyes and night glares
Any surgical procedure has a certain chance of complications occurring. However, LASIK tends to have very low occurrences of complications. What many people tend to confuse complications with is the normal healing procedure. Dry eyes and night glares usually occur after the first few weeks of the procedure and is part of the healing process of the body. It usually tends to go way with the first few months itself.

Myth # 4 – Contact lenses are better than LASIK
While contact lenses do serve a purpose in correcting vision, they can often contribute to eye infections as well as irritations and headaches. Also contact lenses need to be changed every few weeks or so. LASIK surgery eliminates all of these hassles and you can have perfectly clear vision without having to worry about all the problems that contact lenses bring with them.

Myth # 5 – The LASIK procedure is painful
No other myth is farther from the truth. In this procedure, the surgeon creates a thin flap like structure out of the tissue within the cornea with the help of a laser. This layer is then used to reshape the cornea and thus correct vision problems. Antiseptic and numbing eye drops are used when performing this surgery which results in minimal discomfort that only stays during the initial stages. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult an ophthalmologist and ask a free question.

4283 people found this helpful

Latest Trend in Eye Surgery

Senior Consultant Surgeon, Specialist In Refractive Lasik Surgery, MS Ophthalmology, Phacoemulsification & Multifocal Implantation, Occuloplasty Surgeon
Ophthalmologist, Delhi
Latest Trend in Eye Surgery

Eye surgeries have evolved a long way. Starting from the most basic of eye surgeries, technological advancement has evolved a number of modern eye surgery techniques. LASIK is the latest trend in eye surgery and is the most common type of eye surgery in the modern day.

LASIK or Lasik (laser assisted situ keratomileusis), is a laser eye surgery or laser vision revision. It is a kind of refractive surgery for the rectification of nearsightedness, hyperopia, and astigmatism. The LASIK surgery is performed by an ophthalmologist who utilizes a laser or microkeratome to reshape the eye's cornea with a specific end goal to enhance visual acuity. For most patients, LASIK gives a lasting contrasting option to eyeglasses or contact lenses.

Carrying out a LASIK surgery:

  1. To begin with, your eye specialist utilizes either a mechanical surgical apparatus called a microkeratome or a femtosecond laser to make a slender, round "fold" in the cornea.
  2. The specialist then creases back the pivoted fold to get to the fundamental cornea (called the stroma) and expels some corneal tissue utilizing an excimer laser.
  3. For partially blind individuals, the objective is to smooth the cornea; with farsighted individuals, a more extreme cornea is fancied.
  4. Excimer lasers additionally can redress astigmatism by smoothing an unpredictable cornea into a more typical shape. It is a misguided judgment that LASIK can't treat astigmatism.
  5. Laser eye surgery requires just topical soporific drops, and no wraps or fastens are required.
  6. After your LASIK surgery is completed, you will be given some rest. You may feel a makeshift smoldering or tingling sensation promptly after the surgery is completed. After some post-surgical examinations, you are ready to go home. Abstain from driving by yourself.
  7. Immediately after the surgery, you may experience blurred vision or hazy vision. It will subside with a little time.
  8. You must keep away from any kind of activity that causes strain to the eyes after the surgery. Avoid watching television or reading.

Results of LASIK surgery:

  1. Laser eye surgery offers various advantages and can significantly enhance your personal satisfaction. A great many people accomplish 20/20 vision or better after the surgery. However, LASIK results do fluctuate from people to people.
  2. You will have to continue wearing your contact lenses or spectacles. The power will be much less after the surgery.

Side-effects: While this surgery strategy provides effective results, LASIK complications can happen and may incorporate diseases such as night glare, and you may experience starbursts or radiances, especially while driving. 

LASIK surgery is one of the most carried eye surgeries nowadays and gives satisfactory results. If you wish to discuss about any specific problem, you can consult a ophthalmologist and ask a free question.

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Popular Questions & Answers

Hello Dr. My son is 3.5 years old. Last 1.5 years back we got his eye checkup done in Hyderabad. It was diagnosed as astigmatism. Do we have any treatment for this? Now his eye sight is 1.5 and 2.

Fellowship In Comprehensive Ophthalmology, DOMS
Ophthalmologist, Sangrur
Hello I am sorry but there is only one option and that is glasses. At this age there is no option keep consulting your ophthalmologist every 6 months for general eye examination as this number may change with age.
1 person found this helpful

Sir, I'am suffering from sinus from the last two year, my eyes are swollen and from right eye watering is there, now from few days I couldn't see properly, I could see double vision. Please help me, what's the problem with my eyes.

General Physician, Mumbai
Get your eyes checked for refractive error and follow up with reports and Apart from taking symptomatic treatment I will suggest you to buy a steam inhaler machine of crescent company and Take a flow of steam (of plain water only) over the forehead through the inhaler and can repeat the process after eight hours as and when required.
1 person found this helpful

My son is having astigmatism as per his school health check-up report. Is this a serious issue. What is the treatment.

MBBS, MS - Ophthalmology
Ophthalmologist, Ahmedabad
Its not a serious issue. But yes when a child has astigmatism he or she has to wear his glasses continously. Prescribed by an ophthalmologist. Get his eye check up done every 6 monthly. For a child dilatation is required to find out the correct amount of refractive error or exact number of glasses. And after 4 days of dilatation get a glasses done. If you notice bend in glass or broken glass. Orr head tilting by him or her. Report to the doctor.

Table of Content

What is Astigmatism?

Two treatments are available for the common types of astigmatism:

Play video
Conical Cornea
Keratoconus (KC) is a disorder of the eye which results in progressive thinning of the cornea. This may result in blurry vision, double vision, nearsightedness, astigmatism, and light sensitivity. Usually, both eyes are affected. In more severe cases a scarring or a circle may be seen within the cornea.
Play video
Keratoconus is a disorder of the eye which results in progressive thinning of the cornea.This may result in blurry vision, double vision, nearsightedness, astigmatism, and light sensitivity.[3] Usually both eyes are affected. In more severe cases a scarring or a circle may be seen within the cornea.
Play video
Lasik Surgery
I am Dr Sunita Lulla Gur, senior consultant eye specialist in Sarita Vihar. Today, I will speak about the topic LASIK.

What do you mean by LASIK?

Lasik is a surgery which stands for Laser-Assisted in Situ Keratomileusis.

Why this surgery is done?

This surgery is done basically to correct the vision and eye power like- near sightedness, far sightedness, astigmatism. LOt many times we do get questions from many people like "I am eligible for LASIK or not?". So just for the short brief I will take you to the journey of LASIK.

As it is one of a cosmetic surgery, I would say but there are other advantages that why one can go for LASIK is;

It corrects the power
It gives good vision
It improves the contarst
These are the advantages which is why one can go ahead with the LASIK surgery.

Sometimes people think that at what age a person can have LASIK surgery?

So the criteria for the LASIK surgery is that;

The age should be more than 18 years.
Your power should be stablized for atleast 1 year
Your cornea should be fit to under take the LASIK surgery.
Another criteria is that the females who are pregnant should not undeergo LASIK at that time.
These are the main 4 selections for the LASIK. Again depending on the number, LASIK can be done from 0.5 to -10 also. Nowadays there are many technologies coming and lot of advances have been done . We are now doing in high powers also. Again we have to select the candidate properly for successfull outcome of LASIK.

The success rate of LASIK is usually 93-95%. Initially the success rate was less and the reasons for improving its success rate is that the selection criteria has improved. Our protocols have improved over the period of time.

There are different types of LASIK which are been done, those are,

C-LASIK - We make a superficially thin flap and the reshaping of the cornea is done as per the number and a person can see a good image after that. When the re shaping is done then the rays which comes focus properly on the retina. So it does the work how we do in practical correction. Here the microkeratome blade where the flap is removed and after that the reshaping of the cornea is done by the laser.
I-LASIK - It is bladeless LASIK surgery where the flap which is being removed is done by the laser itself and no blade is used. The advantage of this is that it can be done in thin cornea also. So, if the person is having thin cornea as per the criteria which we set, then I-LASIK can be done in these type of cases.
Contoura vision LASIK - This is an advanced surgery which has come in which the computerized topography is done and which is attached to LASIK which can pick up the minor abrasion which are present in the cornea so that it can correct the vision to its fullest. So sometimes we do have patients who are completely satisfied with the change in their vision. It also reduces the chances of dryness which is there after LASIK surgery.
So, when we plan for LASIK, there are certain criteria for the selection as I have explained. But for the successfull result,

You have to follow the advices that are been given by the doctor.
You should not put any water in the eyes after LASIK surgery.
You should not rub your eyes.
You should use the eye drops as suggested by the doctor.
Follow the protocol atleast for one month.

The precautions are;

Water should not go inside the eyes.
Avoid swimming atleast for 3 months.
Avoid going to gym atleast for 1-3 months.
Otherwise, you can go to the office next day. Initially you may feel discomfort but you can see the improvement in the vision the very next day. Every season is suitable for LASIK sugery and rest it depends on the fitness of a person for the surgery.

If you want to contact for any LASIK appointment, you can do it through Lybrate.

Thank you

Having issues? Consult a doctor for medical advice