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Last Updated: Sep 05, 2019
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Astigmatism - Symptom, Treatment And Causes

What is Astigmatism? Two treatments are available for the common types of astigmatism:

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.

Popular Questions & Answers

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Written By
MS - Ophthalmology,MBBS
Ophthalmology
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