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Astigmatism - Symptom, Treatment And Causes

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

Lasik Surgery - Things To Know!

Dr. Ravi Thadani 88% (855 ratings)
MBBS, MS - Ophthalmology
Ophthalmologist, Delhi
Lasik Surgery - Things To Know!
If you suffer from vision loss and have to wear spectacles in order to see clearly you may be considering lasik surgery. Lasik surgery can be used to treat near sightedness, far sightedness and astigmatism. It involves reshaping the cornea with the help of a laser beam. This is an outpatient procedure where you can get back to work in a day or two. To be able to undergo a lasik surgery, you must be: Aged 18 or more Suffer from nearsightedness, farsightedness or astigmatism Lead an active lifestyle Be in general good health Have strong tear production Have thick corneas Before the surgery begins, numbing eye drops are applied to prevent any discomfort during the procedure. The surgery itself involves the creation of a thin flap in the cornea. This is the folded back to reveal the corneal tissue below. If you suffer from nearsightedness, an excimer laser is used to flatten the cornea while if you suffer from nearsightedness, it creates a steeper cornea. In cases of astigmatism, the cornea is smoothened into a normal shape. Once this has been done, the flap is laid back in place and the cornea is allowed to heal naturally. An uncomplicated lasik surgery for one eye usually takes less than five minutes. You may feel some pressure on your eyes and hear a steady clicking sound while the laser is in use. You may feel temporary burning or itching immediately after the procedure. Do not in any condition rub your eyes to relieve this sensation. Also, do not attempt to drive and have somebody else drive you home. The blurred vision and haziness will clear by the next morning. You may also experience heightened sensitivity to light and may see halos around lights. The whites of your eyes may also look bloodshot for a few days. In most cases, vision improves immediately but in a few rare cases, it could take several weeks or longer. Though you can return to work the next day, it is a good idea to take a few days off. Also refrain from strenuous activities of any sort for a week after the surgery. Take the medication prescribed by the doctor regularly and do not change the eye drops without consulting him first. Avoid using makeup or cream around the eye for up to two weeks after the surgery to minimize the risk of infection. You should also avoid using swimming pools or hot tubs for 1-2 months after the surgery.
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LASIK Eye Surgery - Facts About It!

Dr. Rajeev Gupta 86% (25 ratings)
MBBS, MS - Ophthalmology
Ophthalmologist, Ghaziabad
LASIK Eye Surgery - Facts About It!
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.
5510 people found this helpful

Astigmatism - Ways They Can Be Diagnosed!

Dr. Amit Solanki 89% (17 ratings)
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.
2386 people found this helpful

Know Everything About Astigmatism!

Wavikar Eye Institute 88% (79 ratings)
Ophthalmologist, Thane
Know Everything About Astigmatism!
Astigmatism is an eye condition where there is an imperfection in the cornea's curvature. The cornea and lens are smooth and equally curved in all directions, which helps to focus the light rays to the retina. But if there is an imperfection in the curvature, then you will suffer from a refractive error. Astigmatism is not an eye disease. It is simply a condition where the eye is not able to focus the light. CAUSES: Irregular shape of the cornea is the main cause for astigmatism. It might also be caused because of the imperfect shape of the lens. Suffering from astigmatism is very common. You are either born with the condition or you might have developed it after an eye surgery. It is an incorrect concept that watching too much of television or reading without enough light causes astigmatism. TYPES: There are three different types of astigmatism: 1. Myopic astigmatism: When the principal meridians of the cornea are nearsighted. 2. Hyperopic astigmatism: When the principal meridians of the cornea are farsighted. 3. Mixed astigmatism: When one of the principal meridians is nearsighted and the other is farsighted. It can also be classified in two other types: 1. Regular astigmatism: when the principal meridians are perpendicular to each other. 2. Irregular astigmatism: When the principal meridians are not perpendicular to each other. SYMPTOMS: Blurry or distorted vision, strain in the eye, eye discomfort, squinting and headaches are a few symptoms of astigmatism DIAGNOSIS If you notice the symptoms stated above, make sure you pay a visit to your ophthalmologist. If you are suffering from astigmatism, your doctor will do an eye test to check how much your eye is able to focus on light. After conducting his tests, he will determine how much power you have and you will have to wear glasses of that power. Apart from the option of wearing glasses or artificial lenses, you can also go for a surgery to correct the condition. LASIK is an option among the many other options of surgeries available. DIET: Eat foods rich in sulphur. Foods like fish, green vegetables, pineapple, garlic, onion, olive oil, etc are rich in sulphur. Hence, eating these will help you battle astigmatism.
5188 people found this helpful

Types and Benefits of Breathing Contact Lenses!

MBBS, MD - Ophthalmology, Vitreoretina and Uvea
Ophthalmologist, Gurgaon
Types and Benefits of Breathing Contact Lenses!
Variety of contact lenses is used to correct refractive errors. Soft Contact (hydrogel) Lenses are most often used in various types of refractive errors but they have certain disadvantages. These lenses do not permit adequate Oxygen to pass through which is essential for health of cornea and hence they can be worn for limited hours, i.e 6 to 8 hours maximum and never while sleeping. The tear proteins get deposited on these lenses which limit their life to about a year. If worn for prolonged period or proper measures not taken to clean the lenses, cornea can get an ULCER which at times can result in permanent loss of vision. Disposable daily wear lenses provide safer alternative but the cost increases significantly. Since soft contact lenses are applied after cleaning with a solution which can be the cause of mild to severe allergic conjunctivitis which can become intolerable. Soft contact lenses are not ideal in eyes with high corneal astigmatism. Merits of soft contact lenses are that they can be dispensed over the counter or purchased on line though it is not ideal. A correct curvature and power of a contact lens is determined by a contact lens specialist/ Ophthalmologist after measuring exact corneal curvature and using trial contact lens. Another merit is that these lenses can be accepted very easily since even on the first day they do not produce much of discomfort. These lenses can be worn off and on without any inconvenience. Recent introduction of Toric Contact Lenses have made them more acceptable in cases of moderate corneal astigmatism. Breathing Contact Lenses: These lenses are the one which permit significant amount of oxygen to pass through and hence can be worn for prolonged interval without any adverse effect on the cornea. These are of two types Semisoft or Extended Wear RGP Contact Lenses: These lenses are made up of FP 92 which is a semi rigid soft plastic and is highly permeable to oxygen. These lenses are excellent for high refractive errors, especially in patients who have high corneal astigmatism. Even cases with irregular cornea or Keratoconus, these lenses can be accepted with rewarding results. These lenses can only be fitted by an expert Ophthalmologist since precise measurement has to be carried out and various trial lenses have to be tried to evaluate the optimum fit. The lenses are made to measurement and the patient has to be precisely trained to fit the lenses and maintain them. As stated, the lenses can be safely worn while sleeping and there is practically no danger of corneal toxicity or infection. These lenses may last for 4-5 years. One of the demerits of these lenses is that they take 5-6 days to adopt and the patient is advised to use them regularly. They are excellent alternative to LASIK surgery. Silicon Hydrogel Contact Lenses: These are recent introduction of extended wear contact lenses with capacity to 'breathe' better than soft or hrdrogel contact lenses. Some of the recent Silicon Hydrogel Contact lenses introduced by Alcon and Bausch and Lomb can be worn for a week or so. Silicon hydrogel lenses though indicated for prolonged wear but can cause mild keratitis and sometimes allergic keratitis if worn overnight. These lenses still needs lot of improvement to be free of complications Advise: It is ideal to consult an Ophthalmologist specialized in contact lenses for fitting of a proper contact lenses. Advertised lenses some time misguide and can be damaging to the eye.
3696 people found this helpful

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.

Dr. Vaibhev Mittal 93% (3279 ratings)
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

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

Dr. Ruchi Mehta 85% (24 ratings)
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.

Hello! I'm 17 years old, and I have been wearing contacts for more than 5 years (I have astigmatism. I don't wear any glasses (just dailies), but I have noticed small blood vessels in my eye. It's not to the point where I look" stoned" but it bothers me and I don't want it to get worst. I act and model and don't want anything to get out of hand. What should I do? Thanks!:)

Dr. Sucharitra Picasso 92% (11908 ratings)
Homeopath, Faridabad
Hi, Instill Euphrasia eye drops twice a day. Take 8 hours of sound sleep a night. Rest your eyes 10 minutes for every 50 minutes spent reading or in front of the computer. If your eyes feel overly tired, lie down and place cooling cucumber slices over your eyelids.

I am 25 years old M, I have astigmatism and myopia with combined power of 4 in each eye, I want to get LASIK surgery done. What is the success rate of the surgery.

Dr. Mukesh Paryani 90% (1005 ratings)
FPRS, DNB Ophtalmology
Ophthalmologist, Pune
success rate is very good if properly selected cases are done with good machinery ,the success rates are close to 99% Lasik is a simple laser procedure which changes the shape of the cornea so that the light rays fall on the retina properly. It is a painless procedure. It is a day care procedure does not require any injections, does not require admission, you can simply resume your duties in 2 days. Cost varies from centre to centre. Side effects are usually limited to dryness of eyes for few months. We can do lasik anytime after age of 18 years. You need to undergo proper prelasik checkup to decide whether lasik is safe for you or not
1 person found this helpful

Health Quizzes

Busting Myths about Glasses and Contact Lenses

Dr. Vaibhev Mittal 93% (3279 ratings)
Fellowship in Comprehensive Ophthalmology, DOMS
Ophthalmologist, Sangrur
A contact lens is not recommended in case you are suffering from astigmatism. True or False? Take the quiz to know now.
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