According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, astigmatism affects one in three Americans. Astigmatism is a refractive error (like nearsightedness and farsightedness) characterized by an uneven or irregular curvature of the cornea, creating blurred or fuzzy vision.
The only way to diagnose astigmatism is through a comprehensive eye exam with a highly trained eye doctor. Once it’s properly diagnosed, astigmatism can be successfully treated several ways. If you are experiencing blurry or fuzzy vision, schedule an eye exam with our vision practice. Let our experienced eye doctor help you restore clear vision.
What Is Astigmastism?
Ideally, the cornea of the eye should be round and symmetrical. Astigmatism is characterized by an uneven or irregular curvature of the cornea, causing blurred vision. This irregular shape causes light to come into the retina at multiple focus points. Over time, astigmatism can either become better or worse as a person ages. Like other refractive errors, astigmatism can cause eyestrain and headaches if left uncorrected.
At our comprehensive eye care practice, we pride ourselves in using only the most advanced methods and tools to diagnose refractive errors. During your comprehensive eye exam, our doctor may use any of the following instruments and techniques to detect astigmatism:
- Eye chart. Used to measure your visual acuity (near, intermediate and distance).
- Keratometer. An instrument used to measure the precise curvature of the cornea and determine the shape of prescription contact lenses.
- Corneal topography. A non-invasive medical imaging technique used to map the surface curvature of the cornea.
- A test that estimates the amount of astigmatism you have by shining a light into your eye while manually introducing a series of lenses between the light and your eye.
Treatments for Astigmatism
Like other refractive errors, astigmatism can be successfully treated with prescription eyeglasses and contact lenses. Eyeglasses and contact lenses alter the path of light entering the eyes, restoring clear vision. Many people who have astigmatism also have a degree of nearsightedness and farsightedness. If this is the case, the prescription for astigmatism is simply added to any existing eyewear prescription.
In addition to prescription eyeglasses and contacts, there are a number of vision correction procedures available to surgically reduce or eliminate astigmatism. Laser vision correction surgeries including LASIK, PRK and LASEK use excimer lasers to reshape the cornea and restore the eye’s ability to focus light properly. Although laser vision correction can produce successful results, it is not for everyone. To find out which treatment option is best for you, schedule an appointment with our team. Our experienced eye doctor will gladly discuss your treatment options in detail with you.