Astigmatism: Causes, Types, Symptoms & Treatment

Astigmatism

What Is Astigmatism?

Astigmatism is a common vision condition that affects the shape of the eye. Usually, the cornea (the front surface of the eye) is curved evenly, but with astigmatism, the cornea is curved more in one direction than another. This can cause blurred or distorted vision at all distances. Astigmatism often occurs along with other vision conditions such as nearsightedness or farsightedness. It can occur in people of all ages and is usually congenital, meaning it is present at birth. However, it can also develop later in life due to disease or injury. Astigmatism can be corrected with eyeglasses, contact lenses, or refractive surgery. With refractive surgery, the shape of the cornea is permanently changed to improve vision.

Astigmatism In Children

Astigmatism is a type of refractive error that can occur in children. It is usually present at birth in most children and it often occurs alongside other types of refractive errors, such as nearsightedness or farsightedness. Children with astigmatism may squint or rub their eyes frequently, as this can help to temporarily improve vision.

Astigmatism can also be treated with refractive surgery, such as LASIK. If your child has astigmatism, it’s important to have their vision checked regularly so that their doctor can monitor their condition. If left untreated, however, astigmatism can cause headaches, eyestrain, and fatigue. Early diagnosis and treatment are important in ensuring that children with astigmatism can see clearly and experience fewer symptoms.

What Are The Different Types Of Astigmatism?

Although there are several types of astigmatism, they all have one thing in common: an irregularity in the shape of the eye’s cornea or lens. This causes light to be refracted, or bent, in an abnormal way, which results in blurred vision. The most common types of astigmatism are as follows:

Myopic astigmatism:

This is the most common type of astigmatism, and occurs when the cornea is curved more than usual. This type of astigmatism can be corrected with glasses or contact lenses.

Hyperopic astigmatism:

This type of astigmatism occurs when the cornea is flattened more than usual. It can also be corrected with glasses or contact lenses.

Mixed astigmatism:

This type of astigmatism occurs when there is both myopic and hyperopic astigmatism present. It can be corrected with a combination of glasses and contact lenses.

Treatments for astigmatism are usually very effective, and can significantly improve your quality of vision.

What Are The Symptoms of Astigmatism?

Symptoms of astigmatism can vary from person to person and the severity of the disability. However, most common symptoms of Astigmatism may include:

  • Blurry or distorted vision at all distances,
  • Eyestrain or headaches,
  • Squinting,
  • Fatigue while reading, and difficulty seeing at night.

If you experience any of these symptoms, you should schedule an appointment with your eye doctor. An eye exam is the only way to definitively diagnose Astigmatism. During the exam, your doctor will measure the curve of your cornea and determine whether you need corrective lenses or contact lenses. In some cases, surgery may be recommended to correct the shape of your cornea. Symptoms of Astigmatism can vary from mild to severe, so it is important to consult with a medical professional if you are experiencing any vision problems.

What Are The Causes of Astigmatism?

Most people have some degree of astigmatism. Causes of astigmatism are usually related to the way your eyes are shaped. If your eyeball is more oval than round, light entering your eye isn’t focused evenly on the back of the eye (retina). This can cause blurry vision.
Causes of astigmatism may also include:

  • Corneal scarring from injury or disease, such as herpes virus,
  • Certain types of cataract surgery;
  • Keratoconus, a degenerative disorder that results in a cone-shaped cornea.
  • In some cases, astigmatism may be inherited – People who have a family history of astigmatism are more likely to develop it themselves.
  • Refractive errors that combine with other refractive errors like near or farsightedness.

If you have severe astigmatism, you may experience headaches and eyestrain. And if it’s not treated, your vision may continue to get worse. If you have symptoms of astigmatism, make an appointment with an eye doctor or ophthalmologist. He or she can perform a comprehensive eye exam to determine if you have this condition and need treatment.

How Does Astigmatism Affect Vision?

Astigmatism often occurs when either the cornea (front surface of the eye) or the lens inside the eye has mismatched curves. Instead of having one curve like a round ball, the surface is egg-shaped. This causes blurred vision at all distances.
Often presents itself at birth, Astigmatism may occur in combination with nearsightedness or farsightedness. Most of the times it is not detected early enough to require corrective action. When it is, treatment options are corrective lenses or surgery.

Astigmatism Diagnosis & Test

Astigmatism is diagnosed by examining the eyes. It’s important for both health and vision, so your doctor might use various instruments to check different aspects including how well-sighted you are without glasses or contact lenses; they’ll also ask that you look at various objects while rotating them slowly before focusing on one specific spot using strong lights nearby if needed. He will then determine the prescription needed to provide clear surgery.

Astigmatism Treatment & Surgery

Treatment and Surgery –

The treatment for astigmatism depends on the severity of the disability. Mild astigmatism is usually corrected via contact lenses and glasses but it cannot be cured completely. Surgical correction is the only procedure that can almost eliminate or reduce astigmatism to a great extent.

The various treatment procedures available include:

1 Optical Therapy:

The simplest way to correct astigmatism is with eyeglasses. Contact lenses may also be used in place of eyeglasses.

2. Surgical Therapy:

When there is a need for significant correction to cure astigmatism. Different surgical methods include:

  1. Astigmatic keratotomy:

    this refers to the use of surgical incisions on the cornea to produce carefully planned surgical scars that can correct astigmatism after LASIK.

  2. Phototherapeutic Keratotomy:

    PTK is the method in which the decomposition of epithelium cells is achieved using phototherapeutic techniques. Thin layers are removed microscopically, thus correcting the corneal irregularities.

  3. Laser thermal keratoplasty:

    Holmium YAG laser is used with a slit-lamp system is used to create spots in the perimeter of the peripheral cornea in this method.

  4. Conventional refractive surgery:

    Optical rectification surgeries use excimer laser photoablation to cure astigmatism. This alters the corneal shape and rectifies the error in refractive function of the cornea.

What Other Conditions May Occur With Astigmatism?

Astigmatism is one of several conditions known as refractive errors, which affect how our eyes refract or bend the light. Other refractive errors include:

  • Myopia (nearsightedness).
  • Hyperopia (farsightedness).
  • Presbyopia (difficulty focusing at near).

Eye Exercises For Astigmatism

Before jumping into any other correction therapy, doctors suggest eye exercises. Eye exercises are known to treat astigmatic vision. Like any other muscle in the body, you must keep your eye muscles active. Merely staring straight at the computer screen or the road ahead while driving doesn’t help in keeping the eye much active. Therefore, additional eye exercises are a must.

  • Rectus muscle relaxation
  • Eye Massage
  • Reading
  • Vision Breaks
  • Head Tilting
  • Eye Yoga
  • Blinking

Astigmatism Prevention

Prevention of Astigmatism depends on regular exams and treatments options implemented. Regular eye exams are important for your vision and health. Astigmatism may increase slowly. A yearly eye exam with an optometrist or ophthalmologist helps keep tabs on any vision problems

Astigmatism Vs. Myopia

Astigmatism is typically present from birth, while myopia usually appears in school-age children. Myopia will usually get worse until it stabilizes in early adulthood. While astigmatism is usually down to the natural shape of your eye, myopia is closely linked to genetics and environmental factors. For example, if one or both parents are myopic, it’s more likely the child will be. However, myopia can also happen if the eyes grow slightly too long.
Astigmatism and myopia often come hand-in-hand, so if you have astigmatism it’s more likely that you are also short-sighted. It’s also linked with long-sightedness. In this sense, both refractive errors affect the way the light enters your eyes.

Astigmatism Related FAQs

Q1. Is Astigmatism The Same As Lazy Eye?
These two eye conditions are not the same, but they can go together. Lazy eye, or amblyopia, is a different eye condition where vision in one eye is weaker than in the other

Q2. Can Astigmatism Be Cured?
Astigmatism can be treated with correction methods but it cannot be cured entirely.

Q3. Can Astigmatism Correct On Its Own?
Astigmatism will not go away on its own. It will either stay the same or get worse with age

Q4. Is Astigmatism Genetic?
Yes, a family history can be cause of Astigmatism. If it is in the genes it’s more likely to occur.

Q5. Can Astigmatism Cause Migraines?
Headaches are a known possible side effect of astigmatism

Q6. Can Astigmatism Occur In Only One Eye?
Astigmatism almost always occurs in both the eyes.

Q7. Can Contact Lenses Cure Astigmatism?
Contact lenses are used a corrective method for a patient with Astigmatism. It is usually a result of a physical injury.

Q8. Can Eye Patch Help Astigmatism?
If diagnosed early, it can be treated with eye patch.

Q9. Can You Wear Contact Lenses With Astigmatism
Yes, contact lenses is one of the treatments suggests by the ophthalmologist to correct Astigmatism.

When To See A Doctor

The onset of the symptoms of astigmatism come on slowly. Visit an ophthalmologist if you notice changes in your vision. You’ll need a complete eye exam. Your doctor will test the sharpness of your eyesight by asking you to read an eye chart. They’ll also use tools to measure your vision.

The Bottom Line

Astigmatism happens when the cornea has an abnormal shape, leading to blurred vision in the affected eye or eyes. People are often born with astigmatism. However, it can sometimes occur later in life due to, for example, an eye injury or previous eye surgery. Eyeglasses or contact lenses are often effective treatments for astigmatism. Surgery is also an option for eligible individuals. Many people with astigmatism may not be aware that they have it until they have an eye exam. For this reason, it is important to undergo regular eye exams to identify and treat any eye problems.

Astigmatism can occur in children as well as adults. If you find any of the symptoms in the eye then connect with us.
To know more about the disability, visit us.

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