Astigmatism – Causes, Symptoms, Diagnosis & Treatment

Astigmatism is an imperfection in your vision caused when a person’s cornea is not symmetrical. A normal cornea looks round like a baseball. While with astigmatism your cornea looks more like a rugby ball.

What Is Astigmatism?


Astigmatism is a type of refractive error in which eye cannot focus light clearly on the retina. It is due to its asymmetrical nature of cornea. It can come in a combination with Nearsightedness ( Myopia) and Farsightedness (Hypermetropia). 

In an astigmatic eye because of asymmetrical nature of the curvature, eye focuses light correctly along one axis axis but incorrectly along the other axis. In this, the light rays entering eye is not focused at a single point. That means only a part of the object is focused  on retina resulting in blurred or distorted image of both near and far objects.

What Causes It?


Astigmatism is natural and most of the people are born with it. In fact  most of the people are probably born with some degree of it. However, exact causes are not determined. You can also get it after an eye injury, disease, or after having an eye surgery.

Symptoms


Common symptoms  of Astigmatism include :

  • Both near and far objects appear blurred
  • Constant squinting of eyes
  • Difficulty in reading small prints
  • Fatigue or eye strain

How Is It Diagnosed?


For diagnosis, you need to go through an eye exam. It could be both near and far sighted visionary exam. As the symptoms of astigmatism come very slowly , so it is advisable to go to a professional eye doctor if you notice any change in your vision.

  Treatment


As it is caused by uneven distribution of light rays, it can be cured by focusing the light rays at a single point. This can be done in following ways :

  • Spectacles
  • Contact Lens – Soft contact lens are used.
  • Astigmatic Keratotomy : It is performed through Lasik laser technology. The process reshapes your cornea by removing  a part of it.

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