Astigmatism is a common vision condition that causes blurred vision. Astigmatism frequently occurs with other vision conditions like myopia (nearsightedness) and hyperopia (farsightedness). Together these vision conditions are referred to as refractive errors because they affect how the eyes bend or “refract” light.
What is Astigmatism?
Astigmatism occurs when the cornea (the clear front covering of the eye) or lens take on an irregular shape. This prevents light from focusing properly on the retina, the light-sensitive surface at the back of the eye. The result is blurred vision. The surface of the cornea should be round like a basketball and allow light to be focused to a single point on the retina. In the case of Astigmatism, the cornea is shaped as an oval or a football and the eye is unable to focus light rays to a single point and vision becomes out of focus at any distance. The curvature of the lens inside the eye can also change and have an impact on the degree of the refractive error…creating either nearsightedness or farsightedness.
Astigmatism Causes & Risk Factors
- Hereditary and is usually present from birth.
- May develop following an eye injury or eye surgery.
- It can occur due to a relatively rare condition called keratoconus in which the cornea becomes progressively thinner and cone-shaped.
- It can decrease or increase over time.
Astigmatism Symptoms & Detection
Signs and symptoms of astigmatism may include:
- Blurred or distorted vision
- Eyestrain or discomfort
- Difficulty with night vision
The doctors at SoCal Eye can diagnose astigmatism from the Refractive Tests that are included in the comprehensive eye examination. The eye doctor will determine the power of lens correction needed to overcome the refractive error and provide clear, comfortable vision. This will provide the basis for deciding on treatment options.
- Astigmatism is most commonly treated with eyeglasses to improve their vision. A special cylindrical lens prescription is used to provide additional power in specific parts of the lens. Single Vision or Bifocal/Progressive Lenses can be prescribed.
- Contact lenses. Regular soft contact lenses can provide a clearer vision and a wider field of view but special toric soft contact lenses may be necessary can correct for many types of astigmatism.
- Rigid OrthoK contact lenses reshape the cornea overnight and can be removed during the day. This temporary solution can allow patients with moderate astigmatism to obtain clear vision without lenses for most of their daily activities.
- LASIK/PRK. Astigmatism can also be corrected by reshaping the cornea through Refractive Laser Surgery options such as LASIK or PRK. Many patients are turning to Laser Correction Surgery as a longer term solution to their astigmatism.
SoCal Eye & Astigmatism
All treatment for Astigmatism begins with a Consultation with a SoCal Eye Doctor. The Ophthalmologist will perform a complete eye exam with dilation and discuss options that are right for you. For Astigmatism Treatment in Long Beach, Schedule an Appointment today at LAKEWOOD (562) 531-2020 | LOS ALAMITOS (562) 598-7728 or send us an Online Consultation Request