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What is Eye Astigmatism?

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Eye astigmatism is a common type of condition caused by an elongated cornea. The cornea is usually round, but people with astigmatism have a cornea that is shaped more like a football. The change in cornea shape affects the way light enters the eye, resulting in a change of vision quality. In some instances, astigmatism develops as a result of corneal scarring caused by eye injuries or eye diseases.

Eye Astigmatism Effects on Vision

The effects of eye astigmatism on vision will depend on the severity of the astigmatism. Very mild cases may not change vision quality at all, or people may notice just a slight blurring of their vision. In other cases, astigmatic eye conditions can cause severe blurry vision for objects which are far away, near, or both. Astigmatisms may occur with farsightedness or nearsightedness, and eye astigmatisms are also known for causing poor night vision.

Symptoms and Diagnosis of Eye Astigmatism

Eye astigmatism may occur at any age, and the condition may worsen with age. Common symptoms associated with this type of eye condition include:

  • Eye strain
  • Headaches
  • Blurry vision
  • The need to squint to make objects appear clear
  • Poor night vision

If you are experiencing any of these symptoms, you need to schedule an appointment with an eye doctor as soon as possible. Your doctor will need to perform a complete eye exam, which will include dilating your eyes, to gain an in-depth view of the structure of your corneas and determine if you have an astigmatic condition.

Eye Astigmatism Vision Correction

Today, people suffering from astigmatism may use glasses, contacts and even laser eye surgery to correct their vision. However, because of the nature of the condition these treatments must be tailored specifically to fit the astigmatism.

Severe eye astigmatism is usually corrected through prescription glasses that are tailored made for each prescription. Moderate to mild cases of astigmatism may be corrected with special contacts known as toric contacts; these are soft or gas permeable contact lenses which are specifically made with lens features to correction astigmatic vision. Laser vision correction surgery may also be an option for some people with moderate to mild cases of astigmatism, but in some cases the cornea is too thin or too misshaped for laser surgery. If you are diagnosed with astigmatism, your eye doctor will discuss with you all treatment plans which may be used to correct your vision.

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