The cornea is responsible for bending or refracting light rays, focusing that light onto the retina. When the cornea is not symmetrical, it is unable to properly focus light. And when the cornea is unable to properly focus light, vision is affected. This is known as astigmatism.
Causes of Astigmatism
Astigmatism can be caused by several different factors, including:
- Astigmatism can run in families
- Scarring of the cornea from lacerations
- Keratoconus, a condition in which the cornea becomes progressively cone shaped
- Heavy eyelids
- Lenticular astigmatism
Signs and Symptoms of Astigmatism
The most common symptom associated with astigmatism is blurred or blurry vision. Additional symptoms include:
- Difficulty reading
- Inability to see both close and distant objects
- Eye strain
- Tired eyes
If you feel you may be experiencing any of the above symptoms, schedule an appointment with your eye doctor – optometrist or ophthalmologist – as soon as possible. He or she will be able to properly diagnose your situation and provide treatment recommendations.
There are several effective treatments for astigmatism, including:
- Eyeglasses: With lenses shaped to counteract the abnormal shape of the cornea, eyeglasses can effectively alleviate the symptoms of astigmatism.
- Toric Contact Lenses: These special contact lenses are designed to return to their original position every time a person blinks, unlike traditional contact lenses. This helps compensate for any abnormal curvature of the cornea.
- LASIK: Your ophthalmologist will actually use a laser to reshape the cornea, correcting any abnormalities.
- Astigmatic Keratotomy: Also known as limbal relaxing incisions, astigmatic keratotomy is a surgical treatment consisting of strategically placed, tiny incisions on the steepest curves of the cornea. This allows light to focus more precisely on the retina.
To learn more about Astigmatism, please contact board certified ophthalmologist Dr. Samuel Boles, consultative optometrist Dr. Nathan Frank, and the eye care specialists at Anne Arundel Eye Center by calling 410-224-2010 or click here to visit AnneArundelEyeCenter.com.
Located in Annapolis, Maryland, the Anne Arundel Eye Center offers comprehensive specialized ophthalmic exams as well as diagnostic pre and post-surgical eye care. Specializing in glaucoma and cataracts, Dr. Boles has helped restore and preserve thousands of patients’ vision. Vision problems may be a natural part of aging. Losing your vision doesn’t have to be.
For more eye care advice and information, please take a look at our previous blog posts.
Astigmatism Directory WebMD