Astigmatism makes your vision blurry, and if you’re nearsighted as well, you might be entirely dependent on glasses or contact lenses. The expert team of optometrists at Insight Eye Care, in Williamsville and Lockport, New York, can carry out a comprehensive vision and eye health exam to ensure your eyes have the accurate prescription you need. They can also advise you about other ways to deal with astigmatism, such as LASIK surgery. Call Insight Eye Care today to find out more or book an appointment online.
Astigmatism is a condition that makes your vision blurry, due to an irregularly shaped cornea. The cornea directs light onto the retina at the back of your eye, from where your brain views what you see via the optic nerve. If the cornea is an irregular shape, the light doesn’t focus properly on the retina, which means the images your brain receives aren’t in focus.
Perfect corneas are round like a basketball, but if you have astigmatism, it means your eyes are shaped more like a football. Most people’s eyes aren’t a perfect shape, so almost everyone has a degree of astigmatism. If it’s only slight, it won’t affect your sight enough for you to need corrective glasses or contact lenses.
The reason why some people have irregularly shaped corneas and thus become astigmatic isn’t clear, but most people with astigmatism have it from birth.
Astigmatism often changes over time, so it could get worse, or it may improve as you get older. This is because the curvature of the lens can change, something that frequently occurs in adults.
People who have astigmatism often have other refractive errors such as myopia (nearsightedness) and hyperopia (farsightedness).
Your regular eye exam at Insight Eye Care includes tests that detect astigmatism and measure how much correction you need to obtain clear vision. Most people who have astigmatism wear glasses or contact lenses that correct any vision problems by changing the way light enters the cornea.
If you have astigmatism, you need special toric lenses rather than standard contacts, or rigid gas-permeable contact lenses that keep their shape. Your optometrist can help you decide which type of lens is best.
Alternatively, you can undergo a painless and noninvasive procedure called orthokeratology (ortho-k). Orthokeratology involves wearing rigid contact lenses that gently reshape the cornea so that light is refracted properly. Your optometrist gives you a series of specially designed lenses to wear and checks your corneas regularly to monitor the reshaping process.
LASIK (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis) or PRK (photorefractive keratectomy) procedures can also help correct some types of astigmatism by reshaping your cornea. Your optometrist can advise you on whether this type of surgery would be suitable in your case.
If you’re having vision problems, book an appointment to see one of the eye specialists at Insight Eye Care by calling the clinic today or using the online tool.