Astigmatism is a refractive error that affects the eye’s ability to focus light, causing blurred or distorted vision. It occurs when the cornea, the clear front surface of the eye, or the lens inside the eye has an irregular shape. This results in two different focal points that prevent light from focusing on the retina properly.
Astigmatism is a common condition that can occur in children and adults. It is usually present from birth and may change as the eye grows and develops. It may also develop after an eye injury or eye surgery.
Symptoms of astigmatism include blurred or distorted vision, headaches, eye strain, and difficulty seeing at night. These symptoms can vary in severity and may worsen over time if left untreated.
Astigmatism is diagnosed during an eye exam, which includes a visual acuity test, a refraction test, and a measurement of the curvature of the cornea. Treatment options for astigmatism include eyeglasses, contact lenses, and refractive surgery.
Eyeglasses and contact lenses are the most common and least invasive treatment options for astigmatism. They work by correcting the refractive error, which helps to improve vision. The type of lens or eyeglasses prescribed will depend on the severity of the astigmatism and other factors, such as the age of the patient and their lifestyle.
Refractive surgery is a more permanent solution to astigmatism. It reshapes the cornea to improve its curvature and eliminate the refractive error. There are several types of refractive surgery, including LASIK, PRK, and LASEK. These surgeries are typically performed on an outpatient basis and can provide long-term improvement in vision.
It is important to treat astigmatism to prevent further vision problems and to maintain good eye health. If left untreated, astigmatism can lead to amblyopia, also known as lazy eye, and other vision problems.
In conclusion, astigmatism is a common refractive error that affects the eye’s ability to focus light. It can cause blurred or distorted vision, headaches, eye strain, and difficulty seeing at night. Treatment options include eyeglasses, contact lenses, and refractive surgery. It is important to seek treatment for astigmatism to prevent further vision problems and maintain good eye health.