Optometrists Serving Conway and the Surrounding Areas
Astigmatism is a common eye condition that affects 1 in 3 Americans, according to the American Acadamy of Opthomology. Astigmatism can occur in conjunction with near sightedness and far sightedness, so that one patient may be affected by multiple conditions at one time. There are a variety of different ways to correct astigmatism.
What is Astigmatism?
Astigmatism is a condition wherein part of the eye–either the cornea, the front cover or the lens of the eye–is an irregular shape. Ideally, eyes should be round and symmetrical. People who suffer from astigmatism have eyes that are asymetrically shaped, similar to that of a football.
This irregular shape of the eye causes light to come to multiple focus points at the back of the eye. Astigmatism causes blurred or distorted vision, headaches and eye discomfort. The American Optometric Association reports that astigmatism is incredibly common, and in fact, the majority of people have astigmatism of some form.
No one knows the exact cause of astigmatism, but it is typically present at the time of birth. Astigmatism can be a genetic disorder, passed down from parent to child. Over time, astigmatism can change, becoming better or worse as people age.
How To Identify Astigmatism
In many cases, people who have astigmatism aren’t even aware. Astigmatism is not something that can be self-diagnosed. People who suffer from headaches, blurry vision, eye strain and eye discomfort may have astigmatism and should see an optometrist.
Optometrists have various methods and tools for detecting astigmatism, including:
Retinoscopy – This test is performed when a doctor shines light into the eye of the patient. The doctor uses lenses to alters the path of the light. This test is used to measure the amount of astigmatism affecting the patient.
Automated Refraction – This is a more modern version of the older retinoscopy exams. The refraction of light is done automatically through use of machines.
Treatments for Astigmatism
Patients who suffer from astigmatism have many options for treatment.
Eye glasses and contact lenses may both be used to alter the path of light entering the eyes. In many cases, people who have astigmatism are also nearsighted or farsighted, and may already have prescription eye glasses. In this case, the prescription for astigmatism is simply added to the existing prescription.
Orthokeratology is a corneal modification procedure carried out with rigid contact lenses that reshape the eye over time.
Surgery may be an option in some cases. In laser surgery techniques, the eye is reshaped when the laser removes a small piece of tissue from the surface of the eye.
Patients with questions about astigmatism and other conditions should contact Vaught Eye Associates. We treat astigmatism, near-sightedness and far-sightedness with the latest technologies and procedures. Our highly knowledgeable, experienced doctors and staff are available to answer all your questions. We diagnose eye conditions, provide contact lenses and more.
For more information, call us at 843-488-2020 to set up an appointment, or send us an email.