Astigmatism Issues and Answers
Astigmatism is one of the most famous eye-related words. In part because it is difficult to say, and in part because it is a very common ailment that can be frustrating for patients when it is not appropriately corrected.
Astigmatism is a type of refractive error. Refractive error is when an eye doesn’t perfectly focus the light where it needs to in on the light receptors in the back of the eye. Types of refractive error include nearsightedness (AKA myopia, which is when one can see good up close but not far away), farsightedness (AKA hyperopia, when one can see good far away but not as well up close), and astigmatism.
Astigmatism is when the front surface of the eye isn’t shaped like a perfect sphere. It is when one meridian is steeper (has more focusing power) than the other meridian. Because of this, normal spherical glasses for farsightedness or nearsightedness won’t help patients with astigmatism see clearly.
Astigmatism, if not corrected for properly, can lead to symptoms such as blurred vision, a shadow or ghost-image when looking at an object, and it can even cause eye strain.
People with astigmatism need glasses or contact lenses that counteract the astigmatism. For example in glasses, in addition to fixing nearsightedness or farsightedness, they will have less power in the same meridian the eye has more power: to neutralize it.
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Diagnosing and treating astigmatism can be done with measurements of the front curvature of the eye and a careful refraction.
A refraction is when an eye doctor obtains the prescription for glasses. There are many ways to refract patients, and at Gilbert Eyecare our eye doctors utilize all of these ways to make our patients see clearly.
Other treatment options for Astigmatism outside of glasses include contact lenses, orthokeratology (sleeping in a retainer-like contact lens that changes the front surface of the eye), and refractive surgeries like LASIK. Come see one of our doctors where they can go over the different ways to make you see better.