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Astigmatism

What You Need To Know About Astigmatism

Astigmatism is a normal eye condition. You may have heard it more than once or twice during one of your visits with an optician. 

A normal eye is perfectly round in shape, and it allows the light entering the eye to have a specific point of focus on your retina. This creates a clear and vivid image.

On the other hand, someone who has astigmatism often has blurry vision. 

Astigmatism happens when your cornea or lens is shaped irregularly. This distortion in shape causes the light entering your eyes to be divided into several areas, thus causing blurred vision when looking at objects near or far.

If you currently have astigmatism and if you are planning whether you should get glasses or contact lenses, you may check out Contactlenses.co.uk for more information.

However, if you are not sure if you have astigmatism, you may scroll below for more information.

Causes

There are many astigmatism causes, and the most common one is heredity. If one of your parents has astigmatism, it is most likely that their children will also have this condition. 

Some may have it present at birth, but some may develop it as they age. There are mild to severe cases of astigmatism. Thus, it is essential to visit your optician, especially when you are already experiencing the following symptoms:

  • headaches
  • squinting
  • eye strain

Regular Vs. Irregular Astigmatism

Astigmatism has two types. 

Regular astigmatism only happens when just one area on the cornea or lens is affected. This type of case is often corrected quite easily and is more common than irregular astigmatism. 

On the other hand, Irregular astigmatism is where the cornea is uneven across several areas. Often, this happens when your eye suffers an injury or keratoconus. 

Keratoconus develops when your cornea starts to thin. This affects its dome-like shape, causing the cornea to bulge downward. In all cases, the cornea becomes cone-shaped. 

Someone with keratoconus can manage this condition by wearing specialised glasses, contact lenses or a corneal transplant. 

How Can Astigmatism Be Treated?

You can correct regular astigmatism with prescription glasses or contact lenses. Although, others opt for laser eye surgery. =

On the other hand, you can only correct irregular astigmatism with a specialised lens called Rigid Gas Permeable or RGP lens.

For contact lenses that correct astigmatism, they are often called toric lenses, and they will have the following specifications:

  • Sphere

This is often written in your eye prescription and has a plus or minus figure that will indicate if you are myopic or hyperopic. For example, you are myopic if you are near or short-sighted and hyperopic if you are long or far-sighted. 

  • Cylinder

This is the measurement of your cornea’s shape. It will determine if yours are flat or irregular.

  • Axis

This is the area or sometimes areas where your astigmatism is located. 

Other Refractive Conditions

Astigmatism is considered a refractive error, and there are other conditions included in this group that are also well known. Let’s take a look at each one below:

  • Myopia

If you are having a hard time seeing things far away, there is a high chance that you are myopic. According to research, one-third of the UK population are near or short-sighted. 

Myopia occurs when the eye has grown longer than its average measurement, twenty-three millimetres. An increase in length means incoming light in your eyes will fall short. Thus, it will not reach the right places on the retina. 

Myopia causes objects you are looking at from a distance to appear blurred. 

  • Hypermetropia

Hypermetropia is the exact opposite of myopia. Often, people with these conditions see clearer when looking at things further away instead of nearby objects.

In addition, if you feel that your eyes have problems focusing on items close to your eyes, you may have this condition. 

  • Presbyopia

On the other hand, Presbyopia is the typical loss of your focusing ability when looking at items at close range. 

Many older people develop this condition because their eyes also lose their flexibility as people age. In addition, due to the slow hardening of the lens in the eyes, they become less effective at focusing light on the retina. The retina is primarily responsible for making everything look clear and vivid. 

You can also treat these additional refractive conditions by wearing specialised lens glasses and undergoing laser surgery.

Final Thoughts

Are you currently suffering from headaches? Are you squinting your eyes often to see things? Or do you feel that your eyes constantly feel strained?

You may want to visit your local optician because you might have astigmatism. 

Visiting your local eye clinic will help you address your eye problems, and at the same time, they can recommend which product will best solve your current eye problems

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