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Astigmatism

Astigmatism is an abnormal shape of either cornea, the front surface of your eye, or the lens inside of your eyes causing blurred distance and near vision.

Astigmatism

Astigmatism is an abnormal shape of either cornea, the front surface of your eye, or the lens inside of your eyes causing blurred distance and near vision. Normally, the surface of these two is curved and ball-rounded like. When these parts of your eyes contain mismatched curves, the surface of them turn to be egg shaped which leads to blurred vision at all distances. This problem is frequently show up at birth and commonly treatable by corrective lenses or surgery.

 

Signs and symptoms

Signs and symptoms are normally found directly with the abnormal vision. The patients may have blurred or distorted eyesight. Some tend to have difficulty with night vision as well. Squinting and eye strain or discomfort are also found in many cases. Beside the problems of vision, many people may have headaches as a part of the symptoms.

 

When to see the doctor

Having astigmatism may disturb some activities or your daily habits. If the problem decreases your performance of your daily task, you may see the doctor to find the best option to improve your vision.

 

Children and adolescent

Astigmatism is commonly found at birth. The children with astigmatism may not be aware of their problems and cannot express their discomfortness directly. Screen for eye disease and vision tests are needed. With various kinds of procedures, pediatricians, ophthalmologists, optometrist, or other trained screeners will diagnose irregular eye vision and suggest the options to correct their visions. Generally, the newborn period, well-child visit until school age, and yearly check-up for children during school years are recommended.

 

Causes

There are two structures inside of your eye called the cornea, a clear  surface of the eye along the tear film, and the lens, a clear changeable structure helping focus on near objects. These curved-surface structures function on reflecting light onto the retina at the back of your eye. The perfect round-shaped surfaces reflect light equally and create the sharply focused images on the retina. When the surface has an abnormal shape, it reduces the performance of reflecting light and creates blurred and unfocused images.

 

Diagnosis

Eye health and a reflection are checked through a series of tests to determine the ability of reflecting light. Kinds of instruments are used to bring light into your eyes, then the quality of your vision through several lenses will be asked. Different aspects of your eyes are examined for the further prescription to provide the solution for your clear vision such as eyeglasses or contact lenses.

 

Treatment

The treatments aim to improve a clear vision and comfort the eye. Corrective lenses and refractive surgery are the common choices for the astigmatism treatment.

  • Corrective lenses
    • Eyeglasses
    • Contact lenses
  • Refractive surgery

There are several kinds of refractive surgery including:

    • Laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis (LASIK)
    • Laser-assisted subepithelial keratectomy (LASEK)
    • Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK)
    • Epi-LASIK
    • Small-incision lenticule extraction (SMILE)

 

Preparing for an appointment

Before your appointment,  you are advised to be aware of restrictions prior the appointment and you may prepare some information including: 

    • your experienced symptoms
    • your key personal information
    • all medications you are taking
    • questions that you want to ask the doctor

During the consulting, the doctor may ask some questions including the information such as:

    • the beginning of your symptoms
    • whether your symptoms are continuous or occasional
    • the severity of your symptoms
    • whether anything improve or worsen your symptoms