The most common vision problems are refractive errors, when your eyes don’t properly focus the light entering your eyes, leading to blurry vision. One type of refractive error is astigmatism, when your eye’s cornea or lens has an irregular curve. At Anwar Eye Center in Moundsville and Sutton, West Virginia, the team of skilled optometrists and ophthalmologists diagnoses astigmatism and treats it with prescription eyeglasses, contact lenses, and laser eye surgery. Schedule an appointment online or over the phone today.
Astigmatism is a refractive error, like being nearsighted or farsighted. A refractive error means your eye has difficulty focusing light because of the eye’s shape, and your uncorrected vision is blurry. It’s not a disease and it doesn’t mean anything is wrong with your eye health. It does mean, however, that you probably need glasses or contact lenses.
Astigmatic eyes have an irregular shape, so they bend light unevenly, producing blurry, wavy, or distorted images. Eyes without astigmatism are smooth and even, bending light evenly in all directions, producing a clear image.
Eyes are rarely perfectly round, so nearly everyone has at least some astigmatism. Astigmatism requires corrective treatment only if it’s significant enough that you have a hard time seeing. In addition to blurry vision, astigmatism may cause headaches, frequent squinting, and difficulty driving at night.
Astigmatism is genetic, and children are usually diagnosed with it after they start school and have a hard time reading or concentrating. In fact, it’s fairly common for children to be misdiagnosed with learning or behavioral disorders when they just need glasses.
Astigmatism usually gets worse as children get older and their eyes continue to develop. Astigmatism typically stabilizes around age 20.
Eye injury or surgery can cause astigmatism to develop later in life. Though astigmatism is usually caused by the shape of your corneas, it can also result from the lenses in your eyes being irregular. Sometimes, they change shape in adulthood, a condition called lenticular astigmatism, which is more likely to affect you if you have diabetes.
Part of every eye exam at Anwar Eye Center is testing your eyes for refractive errors. Your optometrist can determine if you have astigmatism and pinpoint your corrective lens prescription.
Many people simply wear eyeglasses or contact lenses so they can see clearly despite their astigmatism. But adults also have the option to undergo laser eye surgery, such as LASIK, to reshape their corneas and correct their astigmatism.
Most people no longer need glasses or contact lenses after undergoing laser surgery. An ophthalmologist performs laser eye surgery, and it’s a safe, quick, and effective procedure. When you get LASIK for astigmatism, the laser corrects the irregular shape of your eyes.
To get an eye exam or learn more about laser eye surgery, schedule an appointment at Anwar Eye Center online or over the phone.