Astigmatism Meaning and Definition

by admin on June 12, 2011

Astigmatism is a very common condition that affects the vision of approximately 80% of all people. This condition occurs due to an irregular curvature of the cornea, or front surface of the eye. Astigmatism is often referred to as a refractive error, because the curvature of the cornea causes light to be focused away from its intended target, the retina. This usually causes blurred vision, at all distances, and can be present with other conditions like nearsightedness or farsightedness.

Astigmatism is not considered to be a disease, but is rather a condition that results from various factors. Heredity is thought to be the primary cause of the development of astigmatism. If your parents or grandparents suffer from astigmatism, there is a good chance that you too will develop astigmatism. This condition can also be caused by trauma to the eyes or an eye infection that results in scarring of the cornea. Astigmatism that develops later on in life is often thought to be a result of a traumatic event, like eye surgery.

The most common symptoms of astigmatism are distortion of vision at any distance, headache, fatigue, eye squinting or head tilting. Those that suffer from astigmatism may often complain of eye irritation or discomfort. These symptoms should be evaluated by a medical professional, so that the condition does not continue to get worse. Headaches can become increasingly more troublesome if this condition is left untreated.

The symptoms of astigmatism can vary in severity. There are some people who have astigmatism that is so mild that they do not require any corrective treatment in order to function normally. Others, that have more severe forms of astigmatism, may need to employ the use of corrective eyeglasses or contact lenses. There are several types of contact lenses or eyeglasses that are available to treat the symptoms of astigmatism. It’s important to consult with your optometrist or ophthalmologist in order to determine which type will be most effective in treating your type of astigmatism. Often, finding the right lenses requires a period of trial and error.

Once fitted with corrective lenses, astigmatism sufferers should wear them as often as possible. Using corrective lenses can actually help to stop the progression of astigmatism. If left untreated, or if you do not wear your corrective lenses, astigmatism symptoms can become increasingly worse. If corrective lenses are uncomfortable or you prefer not to wear them, you may want to consider permanent corrective procedures.

LASIK vision correction surgery is available for those seeking a permanent way to correct their vision. Although expensive, this procedure is usually very effective at reshaping the corneal surface and correcting the symptoms of astigmatism. There are also other surgical options that should be thoroughly discussed with a reputable eye surgeon.

If you are diagnosed with astigmatism, it’s important to remember that this condition is very common. There are effective methods of correcting the symptoms, through the use of eyeglasses or contact lenses or permanently corrective surgical procedures. Finding an eye care professional that you can trust can help you to treat your astigmatism properly and get back to living normally.

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