What is Myopic Astigmatism?A myopic astigmatism is a specific type of astigmatism where the light focuses before it ever reaches the eye. This condition is classified as a combination of astigmatism and myopia, or nearsightedness. There are several different classifications associated with astigmatism, which helps to make treating these conditions more effective and efficient.
When astigmatism is evaluated, an optometrist will assess the difference in shape of each of the meridians of the eye using the specialized equipment found in their office. Astigmatism is characterized by an irregularly shaped cornea, but varying optical shape can cause differences in vision. It is these differences in shape along the meridians that allow optometrists to classify the astigmatism more specifically. Once properly classified and evaluated, a more effective and thorough plan of treatment can be designed.
The principal meridians run perpendicular to each other and are the steepest and flattest meridians of the eye. It is within these meridians that physicians are able to measure the curvature of the eye and determine the specific type of astigmatism that may be present. In order to properly assess different types of astigmatism, the physician will determine if farsightedness or nearsightedness are present in any of the principal meridians. This method is most effective because treatment can be tailored to the specific needs of each patient’s condition, improving the chances of successfully correcting the astigmatism.
There are two types of myopic astigmatism, which can be diagnosed by examining the principal meridians of the eye. A simple myopic astigmatism is diagnosed when one principal meridian is nearsighted, but the other meridian is not affected. If both principal meridians are nearsighted, but one is more pronounced than the other, it is considered to be a compound myopic astigmatism. These differences in the eye structure around the principal meridian cause the light received by the eye to be focused in front of the retina in one or both eyes.
In order to effectively correct a myopic astigmatism, many patients may need to look beyond the conventional methods of treating astigmatism. While there are some contact lenses that can correct astigmatism and myopia, the options are very limited especially for those that suffer from severe myopic astigmatism. One of the most effective methods of correcting myopic astigmatism is surgical intervention. Myopic astigmatism is commonly treated using implantable contact lenses or astigmatic keratotomy. Implantable toric lenses can correct a myopic astigmatism by replacing the misshapen lens and repairing the shape of the cornea while astigmatic keratotomy repairs the shape of the cornea by creating small incisions around the pupil. Additionally, combining these two surgical interventions can further increase their effectiveness.
If you suffer from astigmatism, it’s important to consult with your optometrist or ophthalmologist to evaluate the specifics of your condition. In most cases, astigmatism is present with other conditions that affect the way that it is treated, like myopic astigmatism. The best course of action is not always the same for every patient, so a complete and thorough diagnosis is highly recommended to find the best treatments available.