What's Astigmatism?

Astigmatism is a common vision disorder affecting how the eye focuses light. This condition can cause objects to appear blurred and distorted, impacting the quality of life of those who suffer from it. To better understand this condition, its symptoms, causes, and correction methods, it is recommended to consult a healthcare professional for an in-depth examination.

Symptoms of astigmatism

Symptoms of astigmatism can vary depending on the severity of the condition, but they generally include:

  • Blurred or distorted vision: People with astigmatism may perceive objects as blurred or distorted at all distances.
  • Eye fatigue: Difficulty focusing correctly can lead to increased eye fatigue, especially after prolonged activities such as reading or using a computer.
  • Headaches are common in people with astigmatism due to the strain placed on the eye muscles to compensate for blurred vision. 

Causes of astigmatism:

Astigmatism can be caused by several factors, including:

  • Irregular shape of the cornea: In a normal eye, the cornea is generally round and smooth. However, in people with astigmatism, the cornea may be more oval or irregular, disrupting how light is focused on the retina.
  • Abnormalities in the curvature of the ocular lens: In addition to the cornea, abnormalities in the curvature of the ocular lens can also contribute to astigmatism.
  • Hereditary factors: Studies show that astigmatism can be inherited within families.

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, approximately 1 in 3 people worldwide have astigmatism. Astigmatism can affect people of any age but is often diagnosed in childhood. 

Correcting astigmatism:

Fortunately, astigmatism can be effectively corrected. Correction options include: 

  • Corrective lenses: Glasses or contact lenses can be prescribed to compensate for astigmatism by altering how light enters the eye.
  • Refractive surgery: Procedures such as laser surgery (LASIK) can reshape the cornea to correct astigmatism.
  • Intraocular lenses: For more severe cases of astigmatism, intraocular lenses can be surgically implanted to improve vision.

Astigmatism is a common vision disorder that can significantly impact the quality of life. By understanding the symptoms, causes and correction options for this condition, individuals can take steps to improve their vision and overall well-being. If you're experiencing symptoms of astigmatism, it's essential to consult an optometrist for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan.