Astigmatism usually results when the curvature of the cornea (the eye’s front surface) is irregular, and the way in which light rays become focused within the eye is disturbed as a consequence. This occurs with both farsightedness and nearsightedness, and it is not considered to be an eye disease or an indication of poor eyesight.
How to Tell If You Have Astigmatism
The signs and symptoms of astigmatism include squinting, eyestrain, headaches, blurred or distorted vision, and problems with driving at night. If you are experiencing any or all of these symptoms, it is time to visit your eye care professional. Also, if you currently wear eyeglasses or contact lenses, these problems may be a sign that you need a new prescription.
A comprehensive dilated eye examination is used to diagnose this condition if a patient is experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above. However, some people, especially children, may have a mild form of astigmatism and not realize it because they are unaware of any abnormalities with their vision.
Surgery, contact lenses, and prescription eyeglasses are all used to correct astigmatism, and treatment is sometimes based on the patient’s individual lifestyle. Contact lenses are often recommended because they can provide the wearer with greater comfort, a more precise visual focus, an improved field of vision, and clearer vision. They are considered to be both safe and effective, but they must also be used and cleaned as instructed to lessen the risk of eye infection.
Your eye doctor may use one of the following to test your vision:
- Keratometer – an instrument that measures reflected light from the cornea’s surface to determine the extent of astigmatism.
- Keratoscope – an instrument that projects rings on the cornea by using light to diagnose the seriousness of astigmatism.
- Video-keratoscope – a keratoscope equipped with a video camera, and the most frequently used tool of this type.
“Astigmatism.” The University of Michigan Kellogg Eye Care Center. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 July 2010. www.kellogg.umich.edu/patientcare/conditions/astigmatism.html.
“Healthy Eyes, Astigmatism [NEI].” National Eye Institute [NEI], of the U.S. National Institutes of Health. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 July 2010. http://www.nei.nih.gov/healthyeyes/astigmatism.asp.
“Astigmatism: Tests and diagnosis – MayoClinic.com.” Mayo Clinic medical information and tools for healthy living – MayoClinic.com. N.p., n.d. Web. 20 July 2010. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/astigmatism/DS00230/DSECTION=tests-and-diagnosis.