What is the Astigmatism?
Astigmatism is diagnosed with an eye exam. A complete eye exam involves both a series of tests to check eye health and a refraction, which determines how the eyes bend light.The only way to find out if you have astigmatism is to get an eye exam. Eyeglasses or contact lenses can help you see better — and some people can get surgery to fix their astigmatism.
There are two basic types of astigmatism:
horizontal astigmatism (when the eye is wider than it is tall), and
vertical astigmatism (when the eye is taller than it is wide)
With either type of astigmatism, near and far vision is blurry because of the eye’s irregular shape.
People can also get astigmatism from:
- eye disease
- eye injury
- or after surgery
It is a myth that reading in low light or sitting very close to the television causes astigmatism or makes it worse.
Astigmatism can also occur with myopia, hyperopia, or both:
- Myopic astigmatism: Myopic astigmatism happens when astigmatism combines with myopia, and the two curves in the cornea or the lens — the curves from top to bottom and side to side — are focused in front of the retina.
- Hyperopic astigmatism: This occurs when hyperopia combines with astigmatism, and the two curves are focused behind the retina.
- Mixed astigmatism: This is when one curve produces symptoms of hyperopia and the other produces symptoms of myopia.
If the astigmatism is mild, the doctor may suggest no treatment at all. Otherwise, corrective lenses are the usual approach, although some people may prefer to opt for laser surgery.
Corrective lenses can help correctly project images onto the retina. These may be in the form of glasses or contact lenses.
Orthokeratology involves wearing a specially fitted, rigid contact lens during sleep to reshape the cornea. This does not permanently improve vision, but the person may find that they can see better for at least several hours after wearing it.
LASIK initially causes dry eyes and changing vision, but these side effects, along with any others, usually disappear within a month.
In PRK, a surgeon removes some of the outer protective layer of the cornea. This can cause moderate-to-severe pain. A laser then changes the shape of the cornea by removing tissue.
In LASEK, the surgeon removes a thin layer of tissue from the cornea. They then use a laser to change the shape of the cornea before replacing the corneal tissue.