How to Know if You Have Astigmatism and Treatment Options
Did you know that 28% of the entire population suffers from some level of Astigmatism?
Astigmatism is a pretty common eye problem and is usually caused by an irregularly shaped lens or cornea. The lens or the cornea has a slightly different type of surface curvature in a single direction which often leads to out-of-focus vision. This causes your vision to be focused on 2 places rather than on a single point which can lead to blurry vision.
Astigmatism is usually hereditary and can be present right from birth but it can also be caused due to an injury to the eye. Detecting astigmatism is important but even the mildest forms of Astigmatism can only be detected at an eye exam. Scheduling regular eye exams is best as it will only worsen if not treated in time. This will also give your optometrist the chance to monitor your eyes as they change over time.
How Do You Know if You have Astigmatism?
Astigmatism is largely genetic and is usually present to some extent right from birth. You will know that you have astigmatism if you are facing the following symptoms:
- Regular headaches
- Tired eyes
- Eye strain
- Struggle with focusing on printed content
- If you have to squint to see near and far
- Seeing in double vision
- Blurry vision
How to Get an Idea of the Extent of Your Astigmatism Condition?
You can get an idea of the extent of your astigmatism condition on your own by going through a simple eye test online. But you can choose to get a proper eye exam done by an eye ophthalmologist to test for any other types of astigmatism as well. Initial eye testing for astigmatism can even be done from the comfort of your own home.
Symptoms of astigmatism usually consist of strained eyes, headaches and blurry vision in all directions. Most nearsighted and farsighted people tend to suffer from astigmatism as well. But in certain cases, only one eye can become dominant and amblyopia can develop.
3 Treatment Options for Astigmatism:
Luckily for you, there are 3 different ways to correct Astigmatism:
- Corrective LensesContact lenses and corrective eyeglasses that are prescribed by your ophthalmologist are the most common and least invasive treatments for astigmatism. You will usually be prescribed a particular type of flexible contact lenses known as toric by your ophthalmologist. These are designed to bend light in one direction more than the other. If the case is severe then you may be prescribed rigid gas-permeable contact lenses.
- Eye SurgeryYou may be recommended refractive surgery if you suffer from a severe case. This surgery involves using small knives and laser to reshape your cornea and will correct your astigmatism permanently. The three most common surgeries that are conducted for astigmatism are LASIK, PRK and RK. Make sure to consult your ophthalmologist prior to getting surgery as there are many ongoing debates on the different types of eye surgeries out there with LASIK vs PRK being the most common.
- Other OptionsAstigmatism can also be treated with orthokeratology whereby a series of firm contact lenses are also fitted over your eyes to reshape the cornea. But these retainer lenses have to be worn for a specified time period before you remove them, usually overnight. Your vision can deteriorate if you stop wearing these lenses. Some other options are photorefractive keratectomy which is a form of eye surgery whereby tissue is removed from the cornea’s inner layers.
You should remember that you don’t have to suffer from blurry vision and can keep astigmatism at bay by scheduling regular appointments with your ophthalmologist for eye exams and having timely treatment done.