Astigmatism, What is Astigmatism?, The Eye Place

What is Astigmatism?

Astigmatism is caused by the cornea or lens of the eye not being perfectly curved, resulting in blurred vision. How this affects you is varied – for some people this can cause mildly blurry vision or severely blurred for others.

There are two different types of astigmatism:

  • Regular: this is when the cornea is curved in more than one direction. For example, the cornea can be curved both vertically and horizontally.
  • Irregular: this occurs when the curvature of the cornea is uneven across the eye.

Diagnosing Astigmatism

Astigmatism can be diagnosed through a series of eye tests performed by your optometrist. These eye tests involve determining the clarity of your vision which is done by reading letters from a chart.

The next test involves looking through a series of lenses to determine how well your eyes can focus. Your optometrist may also measure the curvature of the surface of your cornea.

During your lifetime, most people will experience some degree of astigmatism – however, minor irregularities in the curvature of your cornea may not cause noticeable vision problems.

How is astigmatism corrected?

Prescription glasses are the main choice of vision correction for astigmatism. If your optometrist tells you that you need to wear glasses, this may be full time, or part time when reading, driving or performing tasks where you need to see fine detail clearly.

Contact lenses are a great option for adults and older children who may have an active lifestyle. Contrary to belief, wearing contact lenses regularly will not weaken your eyes.

Contact lenses come in a large range of options – including reusable lenses and disposable options. You can learn more about contact lenses on our website.

Can laser eye surgery correct astigmatism?

Laser eye surgery is another option that can help improve or correct astigmatism. As no two eyes are the same, ensure you are carefully assessed by a qualified optometrist for a referral to an eye surgeon.

In severe cases, intraocular lenses can be used to replace the eye’s natural lens. These lenses are designed to correct astigmatism, which can remove the need for wearing prescription glasses or contact lenses.

This procedure is usually reserved for people over the age of 50, as a young person’s natural lens is far better than artificial lenses. 

Do you believe you have you been experiencing any of the symptoms of astigmatism? 

Book in an appointment with our optometrist, Adam, to find out more about what may be causing your blurry vision!