What is astigmatism?
Astigmatism mainly occurs when the eye is shaped more like a football (oval) than a basketball (round)
Blurry vision caused by astigmatism can lead to difficulty seeing at night and eyestrain
Most people have some astigmatism, there’s no reason to feel anxious
We can determine if we can safely treat your astigmatism with LASIK in one appointment
We can permanently correct your astigmatism with LASIK
An introduction to astigmatism
A COMMON EYE SHAPE THAT HINDERS YOUR ABILITY TO FOCUS LIGHT CORRECTLY
Approximately half of all people with nearsightedness or farsightedness also have some astigmatism. Laser eye surgery can correct astigmatism – whether myopia or hyperopia accompany it, or it presents alone.
How does astigmatism occur?
A regular eye is spherical, like a basketball.
Astigmatism occurs when your eye is more oval shaped (like a football). That means that the curvature of the cornea (the transparent covering at the front of the eye) is not the same horizontally as it is vertical.
The result of this is that, when light enters the eye, the eye focuses light at two different planes rather than at a single point. Images appear blurred or distorted, and you may experience ‘ghosting’ or ‘double-vision’.
The image below illustrates how light focuses in a normal eye versus an eye with astigmatism.
Astigmatism symptoms and lifestyle impacts
ASTIGMATISM CAN SIGNIFICANTLY AFFECT HOW YOU PERCEIVE THE WORLD AROUND YOU
Symptoms of astigmatism include:
Blurry, distorted, or fuzzy vision up close, far away and in between
Difficulty seeing at night
Any and all of these symptoms can have profound effects on your lifestyle, depending on how you use your eyes. Fortunately, you can correct the effects of astigmatism with corrective lenses or permanently correct astigmatism with LASIK eye surgery.
Underlying causes of astigmatism
WHILE THE WORD ASTIGMATISM SOUNDS A LOT LIKE ‘STIGMA’, THERE’S NO NEED TO FEEL ANXIOUS
Instead, think of astigmatism as just one of the many beautiful and infinite differences we see in all of us. Some of us have longer than average arms and legs, some of us have shorter than average arms and legs. This variety in nature includes the shape and size of our eyes.
You’re more at risk for astigmatism if you have:
A family history of astigmatism
Scarring or thinning of your cornea
There is no way you can prevent astigmatism from developing.
Examination protocol for astigmatism
THIS LIFE CHANGING TREATMENT IS ONLY SUITABLE FOR THE RIGHT PERSON
An ophthalmologist (eye surgeon) or optometrist (eye doctor) can diagnose astigmatism by conducting a comprehensive eye exam that includes
- A visual acuity assessment test – reading letters from a chart at a specific distance to see how well you can read the letters
- A refraction test – a machine that performs a similar job as we describe above
- Keratometry – a device that an eye doctor or surgeon can use to measure the curvature of your cornea
Sometimes, severe forms of astigmatism can develop into disease states, like keratoconus.
Keratoconus is a severe and progressive condition, so if you find your astigmatism worsening, it’s imperative that you get an eye exam at your earliest opportunity.
If you think you have astigmatism and wish to discuss surgical treatment, contact us.
Treatment options for astigmatism
THERE IS NO DOUBT – LASIK CAN CORRECT YOUR ASTIGMATISM FOR GOOD
Astigmatism treatment in New York
There are numerous ways to treat astigmatism, and mild cases may not require correction at all.
Corrective lenses for astigmatism
Many people correct the effects of their astigmatism with eyeglasses or contact lenses. Corrective lenses are the most common approach to correction. While corrective lenses only treat the effects of astigmatism and not the underlying condition, many people don’t mind wearing glasses and contact lenses.
There are also rigid lenses that can temporarily reshape the curvature of your cornea, but your vision will return to its previous stage after you stop using them.
Laser eye surgery for astigmatism
If you want to permanently correct your astigmatism and avoid any of the health and safety risks associated with long-term contact lens wear, you may want to consider laser eye surgery.
Laser eye surgery involves using a cold laser to reshape the curvature of your cornea so that you don’t have astigmatism anymore. The procedure is painless, safe and effective. The results are permanent.
If nearsightedness or farsightedness accompanies your astigmatism, a New York laser eye surgeon can correct these other refractive errors at the same time as they fix your astigmatism.
If reducing your dependency on glasses or contact lenses interests you, you can learn more about LASIK or contact us.