Astigmatism is a common eye disease caused by irregularities in the shape of the cornea. With the astigmatism of the cornea or the eye lens that includes an anterior surface of the eye, has an irregular curvature, which causes vision disturbances. As a result of the emergence of this problem, the light passing through the eye to the retina and can contribute to the appearance of a smear, fuzzy or distorted vision.

Among the types of problems associated with the flickering of light in the retina can be noted farsightedness (hyperopia) and myopia, which are often associated with the occurrence of astigmatism.

The disease is divided into two types:

  • Corneal astigmatism – when the problem of distortion touches the cornea;
  • Lenticular astigmatism – as a result of the incorrect shape of the lens, usually appears at a later age;

Causes of Astigmatism

We have not yet discovered what may be the cause of the appearance of this eye illness. As is evident from the current studies, however, a significant part of its presentation is genetics. This illness most often occurs already in newborns (it is a congenital disease), but there are cases in which it develops in much later life. There are situations in which astigmatism occurs as a result of injury or as a result of surgical operations on the organs of vision. Very often the disorder is accompanied by nearsightedness and farsightedness.

Astigmatism symptoms

To persons who are in a group at high risk for the disease can include both children and adults in which appear:

  • the family history of eye disease disorders, including astigmatism or corneal degeneration;
  • thinning or scarring of the cornea;
  • excessive myopia, accompanied by a blurred vision at a distance;
  • farsightedness, which is associated with blurry vision from a close distance;
  • history of eye diseases treated surgically as cataract surgery.

Symptoms of the illness may vary depending on the case and the cause. Among the main symptoms of astigmatism that appear most frequently, however, should be distinguished:

  • fuzzy, blurry or distorted vision at all distances, both up close and far away;
  • the difficulty with seeing at night;
  • excessive eye fatigue;
  • the need for continuous blinking;
  • high incidence of eye irritation;
  • headaches.

The above symptoms are a clear signal that something with our eyesight is happening. Of course, it can also be signs of other health problems and vision, but they are most often associated with the occurrence of astigmatism.

Diagnosis and treatment of astigmatism

The disease is diagnosed by an ophthalmologist or optician through a comprehensive eye examination. Among the optical and ophthalmic tests to help diagnose the disease can be done the test of visual acuity – consisting of reading letters and characters within a certain distance, refraction test – an attempt to match the best focus which determines the vision defect, or keratometry – measuring the curvature of the cornea.

Treatment of this eye illness, depending on the severity of the problem, may require other methods. Mild cases of astigmatism may not require treatment, but if you have severe vision problems, your doctor recommends:

  • corrective lenses – eyeglasses or contact lenses are the most common solution for the treatment of astigmatism;
  • orthokeratology – is a procedure that, using rigid contact lenses, temporarily corrects irregular corneal curvatures; it requires wearing rigid contact lenses for a period – they can be worn during sleep and removed from the eyes during the day; this treatment is effective during the time of use of corrective lenses, but after it ceases to return to the state of prescription;
  • surgery – the doctor may recommend treatment through refractive surgery for more severe cases; used during surgery lasers or small knives to help change the shape of the cornea, allowing you to efficiently and permanently remove or significantly reduce astigmatism.

In connection with astigmatism, you may experience problems such as lazy eye – when one eye astigmatism has not been corrected. Sometimes there is also the so-called tearful eye also called amblyopia.

Wearing corrective lenses or performing surgery usually restores normal vision. Unfortunately, so far, not been discovered a method that would allow preventing the development of this disease.

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