People seem to think of astigmatism as some horrible thing when in reality it’s just a simple refractive error. But what exactly is astigmatism. With the help of The American Optometric Association we’ll try to explain.
Astigmatism is a common vision condition that causes blurred vision. It occurs when the cornea is shaped more like a cylinder than a sphere, or sometimes because of the curvature of the lens inside the eye. The irregularly shaped cornea or lens prevents light from focusing properly on the retina, the light-sensitive surface at the back of the eye. As a result, vision becomes blurred at any distance. This can lead to eye discomfort and headaches.
Most people have some degree of astigmatism. Slight astigmatism usually doesn’t affect vision or require correction. Astigmatism frequently occurs with other vision conditions like nearsightedness and farsightedness. Together these vision conditions are referred to as refractive errors because they affect how the eyes refract light. The specific cause of astigmatism is unknown but it can be hereditary and is usually present from birth. It can also decrease or increase over time.
A comprehensive optometric examination will include testing for astigmatism. If necessary, your optometrist can provide eyeglasses that correct the astigmatism by altering the way light enters the eyes.
At Schmidt’s Optical and Hearing™ in Stuart Florida our well trained employees will be happy to help you with any questions or needs you may have about astigmatism and any other vision issues. Stop in and see us today.