Common Vision Problem: Astigmatism

Eye Refraction

Image Credit: freedigitalphotos.net

Astigmatism is not an eye disease. It is a refractive error related to the shape and size of the eye that causes headaches, eyestrain and blurred vision.

Signs and Symptoms

blurry, distorted, or fuzzy vision at all distances (close-up and far away)
difficulty seeing at night.
eyestrain.
squinting.
eye irritation.
headaches

Causes and Treatment

Astigmatism is caused by an irregular-shaped cornea, the clear front surface of the eye. The cornea of someone who has astigmatism isn’t perfectly round, but instead is more football- or egg-shaped. Sometimes, it is caused by an irregular-shaped lens inside the eye.

Astigmatism is often treated with eyeglasses or contact lenses. Rigid gas permeable (RGP or GP) contact lenses often provide the best correction for astigmatism. Toric soft lenses are also an available option. Additionally, lenses that have a GP center and a soft periphery are also another option to provide the clarity of gas permeable lenses and wearing comfort. These are known as Hybrid contact lenses. One last treatment is LASIK or other types of refractive surgery.

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