Astigmatism is a common refractive error that develops when you have irregularly curved eyes. This structural infirmity compromises your eyes’ ability to bend and focus light rays properly. Dr. Robert Gerowitz, Optometrist PC, your corneal refractive therapy specialist, shares six important facts you need to know about this vision problem.
- Most people have some degree of astigmatism. In fact, it’s often present at birth. While this refractive error is minor enough to go unnoticed for many years , some may experience visual changes as they age or as the problem progresses.
- Experts aren’t sure exactly what causes astigmatism. However, heredity plays a major factor in its development. If you have relatives who have astigmatism, this increases your risk of developing it too.
- Your trusted eye care center explains that there are two types of astigmatism: corneal and lenticular. The former is the more common form, and occurs when you have a distorted cornea that causes light-focusing problems. The latter develops when you have an irregularly shaped lens.
- Astigmatism causes blurry or distorted vision at varying distances. Frequent headaches and eye strain are common symptoms too.
- We will perform a comprehensive eye exam to confirm astigmatism. This may involve a visual acuity test where we’ll ask you to stand 20 feet away while reading letters from the Snellen chart.
- Astigmatism can be managed by wearing prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses. We may recommend wearing toric-shaped lenses designed to compensate for your eyes’ structural problems, letting you see better at varying distances.
We may also suggest wearing OrthoK molds, which are effective at managing various refractive errors, including astigmatism. Wearing them while you sleep gently reshapes your corneal surface through the night. You may take them off as soon as you wake up and enjoy a good day’s worth of sharper visual acuity without having to use your regular eyewear.
For more information about astigmatism, call us at (847) 453-3700. You may also fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment. We see patients from Palatine, IL, and the surrounding areas.