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Astigmatism Symptoms

Astigmatism Symptoms

Although there are a couple of astigmatism symptoms, the most common is the blurred vision. The following article informs about how to detect this optical defect.
Debopriya Bose
Astigmatism is a common eye condition that is the result of an improper curvature of the cornea or lens of the eye. It is a refractive error that results in blurred vision. However, this problem is minor in most cases, and it can be treated by using corrective glasses or contact lenses.

Causes

For those who want to understand what astigmatism is, knowing its causes would be of great help. It is caused due to a structural defect in the eye, specifically in the cornea. Normally, the cornea is equally curved in all directions, which allows it to focus light rays entering the eyes equally in all planes. But, in certain cases, the curvature of the front surface of the cornea may not be uniform. The cornea may be curved more in one direction than in another. In such a case, light rays are focused in different directions inside the eye. Due to this, an astigmatic person feels that the object is distorted. It is the same feeling that we have when we look into a wavy mirror. This refractive error allows the eye to focus only on a small part of the light rays being reflected by the eye; the rest are all scattered. This results in blurred vision at all distances.

A normal cornea is spherical in shape, but astigmatic people have an oval cornea. This is known as corneal astigmatism. In cases where people with a spherical cornea have a defect in the eye lens, they are said to have lenticular astigmatism. Such defects can be caused due to injury, infections, or certain types of eye surgeries. Alternatively, it can also be a congenital defect. In such a case, the condition in children becomes just as common as in adults.

Symptoms
  • It has become clear by now that blurred vision is the most common symptom. One also sees distorted images of objects that he/she is viewing.
  • Other than these problems, headaches and eye strain are also felt by many. This is the result if the condition is left untreated for long.
  • Some even exhibit irritation, squinting, and other forms of discomfort of the eye.
  • In case of severe astigmatism, keratoconus (a degenerative disease of the eye) can be suspected.
  • The symptoms of this defect are the same in children as those seen in adults. However, this condition becomes most evident when they complain of having difficulty in focusing while trying to read. They are often seen tilting their heads trying to see an object.
The symptoms discussed here are not exclusively caused due to astigmatism. They may be due to other eye conditions as well.

Treatment

Prescribing Corrective Lenses: This is the most common treatment. One can use these in the form of eye glasses or contact lenses. However, they are not required if a person has minor astigmatism and does not suffer from any other form of refractive errors like nearsightedness or farsightedness. Corrective lenses for this condition are called toric lenses, and they have greater light-bending properties. The correct lens for vision correction is decided after the ophthalmologist has performed a couple of diagnostic tests on the patient.

Refractive Surgery: The curvature of the cornea is corrected with the help of laser eye surgery (LASIK). However, in order to perform this surgery, the ophthalmologist has to make sure that the patient does not have a defective retina, scar on the corneal surface, or any other eye problem.

Astigmatism goes undetected many times even by the affected person. However, it is only when one complains of the symptoms that one needs measures to correct the defect.

Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is solely for informative purpose and not intended to replace the advice of medical experts.