Astigmatism in Raleigh and Rocky Mount
Astigmatism is an imperfection of the eye that causes blurred vision. An irregularly shaped cornea, which is the clear front cover of the eye, is a common cause of astigmatism but the curvature of the lens inside the eye can also result in this eye imperfection. Medical science has not yet determined the underlying cause of astigmatism, but it can be hereditary and present at birth. Eye injuries may increase the risk for astigmatism. The condition can also change over time. Let our Raleigh and Rocky Mount optometrists teach you more!
What is Astigmatism?
Normally, the cornea is round – shaped like a basketball. In cases of astigmatism, the shape of the cornea is more like a football.
Clear vision relies on light passing through the clear, round dome of the cornea correctly so that it bends and strikes the light-sensitive surface of the eye, known as the retina, in the proper place. An irregularly shaped cornea prevents light from striking the proper place on the retina, resulting in blurred vision. Imperfections in the curvature of the lens can cause light to bend improperly and strike the wrong part of the retina.
Astigmatism is very common. In fact, most people have some degree of astigmatism, according to the American Optometric Association. People with slight astigmatism usually do not need treatment, as minor astigmatism does not affect vision. Larger amounts of astigmatism, on the other hand, can cause distorted or blurred vision, headaches and eye discomfort.
Your eye doctor refers to astigmatism as a “refractive error” because of the way it bends, or refracts, light. Astigmatism often occurs with other refractive errors, especially nearsightedness (myopia) and farsightedness (hyperopia).
Our Raleigh and Rocky Mount Optometrist Talks about Diagnosing Astigmatism
Adults with large degrees of astigmatism may recognize that they do not see as well as they should and seek the help of an eye doctor, but those with minor to moderate astigmatism – especially children – do not realize they have the vision problem so they do not go to the eye doctor.
Without a visit to an eye doctor, astigmatism can go uncorrected in children and adults. Uncorrected vision problems can affect performance in school, on the athletic field and in other activities. Sometimes astigmatism is a sign of keratoconus, a cone-like bulge of the cornea that distorts vision.
An eye exam gives your eye doctor the opportunity to detect, diagnose and treat astigmatism. Your optometrist will perform a comprehensive eye exam, including a visual acuity test to determine if you have 20/20 vision, keratometry to measure the curvature of the cornea and refraction to assess how well your eyes focus light.
Based on the result of the eye exam, your eye doctor at Family Eyecare Center may recommend one of the following options to help you regain clear vision:
- Contact lenses
- Ortho-K (orthokeratology), special lenses that reshape the cornea
Visit our contact page to determine which location you should use!