Being diagnosed with astigmatism brings up numerous questions. What is it? Will your vision be permanently affected? Are there treatments available? Will it cause pain?
Astigmatism means that you have an imperfection in the curvature of your cornea, which is a dome that covers your eye’s iris and pupil. Typically, these areas are smooth and curved equally, but when you have astigmatism, the cornea is not evenly shaped or smooth. This makes it difficult for the light to refract appropriately. This is a common condition and frequently misunderstood by patients. To help put your worries at ease, the team at Optometrists’ Clinic, Inc. is here to help you understand the types, solutions, and how a single eye exam at your Edmonton clinic will change your life for good. The Different Types of Astigmatism Seen by Optometrists in Edmonton If you have astigmatism, you will notice that your vision is blurred or sometimes distorted at specific angles. You may have frequent headaches or signs of eye strain. Other times, you could have difficulty reading for extended periods. Another symptom is squinting. Currently, there are three main types identified:
Myopic Astigmatism – One or both eye areas are nearsighted.
Hyperopic Astigmatism – One of both of your principal meridians are farsighted.
Mixed Astigmatism – You may have one that is nearsighted and another meridian that is farsighted.
What Causes Astigmatism? An irregularly shaped cornea is the typical culprit for this type of eye condition, and it comes on quickly. Therefore, you could be diagnosed as early as 5 to 17 years of age. It is quite common; hence, you should have your child’s vision frequently tested to make sure that they do not have astigmatism. Some ethnicities are at higher risk for astigmatism too, including Asian and Hispanic families. Luckily, a routine eye examination can catch this condition with ease, and you and your eye doctor can start discussing your options. How Do You Treat Astigmatism? You have a few treatment options, depending on the severity and your age. Typically, you may correct astigmatism with contact lenses, eyeglasses, or refractive surgery. Your eye doctor will discuss these treatments and help you decide which is best, based on your lifestyle, age, health, and preferences. Back in the day, there were no contact lenses to accommodate astigmatism, but today the technology has advanced, and you can get toric contact lenses for your condition. These are prescription only and have a distinctive design that molds to the uneven curvature of the eye. Refractive surgery, such as LASIK, may be an option as you get older, but your eye doctor will need to decide if you are a suitable candidate. If you are concerned that you have astigmatism, or you would like to explore your options after a diagnosis, meet with the team at Optometrists’ Clinic, Inc. We can help you find the right solution for common eye problems and enjoy better vision today. Schedule an eye exam in Edmonton at the Optometrists’ Clinic, Inc. Visit us at one of our locations, or fill out our online contact form today.