To put it simply, astigmatism is a condition which affects how your eye focuses light. Someone without astigmatism will have light come to a single focus on their retina allowing them to have clear vision. With astigmatism your eyes have multiple focus points which interferes with your vision. Astigmatism is very common and is easily corrected with prescribed lenses. Here is what you need to know about astigmatism.

Symptoms of Astigmatism

The optometrist Ottawa patients visit will look into astigmatism if you have complaints of the following:
• Blurred or distorted vision
• Eye strain
• Headaches following tasks or reading
• Squinting

Unless astigmatism is caused by injury or a thinning of the cornea it tends to present early in life. Booking annual eye exams for your children will help discover it astigmatism sooner.

Cause

Astigmatism occurs when your cornea is shaped like a football as opposed to be rounding like a baseball. This means that one meridian is more curved which affects the way light is reflected. It can also be caused by the shape of the lens. Because there are a few different causes there are also a few different types of astigmatism including:

• Myopic astigmatism: This is when the meridians of the eye are nearsighted
Hyperopic astigmatism: This is when the meridians are farsighted
Mixed astigmatism: This is having one meridian that is nearsighted and one farsighted
Regular astigmatism: In this case meridians are 90 degrees apart
Irregular astigmatism: For irregular astigmatism meridians are not perpendicular, or can also be caused from an eye injury, surgery or a thinning of the cornea

Testing

Your eye doctor will discover and confirm astigmatism during a routine eye exam. The test used to look for issues such as astigmatism is called retinoscopy. It can be performed manually or using automated instruments used to look for refractive errors. A manual refraction test will also assist your eye doctor in determining what lenses will be required to help correct your vision.

Corrective Lenses

Your doctor will prescribe lenses to help correct your vision following your refraction test. You can also choose gas permeable contact lenses if you prefer. You can also discus refractive surgery as an option with your eye doctor.

Astigmatism is a common and easily rectified vision problem. Regular eye exams with an optometrist will help catch astigmatism early.

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