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Astigmatism

Astigmatism

  • Astigmatism is a very common eye condition that can be corrected by spectacles, contact lenses, or laser eye surgery.
  • Astigmatism causes blurry vision for both near and distant objects.
  • Astigmatism can cause headaches and eye strain if corrective lenses are not worn.
  • Most people have some small degree of astigmatism as most eyes are not perfectly spherical in shape.

Causes of Astigmatism

  • A person's eye is designed to be round like a sphere. This allows light to enter the eye and refract (bend) evenly through all parts of the cornea onto the back of the eye where a clear image can be processed.
  • If the corneal shape is distorted from a spherical to a squashed ball shape then the light entering the eye will also distort, fragmenting in different directions.
  • The brain can accommodate for small distortions but any significant astigmatism will cause blurred and ineffective vision.
Astigmatism is a refractive error of the eye where there is a difference in the focusing power of the eye in different meridians.
 

Astigmatism is typically characterised by an irregular corneal profile where the curvature in one meridian is greater then that of the perpendicular meridian. In a very simple sense the curvature of the cornea can be described as the curvature of a rugby ball which is varied over the surface instead of having a constant radius like the curve of a football (which is a sphere).

 

Astigmatic Eye Illustration

 

In regular astigmatism, the meridians in which the two different curves lie are located 180 degrees apart. In irregular astigmatism, the two meridians may be located at something other than 180 degrees apart. Usually astigmatism is hereditary. Some people are born with an oblong cornea, and the resulting vision problem may get worse over time.

 

Astigmatic Eye Diagram

Astigmatism may also be the result of an eye injury that has caused scarring on the cornea or from certain types of eye surgery or from keratoconus, a disease that causes a gradual thinning of the cornea.

The result of astigmatism is that objects can appear distorted or blurry at distance and near. The effects of astigmatism can range from mild to severe and cause blurry vision, headaches, squinting or strain on the eyes.

Astigmatism can be associated with or without either myopia (short-sightedness) or hyperopia (long-sightedness). It is quite a common condition and in fact the majority of people who need vision correction have some degree of astigmatism.

 

 

 
 

How do you measure astigmatism?

Astigmatism can be measured from the refraction (spectacle prescription), corneal topography (accurate mapping of the shape of the eye) and wavefront analysis (detailed measurement of visual aberrations).

Astigmatism correction by Laser Eye Treatment

It surprises us that some patients imagine that because they have astigmatism they cannot have laser eye treatment. This could not be any further from the truth.

Accuvision possesses the technology, expertise and experience to correct even very high levels of regular and irregular astigmatism. The laser is used to reshape the corneal surface and create a more smooth corneal profile. This reduces the irregularity in curvature and restores vision.

Accuvision have successfully treated patients with up to 6 Dioptres of astigmatism. Astigmatic correction is incorporated in the laser treatment plan for all patients who require it, to give the best possible outcome for vision.

You can read through laser eye surgery reviews submitted by happy Accuvision patients in the 'Reviews and Testimonials' section. Also, to understand if laser eye surgery is suitable for your problem and whether you are eligible for laser eye treatment, please feel free to browse through our website.

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