Guide to Astigmatism Symptoms and Treatment with Your San Diego, CA, Optometrist
Astigmatism is one of several issues that can affect your vision. And it can be present in conjunction with other vision challenges, such as myopia causing nearsightedness or hyperopia (farsightedness). Though the term is a common one, many people are unsure of what astigmatism really is, how it can impact vision, and how it’s treated. Our team at Vision Solutions Optometry in San Diego, CA, provides these answers and more in the guide below.
What Is Astigmatism?
In short, astigmatism is an optical condition in which the refractive power of the eye is not uniform in all of the eye’s meridians. This is caused by the cornea, the lens, or the overall shape of the eye having an oval vs. round shape. In an eye without astigmatism, light rays entering the eye are all focused into one single meridian. The eye’s power, or prescription, is the same in all meridians. With astigmatism, the light rays entering the eye are bent unequally in different meridians, preventing forming a sharp point of focus on the retina. The eye has different prescriptions in each meridian. Blurry images then occur.
Symptoms of Astigmatism
Astigmatism can occur in one or both eyes and it is characterized by the following symptoms:
- Being unable to see clearly at any distance
- Trouble seeing at night
- Seeing spokes of light emanating around lights or haloes around lights
- Constant squinting and eyestrain
- Chronic headaches and/or fatigue
As these symptoms can occur alongside symptoms of other refractive errors, it’s essential that you see an eye doctor for proper diagnosis and treatment.
How Is It Diagnosed?
Your eye doctor can diagnose astigmatism during a comprehensive eye exam. You’ll be asked to read an eye chart to assess your visual acuity at different distances. Vision Solutions Optometry will also use an autorefractor, a machine that sends light rays into the eyes and determines the power, or prescription, in all meridians of your eye. This allows them to determine how light enters and reflects off the back of your eye. This autorefractor also measures the front curves (topography) of your cornea to see if the eye has a round or oval shape. This is an important indicator of the presence of astigmatism.
Treatment for Astigmatism
Treatment for astigmatism is similar to treatment for other refractive errors. Eyeglasses, contact lenses, and laser vision correction are available to help you see more clearly. In addition to contacts you can wear throughout the day, specialty contacts may be available that can be worn while you sleep, depending on the amount of astigmatism in the prescription. These lenses, called orthokeratology, reshape your cornea temporarily, allowing you to go without wearing lenses during the day.
Our team will be happy to discuss each course of treatment to help you choose the best for your lifestyle and needs.
Choose the Best Astigmatism Treatment with Our San Diego, CA, Optometrist
If you’re struggling with your vision and think astigmatism might be to blame, let our team at Vision Solutions Optometry help. Call (619) 461-4913 to schedule an appointment today.