Astigmatism is a condition in which there is an imperfect curvature of the cornea (surface of the eye) or lens (interior of the eye). Ideally, both the cornea and lens are curved which allows the light entering the eye to focus evenly, or refract, on the retina, where the images we see are translated by our brains. With astigmatism, however, there is a mismatched or egg-shaped curve which prevents light from focusing on the retina. This is a refractive error which causes blurred vision no matter the distance and occurs in both nearsighted (myopia) and farsighted (hyperopia) patients.
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causes of Astigmatism
It is a myth that astigmatism is worsened (or caused) by screen use or poor lighting. In fact, most patients who suffer from this common eye imperfection are born with astigmatism.
Astigmatism can also be caused by an eye injury. Learn more about eye injury prevention on our blog post about Workplace Eye Safety Month.
Symptoms of Astigmatism
· Blurred vision
· Eyestrain or squinting
· Difficulty seeing at night
Astigmatism is most often treated with prescription eyewear or contact lenses. In some cases, however, it can be treated with surgery. A surgery to correct astigmatism changes the shape of the cornea so light refracts correctly onto the retina.
Diagnosis and Treatment from Our Eye Doctors in Iowa City
Astigmatism is a treatable condition that affects around a third of the U.S. population.
See an eye doctor when symptoms of astigmatism become problematic or interfere with day-to-day life.
Children and astigmatism
It is important for children to have eye screenings early and often as they may not realize they have blurry vision if they have always suffered from astigmatism. By ensuring children have regular eye exams, conditions like astigmatism can be caught early, monitored, and treated if needed.
It is recommended that children get a full eye exam between the ages of 3 and 5 to monitor eye health and diagnose any vision problems such as astigmatism as early as possible.
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