Your 411 on Astigmatism

shutterstock_54762808While most people have heard the term “astigmatism,” few know exactly what it means for your eyesight. Here’s the lowdown and what you can do about your astigmatism.

What is astigmatism?

Normal eyes are spherical. People with astigmatism have eyes that are shaped more like a football or the back of a spoon. Normally, once light enters our eyes, the light bends evenly or refracts to bring us a clear view of the object we are looking at. An astigmatism causes light entering the eye to refract in several directions, allowing only a part of the seen object to come into focus at one time. This creates a blurry or wavy image in the person’s vision.

What are the signs and symptoms of astigmatism?

The common signs of astigmatism can easily be identified. Depending on the severity of the astigmatism, symptoms can include blurred or distorted vision, frequent headaches, and persistent eyestrain. It is important to seek professional help if such symptoms have interfered with your daily activities.

What is the treatment for astigmatism?

Your eye doctor knows what to do with your condition. Usually, astigmatism can be treated with contact lenses or prescription glasses. It used to be that contact lenses wouldn’t work with the shape of the eye with astigmatism, but new contacts over the past decade have changed that.

As for eye checkups, the rule is every two to four years if you are over 40 years old, every one to three years after age 55, and every one to two years beyond the age of 65. Astigmatism may require you to have frequent eye checkups with a doctor.

If you have been bothered by the unpleasant changes in your vision, let an eye expert take a look at your eyes. Call us today at 808-877-3984 for our office in Wailuku to schedule a consultation with one of our eye doctors at Aloha Eye Clinic.

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