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Understanding Astigmatism

Astigmatism may be one of the most commonly misunderstood eye conditions. Many believe it's caused by improper lighting, that it can lead to more serious eye problems, or—something we’ve all likely thought at some point—that it's called "a stigmatism."

The Basics Of Astigmatism

So let’s clear the air here: the term "astigmatism" comes from the Greek "a" (without) and "stigma" (point or mark). Astigmatism is caused when the lens, cornea, or both are not completely smooth, and therefore do not perfectly focus light as it enters your eye, leaving you with blurry vision.

Astigmatism and other refractive errors, like myopia (nearsightedness) and hyperopia (farsightedness), are usually genetic and develop naturally, often from birth or during childhood. The specific cause for astigmatism is unknown, so there's no clear way to prevent it from developing, but there are many options for correcting it.

Different People Experience Different Levels Of Astigmatism

Astigmatism is actually very common. Many of us have some level of astigmatism, but it's not enough to warrant corrective treatment. Other patients with severe astigmatism may experience...

  • Trouble focusing
  • Blurry sight
  • Headaches and eyestrain

Trust A Professional To Provide The Best Solution For Your Individual Case

There can be many variables involved in astigmatism: the shape and focus of the eye, differences between the two eyes, and, often, additional complications of nearsightedness or farsightedness. Astigmatism can range in severity, and call for different treatments in different patients, whether that means eyeglasses, contact lenses, or corrective surgery. With a comprehensive eye exam, your optometrist can check your visual acuity and focus. They can survey the curvature of your cornea and determine the very best treatment option for your eyes, and your lifestyle.

Talk to us about your vision! We’ll keep you seeing your best. Thanks for being a valued part of our Vision Source® family.

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Top image by Flickr user Oscar Rethwill used under Creative Commons Attribution-Sharealike 4.0 license. Image cropped and modified from original.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.

Author Vision Source — Published October 27, 2015

Posted In Eye Health Awareness