Astigmatism is a difficulty in seeing clearly at both near and far distances caused by blurred, distorted, or double vision. Astigmatism is not a disease of the eye, it’s a type of refractive disorder.
What Causes Astigmatism?
Astigmatism is caused by any imperfection in the shape or curvature eye’s cornea or lens. When the cornea and lens are perfectly smooth, and curved properly in all directions, light entering the eye will be focused sharply on the retina at the back of the eye. If either the cornea or the lens is irregular, the light entering the eye does not focus properly on the retinam and both near and far vision will be blurry or distorted.
How Common Is Astigmatism?
Astigmatism is very common. In fact, most people are most likely born with some degree of Astigmatism, and most people who have it were born with it. The tendency to develop Astigmatism is inherited, but the cause of differing corneal shapes from person to person is still not known.
Astigmatism can sometimes develop after an eye injury, surgery, or eye disease, but it’s a myth that Astigmatism is caused or made worse by reading without enough light or sitting too close to a TV.
How Is Astigmatism Treated?
Mild to moderate Astigmatism can be corrected with eyeglasses, or with contact lenses. At Rahmani Eye Institute Laser Vision Correction is also an option that can correct vision for people with Astigmatism.
Can Astigmatism Cause Other Problems?
Because they may have had the condition since birth, children who have symptoms of Astigmatism may not be aware they have it, and may not complain about having blurred or distorted vision. Unlike adults who probably realize that their vision isn’t as good as it should be, children with Astigmatism may believe that’s the way things are supposed to look.
Left uncorrected, Astigmatism can have a sever effect on a child’s ability to achieve in school, and in sports. It’s important that children get regular eye exams that can detect Astigmatism as early as possible.