Eye Health | Optical Centre VisionDirect AU


What is Astigmatism?

Astigmatism is a common eye refractive error, similar to farsightedness and nearsightedness, which can be easily corrected. It is not an eye health issue, so do not fret.

Astigmatism of the eye is an eye condition where the cornea is not perfectly round, so it cannot focus light evenly onto the retina located at the back of the eye. 

The retina converts light we see into messages that are sent through the optic nerve to the brain.

However, if you suffer from astigmatism, your vision will be slightly blurred because the light that hits the retina is refracted and bent slightly as it passes through the cornea.

Normal corneas are shaped like a tennis ball, but if you have astigmatism, your cornea may be shaped more like a football.

Astigmatism symptoms usually develop early in life, so it is important for children to have their vision tested early on to detect if there are any symptoms. Certain demographics are more likely to experience astigmatism symptoms.

For example, Asian and Hispanic populations rank among the most-likely.

Astigmatism Symptoms

An obvious indication that you are suffering from astigmatism is blurred or distorted vision.

Other common symptoms can be eyestrain or headaches.

For a complete diagnosis, you will need to visit a licensed eye doctor.

Astigmatisms are diagnosed by completing a simple astigmatism test.

Types of Astigmatism

There are four primary types of astigmatism

1) Myopic astigmatism: One or both of the eyes suffer from nearsighted vision loss.

2) Hyperopic astigmatism: One of both of the eyes suffer from farsighted vision loss.

3) Mixed astigmatism: One eye suffers from nearsighted vision loss and the other suffers from farsighted vision loss.  
4) Normal astigmatism: One or both of the eyes suffer from astigmatism, with no other vision loss conditions. 

Astigmatism Treatment: Eyewear

The easiest way to treat astigmatism is to get a pair of corrective lenses.

Once your astigmatism is diagnosed and confirmed, your eye doctor will then give you a prescription that you can use to get a fancy pair of prescription glasses or contact lenses for astigmatism

There are special contact lenses made just for this eye condition. Spherical contact lenses are not recommended, because they are made for tennis ball-shaped corneas. Toric contact lenses for astigmatism are more football-shaped and are suited for your unique eye condition. 

Based on your prescription and eye condition, your eye doctor will help you decide which type is right for your eyes.

Astigmatism Treatment: Refractive Surgery

Refractive surgery is another option for treating astigmatism.

This procedure involves altering the shape of the cornea through laser eye surgery.

There are different refractive surgery procedures depending on specific eye conditions.

For these types of surgeries, eyes must be healthy and free from retinal problems, corneal scars or any eye disease. 

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