There are a few types of refractive errors. A refractive error means that your eye doesn't bend light properly. As a result, the image will be blurred. The main types of refractive errors include nearsightedness (myopia), farsightedness (hyperopia), presbyopia (decrease in close-up vision due to age), and astigmatism.
If you have astigmatism, it means that your eye isn't completely round. Most people have this to some degree; however, if you have astigmatism, your eye will be shaped more like the back of a spoon or a football. The shape of your eye will cause light to bend more in one direction than the other. When this happens, only part of your vision will be in focus.
Most people are born with astigmatism, and it occurs naturally. The reason that it occurs is unknown. Some people develop astigmatism as a result of eye disease, after an eye injury, or following eye surgery. Some people believe that reading with inadequate light or sitting too close to the television will cause astigmatism. This is just a myth, and there is no scientific evidence to back it up.
The only symptom of astigmatism is a blurry vision. Since blurry vision is a symptom of all refractive errors as well as many diseases of the eye, you should see your family ophthalmologist for an eye exam.
Your ophthalmologist can perform a complete eye exam to diagnose astigmatism. They will dilate your eyes during the exam so that they can get a good look at the inside of your eye. If your eye doctor sees that your eye is misshapen, they would treat you for astigmatism.
There are a few treatment options for astigmatism.
Eyeglasses: Eyeglasses can treat the blurry vision caused by astigmatism.
Contact lenses: There is a special type of contact lens called a toric lens. This lens can be made to bend the light more in one direction depending on the shape of your eye.
Lasik surgery: Some people with astigmatism are a good candidate for Lasik surgery. This procedure would be performed by a surgical eye doctor and would allow you to see correctly without glasses or contacts. To be a good candidate, your prescription can be no higher than 5.00. Your eye also needs to be free of disease, and you can have no issues with your retina and no corneal scars.
Whether you are having vision issues or not, you should still make an appointment every year with Texas Eye Surgeons in Plano. Our doctors of ophthalmology will perform a complete eye exam to be sure that you are seeing correctly and that your eyes are free of disease.