Astigmatism occurs when the patient has an eye or eyes that are not round. Most people have a little bit of astigmatism, but it isn't pronounced enough to notice it. However, other patients have moderate to severe cases of this eye condition that causes vision problems. In most cases of astigmatism, the patient was born that way. However, it can also happen later in different ways.
There are several eye surgeries, injuries, and diseases that can cause the eyeball to no longer be round. Every year in the United States, three million people are diagnosed with astigmatism. If you suspect you have this condition, you need to see an optometrist to get an eye exam. Let’s look at some of the questions we run into about astigmatism from our patients at Family Eye Clinic in Little Rock, AR.
How Does Astigmatism Affect Vision?
If an eye is perfectly round, that's the ideal shape. However, many people don't have eyes that are the ideal shape. If they did, the light would go into the eye and get bent evenly so that you could see clearly. With astigmatism, the eye is shaped kind of like a football. When the eye has this shape, the light gets bent in one direction more than it's bent in the other.
This bending means that when seeing an object, only one part of it will be in focus. When an object is far away, it can look wavy and distorted as well as blurry. Many patients have astigmatism as well as either nearsightedness or farsightedness and may already wear eyeglasses for that problem.
What Are the Symptoms of Astigmatism?
Because one of the leading signs of this condition is seeing objects as blurry, most people who have astigmatism think they only have nearsightedness or farsightedness. But, there is often a distortion to the vision along with the blurriness and that distortion is the hallmark of astigmatism. This condition can also cause eye strain, headaches, and trouble with night vision.
How Are Patients Tested for Astigmatism?
The optometrist can test your eyes for this condition. A keratometer is used to measure the curvature of the patient's cornea. We can also use a phoropter to determine which lens is best for correcting your vision. We may also use an autorefractor to put a light in the eyes and check it when it bounces back.
Get Tested for Astigmatism at Family Eye Clinic in Little Rock, AR
You need an eye exam every year to monitor your vision and diagnose any problems. You might already wear eyeglasses but need a new eye exam to check your changing vision. If you have concerns about your vision or it has been a while since your last eye exam, call Family Eye Clinic today at (501) 835-7800 or reach us through our website by using our online contact form.