Do you have an astigmatism?

If you haven’t been seeing as well as you used to, the problem may be an astigmatism. It is a very common vision problem, but the good news is that it is also easily corrected by contacts or even iLASIK. Are you curious about what, exactly, an astigmatism is and how it affects your vision?

What is an astigmatism?

The ideal eyeball shape is perfectly round, which lets light come into the eye evenly and helps the eye to focus correctly. An astigmatism causes the eye to be shaped more like a football, which means the light doesn’t come into the eye properly and it is difficult for the eye to focus.

An astigmatism can cause eyestrain, headaches, blurry vision, and trouble seeing at night or even in dim light. You might find yourself squinting a lot to try to see better. Astigmatism can come on slowly and you may not even know you have it until your doctor tells you. It is very common in patients who already have vision problems, such as near- or far-sightedness.

It is possible to have an astigmatism at birth, and it can occur in both children and adults. It is difficult to say why one person may have an astigmatism and another doesn’t; it can develop after an eye injury or an eye disease, it may be inherited, or it can develop after eye surgery.

What can be done about astigmatism?

An astigmatism can be treated with glasses or with special contacts – in the past, rigid contacts had to be used for patients with astigmatism, but now soft lenses can help to correct the problem. However, it may be so mild that any special contacts would cause more issues than they would fix. iLASIK can be used to reshape the eye to remove an astigmatism.

If you’ve noticed that you just aren’t seeing as well as you used to, you are having trouble seeing in dim light, and you are squinting when you try to see, you may have an astigmatism. But you don’t have to live with it – contact Richens Eye Center in St. George, UT, or Mesquite, NV, for an appointment today. Call (435) 986-2020!

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