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Astigmatism

Astigmatism Treatment in Brisbane, Booval, Wynnum, & Aspley

Many people are diagnosed with astigmatism, but not all of them understand exactly what it means. Astigmatism is not a disease or a problem affecting the health of your eye; it is simply an irregular shape that affects the way your eye focuses light. If you have astigmatism, light cannot focus properly on your retina, and objects up close and far away appear blurry or distorted.

When it comes to your vision, it is always best to trust your eye doctor for accurate information and resources. The team at The Eye Health Centre is committed to educating you about your refractive error and working closely with you to find a suitable treatment solution.

Understanding Astigmatism

Astigmatism Diagram for Brisbane PatientsThe cornea is the clear covering of the surface of your eye. It bends or refracts incoming light onto the retina, and the retina sends nerve impulses to the brain via the optic nerve. The brain then translates these nerve impulses into eyesight.

A healthy cornea is round and fairly symmetrical; its shape is similar to that of a basketball or baseball. A cornea with astigmatism is irregularly curved, with an oval or oblong shape similar to an American football. These imperfections interfere with the way the eye refracts light — instead of forming a single focal point on the retina, light focuses at several points in the eye. This causes objects at all distances to appear blurry, unclear or distorted.

We do not know exactly what causes astigmatism. We suspect genetic factors play a role; another potential cause is traumatic eye injury. Astigmatism is also linked with keratoconus, a degenerative corneal condition.

Astigmatism does not improve or go away on its own; unfortunately, it usually gets worse with age.

Symptoms of Astigmatism

Symptoms of astigmatism include blurry or distorted vision at all distances, poor night vision and chronic headaches or eye strain. If you find yourself squinting all the time in order to see clearly, you could have astigmatism.

Diagnosing Astigmatism

Astigmatism is easily diagnosed through a comprehensive eye exam. Our doctors will perform several tests to determine how well you can see with each eye. We will also take a good look at the slope and curvature of your cornea.

If we confirm you have astigmatism, we can discuss the best method to correct it and give you the clear vision you need to lead an active lifestyle.

Solutions for Astigmatism

Astigmatism Treatment in Brisbane, Booval, Wynnum, & AspleyLike other refractive errors, the traditional non-surgical treatment for astigmatism is prescription glasses or contact lenses. In the past it was challenging to treat astigmatism with contacts, because the irregularities of the cornea’s shape require different optical powers in different portions of the lens. However, toric lenses are designed specifically to accommodate astigmatism and are quite successful.

Laser Eye Surgery & Permanent Lenses

If you are unhappy with your glasses and contact lenses and desire a more permanent solution, you should explore your laser eye surgery options. Procedures such as LASIK and PRK permanently reshape the cornea to focus light correctly on the retina. Another option is to permanently implant a prescription lens inside your eye rather than wear it on the surface of your eye. Implantable contact lenses cannot be seen or felt.

For more information about astigmatism correction, please call or email The Eye Health Centre today.