If you wear glasses or contact lenses you’ve probably heard of the word ‘astigmatism’. You might even have it but have no idea what it actually means. Astigmatism is a common condition which many individuals misunderstand as having an eye disease or eye health problem which is simply not the case. Astigmatism is merely a problem with how the eye focuses light. It occurs when the cornea or lens is not a perfectly curved shape, but more oval in shape – like a rugby ball.

Astigmatism is a condition that commonly inflicts adults but children are not immune from the condition either. Research shows astigmatism in children is common and although astigmatism cannot be prevented completely, there are various solutions you can apply to effectively lower the effects of astigmatism in your child’s eyesight with a good, healthy diet and regular eye examinations. Undiagnosed astigmatism can impact the development of your child’s eye health as well as their concentration levels and they may find themselves having difficulties with reading.

What actually causes Astigmatism?

There is not a definitive known origin of what causes astigmatism in the eye, however genetics plays a big factor. Although astigmatism may develop later in life, the condition is often present at birth. Many patients can suffer with mild astigmatism and know even realise or know that they have the condition, this is why regular eye tests are crucial for early detection of any eye conditions or issues.

What are the symptoms of Astigmatism?

• Severe eye strain
• Headaches
• Blurry or distorted vision
• Excessive squinting
• Eye irritation
• Difficult to see/drive at night
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, please contact one of our eye care professionals today who can offer you expert advice. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms and currently wear glasses or contact lenses, you may need a new prescription. Even if you have had an eye examination recently and are suffering with these symptoms, it is still extremely important to go back and get your eyes seen to as quick as possible.

How is Astigmatism corrected/treated?

Astigmatism can be corrected with glasses, contact lenses, or surgery. Mild cases may not require treatment however speaking to an eye care professional about the condition and finding a corrective method that suits your lifestyle is imperative for the future of your eye health.

Corrective glasses/contact lenses
Corrective eyeglasses and contact lenses prescribed to you by your eye doctor are the most common and safest treatments for astigmatism. If you are diagnosed with the condition and this is the solution that works for you that your eye doctor has prescribed, you will be asked to choose between eye glasses, ‘toric’ contact lenses – or both – and this will enable you to see as clearly as possible.

Surgery

Refractive surgery aims to change the shape of the cornea permanently. This change in eye shape restores the focusing power of the eye by allowing the light rays to focus exactly on the retina for improved vision. Although surgery is not the first option, depending on the severity of the condition and the advice from your optometrist or ophthalmologist, surgery may be necessary in order for you to achieve the clearest vision possible for you.

If you are suffering with any of the symptoms above or would like to talk to a professional, please do not hesitate to give us a call on 0207 224 7400 or book an eye test here.

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