How Astigmatism Affects Your Vision

How Astigmatism Affects Your Vision

According to the American Optometric Association, astigmatism occurs when your cornea or lens becomes more oval than round, making it difficult for light to focus correctly on your retina. Our knowledgeable optometrists at Classic Vision Care, Mital Patel, OD, Mark Machen, OD, and Ashley Swalla, OD, diagnose your astigmatism and fit you for the right lenses at our offices in Kennesaw and Marietta, Georgia.

Causes and symptoms of astigmatism

Astigmatism occurs when the curve of your cornea or lens differ from each other, causing your eyesight to become blurry. It may be present from birth, occur later in life, or result from an eye injury.

Symptoms of astigmatism vary from person to person. Some people are even asymptomatic. Others may experience:

Our knowledgeable optometrists discuss your current symptoms and perform a comprehensive exam to diagnose your condition.

Diagnosing astigmatism

Dr. Patel and our team pinpoint astigmatism through a variety of tests. These may include:

Refraction

Using a lighted instrument known as a retinoscope, we place various lenses in front of your eyes to measure how they view light.

Keratometry

We measure the curvature of your cornea via a keratometer, an instrument that judges your degree of astigmatism, and/or corneal topography, which produces a detailed map of your eye’s surface.

Visual acuity

We decipher visual acuity by testing how far you can see. For instance, 20/40 means you can read a letter clearly at 20 feet that should be seen at 40. Normal acuity is 20/20.

Correcting astigmatism

We resolve many cases of astigmatism via glasses or special soft contacts, known as toric lenses. Our optometrists may also suggest orthokeratology, which uses gas-permeable rigid contact lenses to temporarily reshape your cornea while you sleep. For more serious cases, we recommend refractive surgery with a qualified ophthalmologist.

Surgical options include:

Laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis (LASIK). The surgeon creates a hinged flap within the cornea to resculpt its shape.

Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK). The surgeon removes the protective cover, called the epithelium, so it grows back in the correct shape.

Laser-assisted subepithelial keratectomy (LASEK). Loosening this protective layer, the surgeon uses alcohol to reposition the epithelium.

Implantable contacts. The surgeon implants contacts made from biocompatible material between your native lens and iris to improve your vision.

Although we cannot prevent astigmatism, our knowledgeable optometrists often correct your vision without surgery. If you have any issues with your vision or simply wish to schedule a routine exam, contact our talented team at Classic Vision Care. Call us or book an appointment online today. 

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