Understanding Astigmatism

According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, approximately one third of Americans have astigmatism. If you believe you may be one of them, consult our knowledgeable optometrists, Mital Patel, OD, Mark Machen, OD, and Ashley Swalla, OD, at Classic Vision Care in Kennesaw and Marietta, Georgia.

What exactly is astigmatism?

Astigmatism occurs due to a curvature of your eye’s lens or cornea. When light hits your eye, it doesn’t bend correctly because of this refractive error. It generally occurs in people with other refractive issues, such as:

Farsightedness (hyperopia). When your cornea curves too much or your eye is too long, light focuses on the wrong portion of your retina causing distant objects to appear blurry.

Nearsightedness (myopia). Too little curvature or shorter than normal eyes makes it hard for light to focus on the back of your eyes. This makes objects close at hand look blurry.

If you notice you or your child’s vision becomes distorted or blurry, contact one of our eye specialists who can diagnose your issue promptly. 

Signs of astigmatism

Clear signs of astigmatism are blurriness and distortion. Less obvious signs include:

We help you discover whether the underlying cause of your discomfort is related to astigmatism or another issue through a variety of tests, such as keratometry, to measure your corneal curve, corneal topography, to map your cornea, or retinoscopy, which examines how well light reflects off your retina.

What causes astigmatism?

Astigmatism is usually hereditary. Although it may worsen over time, it is often present at birth. It can also develop after an eye injury or due to keratoconus, thinning of the cornea.

Can you cure astigmatism naturally?

While there is no natural cure for astigmatism, there are ways you can support your overall health and eyesight through a healthy diet. Foods with beneficial nutrients include:

Fish. Omega-3 found in fish promotes good eyesight and eases dry eyes.

Carrots. Their vitamin A and beta-carotene help eyes stay healthy.

Citrus. Vitamin C found in citrus fruits and vegetables supports healthy blood vessels to combat cataracts and age-induced macular degeneration.

Kale, spinach and red peppers. Antioxidants, such as lutein and zeaxanthin, found in a variety of vegetables, assist with eye health.

Help is on the way

If our doctors discover you have astigmatism, we can treat it in several ways, depending upon its severity. Options include:

Corrective eyeglasses or contact lenses. These usually make up for any distortion.

Orthokeratology. Wearing rigid contact lenses while sleeping may help normalize your eye’s curvature.  

Refractive surgery. There are many types of surgery that corrects astigmatism, such as:

Our specialists can discuss your options to determine the best course of action. If you decide to pursue surgery, we can refer you to a qualified ophthalmologist. If you notice ongoing blurriness, unusual headaches, or other visual changes, give us a call or book an appointment online with Classic Vision Care today.

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