Astigmatism is a common issue that affects people’s vision every day. At Grove Eye Care, our talented staff has the experience and tools to diagnose and help treat your astigmatism today.
Astigmatism is broadly referred to as an irregularly shaped portion of the eye that affects your ability to see clearly. There are two types of astigmatism: lenticular astigmatism and corneal astigmatism. Lenticular astigmatism is caused by an issue with an irregularly shaped lens, while corneal astigmatism affects the shape of your cornea.
The outcome of both types of astigmatism has the same result: light does not focus properly at the back of your eye which affects your ability to see objects clearly. Astigmatism is also commonly associated with other vision problems, including myopia (nearsightedness) and hyperopia (farsightedness).
While doctors are not always sure about what causes astigmatism, there appears to be a link between astigmatism and genetics. Many patients have signs of astigmatism when they are born, but the condition can increase or decrease in severity over time.
One of the most common methods to identify astigmatism is during a routine comprehensive eye exam. At Grove Eye Care, we commonly discuss the potential of astigmatism with our patients. This helps to prepare you for the potential of astigmatism as well as opens the conversation so that you know what to expect.
There are a variety of different treatment options for astigmatism, some of which depend on a patient’s age. Due to the prevalence of the condition, there are a number of new products on the market that cater specifically to the needs of people who have astigmatism.
One example of specialized products is the introduction of soft contact lenses that are specifically made to be worn by people who have an irregularly shaped eye. In the past, this has been an issue because traditional contacts would not stay in the right position on the eye. Instead, they would fall off or float into different positions around the eye. These contacts offer patients all of the benefits of soft contacts and also maintain a proper fit.
Additionally, orthokeratology or ortho-K is another treatment option that patients with astigmatism can use. This approach uses rigid, gas-permeable contact lenses that are put into your eyes just before you go to bed and then taken out when you wake up. The lens gently reshapes your eye while you sleep and gives your eye the proper shape. When you take the contacts out, you can go about your day with a clear vision, even though you are not wearing any prescription lenses. While ortho-K lenses should be worn every night, some patients have found that they can go as long as three days before they need to wear the lenses again.
Ortho-K offers a great benefit to children who are prone to losing or breaking their eyeglasses or that do not like to wear contacts throughout the day. Children or adults who are involved in athletics may also enjoy the freedom of not wearing prescription lenses during the day.
Another new approach to treating astigmatism is the use of laser treatments. Lasers are a great choice for patients who have astigmatism, as long as their eyes are not still changing shape. Laser treatments can remove the cells that cause the deformity in the eye and give your eye the proper shape and allow light to enter and focus properly at the back of the eye.
If you have been diagnosed with astigmatism, or have a family history of astigmatism, schedule an appointment with Grove Eye Care today and see the difference that we can make in your vision.