What is astigmatism?
The number question patients ask me. The way it is pronounced makes it seem like a bad eye disease like your eye will fall out. Well it’s not.
Most of the time, astigmatism is pretty much means the surface of your eyeball is not perfectly round. That’s all. You probably hear the analogy of “Your eyes are shaped like a football. Compared to someone without astigmatism, their eyes are like a basketball”. Still, what in the world does that mean?!
Non-Astigmatism=Basketball. The curvatures on a basketball vertically and horizontally are identical because it is a sphere. So when light hits the surface of a spherical eye, it refracts or “bends” it onto one single point in the eye. This creates one single focal point. Prescription eyeglasses and contact lenses will have one focal point to correct.
Astigmatism=Football. The curvatures on a football vertically and horizontally are different. So when light hits the different curvatures, it refracts or “bends” it onto different points in the eye. This creates two different focal points. Prescription eyeglasses and contact lenses will have two focal points to correct.
A person that has astigmatism are unable to see clearly at distance AND at near. Furthermore, night time and computer glare are more of an issue for them due to different refraction points as mentioned earlier.
Majority of the astigmatism can be fully corrected with eyeglasses and contact lenses. Yes, you can wear contact lenses! Depending on severity of the astigmatism, contact lenses corrects astigmatism even better than traditional eyeglasses. Laser surgery can also correct astigmatism as long it is within certain criteria.
There you have it. A quick rundown of what astigmatism is. If you are interested in finding a solution to correct your astigmatism, please give us a call so we can discuss some options that’s best for you.