Astigmatism is a common eye condition that affects millions of people worldwide. It is often misunderstood, and many people with astigmatism are not aware of the differences between their vision and normal vision.
What is Astigmatism?
Astigmatism is a refractive error that occurs when the cornea or lens of the eye is irregularly shaped. This causes light to be focused unevenly on the retina, resulting in blurry or distorted vision. Astigmatism can occur in one or both eyes and can range from mild to severe.
Normal vision, also known as emmetropia, is when light entering the eye is focused evenly on the retina. This results in clear and sharp vision at all distances. People with normal vision do not require corrective lenses or surgery to see clearly.
Differences between Astigmatism and Normal Vision
The main differences between astigmatism and normal vision are:
Blurred or Distorted Vision
People with astigmatism often experience blurred or distorted vision, while people with normal vision have clear and sharp vision.
Difficulty Seeing at Night
People with astigmatism may have difficulty seeing at night or in low light conditions, while people with normal vision do not experience this problem.
Eye Strain and Headaches
People with astigmatism may experience eye strain and headaches, especially after prolonged reading or computer use. People with normal vision do not experience these symptoms.
People with astigmatism may squint to try to see more clearly, while people with normal vision do not need to squint to see clearly.
Need for Corrective Lenses
People with astigmatism often require corrective lenses, such as glasses or contact lenses, to see clearly. People with normal vision do not require corrective lenses.
Causes of Astigmatism
Astigmatism can be caused by a variety of factors, including:
Irregularly Shaped Cornea or Lens
The most common cause of astigmatism is an irregularly shaped cornea or lens. This can be due to genetics, injury, or disease.
Keratoconus is a progressive eye disease that causes the cornea to become thin and bulge outward, resulting in astigmatism.
Some types of eye surgery, such as cataract surgery, can cause astigmatism.
Astigmatism can be managed with corrective lenses, such as glasses or contact lenses. In some cases, refractive surgery, such as LASIK, may be recommended to correct astigmatism. It is important to have regular eye exams to monitor astigmatism and ensure that it is properly managed.
Astigmatism is a common eye condition that can affect your vision and quality of life. Understanding the differences between astigmatism and normal vision can help you identify and manage the condition. If you experience blurred or distorted vision, difficulty seeing at night, or eye strain and headaches, it is important to schedule an eye exam with your optometrist to determine if you have astigmatism.
- Can astigmatism be cured?
- While astigmatism cannot be cured, it can be managed with corrective lenses or refractive surgery.
- Is astigmatism hereditary?
- Yes, astigmatism can be hereditary, but it can also be caused by injury or disease.
- Can astigmatism get worse over time?
- Yes, astigmatism can worsen over time, especially in cases of progressive eye diseases like keratoconus.
- Can astigmatism cause headaches?
- Yes, astigmatism can cause eye strain and headaches, especially after prolonged reading or computer use.
- Can astigmatism be detected during a routine eye exam?
- Yes, astigmatism can be detected during a routine eye exam, and your optometrist can recommend the best course of treatment.