What Is Astigmatism and How Can It Be Corrected?
Astigmatism is a common vision issue caused by irregularities in the shape of your eye’s cornea or lens. This causes blurred, distorted and doubled images when you look at objects that are close to you and objects that are far away from you. The curve of the cornea or lens can be changed in a variety of ways, impacting the type of treatment that is best for your individual care. These are a few possible treatments you can expect from our team of eye doctors in New Jersey.
Types of Astigmatism
There are many different types of astigmatism. Astigmatism on its own (regular astigmatism) results from an irregular curvature of the lens. The lens is supposed to be rounded so that the light can easily pass through the lens into the retina. People with astigmatism have a lens that is football-shaped and this distorts the way light rays enter the eye.
Astigmatism is often combined with refractive errors. The three most common types of astigmatism are:
Hyperopia is the medical term for farsightedness. Hyperopic astigmatism occurs when the cornea or lens is too short and the light focuses behind the retina. This makes close objects appear blurry while distant objects appear clearer. Hyperopic astigmatism is common in children and develops over time but can be corrected by glasses or contact lenses.
Myopia or nearsightedness occurs when the eyeball is elongated or the cornea curves too sharply. Myopic astigmatism is combined with nearsightedness and causes light rays to focus in front of the retina. This makes distant objects appear blurry while close objects appear clearer. Like hyperopic astigmatism, this condition often begins during childhood and worsens over time.
Mixed astigmatism consists of both nearsighted and farsighted vision. The irregularly shaped lens or cornea creates points of high and low curvature in front of and behind the retina, respectively.
Astigmatism Diagnosis and Treatments
Eye health and refraction checks are performed on a regular basis at Eye Care Physicians and Surgeons of New Jersey, as part of an overall comprehensive eye exam, to detect changes to vision that may indicate a need for treatment. There are two main forms of treatments for refractive errors.
Contacts and glasses are often the first steps in corrective treatment, especially for children. Corrective lenses include bifocal glasses, single-vision glasses, progressive lenses, and contact lenses. When it comes to choosing between glasses and contact lenses for correcting astigmatism, it all depends on what your needs are. Contacts offer more comfort than glasses as they can be removed at any time but still allow you to see clearly.
Refractive Eye Surgery
Refractive surgery can be used to correct hyperopia, myopia, and astigmatism in adults with a consistent vision prescription. This means your vision has not continued to worsen within the last several months. LASIK is a laser eye surgery that is the most well-known refractive surgery, but our eye surgeons offer many other options like PRK and lens exchange or lens implant.
Schedule a Consultation
If you want to know more about astigmatism treatments or are in need of an eye exam, we encourage you to schedule a consultation at one of our six New Jersey locations.