If your vision is distorted at many distances and objects constantly appear blurry, you may have astigmatism. It’s a common eye condition that sometimes occurs alongside nearsightedness or farsightedness and can make vision correction more complex.
The good news is that astigmatism can be corrected with the right treatment, including contact lenses and eyeglasses. If you’re looking for a cure for astigmatism, laser eye surgery can significantly reduce your need for glasses and contacts. An eye exam can help your optometrist determine the severity of your astigmatism and guide you to the right treatment option.
What Is Astigmatism?
Astigmatism is a refractive error that occurs when the eye’s cornea is misshapen, leading to blurred vision. Usually, the cornea is spherical, allowing light to enter and focus on the retina at the back of the eye.
Instead of being round like a ball, the cornea is shaped more like a football. The irregularly shaped cornea causes light to refract differently, leading to distortion.
What Causes Astigmatism?
The cornea and lens are responsible for focusing light on the retina and producing clear, crisp images. The irregularity can be caused by:
- Injuries to the eye
- Eye surgeries
Astigmatism can develop during childhood and worsen with age and often coincides with other refractive errors, such as myopia (nearsightedness) or hyperopia (farsightedness).
How Is Astigmatism Treated?
One of the most common ways to treat astigmatism is through corrective lenses. These include glasses or contact lenses that help to focus light onto the retina and restore clear vision. The type of lens your optometrist recommends will depend on the severity of your astigmatism and any other underlying eye conditions, such as nearsightedness or farsightedness.
Orthokeratology, also known as ortho-k, is a noninvasive treatment that involves wearing special contact lenses overnight. Ortho-k lenses help to reshape the cornea while you sleep, allowing for clearer vision during the day.
Ortho-k can be especially effective for younger patients who may still be experiencing changes in their vision, as it can be used to control myopia progression.
Along with corrective lenses and surgical options, you can make several lifestyle changes that may help support healthy vision. These include:
- Eating a healthy diet that’s rich in vitamins and minerals
- Reducing screen time
- Taking regular breaks if you spend a lot of time doing close work
Alongside corrective lenses, these healthy eye care habits can help preserve your comfort and reduce your risk of developing eye conditions.
Scheduling breaks, reducing screen time, and encouraging outdoor time in your children can also help support healthy eye growth. It may also help reduce the progression of refractive errors as they enter adulthood.
Regular Eye Exams
Always stay on top of your eye health by scheduling regular eye exams with your optometrist. They will be able to monitor changes in your astigmatism symptoms, recommend appropriate treatment options, and screen you for other eye conditions that may be affecting your vision.
For long-lasting or permanent results, refractive surgery is a popular treatment option. It can be ideal for astigmatism or other refractive errors if you meet the following guidelines:
- Your refractive error’s severity is in the appropriate range
- You want to reduce your reliance on contact lenses or glasses
- You have no existing eye diseases such as glaucoma
- You understand that you may still have to wear corrective lenses following the procedure
There are 2 primary types of laser eye surgery to correct refractive errors:
- LASIK (laser in situ keratomileusis) is the most well-known laser eye surgery. During a LASIK procedure, a flap is made on the eye’s surface to reshape the eye’s tissue underneath using a laser.
- PRK (photorefractive keratectomy) is similar to LASIK but without creating a flap on the cornea—instead, the corneal epithelium is removed. PRK may be a better option if you have a naturally thin cornea or chronic dry eye.
During a visit with your optometrist, they can help explain the options and provide comprehensive advice based on your unique eyes.
Find the Right Vision Correction for You
Whether you opt for corrective lenses, refractive surgery, ortho-k, or want to explore other options for better vision, it’s essential to work closely with your optometrist to determine the best course of action for your individual needs.
Book an eye exam at Doctors Eyecare Grande Prairie to determine what’s causing your blurry vision and find a solution.