There are many eye disorders that adults and children have that are widely understood and discussed. Most of us understand the concept of being nearsighted and farsighted. Astigmatism, however, is probably one of the more confusing and misunderstood eye problems.  Not only is the vision problem commonly mispronounced but its origin and type of problem is widely misconstrued.  Let’s examine the eye problem astigmatism, what it is and how eye doctors treat it.

What is Astigmatism?

Astigmatism is a fairly common refractive error occurring in about 28% of the population. Refractive errors often are the main reason a person seeks the services of an optometrist or ophthalmologist. What a refractive error means is that the person is seeing blurry because optical imperfections are preventing the eye from properly focusing/bending (refracting) light. The primary refractive errors are nearsightedness, farsightedness and astigmatism.

The Cause of Astigmatism –

The eye’s ability to focus/bend light sharply on the retina primarily is based on three eye anatomy features: 1) the overall length of the eye, 2) the curvature of the cornea and 3) the curvature of the lens inside the eye. Astigmatism occurs when he cornea is not perfectly spherical, then the image is refracted or focused irregularly on the retina. A person can be nearsighted or farsighted with or without astigmatism.

Treatment for Astigmatism

An eye specialist can determine the extent of your refraction problem by using a computerized instrument (automated refraction) or with a mechanical instrument called a phoropter. These methods allow the doctor to show you one lens at a time to find the right refraction for your eye.  Your eye doctor will use the results of your refraction to determine your eyeglasses prescription which can mean eyeglasses or contact lenses. If you prefer contact lenses a special fitting can also help find the right prescription for your eye.  There is also refractive surgery that can assist in these types of cases.  Talk to your eye doctor about what is right for your unique eyes.

Contact Independent Eye Care in Danvers, Beverly or Topsfield.

Danvers: 978-774-4500     Beverly: 978-921-5000     Topsfield: 978-887-0068

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