Astigmatism is caused by imperfect curvature of cornea or lens.
Both cornea and lens play and important role in focusing the image on to the retina at the back of the eye. Imperfections in the curvature may lead to uneven focusing of image, leading to blurred or distorted vision.
Astigmatism is classified into two types based on imperfection – corneal astigmatism and lenticular astigmatism.
Corneal astigmatism is caused by imperfect curvature of the cornea, while uneven lens surface causes lenticular astigmatism.
Astigmatism may occur in association with other refractive errors like myopia or hyperopia.
Refers to the blurred vision of distant objects caused by focusing of light in front of the retina. Myopia results from increased curvature of the cornea.
Is caused by reduced curvature of the cornea that causes the light to focus behind the retina. It is characterized by blurred vision of nearby objects.
This eye condition may be congenital or acquired after a surgery or injury.
4 Making a Diagnosis
Diagnosis of astigmatism is based on review of symptoms and eye examination.
Visual acuity test measures the vision.
Keratometer is used to measure the amount of light reflected from the cornea, which indicates the curvature of cornea. This procedure, called keratometry, helps to confirm the presence of astigmatism.
Variations in the surface of cornea is also mapped by computerized corneal mapping done with the help of videokeratoscope.
A phoropter is used to measure the focusing of light by placing different lenses in front of the eyes in a visual acuity test. It can also be measured using a retinoscope.
Both methods assess the degree of refractive error due to the abnormality in the curvature.
Corrective lenses and surgery are the major treatment options for astigmatism. Corrective lenses compensate the imperfections in curvature of the cornea.
Corrective lenses suggested include
Eye glasses made of special lenses that counteract the uneven curvature of the cornea. It is also helpful in correcting other refractive errors like myopia and hyperopia.
Contact lenses that are available in different forms like hard, soft, extended wear, disposable, gas permeable, and bifocal contact lenses.
Refractive surgery is a surgical method to correct the shape of eye surface.
Some common refractive surgery methods include
Laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis (LASIK) is a procedure in which a keratome is used to make a hinged cut in the cornea to reshape the cornea. An excimer laser is used to sculpt the shape of the cornea under the flap of the cut.
In photorefractive keratectomy (PRK), excimer laser is used to shape the curvature of the cornea after removing the outer protective layer.
Laser-assisted subepithelial keratomileusis (LASEK) is a procedure in which the thinner layer of cornea is folded back to reduce the risk of injury.
Since most cases of astigmatism are caused by congenital conditions, it is hard to prevent the condition.
Protecting the eye from injuries and strain help in reducing the risk of astigmatism.
Following a good diet keeps the eye healthy.
Some eye exercises are also helpful in keeping the eyes strong and perfect.
7 Alternative and Homeopathic Remedies
Homeopathic remedies that help in treating astigmatic symptoms are
Acupuncture and traditional
Chinese medicines are also implied in the treatment of this eye condition.
Herbal remedies used in the treatment of different symptoms include
8 Lifestyle and Coping
Having a healthy lifestyle and following therapeutic eye exercises help to improve vision and cope with Astigmatism.
Have more of antioxidants in the diet to have healthy eyes.
Start the treatment as soon as possible to have better results.
9 Risk and Complications
Amblyopia or lazy eye is the most serious complication associated with astigmatism.
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