It sounds like the worst eye disease in the world, but, astigmatism is not an eye disease. It is a common eye problem, and even the people with the perfect eyesight sometimes have it. Astigmatism refers to a refractive error in the eyes that can lead to short or farsightedness.
There are three ways of dealing with astigmatisms like glasses and contact glasses, not forgetting the permanent solver, which is Lasik surgery. The cornea having an abnormal shape usually causes it.
How does Lasik Surgery work?
Astigmatism is a condition that makes the cornea to develop an asymmetrical shape. This is almost the same shape that an American football has. When this happens, light tends to be disrupted as it enters the eyes and this distorts vision.
Laser surgery, however, can be programmed to correct its shape and redeem vision. The front surface of the cornea is reshaped using the ultra-precise lasers, therefore, getting rid of astigmatism.
Note that astigmatism has different magnitudes. Ones with small scales are less complicated and can be corrected with a sling procedure. When the magnitude is high, the procedure becomes a little complicated and may need to be conducted more than once to enhance vision correction.
With that said, know that the magnitude of astigmatism can affect the cost of Lasik surgery depending on the policies of your surgeon. However, don’t forget that refractive cornea correction surgery is a permanent solution for astigmatism. If you need a deeper explanation about astigmatism and Lasik you can see here.
Causes of astigmatism
Many cases of astigmatism are genetically influenced. That means it is a condition that can be inherited from our parent or grandparents. If any of your family members have had the condition before, you should maintain a good relationship with the eye doctor. This should prevent you from living with the condition for longer, which in turn will increase its magnitude.
Eye injuries are another common cause of astigmatism. Eye injuries are more physical, and their impact on the shape of the cornea cannot be assumed. Because you have just had Lasik surgery does not mean you cannot get astigmatism through injury.
The only way to avoid this is by ensuring that you protect your eyes. Use the required protective gear, especially if you are in a place where activities can be threatening to your eyes, for example.
There are eye diseases like keratoconus, which can be deadly to your cornea. The disease causes the cornea to bulge, and without taking the right measures, your cornea can attain an asymmetrical shape. This condition usually is associated with a lot of eye discomfort but cannot lead to loss of vision entirely.
Symptoms of astigmatism
Astigmatism can be undetected in children who acquire it through inheritance. Typically, more clear symptoms begin to show during their teens. Poor eyesight is one of the first signs that one will get to experience. Due to the damaged cornea, it becomes impossible to focus on items, whether far or near them.
Eye irritations can also be a sign that your cornea has become misshaped. This usually leads to excessive blinking, and other associated symptoms can include headaches and dizziness. Before other patients realize that they have astigmatism, they are already far long short-sighted or long-sighted.
Therefore, if you have either of the conditions, there is a probability that your cornea is not in its right shape.
Any of the signs mentioned above should be enough to make you book a doctor’s appointment. Don’t ignore or trust everything that you read online concerning this condition. Without a professional diagnosis, you stand a chance of worsening your eyesight or even was, lose it altogether.
As mentioned in the beginning, even people with perfect eyesight can develop astigmatism. Therefore, the only way to find out if you are suffering from the condition is by going for an eye examination. Many children who have acquired the condition genetically are diagnosed later during eye examination when most of them have no complaints or problems with their vision or eyes.
It is also recommended that you find an expert if you need your cornea to be corrected. Lasik surgery is a delicate procedure, and a simple mistake can be lethal to your site because the process is irreversible.
Author: Joel Hunter, MD is an Ophthalmologist, Refractive Surgeon, and the Founder of Hunter Vision, a LASIK Orlando Clinic in Florida. A recognized and respected specialist in vision correction who has performed a countless number of refractive surgeries, Joel gives lectures across the country and trains fellow doctors in the newest LASIK surgery techniques.