Astigmatism is a common eye condition in which the front surface of the eye known as the cornea, or the lens inside the eye has mismatched curves. A healthy eye is perfectly round, like a ball, and when light enters the eye it is refracted evenly to create a single, sharp image. When an eye has astigmatism, it is shaped like an oval, and the mismatched curves cause the light to refract unevenly, often resulting in two images that slightly overlap. This can cause blurry vision at all distances.
How do you know if you have astigmatism?
Astigmatism is often present at birth, so it’s important that young children are regularly seen by an eye doctor, since they may not be aware that their vision is blurry. An eye doctor can determine whether or not someone has astigmatism through a thorough eye examination and refraction test, which measures how the eyes bend light.
What are the symptoms of astigmatism?
Symptoms of astigmatism may include:
- Blurry or distorted vision
- Eyestrain or discomfort
- Poor night vision
What are the causes of astigmatism?
Astigmatism is usually something you are born with, but it can also develop due to eye injury, disease or surgery. Unlike common myths you may have heard, you cannot get astigmatism by reading in poor light or sitting too close to the TV.
What can you do about astigmatism?
In some cases, the astigmatism is so mild that no corrective action is needed. However, if it is causing any of the symptoms listed above or is interfering with your daily activities, you should talk to your eye doctor about treatment options. The most common treatment is corrective prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses.
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