Blurry vision is often caused by astigmatism, the condition with a funny name that affects nearly 1 in 3 Americans. Astigmatism is not nearsightedness or farsightedness; it can occur alongside either one of those refractive errors. Being diagnosed with astigmatism isn’t necessarily a bad thing. A diagnosis allows you and your eye doctor to develop the best care for your eyes.
Astigmatism: The Imperfect Eye
The cornea is a clear surface at the front of the eye that is responsible for accurately focusing light onto the retina. The retina then converts light into electric signals that pass through the optic nerve to the cortex of the brain. In an instant, visual images are created. Astigmatism doesn’t change the process, necessarily, but it interrupts the passage of light through the eye. For vision to be clear, all parts of the eye must align. Astigmatism describes imperfection in the shape of the cornea. Without proper shape, the cornea cannot send light directly to the retina. This results in blurriness, eye fatigue, headaches, and poor night vision.
Addressing Eye Health Needs
When astigmatism is diagnosed, our approach is to correct vision changes in the most efficient way possible. Prescription eyeglasses can correct vision but do not correct the shape of the cornea. Another option is orthokeratology, a type of ocular physical therapy in which a special contact lens is worn to shape the eye. Orthokeratology can improve vision but may not achieve permanent results. Patients may rely on cornea-shaping lenses or prescription eyeglasses forever.
A popular procedure for correcting astigmatism is LASIK. This eye surgery reshapes the cornea using laser energy and can also correct other vision issues simultaneously. The careful sculpting of the cornea can improve vision significantly for long-lasting results.
Routine eye exams are vital to ongoing eye health and good vision. Our comprehensive exams observe vision and also assess all of the structures of the eye to ensure proper alignment and integrity. Schedule your annual eye exam in our Ocala office, where we can discuss the details of your eye health in person. Call (352) 237-8400.