Astigmatism: Diagnosis and Treatment

Diagnosing Astigmatism

Astigmatism is a common eye condition caused by the irregular shape of the patients eye. Astigmatism prevents the patient from getting a clear view of the object they are seeing. While it is a common condition it is not often known why someone gets Astigmatism. But there are several treatment options for those who are suffering from this condition.

What is it?

Astigmatism is created when the shape generally sphere becomes irregular or shaped more like a football. There are several levels of astigmatism. Many patients don’t even realize they have it. However if the condition is severe enough there are more extensive treatments to help the patient.

Symptoms:

Blurred vision
Fatigue
Eye strain

How is Astigmatism Diagnosed?

Astigmatism is often diagnosed during a routine eye examination through the use of equipment called a topographer and measuring your prescription with a phorpter. This condition and many other conditions can be diagnosed at your annual eye examination. Which is why it is so important to be sure to have this done each year. Astigmatism can develop very slowly so be sure to tell your eye care professional when there are any changes in your vision.

Treatments:

There are a few treatments for astigmatism.

Contact Lenses & Glasses

While the most common are glasses and contact lenses there are a special kind of contacts for those who have more severe astigmatism. Toric contact lenses or RGP contact lenses will help those with astigmatism. RGP (Rigid Gas Permeable) contact lenses are used to correct severe cases and will give the patient a much more clear vision of what is in front of them.

Refractive (vision correction) Surgery:

For those who want to be reduce the use of contact lenses or glasses refractive surgery is another option. You can ask your eye care professional what procedures are right for your degree of astigmatism. Procedures like LASIK and PRK can help those with astigmatism, but there are some criteria you need to meet before you are eligible. For further information contact your eye care professionals.

Is LASIK the Right Choice for You?

Even though the LASIK procedure has been around a few decades surely some of you are still wondering how this procedure can help my vision. Although we  often settle for what we get with our glasses and contact lenses a new view into what is LASIK may change your mind. There are probably many questions you want to ask in regards to LASIK hopefully this will help you with a few.

What is LASIK?

LASIK also known as In-situ Keratomileusis is a vision correction procedure that uses a laser to reshape your cornea and decrease your need for contacts/glasses. LASIK can help correct nearsightedness, farsightedness, and astigmatism. These conditions often cause the patient to need glasses or contact lenses, which requires a lot of maintenance. The everyday maintenance and reduction in lack of overall vision can cause some to look for other options. LASIK can give the patient a view of the world less dependent on the use of contacts or glasses.

How do I Know if I am a Good Candidate?

Often people ask the question “Who can get LASIK Surgery?” The truth is there are tests that need to be done to determine if you are a candidate. There are some people to which this procedure is not an option. Determining if you are a candidate would require a few tests.  These tests include:

  • Cornea Mapping, knows as Corneal Topographical: this procedure will help determine if there are any irregularities that would exclude you from being a candidate
  • Pupil size: this test is important to ensure that your pupil size is not too large. Large pupils can cause reduced night vision and visual halos/glare making driving difficult at night.
  • Cornea Thickness, knows as Pachymetry: ensuring your cornea has sufficient thickness for LASIK is important. Individuals whose corneas are thin can develop a vision threatening condition if they undergo LASIK. 
  • Prescription know as manifest refraction: determines the strength of your prescription and if this can be programmed into the laser.  If you prescription is too high, you will not get the desired results since the laser can only correct to a certain point. 

These tests will give a better overview of your eyes.

Those with conditions caused by a thinning of the cornea, too high of a prescription and or large pupil size will be told and the eye care professionals will explain other options.

What will the Procedure be Like?

This procedure is performed usually in a procedure room at your doctor’s office. The procedure takes about 7-10 minutes per eye. The doctor will use drops to numb your eyes. Currently many are using wavefront guided procedures to be sure that you are getting the best quality vision. Wavefront guided procedures can help correct other imperfections that caused declined quality of vision. Talk to your eye care professional about more on this common procedure.

Remember LASIK vision correction surgery is there to improve your overall vision. It is important you know all the facts before agreeing to this type of procedure. If you have questions be sure to ask your eye care professional.

Help with correcting astigmastim

Astigmatism while a condition that many suffer through there are several treatments available. Astigmatism affects each of us in a different way and determined by your eye care professional on what degree a person is suffering will determine whether or not a corrective refractive surgery is needed. There are several treatments for astigmatism while most patients receive glasses or contact lenses in different levels, some have severe astigmatism and need more than that to have an optimal quality of vision.

Below are some treatments and what to expect:

Glasses:

Glasses are a typical starting point for someone with astigmatism. Glasses can be used for many years without a change in your eye sight. However if you are diagnosed with an astigmatism it is wise to get an annual eye exam, or more frequent eye exam when you have changes in your vision.

Contact Lenses:

Some patients struggle with use of glasses and maintenance of glasses. However the contact lenses offer some comfort. The contact lenses can be used with a certain degree of astigmatism, however if the astigmatism gets worse other treatment options may be needed.

Vision Correction Surgery:

One of the refractive eye surgeries that can help those with astigmatism is LASIK. LASIK provide a person with an irregular cornea a clearer picture. This means that it can allow those who have an irregular shaped cornea a new smoother and more curved cornea. When the corneas shape is changed it allows the person a clearer image rather than a doubled or blurred view. It also can free someone from wearing glasses or contact lenses. While it doesn’t guarantee that you will not need glasses or contact lenses it can reduce some of the need for them.

Vision correction surgery is up to you and your eye care professionals. If you have more question about the treatments ask your doctor if it is right for you.