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What Is Astigmatism - Occurrence & Treatment

This is an eye disease which is an imperfection of the cornea's curvature which means that the rays from the light is not properly refracted called a refractive error.

There are two types of this eye ailment. When the cornea has an irregular shape, it is corneal, and when the lens is distorted it is lenticular. Both types result in objects appearing blurry or distorted, whether far or near. Each person is born with at least a slight affliction along with other refractive errors like nearsightedness or farsightedness.

Adults might realize that they are affected by it, but children would not complain of any blurred or distorted vision. This would keep them from achieving well in school or other areas. This is why children should be examined on a regular basis by an eye specialist to be able to diagnose this disability.

The Causes

The curve of the cornea and lens in the eye refracts the light properly in order to focus any object exactly on the retina. However, in astigmatism the cornea or lens is distorted.

At any distance the vision is not properly focused due to the light rays not focusing on a single point in the eye due to the distortion in the curvature. The curvature can increase or decrease (not remaining constant) and occur during adulthood. This can also come before the naturally occurring process of cataracts in the eyes.

One can also have a distortion in the curvature of the lens or cornea following any injury to the eyes and/or a surgery.

A rare condition called keratoconus can also cause this ailment as the cornea keeps getting thinner and cone shaped in this condition. This can lead to a need for corneal transplant to correct vision.

Treatment

There are several ways of treating this eye affliction namely:

1. Eyeglasses

People mostly choose to wear glasses to correct blurry and distorted vision. The lenses in the eyeglasses are cylindrical to compensate for the distorted shape of the cornea.

2. Contact Lenses

These provide for a clearer vision compared to glasses and on a broader field of view. Lenses being gas-permeable can maintain their shape while on the cornea; they are able to overcome the problems that come with irregularity in the corneaĆ¢s shape, thus, improving vision.

3. Orthokeratology

This comprises the fitting of a series of contact lenses usually during the night and for a period of time. They need not be worn 24 hours a day.

4. Laser and other refractive surgery procedures

Through Lasik surgery, one can either reshape the cornea or have tissue removed from the superficial and inner layers of the cornea. Both types of surgeries enhance vision.

This is a predominantly naturally occurring phenomenon and it can be corrected or curbed if properly diagnosed. As children are prone to hide any afflictions, it is advised to have regular eye checkups to be able to know about it in time and take corrective measures. The eyes are a sensitive organ and should be treated with utmost care. Clear vision is truly a blessing.

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