Astigmatism: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment Options
The team at Monterey County Eye Associates has helped so many patients from the area achieve better eyesight through various vision care treatments. This includes the use of contact lenses to improve vision clarity as well as recommending patients for refractive surgery and other advanced treatments.
Ultimately, we pride ourselves on educating patients about their eyes and their eye care needs. Astigmatism is often misunderstood by patients. Sometimes patients even use the misnomer "stigmatism" to refer to the condition. Let's go over the basics of astigmatism right now.
Astigmatism is a kind of vision issue that is the result of the irregular curvature of the cornea or the lens of the eye. When the cornea or lens is misshapen, this results in problems with the way that light focuses on the retina. When astigmatism occurs, this causes haziness or blurriness of vision.
Common Signs and Symptoms of Astigmatism
Some common signs of astigmatism include:
- Blurred vision
- Fuzziness of objects
- Eyestrain and eye fatigue
- Headaches related to the eyes
Though it can occur on its own, many times astigmatism occurs along with nearsightedness (myopia) and farsightedness (hyperopia).
Different Types of Astigmatism
There are five different kinds of astigmatism that a person may suffer from:
- Simple Myopic Astigmatism - Light traveling through the eye results in two focal points: one in front of the retina and one on the retina
- Simple Hyperopic Astigmatism - Light traveling through the eye results in two focal points: one on the retina and one in back of the retina
- Compound Myopic Astigmatism - Light traveling through the eye results in two focal points: both located in front of the retina but in two different locations
- Compound Hyperopic Astigmatism - Light traveling through the eye results in two focal points: both located in the back of the retina but in two different locations
- Mixed Astigmatism - Light traveling through the eye results in two focal points: one in front of the retina and one in back of the retina
Treatment Options for Astigmatism
There are numerous methods that can be used to treat astigmatism. These include:
- LASIK - The most popular refractive surgery procedure available, LASIK uses lasers to reshape the cornea so that light travels through the eye and focuses on the retina properly.
- PRK - An alternative to LASIK, PRK works on the same principle of reshaping the cornea in order to achieve better overall vision. PRK involves removal of the frontal portion of the cornea, whereas LASIK involves the creation of a flap in the cornea.
- LASEK - Another alternative to LASIK that works on a similar principle of corneal reshaping. LASEK uses a special solution to remove the frontal portion of the cornea and allow for laser reshaping.
- Contact Lenses - Contact lenses are an old standby to consider and are quite effective at improving overall vision quality.
- Eyeglasses - Prescription glasses are another common treatment option for astigmatism that can prove quite stylish as well.
During a consultation with our team, we will be more than happy to go over all of these treatment options in greater detail and help you determine which one would be best for you and your needs.
Schedule a Consultation at Monterey County Eye Associates
For more information about astigmatism and other vision issues as well as your many options for treatment, be sure to contact our eye care and vision correction specialists today. The team at Monterey County Eye Associates looks forward to your visit and helping you achieve excellent eye health.