Astigmatism is a common refractive error. It occurs when the front surface of the cornea has mismatched curves. A healthy eye without a refractive error has once curve like a ball. The surface of an eye with astigmatism is shaped like an egg, causing blurry vision. Fortunately, our optometrist at Riviera Opticare has years of experience treating the astigmatism of residents of Mesa, Scottsdale, and the surrounding areas.
Who Is at Risk for Astigmatism?
Astigmatism is often present at birth, but you may not experience the symptoms until you are older. Although anyone can develop astigmatism, there are risk factors that can increase your chances of developing this condition, including:
- Family history of astigmatism or keratoconus. If either or both of your parents have astigmatism, your chances of developing the condition greatly increase.
- Excessive nearsightedness or farsightedness
- Scarring or thinning of the cornea
- Previous eye surgery
Symptoms of Astigmatism
Astigmatism can cause several symptoms. Some people will experience just one or two, while others will experience them all. Symptoms manifest differently in every person. Symptoms of astigmatism include:
- Blurry or distorted distance and near vision
- Eye discomfort
- Headaches due to eyestrain
- Trouble seeing at night
- Squinting to see clearly
Astigmatism can be diagnosed during your annual eye exam. Our optometrist will perform a visual acuity test, where you will be asked to read the letters on the Snellen eye chart. If you have trouble seeing the letters clearly, your eye doctor will perform a couple more tests.
- Refraction: If you have trouble reading the letters on the chart, your eye doctor will perform refraction. They will have you look into lenses with various strengths to see which ones best correct your vision.
- Keratometry: This test is designed to measure the curvature of your cornea. Not only will it let your eye doctor see if you have astigmatism, but it will also help them determine your prescription.
If you are diagnosed with astigmatism, there are a few treatment options you can choose from.
- Eyeglasses: Eyeglasses are the most common treatment method for astigmatism. If you choose another treatment method, it is good to have a pair of eyeglasses as a backup.
- Contact lenses: Contacts provide a natural appearance. While wearing contacts you don't need to worry about your vision being obstructed by frames or dirty lenses. If you have astigmatism, you are considered hard to fit for contacts, and our eye doctor will likely prescribe toric lenses.
- Lasik surgery: If you do not want to rely on glasses or contacts, consider LASIK surgery. It is a laser surgical procedure that gently reshapes your cornea, correcting astigmatism. LASIK can correct an astigmatism prescription of up to 6.00.
- Ortho-K: Ortho-K is special contacts that are worn overnight to gently reshape your cornea. These lenses allow you to see clearly without glasses or contacts.
Optometrist in Mesa
If you are experiencing the symptoms of astigmatism or having any other issues with your eyes, schedule an appointment at Riviera Opticare. Our optometrist treats patients in Scottsdale and Mesa and can treat your symptoms, allowing you to see clearly.