What is astigmatism?

When you have blurred vision for near and far then  you most probably suffer from astigmatism.

How does astigmatism happen?

It is a common error of refraction, which basically means “ no one point” indicating that parallel rays of light entering the eye are focused on multiple points on the retina instead of one well defined point on the fovea , this causes any object seen to have multiple shadows or irregular ill-defined outlines.   

What are the symptoms of astigmatism?

  1. Blurred vision for near and distant objects
  2. Partially closing the eyes or squinting them to get a clearer view.
  3. Chronic headaches and eye pain with burning and tearing 
  4. Difficulty driving and focusing on long tasks.  

What causes astigmatism?

  1. Hereditary or genetic factors that affect the regular shape of the cornea
  2. Irregular shape or congenital deformity of the crystalline lens
  3. Keratoconus and other corneal ectasias and bulges
  4. Constant eye rubbing or pressure in cases of severe allergies and or large chalazions
  5. Eye stitches and sutures after major eye surgeries like retinal surgeries. 

Are there different types of astigmatism?

Yes , and these are classifying according to where (within the eye) are the rays of light converged to

Regular astigmatism: in which there are two main axes of refraction of the eye which are perpendicular to each other . the rays may be focused to numerous points in front of the retina, behind the retina, or both.

Irregular astigmatism: in which there are no well-defined axes of refraction, and identifying  the corneal axes requires imaging technologies. This results from borneal scars or trauma, and diseases like keratoconus.

When should I visit my ophthalmologist or eye doctor? 

If you have nay of the above symptoms and are always blurred and suffer from headaches , you should visit your eye doctor or ophthalmologist right away. a skilled ophthalmologist will follow up your case, and if necessary, will ask for certain pictures of your cornea to exclude more serious conditions like keratoconus. 

How is astigmatism treated?

Depending in the type , your doctor will let you know of the treatment options available for your condition. The best ophthalmologist or eye doctor  will tailor a treatment plan according to your findings

  1. Glasses or contact lenses: these can be used to correct the error measured and toric contact lens are specifically designed for this issue.  
  2. LASIK and other refractive surgeries: custom LASIK and toric phakic IOL can also use to correct higher grades of astigmatism 
  3. For keratoconus numerous treatment options are available and will be discussed in detail but LASIK is not one of them 

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About the doctor

A consultant specializing in corneal, cataract and Glaucoma Surgery and Refractive surgery in Egypt, Assistant Professor of Ophthalmology – Ain Shams University, Consultant cornea, cataract, and Glaucoma Surgery and Refractive Surgery, Fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Glasgow, UK.

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