Astigmatism is a common eye condition that affects more than 50% of the population, causing them to wear corrective eyewear. That’s because Astigmatism causes the light rays entering your eye to focus on more than one point on the back of the eye called the retina. This creates a ‘double vision’ effect, leaving your vision blurry. This is mainly caused by having an irregularly shaped cornea, which is the outer layer of the eye that is commonly called the ‘windshield of the eye.’
In patients who do NOT have astigmatism, their cornea is regular and round as in the shape of a basketball or sphere. In patients with astigmatism, their corneas are more oval-shaped like a football – the back surface of a spoon – where there is a difference in the steepness in each direction. This irregular shape causes the light rays do not properly focus on the retina. Because these light rays are skewed, people with astigmatism need prescription glasses or special contact lenses to correct this condition.
What Causes Astigmatism?
When your cornea is irregularly shaped, the light that enters the eye cannot come to a single point; instead, it scatters, focusing at multiple points both in front of and behind your retina. This results in the trademark blurry vision of astigmatism.
Astigmatism can sometimes develop after an eye injury. A rare eye disease called keratoconus – which causes your cornea to progressively change its shape – can also result in severe astigmatism. Dr. Brooks will carefully diagnose your condition during a comprehensive eye examination to determine the underlying cause.
Glasses and/or contact lenses can treat most forms of astigmatism. People with astigmatism commonly have other refractive errors as well, such as myopia and hyperopia, which will require a three-part prescription.
If your astigmatism significantly interferes with your daily life, laser vision correction can free you from your dependence on glasses and contacts, providing you with clear, stable vision. LASIK eye surgery treats the source of your astigmatism by changing the shape of your cornea, allowing it to focus light properly for the first time. Dr. Brooks will discuss all of your astigmatism treatment options with you in detail during your appointment.
If you have further questions about astigmatism, please contact Brooks Eye Associates today or call (972) 736-9347 to schedule an appointment. We serve patients in North Texas, including Plano, Frisco, and Dallas.