Effects Of Astigmatism And Best Treatments

Wouldn’t it be stressful to drive through life with a “warped windshield”? That’s exactly how astigmatism feels. Astigmatism is an eye disorder which occurs due to the irregular curvature of the eye. It prevents light from being focused on the retina properly and blurs your vision. Astigmatism has different extents of affecting people. Medical research shows that astigmatism can be congenital or occur after an eye injury, disease or surgery.

The Two Types Of Astigmatism

Corneal Astigmatism – This is when the cornea is curved improperly. The cornea has a distorted shape that prevents light rays from getting refracted properly.

Lenticular Astigmatism – When the lens of the eye is improperly curved, it is Lenticular Astigmatism. The lens is curved imperfectly so the image reaching the retina is blurred. Lenticular Astigmatism is seen in patients with diabetes, but is reduced once you start treating diabetes.

Symptoms Of Astigmatism  

Astigmatism can be diagnosed through various eye check-ups and eye tests, but other indicators are headaches, squinting, fatigue, blurry vision, eyestrain, distorted vision and photophobia – sensitivity to light. A visual acuity test, regular eye tests and use of a Snellen Chart, Keratometer or Astigmatic dial can be used for the diagnoses.

Treatment For Astigmatism 

Eye glasses, corrective lenses or refractive surgery are a few ways through which astigmatism can be corrected. Eyeglasses and corrective lenses are the primary means of correcting blurred vision caused by astigmatism, but the best way to improve vision and correct astigmatism is through corrective surgery. There are two types of laser surgery: PRK and LASIK.

  • (PRK) or Photorefractive Keratectomy is one of the laser surgery methods to treat astigmatism. The protective layer of the cornea is removed and another laser reshapes the cornea. However, this treatment is known to be painful.
  • (LASIK) or Laser in situ keratectomy is a recently developed technology. It has been favored largely because it is less painful. The surgery involves using a laser to make an incision into the cornea and reshaping it with the help of an excimer laser.

Lesser Known Facts Of Astigmatism

Some mild types of this disorder may not affect vision but this is common in young people and women. It is congenital for some people, so the intensity may increase with age.

  • It can be treated – Most people do not experience symptoms and hardly require treatment. Prescription glasses and contact lenses are just enough to treat astigmatism in the early stages.
  • Diabetes – High blood sugar levels can affect the eye, especially the shape of the lens which helps with the focusing power of the eye. Diabetic retinopathy occurs when tiny blood vessels in the eye are blocked.
  • Rubbing can weaken your eyes – Allergies or rubbing vigorously may weaken your eyes because it can distort the shape of the cornea.
  • Eye exercises help – Our eyes are muscles and need to be kept in shape. It is important to do the “read and avert gaze” exercise every now and then. You can start by reading and then shifting your gaze to a nearby object and then get back to reading. Doing this repeatedly will strengthen your eye muscles and help you with your ability to focus.

Vision therapy, eye exercises and a healthy diet can be beneficial to treat astigmatism as well as other eyesight conditions like Myopia, Hyperopia and Presbyopia. Though there are alternate measures to curb the problem only an ophthalmologist would know best and will suggest the best possible treatment to you.

Author Bio:   

Aaron Barriga is the online marketing manager for Insight Vision Center, an Ophthalmology Center in California. With a knack for understanding medical procedures, and an interest in eye and vision health, Aaron loves to share what he knows and what he learns. He blogs to inform readers about the latest eye care technology and other topics related to eye care, especially LASIK. Aaron loves collecting coasters from the different bars and restaurants he visits during his travels.

The Need To Understand Glaucoma

The eyes are not simply just the windows to our soul. In fact, the eyes are one of the foremost senses that we rely on in our day-to-day lives. Many people often take sight and seeing for granted, but for those who have impaired vision, from an accident or age-related issues, understanding the complexities of compromised eyesight is imperative to then being able to properly treat and combat it. Glaucoma is considered the second leading cause of blindness for those over the age of 40. More than 2.5 million Americans suffer from some form of the eye disease. This makes it incredibly pervasive and it’s only climbing higher as time goes on. That number is expected to more than double in 30 years.

Who Can Get Glaucoma?

There is ongoing research that has been done in regards to better understanding this condition and effective ways to prevent it from occurring. A very interesting tidbit of information regarding it is that anyone can actually develop glaucoma. Though there are certain people who may be more genetically predisposed to the condition, it can show up in anyone. Even younger individuals, such as children and babies, may develop the early onset of this condition which can have terrible effects and consequences on eyesight. Familial and genetic makeup does contribute to this specific condition in many ways. It has been found that people over the age of 60, especially those of Mexican-American descent, have a higher probability of suffering from glaucoma.

Comprehensive Eye Exam

The most effective way to catch the presence of glaucoma, in order to treat it quickly, is by getting a comprehensive dilated eye exam. One of the most beneficial methods of treatment and prevention starts when detection is made early. Eyesight can be saved and restored by taking this simple and relatively quick eye exam. The trained eye care professional will use a special tool that examines the very back of the eye. This magnifying lens will show any type of nerve damage or irregularity that may exist in the back of the eye where issues typically occur first.

Preventative Treatment Important

Simply waiting for symptoms is a bad idea. Because of how quickly glaucoma can spread and become unmanageable, preventative treatment is better than reactive treatment. This is how lack of awareness can really be costly in the end. For those who have a history of glaucoma in their family or have dealt with similar eye issues in the past, making it a point to be examined at least yearly is necessary. When glaucoma isn’t properly treated, eyesight begins to diminish. It is the peripheral eyesight that typically diminishes first. Seeing things out of the corner of the eye becomes more difficult. Over a period of time, even central vision can be negatively affected.

Nerve Cell Damage

The optic nerve is the compromised entity in the face of glaucoma. It exists in the very back of the eye and helps to carry specific peripheral visuals to the brain. When that optic nerve is damaged, its range of motion than becomes compromised. When the nerve cells become under attack from the presence of glaucoma, the flow of visual data is disrupted and can often be short circuited. Once this damage is done it cannot be reversed. Specific studies have been researching ways to protect eye cells from this nerve damage.