How Do People With Astigmatism See?
Astigmatism is a vision problem that affects many people. It is an ocular anomaly which derives from an irregular curvature of the cornea. The result is a distortion in vision. When someone has acute vision, they can distinguish objects in their environment easily. Astigmatism causes objects to be so distorted, it can be difficult to make them out. Astigmatism is the main cause of blurred vision which affects a considerable percentage of the world's population. Although it is easily corrected, not everyone has the resources to do so. This means they often see the world differently to others.
At oneHOWTO, you can learn just how differently a person with astigmatism sees. We do so by asking how do people with astigmatism see? We also find out the causes and treatment of this ocular disorder and provide pictures so you can see an astigmatism vision comparison.
How do people with astigmatism see?
An astigmatic eye has distorted vision of images due to the shape of the cornea. This is a membrane that has a certain curvature which allows for images to be refracted onto the retina. It is symmetrical and round as if it were a ball. In the case of astigmatism, the cornea changes to an irregular and oval shape, like a rugby ball. Astigmatism may also be related to problems with the lens of the eye which causes similar problems with refraction.
You may know that we need light to see, so you may ask how does a person with astigmatism see lights? When light passes through the cornea of someone with astigmatism, the rays are scattered to create multiple focal points. In a healthy eye, light is refracted at a single focal point on the retina. This leads a person with astigmatism to capture a blurred image on the retina, with serious difficulties in seeing correctly at any distance.
Once you understand what is astigmatism, you will realize that it is not only an annoying and unpleasant condition, it can be dangerous. This is especially the case if you are driving a vehicle or operating heavy machinery. If you think you may be suffering from astigmatism, it is important you go to a specialist immediately to correct your eyesight. In most cases, the solution is to use corrective lenses to refocus light rays.
Causes of astigmatism
The specific cause of astigmatism is unknown. It usually appears from birth. It can remain at a constant level over many years, or progressively worsen. It is thought to be hereditary. People affected by astigmatism are likely to have offspring with the same eye vision problems.
It is a common disorder that can occur along with other eye problems such as nearsightedness and farsightedness. It should not be confused with amblyopia, popularly known as a lazy eye. Despite the fact untreated astigmatism can lead to amblyopia, they are two different conditions and one doesn't necessarily occur with the other.
Some eye diseases as cataracts can also be the cause of astigmatism. It is also sometimes caused by trauma to the eye, including as a complication from corrective surgery such as cataract removal.
Symptoms of astigmatism
Next, we tell you the main symptoms so that you know what a person with astigmatism sees:
- Distorted or blurred vision
- Need to squint to be able to see and appreciate the details of an image
- Headache (especially when needing to focus over prolonged periods, e.g. reading)
- Difficulty concentrating
- Eye fatigue caused by overexertion of sight.
- Eye discomfort and irritation
- Blurred vision when looking near or far
Some people develop other vision problems due to astigmatism such as eye strain, crossed eyes, strabismus and regular headaches. This pain and discomfort derives from the effort made to try to focus on objects, both distant and near.
Although many people are born with astigmatism, they don't notice it until they start school or learn to read. For these cases, ideally we should consult a specialist and go immediately for a check-up to undergo an eye exam. During this examination, the reasons for these symptoms can be determined more precisely.
Treatment of astigmatism
An optician they will be able to give you a complete eye exam using different techniques and instruments. These allow them to measure the way of you focus the light in your eyes. These techniques for detecting astigmatism are the same as those used for detecting ocular conditions such as hyperopia and myopia.
The optician or optometrist will be able to measure your visual acuity through the optotype. This is a chart with different letters that you will have to read to determine the clarity of your vision. It is tested at different distances. It will also test the domain or power of focus by putting different lenses in front of your eyes and looking at how they affect your acuity of vision.
As for the curvature of the cornea, it is measured with an ophthalmometer or keratometer. A corneal topography can also be created to get a complete map of the state of the cornea. In doing so, we obtain additional information regarding the surface of the corneal membrane.
With these tests, the specialist can make a diagnosis and determine what type of prescription your lenses need so you can enjoy better vision. Low and medium prescriptions are usually corrected with glasses or soft toric contact lenses. Toric lenses are shaped in such a way, they help to refract light more accurately.
In higher graduations, the most recommended option is glasses or rigid contact lenses. Surgery is another possible recourse, although it is usually a more expensive alternative and not something which is available to all. If you want to consider corrective eye surgery, it should always be under the recommendation of a specialist since it carries certain risks which could even degrade your eyesight further.
If you found this article on astigmatism useful, you may want to learn more about vision problems. You can do so with our articles on how to treat color blindness and how often should you change your glasses.
This article is merely informative, oneHOWTO does not have the authority to prescribe any medical treatments or create a diagnosis. We invite you to visit your doctor if you have any type of condition or pain.
If you want to read similar articles to How Do People With Astigmatism See?, we recommend you visit our Diseases & secondary effects category.