What Causes Astigmatism?

What causes astigmatism?

Astigmatism is a refractive error characterized by an irregular shaped cornea, or, in some cases, an irregularly shaped lens. A healthy cornea is evenly and smoothly curved, like a marble, to refract incoming light. With astigmatism, the cornea or lens is curved like an oval or egg, causing problems with how the eye focuses light. Symptoms of astigmatism include blurred vision, distorted vision, eyestrain, squinting and headaches. In this blog post, the trusted eye surgeons at Laser Eye Center discuss the possible causes of astigmatism and how it is diagnosed.

Possible Causes

Astigmatism is a common condition. In most cases, people are born with astigmatism and the condition worsens with age. It is not known why some people are born with astigmatism, but research shows individuals with family history of astigmatism have an increased chance of developing the condition.

Other causes of astigmatism include eye injuries that cause scarring on the cornea, complications from eye surgery and eyelid conditions that distort the cornea. Keratoconus, an eye condition in which the cornea gradually thins, can also cause astigmatism, as can other eye conditions that affect the cornea or lens.

How Is Astigmatism Diagnosed?

Only a qualified ophthalmologist can properly diagnose and treat astigmatism. If you suspect you may have astigmatism, an eye doctor from the Laser Eye Center team can perform a comprehensive eye exam and use various instruments to measure how your eye focuses light. During your consultation, the curvature of your cornea will be measured with a keratometer, and corneal topography may be used to provide additional information about the shape of the surface of the cornea.

With these tests, your eye doctor can determine whether you have astigmatism and discuss treatment options with you. Mild astigmatism may not require treatment while moderate forms of astigmatism may be treated with prescription glasses or contacts, or special implantable lenses, which compensate for the irregular curvature of the cornea. More serious cases may require refractive eye surgery.

Schedule an Appointment with Laser Eye Center Today

To schedule a comprehensive eye exam or to learn more about the treatment options for astigmatism, contact Laser Eye Center. Please call 800-80-LASER (52737) for a FREE consultation.

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