Different curvatures of the cornea. Creates multiple images on the retina.
Millions of people around the world of various ages and cultures are affected by the vision problem astigmatism, which is caused by the unequal curvature of the cornea, anterior lens or posterior lens within the eye.
Often a genetically inherited trait, astigmatism will cause various degrees of focusing problems.
Many people live with minor astigmatisms that do not require any type of treatment. Others with more severe astigmatism can have it corrected by wearing glasses or contact lenses. Visiting an ophthalmologist for a thorough eye exam and a standard refraction test will ensure that you receive the correct lens prescription for your glasses or contacts.
Laser treatments such as LASIK (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis) or PRK are alternatives for individuals with astigmatism. PRK (photo refractive keratectomy) is a corrective eye surgery that is very similar to LASIK through its use of laser technology to reshape the cornea of the eye. It requires a longer recuperation time.
LASIK and PRK surgery are sometimes not an option for certain astigmatic patients, and it is usually not covered by insurance. The procedures cost about $2000 per eye.
The irregular curvature of the cornea causes light to focus on more than one point on the retina. Uncorrected astigmatism impairs both distance and near vision. If you experience a distortion or blurring of images at all distances — nearby as well as far — you may have astigmatism. Even if your vision is fairly sharp, headache, fatigue, squinting and eye discomfort or irritation may indicate a slight degree of astigmatism. A thorough eye examination, including tests of near vision, distant vision and vision clarity, can determine if astigmatism is present. Astigmatism is not a disease nor does it mean that you have “bad eyes.” It simply means that you have a variation or disturbance in the shape of your cornea.