Astigmatism is a refractive error caused when an eye's cornea or lens has an abnormal curve. It's a common condition that can cause several symptoms, including blurry vision and chronic eye strain. At Spadafora & Zak Eye Care in Clarkston, MI, we can diagnose and treat astigmatism.
What Causes Astigmatism?
There are two different types of astigmatism. Lenticular astigmatism has an abnormally curved lens, while corneal astigmatism involves abnormal cornea curvature.
Both the lens and the cornea help the eye to focus, helping you to see clearly. When someone has astigmatism, irregular curves change how the eyes focus on light as it enters the eye. This can cause blurry vision and other symptoms.
Many people with astigmatism are born with the condition. It's common for it to occur alongside other refractive errors, such as nearsightedness or farsightedness. Some people may also develop astigmatism after eye surgery or an injury to the eye.
Astigmatism can also be caused by a condition called keratoconus, which causes the cornea to thin over time. As the cornea thins, it starts to move outward, giving it a cone shape. When astigmatism is severe enough to affect a person's vision, it can be treated with contact lenses or eyeglasses.
How Is Astigmatism Diagnosed?
An optometrist can check for astigmatism during a routine eye exam. Eye doctors use a number of tests when checking for astigmatism, including:
- Visual acuity test: During this test, you'll be asked to read letters on a chart at different distances. This can measure how well you see things up close and far away.
- Refraction test: This test measures how light bends when it enters the cornea. It involves placing different lenses in front of the eye.
- Phoropter test: Also called a refractor, a phoropter measures refractive errors in the eye. It's used to calculate a prescription for corrective lenses.
- Corneal topography: This is a computer-aided tool that can construct a map of a cornea. It can show your optometrist the shape of your cornea, making it a helpful tool for diagnosing astigmatism.
- Keratometry test: This test uses a diagnostic tool called an ophthalmometer to calculate the cornea's curvature and measure the way it reflects light.
If you have astigmatism, your eye doctor may recommend that you wear contact lenses designed for astigmatism. Other treatment options, such as orthokeratology, may be suggested for severe astigmatism.
Schedule an Eye Exam with an Optometrist in Clarkston, MI
While astigmatism can make it harder for the eyes to focus, it's a very treatable condition. If you're struggling with blurry vision or suspect that you have astigmatism, contact Spadafora & Zak Eye Care at 248-922-1862 to request an eye exam.