Astigmatism is an eye condition that’s caused by an abnormality in the cornea’s curvature. This often creates problems in how light is able to focus evenly by the retina, and this can cause difficulties in seeing clearly. It’s important to be aware of the symptoms of astigmatism and get the appropriate treatment so that you’ll be able to see the world with greater clarity.
One of the most obvious signs of astigmatism is blurry vision, which can make seeing objects both far away and up close more difficult. Vision is often distorted in people with astigmatism to a point that seeing other people who are standing a few feet away clearly can be difficult. You will likely have challenges seeing words clearly as you try to read, and you may find yourself squinting to try to get the words that are in front of you into better focus.
Problems with Night Vision
You may not notice so many problems with your vision during the day if you have astigmatism, but seeing at night can be particularly challenging. One of the likeliest times that you’ll notice problems with your night vision if you have astigmatism is when you drive. Lights may appear to be haloed or blurred, and objects in shadow may not be visible at all as the edges are blurred. Of course, this depends greatly upon the extent of your astigmatism. Walking through dark streets or hallways can also be more hazardous at night because of your inability to see anything that might be in your way and cause you injury.
Headaches can result from many things, but you should consider getting your vision checked by an eye doctor if you notice that you’re experiencing frequent headaches with no clear cause. Astigmatism often puts a greater strain on the eyes and makes the eye muscles work harder to try to focus and see clearer, and this could be the reason for your headaches. Because of this, headaches caused by vision problems typically aren’t present in the morning, but appear and grow steadily worse as the day goes on and you continue to use your eyes.
Fortunately, vision problems that are associated with astigmatism are usually easy to correct with the right treatment, and equally easy to detect with basic eye tests done at your typical eye exam. A doctor who specializes in treating astigmatism and other vision problems can perform vision tests and prescribe corrective lenses that can be worn with a set of eyeglass frames, just as you would for nearsightedness or farsightedness.
Contact lenses, which are inserted manually directly onto the surface of each eye, can also be worn to improve vision. Keep in mind, the astigmatism is often caused by the shape of your eye being off, so not all eye shapes accommodate contact lenses well. Thankfully, there are other methods of treatment as well. You may even be possible to see clearer by performing certain eye exercises regularly. In cases of severe astigmatism, eye surgery may be recommended, though this is uncommon and only used in extreme cases.
Making yourself knowledgeable of these symptoms will help you get treatment faster so that you won’t have to deal with vision problems for the long term. You’ll likely notice a big difference in how you see the world once you’ve received the proper treatment for astigmatism. If your astigmatism is minor, you may feel that it would be better to ignore it than to get treatment, but the strain on your eyes that happens over time may worsen your condition. Taking steps early on to detect and correct your vision problems will make your life much easier and your eyes much healthier.
By Meghan Belnap
who is a freelance writer who enjoys spending time with her family and residing in Oklahoma.