A typical eyeball is round. However, patients that suffer from astigmatism have eyes shaped more like a football. Patients with astigmatism have trouble focusing properly as objects at a distance appear wavy and blurry. A visit to the optometrist will help diagnose astigmatism. At Columbia Vision Center in Seattle, we have been helping our patients manage astigmatism for many years.
Causes and Symptoms of Astigmatism
Many people believe that you can develop astigmatism by sitting too close to the television or by reading in low light. However, this is not true. Many people are born with the condition and the exact reason for the condition developing is still unclear. Astigmatism can also be caused by an eye disease, surgery, or eye injury. Keratoconus can also cause astigmatism, though this is rare. Astigmatism can cause your cornea to become thinner and take on a cone-like shape. If you have astigmatism, you will likely need specialty contact lenses to see properly. Symptoms of astigmatism progress slowly and include:
- Difficulty sleeping
- Blurry vision
Diagnosis & Treatment
Since symptoms normally progress slowly, regular visits to an optometrist are essential for managing astigmatism. Our eye doctor will conduct various tests to determine the sharpness of your vision. Other tools used to measure your vision include:
- Phoropter – During this test, our optometrist will have you look through various lenses to find the one that gives you the clearest vision.
- Keratometer - This machine is used to measure the curve of your cornea.
- Autorefractor- This device is used to measure how light bounces off the back of your eye. This will help our doctor determine the type of lenses you need.
Corrective lenses or specialty contacts are prescribed by an eye doctor. If you are going to be wearing contact lenses, consider specialty lenses such as toric lenses. These lenses bend light more in one direction helping you see clearer. Rigid gas-permeable lenses are available for patients with severe cases of astigmatism.
Refractive surgery is laser surgery that changes the shape of your cornea. LASIK and PRK are two types of refractive eye surgery. To undergo this treatment method, you will need to have eyes that are healthy with no corneal scars or retina issues. Our optometrist will assess your condition to determine whether or not you are a good candidate for laser eye surgery.
Learn More about Specialty Contacts with Our Eye Doctor in Seattle
Call Columbia Vision Center today at (206) 382-6682 for more information or to schedule an appointment with our optometrist.