If you’ve been diagnosed with astigmatism, you’re not alone. Many people around the world experience this common eye condition. In fact, a study of more than 11,000 spectacle wearers in the UK revealed that almost half had some degree of astigmatism in one or both eyes.

This is a condition that can impact daily life and visual clarity. Understanding what astigmatism is and exploring effective management strategies can significantly improve your day-to-day experience.

What is an astigmatism?

Astigmatism is a common imperfection in the curvature  of the eye that leads to blurry vision. This condition can occur in one or both eyes, and it’s often found in those with either long or short-sighted vision. It’s caused by an irregular shape of the cornea or lens, causing light to be unevenly focused on the retina.

Impacts of astigmatism

Astigmatism can affect people in various ways. If you’ve been told you have this, you might notice eye strain, especially after prolonged periods of reading or screen time. Or you might find that you squint, particularly in low-light conditions such as nighttime.

The adjustments you have to make can cause discomfort and impact your daily activities. This can make managing astigmatism effectively even more important.

Treatments for astigmatism

Managing astigmatism involves exploring various treatment options to find the most suitable solution for your needs.

  • Contact Lenses: Contact lenses are a popular and effective choice. If you’re considering these, it’s likely toric lenses will be recommended. Unlike traditional lenses, toric contact lenses are specifically designed to correct the irregular curvature of the eye.

They offer a wider field of vision and can be more comfortable for some users compared to glasses. Speak to your optometrist to find the right type of contact lenses and ensure proper fitting.

  • Glasses: Prescription glasses with cylindrical lenses can also correct astigmatism. They are a practical and straightforward option that can be a reliable backup to your toric contact lenses. Glasses provide consistent correction throughout the day and are easy to manage.

Surgery for astigmatism

In cases of severe astigmatism, your eye care professional might talk to you about surgical options as part of your treatment plan.

Laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) is a surgical procedure that reshapes the cornea to correct vision problems, including astigmatism. While LASIK can offer long-term benefits, it is usually considered when other treatments have proven ineffective or if the astigmatism is particularly severe.

It’s essential to discuss the potential risks and benefits with your eye surgeon before deciding to go ahead with this procedure.

Should you have been told you have astigmatism, there are options available to help aid your vision. Make sure you talk to your optometrist so that you can find out what each treatment option entails. This will help you find the right course of action for you. 

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