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Astigmatism is a common eye condition that affects both near and far vision giving a blurred image. It is caused by an irregular curvature at the front of the eye, the cornea, and can be treated with laser eye surgery. 

What is Astigmatism?

Astigmatism is a common eye condition that affects both near and far vision giving a blurred image. It is caused by an irregular curvature at the front of the eye, the cornea, and can be treated with laser eye surgery. 

In a normal eye the cornea is shaped like a soccer ball, but with astigmatism the cornea is shaped more oval, like a rugby ball. The cornea is like the glass on the front of your watch, it is the clear tissue at the front of the eye that bends the light as it passes through to focus your vision. In an eye that has astigmatism, the irregular curvature causes the light to enter the eye at multiple points. The eye then sends these conflicting signals to the brain, which interprets it as a blurred image. 

What causes Astigmatism?

Astigmatism is mostly inherited but can occur as a result of an eye injury that has resulted in scarring on the cornea or may be due to an eye condition called Keratoconus. 

What problems can Astigmatism have?

Symptoms that people with astigmatism may experience are headaches, fatigue after reading, the inability to see both near and far without squinting and eyestrain. 

How is Astigmatism treated?

Astigmatism can be treated with glasses, contact lens or Laser eye surgery. Laser eye surgery (LASIK - laser-assisted-in-situ keratomileusis) works by reshaping the cornea using an excimer laser. This changes the cornea shape from a rugby ball back into a soccer ball which allows light entering the eye to be properly focused onto the retina, removing the blurred image.

Previously astigmatism was only treated with corrective lenses.  However, as astigmatism is a refractive error like nearsightedness (myopia) or farsightedness ( hyperopia ) and due to advances in laser vision correction procedures it can now be treated effectively with laser eye surgery and has been a successful treatment option for many years.

What types of Astigmatism can be treated?

Regular astigmatism that can be corrected by glasses or contact lenses can be treated with Laser eye surgery. Irregular astigmatism can also be treated with topographic guided laser eye surgery. Unfortunately astigmatism caused by Keratoconus can not be treated with laser eye surgery.

 

A pre-operative examination of your eyes by Dr Reece Hall will determine the cause of your astigmatism and suitability for laser eye surgery. 

Call 0800 69 20 20 to book your free assessment at Bowen Eye Clinic.