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Astigmatism

Astigmatism Treatment from our San Rafael Optometrist

Astigmatism is a refractive error of vision that occurs when the eye's cornea is not shaped correctly. This keeps light from focusing on the retina as it should, and vision becomes blurred. At Alamo Eye Care in San Antonio, TX, our optometrist will normally discover and assess this condition as part of a comprehensive eye exam.

Astigmatism vs. Normal EyeUnlike other refractive errors, the blurred vision isn't dependent on how close or far away the object might be, although astigmatism is often present concurrently with myopia (nearsightedness) and/or hyperopia (farsightedness). The exact reason why some experience astigmatism is a mystery, although a family connection is suspected, and the condition can increase or decrease in severity over time. 

How our San Rafael Optometrist Can Help

Although astigmatism is not as common as nearsightedness and farsightedness alone, it is still a condition that our optometrist at Alamo Eye Care Center sees on a regular basis and it is something that can be corrected through the right prescription eye glasses or contacts.

With an astigmatism, the cornea and lens of the eye is not round the way that is should be. Instead it resembles the shape of a football, but the exact curvature is prone to change even after a diagnosis, making it especially important to undergo regular eye exams. Standard eye charts catch some instances of astigmatism, but more precise diagnoses are discovered by using an instrument called a keratometer, which measures the curvature in the cornea or a phoropter, which tries out several different lenses to determine how each help to focus light. They may also use a handheld retinoscope in order to make an accurate diagnosis.

Options for Correcting Astigmatism

  • Eyeglasses are the most common choice for correcting astigmatism, in most cases these are single vision lenses, although bifocals or progressive lenses may be necessary for some patients.
  • Contact lenses are also a popular choice, but there are fewer options for those with astigmatism versus those who have other types of refractive errors. Special toric soft lenses are frequently recommended because they hold their shape better than standard soft contacts.
  • Ortho-K is a special kind of contact lens worn at night to reshape the corneas while a person sleeps. They are taken out in the morning and the patient will normally have clear vision throughout the day. The Ortho-K lenses must be worn consistently at night to avoid the cornea from becoming out of shape.
  • Refractive Surgery- While not everyone is a candidate, some people who have astigmatism may be able to undergo with LASIK surgery, which reshapes the cornea, or PRK (photorefractive keratectomy) surgery that removes unneeded tissues and layers from the cornea.

If you suspect a problem with your vision, or if it has been a while since you have had an eye exam, it is important to schedule an eye exam in order to help you see your best. Contact us at Alamo Eye Care in San Antonio, TX at (210) 403-9050 to schedule an appointment.

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