What Is Astigmatism?
When your cornea, the clear front layer or part of the eyeball, isn’t completely round, it’s called astigmatism. Blurred vision at a distance and in close quarters is caused by an imperfection in the curvature of the eye due to this condition.
We have sphere-shaped eyes. A sphere-shaped eye reflects light evenly. When light enters the eye at a specific angle, it is refracted. Light focuses precisely on the retina at the back of your eye when it has been refracted evenly. As a result, objects appear clearly to you. (1)
Your eye looks like a football or a spoon if you have astigmatism. It refracts the light unevenly in the eye – mostly in one direction. Thus, the retina is not properly focused. A single part of the object is in focus at a time when that happens. The object appears blurry and wavy from any distance. With astigmatism, some people experience blurring of the vision rather than eye strain, while others experience both.
With time, the curvature in the eye can change, causing astigmatism to increase or decrease. If you have significant astigmatism, you may find that your vision isn’t as good as it should be. Astigmatism symptoms may not be recognized by children. They rarely complain of blurred or distorted vision. A child with uncorrected astigmatism can have difficulty achieving at school and in sports. Children should undergo regular eye examinations to screen astigmatism and other eye conditions. Certain eye exams can detect astigmatism and other vision problems as early as possible.
Refractive errors, such as astigmatism, affect the way light refracts or bends in our eyes. There are also other kinds of refractive errors, such as myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and presbyopia (difficulty focusing at near). Refractive errors refer to problems with the way light bends (refracts) in your eyes.
Nearsightedness (myopia) and farsightedness (hyperopia) are common along with astigmatism. Astigmatism affects nearly 30% of the world’s population. People over 40 make up this percentage, but anyone can develop this at any age. Astigmatism may occur simultaneously with nearsightedness or farsightedness at birth. In most cases, it does not require corrective action. In those cases, corrective lenses or surgery are options.