We all know that astigmatism is a vision defect, but do we really know what it is and how to treat it?
Astigmatism is a refractive problem that affects more than 60% of the Spanish population and occurs when the cornea (the transparent outer layer of the eye) does not have the same curvature in all its areas.
Astigmatism can appear as a result of an accident, a surgical intervention or simply by the genetics of the patient.
Another characteristic is that it usually appears in people under 45 years along with myopia or farsightedness, being of the few visual problems in people who are not of old age.
This anomaly of vision occurs when light from objects is focused on more than one point of the retina and not one just as it should be in eyes without graduation. By focusing on more than one focus, it produces blurred vision, and is what is known as astigmatism popularly.
Each person perceives it differently, since it depends on the graduation that has, the age, the effort that makes of the vision in its day to day, and other determining factors.
With astigmatism, a person suffering from this vision anomaly will see distorted objects from both near and far.
What symptoms causes astigmatism?
Astigmatism mainly causes blurred vision, but it can also have other effects such as headaches, dizziness, visual fatigue… in short, after the effort to try to see objects well whether they are near or far.
How many types of astigmatism exist?
There are several types of astigmatism such as:
- Miopical or simple: one or both of the meridians of the eye focus as myopic.
- Hypermetropic or compound: one or both of the meridians of the eye focus as hypermetropic.
- Mixed: one axis focuses behind and another in front of the retina, ie one meridian of the eye focuses as myopic and the other as hypermetropic.
The good news is that it can be treated and the bad is that it cannot be prevented because it usually appears by the overexertion to which we expose the vision every day to focus the images and avoid that distortion that causes astigmatism.
How can it be treated?
Astigmatism can be treated using glasses, lenses or contact lenses, both with their corresponding graduation and, finally, with a surgical intervention.
The types of existing refractive (eye) surgery treatments are by PRK, LASIK or both combined techniques in certain cases, as well as the implementation of an intraocular lens (IOL). The Lasik technique is the most used among ophthalmologists.
Through refractive surgery, many vision problems that the patient has either astigmatism, farsightedness, tired eyesight or myopia are corrected.
Astigmatism is treated by implementing a toric lens, designed so that it does not move from the correct place within the eye and thus can correctly see objects from any distance.
The lens of one eye may be different from the other, since they are each designed according to the graduation of each patient’s eye.
How to prevent it?
The only way to detect it is by performing an ophthalmological examination periodically with your ophthalmologist or by going to a professional center. The ophthalmologist usually performs a test by lighting the patient’s eye, while showing a lens between the eye and the light, to detect the degree of astigmatism. It is what is known as retinoscopy.
After this test, the study can be completed with a Keratometry and a Corneal Topography.
For this, in the Vithas Xanit International Hospital, in the Ophthalmology unit, we have the best ophthalmologists to treat any anomaly of vision, always using the most advanced non-invasive technology for the patient.