Nobody likes to hear from their optician that there is a problem with their eyesight that needs some correction. To make matters worse, some of the terms used can seem a bit worrying. One of these is astigmatism. So if you find yourself scratching your head about what astigmatism is or if you are worried about what it means to be told you have astigmatism, read on to find out more about this condition…
So let us clear one thing up from the start. Astigmatism isn’t an illness you will be relieved to know it is very common condition and the majority of people who wear glasses will have it to some extent.
Astigmatism is cause by an irregular curvature of your cornea or lens which means light isn’t refracted as it should be. The simple way to explain the difference is to compare a rugby ball with a basket ball. If your lens is not rugby ball shaped rather than basketball shaped, you will have astigmatism because the way your eye uses light will be impeded.
Astigmatism can cause discomfort if it is left untreated such s blurred vision or having to look away and look back again to be able to see properly. It can also cause eye strain and associated sympoms such as headaches.
This is why it is wise if you are having these symptoms to get your eyes checked out at your opticians for an expert assessment.
You will be relieved to know that there are plenty of options available to correct the condition from glasses to contact lenses. It used to be the case that your options were limited with the latter, but technology has moved on and you can now use Toric lenses that will correct the irregular curves in your lense.
A prescription for astigmatism will have a value placed as below in the cyl column. The prescription below would be for a short-sighted person (minus value in sph column) with moderate astigmatism.
Sph Cyl Axis
-1.50 -2.00 180