Your cornea is the clear, round dome that covers the eye’s iris and pupil. When there’s an imperfection in the curvature of your cornea, it’s called a corneal astigmatism. When the shape of your eye’s lens is distorted, it’s called a lenticular astigmatism.
Ideally, the cornea and lens are both smooth and curved symmetrically in all directions, which helps your eye focus, or refract, light rays sharply. But with either type of astigmatism, light rays are not refracted properly, so your vision for both near and far objects appears blurry or distorted. Objects may be blurry or appear to be taller, wider or thinner than they actually are.
Astigmatisms are common, but they’re also one of the most misunderstood refractive disorders. In addition to blurred or distorted vision, astigmatism can cause eye strain and headaches after prolonged periods of visual stimulation, such as from reading a book, looking at electronic screens, or watching a movie.
It’s a common misperception that people with an astigmatism cannot wear contact lenses, but this is not the case. Glasses or contact lenses can be prescribed to correct the precise nature of your astigmatism. Glasses and contact lenses correct the way light rays enter your eye and direct them to the retina’s surface so that you see clearly.
LASIK eye surgery is also a popular treatment option to correct astigmatisms. LASIK is a more permanent solution as it corrects the actual shape of your eye. LASIK eye surgery is a routine procedure that many people choose so that they can forgo wearing glasses or contacts. (Read more about LASIK eye surgery in 3 Types of Eye Surgeries That Will Help You See Better.)
If you’re experiencing blurry or distorted vision, eye strain, or headaches, it’s time to consult with one of the eye specialists at Baptist Eye Surgeons.
Baptist Eye Surgeons is an ophthalmological practice dedicated to providing quality eye care to patients whose needs range from routine comprehensive eye examinations to the treatment of complex eye diseases. To request an appointment or get directions to our Knoxville and Morristown locations, visit our website. Call us at 865-579-3920 for more information or visit us online to schedule an appointment.