What should you know about regular astigmatism
Most people are familiar with astigmatism, which is actually recognized as one of the three most typical visual refractive errors. Like myopia and hyperopia, astigmatism affects people’s ability to focus a point object into a sharp focused image on the retina. Now, two kinds of regular astigmatism are widely known: corneal astigmatism and lenticular astigmatism, both of which can be corrected by prescription eyeglasses, contact lenses or eye refractive surgeries. While the former type results from an irregularly shaped cornea, the latter type is caused by an irregularly shaped crystalline lens.
Children should pay enough attention
Both adults and children can suffer from astigmatism. Common symptoms of astigmatism include blurry vision, headache, eye strain and distorted distance vision. Eye exams are critical for an early detection of underlying astigmatism on children. The Ohio State University School of Optometry has ever found that 28% out of 2,523 children had astigmatism, which surely affected their school performance. What’s worse, most children are less self-aware about their vision problems.
Astigmatism can be congenital or acquired
Most of the astigmatic patients are born with the disease, which usually gets worse over time. Eye injuries, improper eye surgeries and keratoconus can also damage the corneal shape. The corneal shape of astigmatism patients is not perfectly spherical. Instead, it likes an oblong football, which causes light rays to focus on two points in the eye back. For regular astigmatism, its two meridians are located 90 degrees apart, so that it is easy to correct. However, irregular astigmatism has meridians that are more than 90 degrees apart, which brings more complexity for correction.
What an astigmatism prescription looks like?
A prescription of eyeglasses or contact lenses for astigmatism correction usually has three parts. The first part is designed to provide common visual clarity. For example, convex lenses are used to correct hyperopia. A second part is particularly for astigmatism rectification. And the third part is prescribed to bend certain light rays as a compensation for the cornea’s oval shape. In most cases, astigmatism can be detected while receiving an eye exam from the optician, who will then add the second part described above to the eyewear prescription. Of course, an additional cost is needed.
Use RGP or toric contact lenses or have a surgery
Nowadays, both rigid gas permeable (RGP) contact lenses and soft toric lenses are acceptable for astigmatic patients. Soft toric lenses can provide perfect comfort for most of them, while RGP contacts are more competent for people with a heavy astigmatism. For patients who can not get enough vision satisfaction from eyeglasses or contacts, refractive surgeries such as LASIK is the third, ultimate solution, which provides permanent vision correction.
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