Battling with blurry vision?

Astigmatism may be the cause. Fortunately, it’s easily treatable. Read on to learn more…

Astigmatism is a common eye condition that occurs when the cornea (the clear front cover of the eye) is irregularly shaped – like a rugby ball, instead of a round soccer ball – which causes light to be refracted from more than one point into eye.

As a result, images blur and it can be difficult to read text or see fine details on objects both near and far. Frequent headaches and eye strain can also be signs, though we tend to dismiss these – especially when spending too much time on a computer!

It’s estimated that three in 10 South Africans have some degree of astigmatism. No one knows its exact origin, but heredity appears to be the leading cause. The condition can also be triggered by trauma to the eye. Fortunately, it’s easy to diagnose with a comprehensive eye exam, and is easy to correct, says optometrist Kelly Eekhout of Spec-Savers The Marc in Johannesburg.

Treatment options include prescriptive spectacles or contact lenses, which vary depending on your unique needs. LASIK surgery is another potential solution; it involves high-precision lasers which reshape the cornea and remove cataracts. Alternatively, an opthalmologist can implant a toric intraocular lens (IOL) in the eye to correct astigmatism and remove a cataract at the same time. 

“Everybody’s vision is different, which means every form of astigmatism has a unique impact. This means you need to pay extra attention to the fit and function of your eyeglasses or contact lenses. We recommend only considering surgery when you’ve researched the topic thoroughly and discussed the options with your optometrist,” Eekhout concludes.

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