A refractive error is when your eyes do not bend or refract light correctly onto your retina. This error causes your vision to be blurry and makes it difficult to focus on objects in a usual, healthy way.
There are three types of refractive errors. The first two are relatively straightforward, myopia and hyperopia, or nearsightedness and farsightedness.
They occur when light is either focused before reaching the retina, in the case of myopia. Or when light comes into focus behind the retina, as with hyperopia. This is generally due to the corneal shape being either too curved or too flat, respectively.
Astigmatism, on the other hand, is a bit more complex. It occurs when the cornea has an irregular curvature. Keep reading to learn more about astigmatism and how you can correct it!
What Is Astigmatism?
A normal cornea should be round like a ball, but an astigmatic cornea has an egg or football shape. Light passing through it gets unevenly focused, which causes blurry vision at near and far distances.
You can also have astigmatism along with myopia or hyperopia. And astigmatism is more common than you might think.
Some estimates say that one in three people have astigmatism. With so many people enduring this vision problem, it should be no surprise that it has solutions.
Do Glasses and Contacts Work For Astigmatism?
Just like nearsightedness and farsightedness, astigmatism is treatable with glasses and contacts. Lenses that adjust for astigmatism need specific designs to counteract the uneven surface of your cornea.
Glasses or contacts are the simplest ways to live with astigmatism. But, they may not necessarily be the best long-term solution for you.
Is There a Surgical Solution For Astigmatism?
Living with glasses and contacts can be frustrating for various reasons. That’s why many people seek out ways to fix their astigmatism permanently.
Luckily, there are medical procedures that can correct astigmatism. The most well-known refractive procedure is LASIK.
LASIK changes the shape of your cornea to a more neutral shape and curvature. It is more than capable of correcting most cases of astigmatism, but it is not the only option available.
During RLE, your surgeon removes the natural lens in your eye and replaces it with an intraocular lens or IOL. The IOL can then correct the refraction of light that has come through your abnormal cornea.
This corrected light gets focused onto your retina instead of getting scattered by your astigmatism. There is a wide range of IOLs available, and not all of them guarantee you won’t need glasses after RLE.
Premium IOLs can counteract preexisting refractive errors. A premium IOL gives you your best chance of eliminating your need for glasses.
Astigmatism may be more complicated than other refractive errors. But it’s not something you need to live with forever.
Schedule an appointment at Stahl Eyecare in Hauppauge, NY, if you’d like to correct your astigmatism for good. See which option is best for getting rid of your astigmatism!