Astigmatism - How Severe is Yours?

22 May 2013

Astigmatism is a Greek word meaning "not like a dot". The name of this refractive error comes from the fact that astigmatic people can see dots like a line.
 
This is true for moderate to severe astigmatism, since a survey of normal eyes shows that almost every human eye has a baseline corneal astigmatism of at least 0.25 to 0.50 diopters- in other words a small bit of mild astigmatism is very common and needs no treatment at all.
 
Astigmatism exceeding 1 dioptre is about 20%-30% among the general population, and does need treatment. Optilase offer a free consultation to patients to see if they may be a good candidate for Laser Eye Surgery in order to treat astigmatism and any accompanying refractive errors, in order to eliminate dependence on corrective eyewear.

Oddly-Shaped Cornea causes Vision Problems

In order to have clear vision, the cornea has to have a smooth surface and curvature; ideally a perfect sphere.
 
In people who have astigmatism, natural corneal curvature is distorted in a meridian (egg shape). This distorted corneal meridian(s) scatter(s) light rays. In other words, an astigmatic eye bends light rays different at different meridians, resulting in many images with many focal points (inability to focus on a single plane).

Blurry Vision all the Time

This causes blurry, ghosted, or smeary-looking vision. If you examine the image focused by an astigmatic eye on its retina, you may notice many superposed off-focus images on a well-focused image. The eye behaves like a dodgy camera and it can be quite exhausting for the sufferer. Of course, people with astigmatism have a constant blur for both near and distant vision.
 
Sometimes astigmatism may not stem from the cornea but from the lens or from other refractive media in the eye- this isn’t very common and will easily be diagnosed either by your own eye doctor is you wear corrective eyewear, or by the Optilase team if you haven’t been diagnosed before.

Different Degrees of Severity

The severity of astigmatism can be classified as follows:
 
Mild Astigmatism < 1.00 dioptre   Moderate Astigmatism 1.00 to 2.00 dioptres   Severe Astigmatism 2.00 to 3.00 dioptres   Extreme Astigmatism > 3.00 dioptres
 
Astigmatic people may suffer from headaches, tired eyes and sensitivity to bright lights. Sometimes, like near-sighted people, they may squint in order to improve their vision.
 
Just call Optilase on +353 1 223 8821 to book a free consultation, and see if you might be a candidate for Laser Eye Surgery, to say goodbye to your astigmatism and your corrective eyewear for ever.

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