Written by Adrian Wozniak
Monday, 05 October 2009
An astigmatism is an abnormal curve in the optical part of the eye that produces a blurred image.
What is going on in the body?
An individual who has astigmatism has an abnormal curve in the optical part of the eye. The abnormal curve is usually in the cornea, but sometimes the lens is involved. When light enters the eye, it produces a smeared image rather than an image in sharp focus.
What are the causes and risks of the condition?
Astigmatism usually occurs naturally. It is caused by an abnormal curvature or shape of the cornea or lens. Injury to the cornea, or any other factor that could change the shape of the cornea or lens, can also cause astigmatism.
What are the treatments for the condition?
Glasses or contact lenses can be prescribed to control the light coming into the eye. The glasses or contact lenses direct the light to a point focus on the retina, so the image doesn't appear smeared.
Recently, corneal surgery procedures have become recognized as a possible treatment for astigmatism. Cuts in the cornea or the use of lasers or other surgical techniques on the cornea have been shown to reduce or get rid of astigmatism.
What are the side effects of the treatments?
Contact lenses may cause injury to the cornea. Surgery may cause bleeding, infection, or allergic reaction to anesthesia.
What happens after treatment for the condition?
Once astigmatism is corrected, the person will have normal vision.
How is the condition monitored?
Astigmatism is monitored during routine eye examinations. Any new or worsening symptoms should be reported to the healthcare provider.