How Do I Know if I Have an Astigmatism?

Astigmatism is a term that frequently pops up during eye exams, and it might be a condition that you've heard of before. However, do you really understand what astigmatism is, how it impacts your vision, and how to know if you have it?


What is Astigmatism?


Astigmatism is a common vision condition that causes blurred or distorted vision. This occurs when the cornea or lens of the eye is not perfectly rounded but rather more oval-shaped. This irregular shape prevents light from focusing properly on the retina, leading to unclear vision.


The root cause of astigmatism is typically genetic. It is often present at birth and may occur alongside other common eye conditions like nearsightedness and farsightedness. Astigmatism can also develop after an eye injury, surgery, or due to certain health conditions.


Astigmatism can be classified into three types: myopic astigmatism, where one or both principal meridians of the eye are nearsighted; hyperopic astigmatism, where one or both principal meridians are farsighted; and mixed astigmatism, where one principal meridian is nearsighted, and the other is farsighted.


Common Signs and Symptoms of Astigmatism


Astigmatism can present a variety of symptoms. One of the most common is blurred or distorted vision, irrespective of the distance. You may find yourself squinting often to try to see clearly, leading to headaches and fatigue. Astigmatism can also cause difficulties with night vision, making it hard to drive or move around in low light.


Another sign of astigmatism is frequent changes in your eyeglass prescription. If you find that your vision is not improving despite frequent changes in your glasses or contact lenses, it might be a sign of astigmatism. Additionally, astigmatism can also cause discomfort or irritation in your eyes, as they strain to focus.


The Importance of Proper Diagnosis


Getting an accurate diagnosis for astigmatism is vital for many reasons. First, it allows for correct treatment, which can drastically enhance your quality of life by improving your vision. 


Secondly, it can help identify other eye conditions that may be present, as astigmatism often coexists with other vision problems.


An optometrist can conduct a thorough examination of your eyes and give you a precise diagnosis. Not only will they identify whether or not you have astigmatism, but they will also determine the degree and type of astigmatism. This information is critical in determining the most effective treatment plan for your specific needs.


An optometrist can also monitor your eye health over time. Regular examinations can help track the progression of astigmatism and adjust treatment as needed. They can also spot any new eye conditions that might develop, ensuring that they are addressed promptly.


Consult with a Professional Today


Astigmatism is a common eye condition that can cause blurred or distorted vision. Knowing how to recognize the signs and symptoms can help you seek medical attention promptly. However, due to the subtle and overlapping nature of these symptoms with other vision problems, the most reliable way to know if you have astigmatism is through a comprehensive eye examination by an optometrist.


If you are experiencing symptoms of an astigmatism, consult with our professionals at Optique Vision at our Albany, New York office. Call (518) 302-2106 to schedule an appointment today.

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