There are a large number of people who have astigmatism but it is not a condition that you have to simply suffer in silence with, as there are many ways to treat it.

Blurred vision is the main symptom associated with astigmatism. Here is a look at what causes astigmatism and how you can improve your vision again with the various modern treatments that are available.

Refractive error

An eyesight problem like astigmatism is often also referred to as a refractive error. It occurs when the cornea at the front of your eye is unevenly curved.

Refraction describes the bending of light coming into your eye and a refractive error occurs when the eye is unable to focus this light onto the retina properly. The reason for this error is usually either as a result of an abnormality in the shape of your eyeball or simply because the ageing process has had an effect on the focusing components of your eye.

You can get four types of refractive errors and astigmatism is the term used to describe a refractive error that is caused by an unevenly curved cornea. Other refractive errors are myopia (short sightedness) Hypermetropia (long-sightedness) and presbyopia, which is an age-related long-sight refractive error.

Astigmatism explained

The cornea in our eye is not perfectly rounded but does have a slight curve, making it more of an oval shape.

If this curve is too pronounced or pointing in the wrong direction, this causes astigmatism to occur. The light rays that passing through the cornea and lens are subsequently not focused on to one sharp spot at the back of the retina, as a result of the misshapen cornea.

This inability to create a focal point leads to the images being received by the eye to appear blurred, and having distorted vision can easily lead to frequent headaches and regular eye strain.

Treating astigmatism

Modern technology offers a solution to astigmatism problems that goes beyond the use of glasses and Pure Optical contact lenses to improve your vision capabilities.

There are well over 100,000 people in the UK who have laser eye surgery every year and probably the most popular procedure involves LASIK, as it is a technique that tackle all four types of refractive errors, including astigmatism.

There are laser eye surgery risks to consider but when you consider the success rates and the large number of people who have successful surgery, it is understandable why a growing number of patients turn to this method for a solution to their blurred vision.

How LASIK works

The purpose of LASIK eye surgery is to change the shape of the cornea in order to improve the way that light is focused by the eye, which will greatly reduce or eliminate any blurring as a result.

The procedure involves lifting a thin layer of the cornea back and then using an ultraviolet light and high energy pulses from the laser to reshape the internal cornea. As the laser is highly adjustable, it means that it is perfectly feasible to adjust pronounced levels of near-sightedness and astigmatism.

Once the tissue has been reshaped, the flap is returned to its original position. Most patients experience a rapid healing process and stitches are not required as part of the procedure.

A fairly recent innovation is Wavefront technology. This is a laser that is more effective on the peripheral parts of the cornea, leading to improved night time as well as daytime vision for patients.

Astigmatism is a common complaint and may people who have the condition, can take advantage of technology to banish their blurred vision.

Carl Robinson has worked to treat astigmatism for many years now. When he gets the time, he enjoys sharing his insights with others by posting online. You can find his interesting posts on many websites, particularly health and medical.

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