Astigmatism usually develops in adolescence. This condition can cause subtle, but notable, problems, especially when it's combined with other refractive errors like myopia or hyperopia. Luckily, treatment for astigmatism has improved over the years, and you have several treatment options.
At Harlem VistaSite Eye Care in the Harlem neighborhood of New York City, Brittni Rodriguez, OD, and Sarah Quan, OD, can help you find out if you have astigmatism and recommend the best corrective lenses for your vision.
How well you see depends on the shape and curvature of your eye. If your eyeball or cornea is not smooth and even, or is elongated like an egg either horizontally or vertically, it can lead to refractive errors. Improper curvature of the cornea or lens at the front of the eye is called astigmatism.
Astigmatism is quite common; affecting an estimated one out of three people. You can have astigmatism in your right eye only, your left eye only, or both eyes, with varying levels of refractive error.
Many people with astigmatism have other refractive errors as well. You can have astigmatism plus nearsightedness or farsightedness, or (rarely) astigmatism in one or both eyes plus nearsightedness in one eye and farsightedness in the other.
6 problems with untreated astigmatisms
Left untreated, astigmatism can adversely affect your life or the life of your child.
1. Eye strain
Untreated astigmatism can mean you’re constantly squinting, trying to see better, or that your eyes are competing for the clearest image, which can cause eye strain.
The same issue can also lead to headaches, as the combination of eye strain and the effort your brain puts into trying to decipher error-riddled messages proves to be too much.
3. Blurry vision
Since your brain can’t properly understand the picture it is getting because of the distorting effects of astigmatism, you’ll end up with blurry vision.
4. Bad night vision
Almost any worsening of your vision related to refractive error means your night vision will be exponentially worse, so astigmatism can mean it’s harder for you to see in the dark.
5. Trouble at home, work, or school
Difficulty with vision related to astigmatism can mean you or your child struggle with tasks that need good sight. This can mean poor performance at work or at school, or frustration at home.
6. Worsening of existing refractive error
If you are nearsighted or farsighted in addition to having astigmatism, all of the aforementioned issues can be significantly worsened.
Fortunately, there are treatments for astigmatism. The refractive error can be corrected with eyeglasses, a special type of contacts called toric lenses, or even with LASIK surgery.
If you think you or your child has an astigmatism, schedule a consultation with the specialists at Harlem VistaSite. You can get in touch by calling 646-453-6506 or booking an appointment online.