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Astigmatism Astigmatism


Astigmatism is a common and treatable eye condition that occurs when there are imperfections in the curvature of the eye that causes blurring and distortion in near and far away objects. It is correctable with spectacles, contact lenses and refractive surgery.

People of all ages can be affected by astigmatism and is usually accompanied with long or short sightedness.

What is Astigmatism?

Astigmatism is caused by an irregular shaped eye which affects the focus of light entering the eye which can distort vision. The front of a normal eye should be shaped like a football but those with the condition have a rugby ball shape, which has different curvatures in different directions. This changes the focus of light so it is not sharply focussed on the back of the eye.

Symptoms of Astigmatism

The most typical symptom of astigmatism is blurry or distorted vision. Many people who have low levels of astigmatism are asymptomatic but a significant amount of astigmatism can cause:-

  • Blurred or distorted vision
  • Double vision
  • Eyestrain or discomfort
  • Headaches
  • Squinting or ‘screwing up’ of eyes
  • Fatigue

A routine eye exam will determine if you have astigmatism – call us to book an appointment if you have any of these symptoms.

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Causes of Astigmatism

Astigmatism is mostly a hereditary condition. However, scarring, previous eye injury, previous eye surgery, or other eye conditions can also cause the condition.

  • Genetics: there is a strong genetic link between patients and their family members when the condition is concerned. People are more likely to have astigmatism when there is a family history with the condition.
  • Trauma, scarring or previous eye surgery.
  • Eye conditions such as pterygia and keratoconus.

Treatment Options

There are a number of options available to correct astigmatism. Spectacles, toric contact lenses and refractive surgery are all suitable methods to correct astigmatism. Laser eye surgery (LASIK or LASEK) are effective treatments. Cataract and lens replacement surgery can also correct astigmatism. Refractive surgery will also correct any long or short sightedness, which may be present during time of surgery.

Astigmatism Surgery

Astigmatism surgery is done with a laser to change the shape of the cornea in two meridians and correct the irregularity. The laser surgery will also repair any long or short-sightedness, which may be present during the time of the surgery. This is a speedy procedure and takes between ten to fifteen minutes. The correction can be done on one eye immediately after the other.

It is never too early to correct astigmatism.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long will astigmatism corrective surgery take?

The surgery to correct astigmatism only takes between ten to fifteen minutes.

What makes astigmatism a problem?

Astigmatism occurs when the eye looks like a rugby ball instead of a football. This irregular shape creates two focus points for light instead of one, thereby making the resulting image blurred.

Alongside the blurred vision, you may also experience squint, headache and fatigue as symptoms.

What is a suitable method for correcting astigmatism?

Surgeons use Laser surgery to correct the shape of the eyeball so that light can rest directly on the retina for better vision. Wearing lenses (glasses and soft contact lenses) are also helpful in directing light to focus in the right place.

Studies show that the use of Rigid Gas Permeable (RGP) lenses is more effective than the soft contact lens since it holds the shape of the eye in the place. So, when the light comes in, it hits the spherical surface instead of the natural irregular one. The downside of this method of correction is that it may be uncomfortable for some patients.

Is it helpful to use corrective lenses?

Yes. Glasses with cylindrical lenses help in adjusting the way the eye focuses on light, thereby making the patient’s vision clearer. Contact us to book an appointment.

Considering laser eye surgery?

Exclusive laser eye surgery offers in London.

Call us today and enjoy the freedom with Optimal Vision

Book a free consultation Today

or call: 020 7183 3725

Dr Amir Mani - Specialist refractive surgeon

UK’s One of the most experienced refractive surgeons in London

Dr Mani has performed more than 20,000 ophthalmic procedures, including LASIK, LASEK, PRK, Femto Cataract, RLE, Lens ICL and Phakic IOL surgery

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