Patients who suffer from eye strain, headache, squinting, or distorted vision may have astigmatism: a refractive error that interferes with focus. The compassionate optometrists at Davich Optical in Los Angeles provide evaluation and treatment of astigmatism through the use of brand name eyeglasses or specialized contact lenses to ensure that patients can see clearly.
What is astigmatism?
In healthy patients, light enters the eye, is bent by the cornea, and focused on the retina (a process referred to as refraction). In patients with astigmatism, the cornea takes on an oval shape instead of a nice round shape, preventing the eye from focusing light onto the retina correctly and resulting in a refractive error much like nearsightedness or farsightedness. Astigmatism can affect anybody, from young children to older adults.
Are there varying levels of astigmatism?
Yes, some patients have very slight astigmatism that doesn’t produce noticeable vision changes, while other patients have more severe astigmatism and require correction. The best way to identify or rule out astigmatism is through an annual comprehensive vision exam.
What are the signs and symptoms of this refractory error?
The most common signs and symptoms include:
- Eye strain
- Distorted vision at a distance
- Difficulty driving at night
Patients who notice these issues, whether wearing glasses or contacts already or not, should schedule an optometry appointment for evaluation.
How is astigmatism treated?
There are several treatment options for patients with astigmatism, including:
Eyeglasses, which are the easiest and safest way to correct the refractive error associated with astigmatism
Toric lenses, which are available at Davich Optical and can refract the light evenly onto the retina
Refractive Surgery, which aims to correct corneal shape permanently
In most cases, glasses or contact lenses easily correct astigmatism.
Does astigmatism continue to worsen over time?
Like any other eye condition, the severity of astigmatism can change over time, either worsening or even improving. Davich Optical provides optometry treatment for astigmatism and can help patients maintain their best vision when regular exams are scheduled.
Does astigmatism impact quality of life?
Most patients live with astigmatism without seeing their life worsen. The most significant challenge you’ll face is simply adjusting to wearing contact lenses or eyeglasses, which most patients can do without difficulty. Unless changes in vision occur, vision exams are generally required once per year in patients with astigmatism, which is the same for patients with good vision and generally good eye health.