A common vision problem, astigmatism results from a misshapen cornea or, in some cases, a misshapen lens. While the cornea is meant to be a sphere, in astigmatic eyes it is an oval, or football shape, instead. A spherical cornea focuses light to a single point on the retina at the back of the eye. The oval cornea focuses the light onto two different points. The result is blurred vision.
Unlike nearsightedness or farsightedness, astigmatism affects vision at all distances. Like near- and farsightedness, however, astigmatism can be corrected with glasses, contact lenses, or LASIK surgery.
Symptoms of Astigmatism
Astigmatism is usually a congenital problem, meaning that it is inherited. If one or both parents have astigmatism, they should watch carefully for possible symptoms of astigmatism in their children, including:
- Difficulty reading
- Difficulty seeing the blackboard or white board at school
Since children, particularly younger children, have difficulty explaining symptoms or problems with their eyesight, you should have your child examined by an eye doctor such as NYC LASIK surgery specialist Dr. James Kelly if he or she exhibits any of these symptoms.
At one time, astigmatism could only be corrected with eyeglasses or hard contact lenses. Today, however, more options are available. These include toric lenses and LASIK eye surgery.
Toric lenses are a special kind of contact lens designed specifically to correct astigmatism. There are both soft and hard toric lenses, so for those with less serious astigmatism, soft lenses are now a possible treatment.
For permanent astigmatism correction, LASIK surgery can reshape the cornea to correct the focusing problems it causes. LASIK is a relatively simple procedure, performed in Dr. Kelly’s office and usually takes about 15 minutes from start to finish. You will see improvements in your vision almost immediately, and your eyes will be completely healed within a few days.
To find out how LASIK surgery can correct your astigmatism, please contact New York City LASIK surgeon James Kelly, MD. With a personalized LASIK consultation, Dr. Kelly can determine how severe your astigmatism is and how LASIK can help you regain normal vision.