Disorders

  • The eye is egg or oval shaped, causing light to split into two beams as it enters the eye.
  • A person's vision for far and near is blurred.
  • There is a genetic tendency to have astigmatism, and it is be more prevalent in certain ethnic groups (Hispanic).
  • Moderate to severe astigmatism is usually presents at birth; therefore, an examination is needed between 1-3 years of age.
  • If undetected, a person is at high risk of developing a permanent lazy eye.
  • IT CAN BE EASILY MISSED DURING A SCHOOL VISION SCREENING.
  • It can change during adolescence.
  • Astigmatism is NOT considered an eye disease, just a normal variation in the shape of the eye. The eye is healthy; it just focuses light at two points instead of one.
  • It can be corrected with glasses, contact lenses, or refractive surgery.
Astigmatism  
Picture (graphic) of an astigmatic eye   Picture of eye with normal single focus

 

What print would look like to a person or child with normal vision       
 
What print might look like for a person or child who has an astigmatism.
 
Astigmatism can only be diagnosed through an eye exam.

 

 SYMPTOMS

  • Difficulty focusing on objects either at distance or close or both.
  • Tired eyes, headache, or eyestrain after distance-vision tasks or reading or computer work
  • Eyes that are red or water
  • Poor reading ability and/or school skills
  • Reluctance to do homework or close-vision tasks
  • Squinting

Astigmatism and Children

  • Infancy:
    Large amounts of astigmatism are present at birth and should be addressed within the first year or two of life. Failure to do so could result in poor eye development. This can lead to a lazy eye or amblyopia.
  • School age:
    Astigmatism can only be diagnosed through a comprehensive eye/health examination. Astigmatism can often go undetected, and its symptoms are very subtle to nonexistent. Even though small amounts of astigmatism can be normal. It can adversely affect a child's school performance. Sometimes the only difference between a struggling and a confident student is a pair of prescription glasses.


 

 
 


 

How is Astigmatism treated?

  • GLASSES:
    As with other refractive errors, corrective lenses are prescribed to help focus light more effectively on the retina. Depending on the degree of astigmatism, glasses may be needed all of the time for clear vision. If the degree of impairment is slight, glasses may be needed only for specific functions which are determined during the eye examination.
  • CONTACT LENSES: Click here for more on contacts.
  • REFRACTIVE SURGERY: Refractive surgery is not as common; click here for more information on LASIK.

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