Patients who suffer from eyestrain, headache, squinting, or distorted vision may have astigmatism: a refractive error that interferes with focus. The compassionate optometrists at West Broward Eyecare Associates in Tamarac, Florida, provide evaluation and treatment of astigmatism through the use of brand-name eyeglasses or specialized contact lenses to ensure that patients can see clearly. Call the office today, or schedule an appointment through the online booking tool.
Astigmatism Q & A
In healthy patients, light enters the eye, is bent by the cornea, and focuses on the retina (a process referred to as refraction).
In patients with astigmatism, the cornea takes on an oblong shape instead of a 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 that requires correction. The best way to identify or rule out astigmatism is through an annual comprehensive vision exam.
What are the signs and symptoms of astigmatism?
The most common signs and symptoms include:
- Distorted vision at a distance
- Difficulty driving at night
Patients who notice these issues, regardless of whether they’re already wearing glasses or contacts, should schedule an optometry appointment for an evaluation.
How is astigmatism treated?
The optometrists at West Broward Eyecare Associates prescribe glasses and contact lenses to help you see clearly if you have astigmatism. If you opt for contact lenses, your eye doctor might recommend special toric lenses that are designed to provide clear vision along each meridian to accommodate the irregularities of your cornea.
Depending on the severity of your astigmatism and the stability of your corrective lens prescription, you might be able to have refractive surgery. Talk to your eye doctor about your treatment options for personalized advice on which treatment will work best for you.
Does astigmatism further worsen over time?
Astigmatism can fluctuate, becoming more or less severe over time. If you wear corrective lenses for astigmatism or any refractive error, you should have an eye exam at least once a year to make sure your prescription is up-to-date.
Does astigmatism impact quality of life?
Most patients live with astigmatism without seeing their life worsen. The most significant challenge 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.
To get expert diagnosis and treatment for astigmatism, contact the office of West Broward Eyecare Associates by phone, or make an appointment online today.