General Eye Care

3 Things You Didn't Know About Astigmatism

Your cornea is the clear surface of your eye. It directs light from outside your eye to the lens, and both your cornea and lens work together to focus images onto your retina at the back of your eye.

When your eye is perfectly round, the images — and your vision — are crystal clear. But if your cornea and lens have mismatched curves, your vision becomes blurry.

One of the most common causes of blurry vision is a condition called astigmatism. When you have astigmatism, your eye is egg-shaped instead of round. It compromises the quality of your vision, but it doesn’t have to.

Are you looking for a San Luis Obispo optometrist for astigmatism treatment? Look no further than Pacific Eye. Our ophthalmologists and optometrists work together to provide comprehensive care for people of all ages.

If you’re among the more than 33% of Americans with astigmatism, now’s the time to learn a little bit more about it. Here are three little-known facts about this common eye problem.

1. Symptoms of astigmatism can be overlooked

Blurry vision is one of the most common symptoms of astigmatism, but it’s also a symptom of other refractive errors, like myopia (nearsightedness) and hyperopia (farsightedness).

Blurry vision, poor night vision, and more are telltale signs of astigmatism. But without a comprehensive eye exam, you may be likely to overlook those symptoms and blame them on something else, from other refractive errors to simply being tired.

Astigmatism is often present from birth, which means that people may not notice that their vision is blurry — especially when they’re young. Unlike other refractive errors, however, astigmatism makes vision blurry at every distance.

It can also get worse over time, which means your vision keeps declining without treatment. The good news is that astigmatism is easy for your eye doctor to diagnose and treat, no matter your age.

2. Astigmatism can affect your depth perception

Having astigmatism can also affect your depth perception, making it more difficult for you to judge distances.

Depth perception is your ability to see things in three dimensions. It gives you a sense of your position in relation to other objects, as well as distances between objects. With astigmatism, your ability to judge distance is altered. 

Astigmatism blurs the outlines of every object you see, because the shape of your eye changes the way light enters it. Correcting astigmatism allows light to enter your eye properly, which helps you see more clearly and improves the overall quality of your vision.

3. Your astigmatism can be corrected

Maybe you’re worried that astigmatism is difficult to treat. Or maybe you’ve heard that people with astigmatism can’t comfortably wear contact lenses.

Astigmatism is a common eye problem. It’s typically simple to identify, so you can get treatment to improve your vision.

At Pacific Eye, our team can diagnose astigmatism at your comprehensive eye exam. We use specialized instruments to measure the curve of your corneas to detect the severity of your astigmatism.

People with astigmatism can wear eyeglasses or contact lenses in many cases. Both glasses and contacts work by counteracting the curvature of your cornea to fix refractive errors like astigmatism.

Glasses and contacts give you clearer vision, but they don’t change the shape of your cornea. For a more permanent solution, ask our team about the benefits of orthokeratology or IntraLase® LASIK surgery.

Are you bothered by blurry vision? Schedule an eye exam at Pacific Eye in San Luis Obispo. Call our offices or request your appointment online now.