Astigmatism is a refractive error that occurs when the cornea or lens of the eye has an irregular shape. This results in light not focusing properly on the retina at the back of the eye, leading to blurry or distorted vision. It can be present at birth or develop later in life, affecting one or both eyes. Wondering if astigmatism can be corrected? At Cascade Eye and Skin Centers, we offer comprehensive eye exams to accurately diagnose astigmatism. Before we can answer this question, let’s first understand what astigmatism is and how it affects our vision.
How Is Astigmatism Diagnosed?
Astigmatism is commonly identified during routine eye exams, which may include a vision test — reading letters from a distance — and the keratometry/topography test to measure corneal curvature.
Beyond standard tests, advanced keratometry and topography instruments precisely map the cornea’s surface, ensuring accurate diagnosis of conditions like astigmatism. It is important to get an eye exam every one to two years, especially if you experience blurry vision or other visual changes.
Correcting Astigmatism: The Available Options
Astigmatism can indeed be corrected, and there are multiple routes to achieve this. How you choose to correct your astigmatism will depend on your unique circumstances and lifestyle needs. The two primary methods of correction are through the use of prescription glasses or contact lenses and refractive surgery. Both have their advantages and are effective in their own way. Let’s explore these options and help you make an informed decision about which correction method might be right for you.
Prescription Glasses or Contact Lenses
Prescription glasses are one of the most common and convenient ways to correct astigmatism. They work by compensating for the irregular shape of the cornea, allowing light to focus properly on the retina. Glasses are suitable for people with all degrees of astigmatism and can provide clear and comfortable vision.
For those who prefer not to wear glasses, specially designed contact lenses can be an excellent alternative. Contact lenses for astigmatism are designed to align with the shape of the eye and correct vision. They provide a more natural field of view compared to glasses and allow for a more active lifestyle. If you choose to wear contact lenses, it is imperative to follow proper hygiene and replacement schedules to avoid eye infections. At Cascade Eye and Skin Centers, our team of experts can help you find the right contact lenses for your specific needs.
Refractive surgeries like LASIK and PRK offer long-term astigmatism solutions by reshaping the cornea for proper light focus. At Cascade Eye and Skin Centers, our expert surgeons utilize advanced laser technology for these procedures. LASIK involves creating a corneal flap, adjusting the tissue beneath, and repositioning the flap, offering rapid vision improvement.
In contrast, PRK, suitable for those with thinner corneas or higher eye injury risks, removes the cornea’s outer layer before reshaping. Candidates for these surgeries should have stable vision, no eye diseases, and realistic outcome expectations. If you are considering refractive surgery, we recommend scheduling a consultation with our team to discuss your options further.
Benefits of Astigmatism Correction
Correcting astigmatism not only improves your vision but also enhances your overall quality of life. By addressing your astigmatism, you can enjoy a variety of benefits that extend beyond mere visual clarity. Here are some benefits that individuals often experience after correcting their astigmatism:
- Improved vision: Correcting astigmatism helps improve visual acuity, making daily tasks like reading and driving more comfortable.
- Improved visual clarity
- Increased comfort
- Expanded activity range
- Enhanced self-confidence
- Reduced dependence on glasses/contact lenses
- Enhanced eye health
- Better performance in sports and other activities
See Clearly with Cascade Eye & Skin Centers
Let us help you see clearly and improve your quality of life. Our team of experienced ophthalmologists will work with you to find the best solution for your unique needs. Schedule an appointment today and take the first step toward better vision.