Astigmatism affects at least one-third of the population in the United States. Astigmatism is an irregular curvature of the cornea or lens. This irregularity is found most often in the cornea and causes light to refract improperly. As a result, blurry vision, eye strain, headaches, and general eye discomfort may result. Most people have such a mild case that there is no need to correct it. Your local eye doctor can detect astigmatism during a routine eye exam.
While the word “astigmatism” may sound big and scary, it is a common condition and easily treatable. Let’s review some common myths about astigmatism.
Myth: Astigmatism only affects adults.
Fact: Most cases of astigmatism are inherited. This is why it is important for children to have eye exams, as parents are often surprised to learn their child has astigmatism. Children also likely don’t know that their vision is distorted.
Myth: Astigmatism worsens with screen time.
Fact: Whether it is your television, laptop, or tablet, being too close to the screen or staring at it for long periods of time will not cause astigmatism to get worse. While it is not recommended to watch any screen for long periods of time without eye rest, this activity won’t affect astigmatism specifically.
What Causes Astigmatism to Worsen?
Age is one of the most common causes for Astigmatism to worsen. The cornea, which is the clear outer layer of the eye, can become less flexible and may develop small irregularities as a person ages. As a result, light entering the eye can be refracted unevenly, leading to blurred or distorted vision. Regular eye exams are important for monitoring changes in vision and ensuring that the appropriate corrective lenses or treatments are used.
Myth: Contact lenses are not an option for astigmatism.
Fact: In most cases, astigmatism can be corrected with either contact lenses or eyeglasses. Most cases of astigmatism are mild. For the more moderate cases, there are usually no issues with wearing contact lenses. Another option that is often suitable for astigmatism is LASIK surgery, especially because astigmatism is often accompanied by other vision problems, such as nearsightedness and farsightedness.
Although there are many misconceptions about astigmatism, it is a common condition that can be easily diagnosed and treated by an eye doctor. If you have any concerns about your eyes, please contact us today to make an appointment at one of our five locations in southeast Michigan.