Facts About Astigmatism
All people have heard of such visual impairments as farsightedness and nearsightedness but few know about astigmatism. This vision disorder also applies to ametropia, conditions in which the refractive ability of the eye changes and distortion of the back focus appears. Astigmatism occurs in 10% of cases of such violations. If you do not treat ocular astigmatism, it can lead to strabismus and a sharp drop in vision.
What is astigmatism?
Astigmatism is associated with a violation of the shape of the lens or irregular curvature of the cornea. For this reason, they have different refractive power in different meridians, as a result of which a person loses the ability to clearly see objects. In most cases, astigmatism is a heritable eye disease in humans and is associated with uneven pressure of the eyelids, muscles and bones of the orbit on the eye sheath. Therefore, if you have relatives suffering from this disease, you need to visit an ophthalmologist as soon as possible.
Causes of astigmatism
The causes of astigmatism acquired in vivo are cicatricial changes of the cornea, which could result from injury, eye surgery, keratoconus, keratitis, corneal opacities. Most people have astigmatism to a small extent – up to 0.5 diopters, this is not considered a violation of the functions of the eye until vision is distorted.
Symptoms of astigmatism
Symptoms of astigmatism are not specific. In the early stages, it can manifest a slight defocus of vision and is often confused with eye fatigue. Signs that should cause alertness are loss of clarity of vision, unevenness and deformation of visible objects, burning, pain and redness in the eyes, ghosting during prolonged visual work. A person may also be disturbed by frequent headaches. As a rule, the disease initially manifests itself with the onset of learning activities. The child confuses similar letters, changes their places when reading, complains of the feeling of “sand” in his eyes. He or she can look at objects by turning or tilting his head, squinting his eyes. Safety Rx recommends paying particular attention to these symptoms of astigmatism in young children, who can not yet describe their visual problems.
Treatment of astigmatism
Without correction, progressive astigmatism can cause persistent headaches and pain in the eyes, causing a sharp decline in visual acuity, amblyopia, strabismus. There are the following methods of ophthalmic correction of astigmatism:
- Wearing glasses. This method of correction is the most common. Safety glasses for astigmatism are selected individually with a combination of spherical and cylindrical lenses. However, if the disease has a high degree, such an optical tool may cause dizziness, visual discomfort. In this case, the use of contact lenses is recommended;
- Contact vision correction. Today, special toric lenses are used to combat astigmatism. They are convenient to use because they form a single optical system with the eye and do not cause optical distortion. However, both glasses and lenses can only level visual defects, without completely eliminating astigmatism;
- Surgical intervention. If it is impossible to correct astigmatism by optical means and if there is a different refractive power in the meridians, keratotomy can be indicated. During this procedure, several radial cuts are applied to the cornea with a scalpel (like the spokes in a wheel), which are designed to weaken the strong meridian along the periphery;
- Laser correction. Currently, laser correction is the most commonly used technique. It is indicated for astigmatism up to ± 3-4 D. This procedure is performed on an outpatient basis under local anesthesia. In order to correct astigmatism, the surgeon first separates the upper thin layer of the cornea and then laser-points a part of the cornea to a precisely measured depth. After completion of all manipulations, the separated layer is returned to its place. The laser technique does not require stitches since the epithelium in this place is restored on its own. After 1-2 hours, the patient will be able to notice an improvement in the quality of vision, full rehabilitation occurs within a week.
Prevention of astigmatism
To prevent astigmatism, you should pay great attention to the health of your eyes and timely detect the first symptoms of the disease. In order to maintain a clear vision, it is important to rationally distribute the load, alternate them with a special gymnastics. Exercises for the eyes will help relieve tension and fatigue. Avoid injury to the cornea and promptly treat inflammatory eye diseases. To detect congenital astigmatism, it is necessary to undergo preventive examinations in accordance with the plan established by the pediatrician. In order to prevent secondary complications of astigmatism, it is necessary to conduct its timely optical correction.
Category: Eye Health