Mt. Pleasant Optometrist Explains Astigmatism
While most people have heard of nearsightedness and farsightedness, there is one more type of common vision problem that's less well known: astigmatism. Instead of only being able to see clearly up close or far away, patients with astigmatism have blurry vision both close up and at a distance. Like with most other types of vision problems, the reason is all in the shape of the eyeball.
Eyeballs are supposed to be round like a ball, and for those who have perfect vision, that's the shape their eyes take. With nearsighted and farsighted eyes, the lens in front of the eye is the wrong distance from the retina at the back of the eyeball. With astigmatism, though, the eye is elongated like a football, so some light rays focus closer while others have to reach further for the same view. Only one part of a picture can be in focus at one time, much like a photo with a clear subject and a blurry background.
How Do I Know If I Have Astigmatism
Astigmatism can occur along with normal nearsightedness or farsightedness, and often isn't bad enough to need correction by itself. The only way to diagnose astigmatism is through a professional eye examination. Dr. Papernick, our Mt. Pleasant optometrist, will look for signs of astigmatism during your regular vision examination. If your vision hasn't been compromised enough to affect your daily life, no further correction is needed, but our doctor will monitor your eyesight every time you come in. If it's beginning to affect your work or leisure activities, or if it's combined with nearsightedness or farsightedness, you'll need vision correction in order to see clearly. There are two basic ways to correct poor vision due to astigmatism: eyeglasses or special contact lenses.
What Does Dr. Papernick Do If I Have Astigmatism
Our office can provide eyeglasses created to correct your vision and restore it to normal. The first time you wear eyeglasses with astigmatism correction you may be a bit disoriented for the first day or two, but not much more than when you change your normal eyeglass prescription. This is due to the way your eyes have to work to focus on multiple points at once.
Contact Lens Alternative To Eye Glasses
If you prefer to have contact lenses, we can fit you with a special type of lens called a toric lens. Because of the shape of your eye, your eyesight is different on a north to south axis from that on the east to west axis. In other words, there's a right-side up and an upside down with contact lenses made for astigmatism. When they move around on your eye, as all lenses do, your vision will blur. With some toric lenses, there is a tiny weight build right into the bottom of the lens, just large enough to balance the lens and make it swing back in the right direction. You can't feel it, but it's there.
Schedule An Eye Exam If Experiencing Blurry Vision At Various Distances
If you have any questions about astigmatism, call our office at (724) 547-5711. Dr. Papernick will be happy to see you and answer any questions you may have.