Although the world offers amazing technology such as virtual reality and big screen TVs, it’s becoming more common for children and adults to need vision correction due to astigmatism in the eye, and possibly myopia, or nearsightedness.
Do I Have Astigmatism?
Sometimes it’s hard to tell whether or not you have astigmatism depending on its severity and the type you may have. For a majority of people, these are a few astigmatism symptoms that indicate whether or not you may have it:
What is Astigmatism?
Astigmatism describes the irregular shape of one’s cornea, or the transparent layer that is located in front of the eye.
When light enters a normal eye and passes through the cornea, it is supposed to meet at a single focal point in the retina. Imagine that a normal eyeball and cornea is the shape of a basketball, allowing for the light to properly enter the eye, giving us the ability to see clearly.
However, when the eye is of an irregular shape, multiple focal points form and the light passing through the cornea do not meet at one point. The eyeball now takes the shape of something like a football, with some areas of the cornea steeper or rounder than other areas. This misaligns the light entering the eye and produces the blurry or distorted vision you may experience when looking at objects.
The severity of astigmatism is dependent on many different things, ranging from genetics to daily habits. Mild astigmatism is typically harder to detect unless you visit an optometrist to have a comprehensive eye exam. Those with more prominent signs of astigmatism will be able to tell since you’ll see distorted images and wordings in almost everything you look at.
How common is it?
According to a study done in March of 2018, 27.2% of Americans suffer from some type of astigmatism of the eye. The prevalence of people who have myopia, or nearsightedness, have globally increased significantly from 10.4% in 1993 to 34.2% in 2016.
This growing effect impacts both children and adults, probably since we’re in the middle of an advancing digital age. It’s important to be more conscientious about our eyesight since astigmatism in children are also increasing.
In 2016, the Willis Eye Vision Screening Program for Children conducted a screening program on Philadelphia’s public schools and reported 2,492 students who were in need of vision correction. Their eyesight was described as blurry since 1,484 of them had signs of astigmatism. 368 out of 2,492 students were reported to have both astigmatism and myopia, creating challenges for them when learning in the classroom.
What are ways to correct astigmatism?
Depending on the severity of your astigmatism in your eyes, there are various ways to address your unique visual needs.
- Prescription Eyeglasses
- Toric Contact Lenses
- Corrective Eye Surgery