What Does It Mean to Have an Astigmatism?

If you’ve ever had an eye exam, you’ve likely heard the term “astigmatism.” You may have even been told that you have it. If you’re wondering what that term means and how it affects your vision, you’re in the right place. In this blog post, we go over what you need to know about astigmatism.

What is astigmatism?

When the shape of your cornea is more oval or longer than it should be, or when the lens inside your eye has a certain curvature, it results in a refractive error called astigmatism. It’s categorized as a refractive error because it affects the way light focuses on your retina, causing your vision to be blurry at any distance. Astigmatism is a very common condition, occurring in approximately one out of three people in America.

More often than not, astigmatism occurs alongside other conditions like nearsightedness (myopia) and farsightedness (hyperopia). The degree to which you’re affected by astigmatism can vary from mild to severe, and can gradually increase over time or remain stable. For some people, astigmatism barely affects their vision at all. For others, their vision is heavily affected in several different aspects. This condition can occur in one or both eyes but is more commonly present in both.

Signs and symptoms

Astigmatism is typically hereditary and present at birth, though it can occur later in life due to an eye injury, eye surgery, or keratoconus, a rare condition in which your cornea gradually changes shape and becomes thinner. There are a few signs and symptoms that present in people with astigmatism, including:

These symptoms commonly appear in other conditions as well. When you notice these symptoms, either all together or just a couple, schedule a comprehensive eye exam with Dr. Nicholas Rutkowski at Nicholas Rutkowski, O.D., and Associates

Once diagnosed, Dr. Rutkowski goes over your options with you and determines which path is best for you. Corrective lenses in the form of glasses or contacts are effective in correcting astigmatism, or you can opt for a more permanent solution, like LASIK.

Whichever option you decide on, our team at Nicholas Rutkowski, O.D. and Associates is at your service. You don’t have to wait until your astigmatism is severe to get help. Give us a call at either of our convenient locations in Frankfort or Bourbonnais, Illinois, or book an appointment online today. Clearer vision is just a phone call or a click away.

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