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What causes astigmatism?

Astigmatism is one of the most common refractive errors in the world. In fact, more people can have an astigmatism than being long-sighted or short-sighted. Astigmatism is something that can occur in just one eye or both of the eyes.

Refraction error occurs when the light that passes through an object is bent and so when this occurs within the eye, the retina cannot receive a clear image interpretation when sending signals to the brain. Astigmatism can cause blurry, unclear vision which can generally be treated efficiently with use of prescription glasses or lenses.

What causes astigmatism?

A perfectly shaped eye has a round curvature, like the surface of a smooth ball. When the eye has the correct curvature bend, all incoming light will focus all image directly on to the retina, at the back of your eye, sending clear signals to the brain which help to make the vision clear and sharp.

An eye with astigmatism has a misshapen eyeball which is similar to the shape of an egg or a rugby ball. This distorted shape creates uneven surfaces around the eye, so when light enters the eye it bends incorrectly, sending it in many different directions instead of streamlined directly on to the retina. This causes a person’s vision to become unclear or distorted, most commonly, people will find that the eyesight can appear blurry or wavy, at all distances.

Astigmatism is a completely natural eye condition, some people are born with it. The reasons behind why the eye becomes misshapen is unknown although it is believed that genetics can play a part in this eye condition. Old age is also another possible cause.

How to correct astigmatism?

The most common process is to have your eyes tested by your local optometrists. They will prescribe the suitable type of prescription glasses or contact lenses accordingly.

Depending on each individual’s circumstances, there is also the alternative treatment option of refractive surgery performed by Ophthalmologists.

If left untreated can astigmatism get worse?

Wearing prescription glasses will not make your astigmatism get better or worse but it will surely help make your day to day activities easier and more enjoyable with clearer vision. If you choose not to correct your vision with prescription glasses, the problem will not worsen however this could lead to ongoing headaches or migraines as well as create unnecessary risks with day to day activities such as driving.