Astigmatism is a common refractory eye disorder present in many adults and children. It is a vision disorder which occurs due to irregular shape of the cornea. Normal shape of cornea is spherical like a golf ball, where as in a person suffering from astigmatism, the shape of the cornea is oblong or just like the back of the spoon.
Sometime astigmatism is caused due to irregular shape of the lens; it is then called lenticular astigmatism.
Often astigmatism is accompanied by nearsightedness or farsightedness and it can be diagnosed by an ophthalmologist.
Astigmatism is corrected by glasses, contact lenses, or by surgery.
In astigmatism, the light rays which pass through the cornea are focused on two points, on the back of the eye, instead of a single point. This is because the corneal curve in is steeper and flat like a football.
Astigmatism is of two types regular and irregular. It is easy to correct regular astigmatism than irregular astigmatism.
Astigmatism is caused as a result of heredity or scarring of cornea as a result of eye injury, from certain eye surgery or due to thinning of cornea called Keratoconus.
The symptoms of undetected astigmatism are blurred vision, headache, eye strain and fatigue. Mild cases of astigmatism, especially in children go unnoticed. It is therefore necessary to get eye checkups regularly for both adults and children.
Astigmatism correction is possible with eyeglasses, contact eye lenses in almost all the cases. Toric lenses are special corrective lenses for astigmatism.
Refractive eye surgery is another correctional approach for astigmatism. There are various laser eye surgeries; your doctor will recommend the best which suits your eyes.
Astigmatism is difficult to prevent, and it is corrected either by glasses or surgery. Eye exercises may not be very useful, but it can be tried as there is no harm. Fix your vision on an object at a distance of three feet and then look on an object at a distance of 10 feet. Now again shift your focus on the same object at a distance of three feet. Repeat this for ten times in a day.