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Astigmatism is a visual impairment when the refractive power of the eye at different points of the cornea is different.

Small astigmatism up to 0.5 D is very common in children and is functional. Such astigmatism is not considered a deviation from the norm. With astigmatism more than 0.5 D, vision is impaired, which requires correction.

Causes of astigmatism

The most common cause of astigmatism is uneven thickness or uneven surface of the cornea, which has the highest refractive power. Then the rays passing through different points on the cornea are incorrectly focused, only a part of them hits the retina. The result is a blurry or distorted image.

Less common cause of astigmatism is uneven lens, having different refractive power at individual points.

The immediate cause of astigmatism can be trauma to the eye, severe scars, deformities, and so on.

Symptoms of astigmatism

With astigmatism, a person can see part of the image as clear and the other part as blurry.. For example, when looking at a sheet with parallel stripes, an astigmatist may notice that when the image is rotated slowly, some of the lines lose their sharp outlines.

Astigmatism is often combined with other visual disorders (nearsightedness, farsightedness, strabismus, etc.).

With astigmatism, a person quickly gets tired, there is a headache, pain in the eyes, especially when working at a computer and reading. With pronounced degrees of astigmatism, nausea and dizziness may occur.

Read more: How to get rid of astigmatism?

Diagnosis and treatment of astigmatism

Timely diagnosis and the correct selection of correction for the eyes are very important. This helps to avoid progressive deterioration of vision.

The value of astigmatism is indicated in diopters and represents the difference in the refractive power of the strongest and weakest meridian of the eye.

For diagnostics, special ophthalmological devices are used, as well as various tables and figures, which, when viewed, can reveal gross refractive errors.

There are currently three ways to correct astigmatism:

  • Spectacle correction. Glasses are carefully selected by the doctor, require the manufacture of complex cylindrical lenses, taking into account the individual characteristics of the eye.
  • Correction with lenses. Currently available plastic lenses for the correction of astigmatism have a spherical-cylindrical structure.
  • Surgery. The most successful is the correction with the help of an excimer laser operation (using LASIK technology).


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