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Astigmatism: when things elongate in one direction

The name, astigmatism, may sound daunting, but it is one of the most common refractive errors in the world, more so than myopia or hyperopia! 

In astigmatism, the eye is not perfectly round, but rather it is shaped more like a football. In other words, the eyeball is more curved in one direction, than in the perpendicular direction. This causes the transmission of light to the back of the eye to be distorted, resulting in the blurring of vision across one direction. This common image below, is an example of astigmatism, where there is a distortion of light in one direction. 

Astigmatism is completely natural, and most people are born with it. It shouldn’t be a cause of concern. However, people with variable astigmatism should regularly visit their optometrist for a condition known as keratoconus. You cannot self-diagnose astigmatism, but an optometrist can examine your eyes for other diseases that also may be the cause of glare (which can be mistaken for as blur). 

Normally, astigmatism is treated with the right prescription in a pair of spectacles or contact lenses. If left untreated, astigmatism can cause headaches and migraines depending on the individual. Our optometrists recommend spectacle wear for astigmatism to help with day-to-day activity. 

To see one of our optometrists for an eye examination or to make a pair of glasses with our lovely dispensers, contact us on 9728 7288.

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