Astigmatism is a common condition that causes blurred vision. Patients with astigmatism most often have a slightly oval shaped cornea (the clear covering over the colored iris). The slightly imperfectly shaped cornea prevents light from focusing correctly on the retina. This results in blurry vision regardless of the distance.
The cause of astigmatism is unknown to doctors, but it is often present in patients with other refractive errors such as nearsightedness or farsightedness. The condition can run in families and many patients who are diagnosed with astigmatism are born with it. Most people have at least some small amount of astigmatism.
Glasses or contacts are the most common methods used to correct astigmatism, but there are other options as well.
Laser refractive surgery, such as LASIK, is also an option for patients with astigmatism. During the surgery, our center uses a sophisticated laser system is used to reshape to cornea.
Special lens implants, or IOL's, can be used at the time of cataract surgery to treat astigmatism. At our facility, we often employ special computer alignment systems to optimize the placement and alignment of these lenses during surgery.
Cataracts are a clouding of the lens in the the eye. They are the most common cause of blindness worldwide and the number one reason for vision loss in adults over 40.
There are three main types of cataracts: subcapsular, nuclear, and cortical cataracts. A subcapsular cataract forms at the back of the lens. A nuclear cataract occurs in the central zone of the lens. Cortical cataracts start at the periphery of the lens and move towards the center of the eye.
The lens of your eye is made up of water and protein. As you age the proteins in the lens can lose clarity and cloud your vision.
Factors that can contribute to a higher risk of developing cataracts include:
While glasses may help when cataracts first form, most people will eventually progress past a point where prescribed lenses are helpful. Luckily cataract surgery is one of the most common and successful surgeries performed in the United States.
If you are a candidate for cataract surgery and also have astigmatism, you can get both of these issues treated with the same surgery. During cataract surgery, your doctor will remove your eye's cloudy lens and replace it with an intraocular lens. There are different types of lenses including a lens that treats astigmatism. Laser treatments for astigmatism can also be done at the time of cataract surgery.
If you are interested in treatment for astigmatism and cataracts call New Vision Eye Center Today for more information or to make an appointment with Dr. Tate.