Have I got “stigmatism” or “astigmatism”?!

Don’t worry. Your eyes are not condemned. Your optometrist might have mispronounced your eye condition, called ASTIGMATISM.

Astigmatism is a refractive error like myopia ( shortsightedness ) and hyperopia ( longsightedness ).

Astigmatism occurs when light is unable to come into a single focus on the retina. The eye with astigmatism will see multiple focus points either fall in front or behind the retina, or both.

What will I experience if I have astigmatism?

Astigmatism usually causes visual distortion. One may feel eye strain and headaches, especially after prolonged reading with uncorrected astigmatism.

What causes astigmatism?

Astigmatism usually is caused by an irregularly shaped cornea. Imagine your cornea is shaped like a ruby ball instead of a basketball. The irregular curve of the ruby ball causes astigmatism.

cornea with astigmatism

How can I detect whether I have astigmatism?

Astigmatism is detected during a routine eye care examination. Visual acuity test is obtained like myopia and hyperopia condition. Your optometrist might also use corneal topographer to detect astigmatism.

Corneal topographer is a special computerised instrument that obtains highly accurate, point-to-point measurements visual distortion. Corneal topographer is a recommended eye care instrument for high astigmatism. Your optometrist has to detect high astigmatism is not caused by keratoconus.

Keratoconus is an eye disease that causes progressive change of a normal cornea to bulge outward like a cone. Keratoconus begins in teens and early adulthood, either in one eye or both. As the cornea gets more cone shaped, visual distortion will occur due to progressive myopia ( shortsightedness) and irregular astigmatism. Patient will experience glare and feel sensitive to light, and often change their eye glasses prescription when simple tasks like reading and seeing signboards are impaired.

Corneal topographer is widely used for fitting rigid gas permeable contact lenses for myopia control, orthokeratology ( Ortho-K ).

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