Astigmatism is a form of eye disorder that causes the eye to focus at different lengths based on which direction the light is hitting the eye. Astigmatism is not the same as near sightedness or far sightedness, although very often they go together.
Astigmatism is caused by a change in the shape of the cornea of the eye. The cornea is the clear film that covers the outside of the visible portion of the eye ball. When light strikes the cornea, it gets refracted first before it strikes the lens. The lens finally focuses the light on the retina. The retina is what converts light signals into electrical impulses that are carried to the brain. In astigmatism, the cornea is not smoothly convex. Certain portions of the cornea bulge at a different curvature from the rest of the cornea. The result of this is that when light strikes those portions of the cornea that are normally convex, vision is perfect. When light strikes those portions of the cornea that bulge differently, the focal point moves a little forward of the retina, resulting in improper vision.
Mild cases of astigmatism may not cause any ocular defects, the brain is able to correct any discrepancy in the vision. When astigmatism is more serious, it needs to be corrected so that the person can regain normal vision.
Astigmatism is a very common eye defect and has been treated since generations with spectacles. The spectacles will refract the light before it hits the cornea, correcting the error caused by the bulge.
Another astigmatism treatment method is the use of contact lenses. Contact lenses cover the eye entirely and are therefore a much better solution than spectacles. Not only are they able to rectify frontal vision, but even peripheral vision is corrected with contact lenses.
Corrective eye surgery is also possible, although this is a last resort. There have been many cases where astigmatism has been caused as a result of eye surgery and doctors therefore, do not recommend surgery as a treatment option
Astigmatism and children
Astigmatism can affect people of any age, although many doctors feel that it is an inherited defect. This is the reason why many children get astigmatism. Astigmatism in kids’ treatment is the same as treatment for adults, although the use of spectacles is recommended for children. This is because contact lenses are not comfortable when worn for long periods of time. Also, hands have to be perfectly clean when putting on the lenses to prevent infections.
Since astigmatism is caused by a bulging in certain areas of the cornea, there is no known natural cure for it. There are no known home remedies either to correct this problem. Increasing intake of carrot and carrot juice is said to help in maintaining eye health. In addition, a well-balanced diet rich in vitamins and nutrients can boost overall health of the body.
Myopia and astigmatism
When you go to an eye specialist for treatment, he or she will first check if you have any other problems besides astigmatism. Myopia, for example, is very commonly associated with astigmatism. Any spectacles or lenses that are developed will therefore include corrections for both myopia and astigmatism. You do not have to look at separate ways of how to cure myopia and astigmatism.
Are there any long-term complications of leaving astigmatism untreated?
Astigmatism is not a degenerative eye disease, although people do not know exactly what causes the cornea to bulge in different shapes. What is known is that the defect does not progress; usually correction for astigmatism is a onetime thing. It is only correction for near or far sightedness that needs to be constantly checked.
However, leaving astigmatism untreated is not recommended primarily because of the strain on the eyes and headaches that occur as a result of the eyes being unable to focus correctly. Also, both eyes need not be affected by astigmatism at the same time. If only one eye is affected, it will place additional strain on the remaining good eye. This can lead to additional complications such as amblyopia.