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What is Astigmatism?

Astigmatism is a common type of refractive error. It is a condition in which the eye does not focus light evenly onto the retina, the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the eye. Refraction is the bending of light as it passes through one object to another. Vision occurs when light rays are bent (refracted) as they pass through the cornea and the lens. The light is then focused on the retina. The retina converts the light-rays into messages that are sent through the optic nerve to the brain. The brain interprets these messages into the images we see.

Why does it occur?

Astigmatism occurs when light is bent differently depending on where it strikes the cornea and passes through the eyeball. The cornea of a normal eye is curved like a basketball, with the same degree of roundness in all areas. An eye with Astigmatism has a cornea that is curved more like a football, with some areas that are steeper or more rounded than others. This can cause images to appear blurry and stretched out.

What are the symptoms?

Signs and symptoms include:

  • Headaches
  • Eyestrain
  • Squinting
  • Distorted or blurred vision at all distances
  • Difficulty driving at night

If you experience any of these symptoms, make an appointment with one of the doctors here at Falgoust Eye Medical & Surgical. If you wear glasses or contact lenses and still have these issues, a new prescription might be needed.

How Is Astigmatism Treated?

The most common way to treat Astigmatism is to prescribe eyeglasses or contact lenses. The treatment depends on your lifestyle. Here in South Louisiana we tend to live a lifestyle that involves rolling up our sleeves and getting our hands dirty….think hunting, fishing, and eating boiled crawfish. In this case, refractive surgery such as LASIK or i-LASIK would be better suited to our way of life as it aims to permanently change the shape of the cornea which will improve refractive vision. LASIK in Lake Charles  is performed by Dr. Falgoust. Laser correction of certain visual problems is the most technologically advanced method available today to reduce your dependence on glasses and contact lenses. The Lake Charles outpatient procedure can correct Nearsightedness, Farsightedness, and Astigmatism by gently reshaping the front surface of your eye with a cool, ultraviolet beam of laser light.

It is estimated that over one million laser procedures have been performed in 52 countries around the world.

Copyright © October 2010 The National Eye Institute (NEI)®

Don’t wait any longer… See clearly again.

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