Astigmatism is an eye condition where a person suffers blurred or distorted vision. But what are the causes of this issue?
The Causes of Astigmatism
Astigmatism is a form of refractive error, along with nearsightedness or myopia and farsightedness or hyperopia. Astigmatism is caused by unequal curvatures in the shape of the lens or cornea, which results in blurred vision. It’s a lot more common that one would think: the American Optometric Association (AOA) says that most people have astigmatism to some degree. Some have it from birth. Others may develop it later in life, and it can increase or decrease over time.
Diagnosis and Treatment
If you experience signs of astigmatism, which also includes poor night vision and headaches, the first thing you need to do is schedule an eye exam. During a vision test, your eye doctor will map your eyeballs and identify spots that generate astigmatism, which usually occur in the lenses and cornea. At the end of the test, your eye doctor will have a diagnosis and discuss a treatment plan.
Like myopia and hyperopia, astigmatism can be corrected by wearing eyeglasses or special contact lenses. Patients who do not prefer either may also choose to take the surgical route with LASIK. It must be noted that LASIK is not recommended for people with severe astigmatism as the process involves reshaping the cornea.
Exercises That Can Help Treat Astigmatism
If you are experiencing signs and symptoms of astigmatism, but can’t see an eye doctor immediately, here are some exercises that can relieve its symptoms. Note that these exercises are not to be substituted for an eye consultation.
The “20-20-20 Rule” aims to relieve eye strain. For every 20 minutes of reading or staring at a computer or television screen, take a 20-second break by looking at an object 20 feet away.
Place two fingers on each eyelid. While applying gentle pressure, slowly move your fingers in a circular motion. Repeat up to 15 times while alternating between clockwise and counterclockwise. Perform this exercise between two to four times a day.
Rectus Muscle Relaxation
This exercise aims to relax the rectus muscles, which helps reduce stress on the cornea. To do this, focus on a specific object for 20 seconds, and then slowly move the object in circles with your eye following it. Alternate between clockwise and counterclockwise, and repeat at least 10 times.
Guilford Eye Center is your leading provider of eyeglasses and other eye care services. Give us a call at (336) 292-4516. You can also fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment. We serve clients in Greensboro, NC, and surrounding communities.