Astigmatism
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Among the several eye related inborn disorders of human beings Astigmatism is significant. As a matter of fact, nearly two thirds of people suffering from vision related problems also fall victim to this ailment. When the cornea of one’s eye is not formed in the usual round and symmetrical shape, this malady occurs. A patient suffering from this disorder gets a cornea that is shaped like the rear part of a spoon. Due to the asymmetrical shape of the cornea, the eye of the affected person fails to focus light to the retina. As a consequence, the person suffers from a blurred vision.

Causes of Astigmatism

When a fetus grows up in a womb, his or her eye is formed along with the formation of other organs. There are a number of factors that acts behind the shape of the eye. These include environment and genetic aspects. Even though the accurate cause is not yet determined, the medical community feels that these factors are responsible for the irregular shaped cornea.

Astigmatism Symptoms

Actually, the majority of people have some amount of Astigmatism. This is because the cornea can rarely be formed like a perfect sphere. However, if the distortion is minimal, the eye is able to adjust the focus as required. In some instances of this disease, the victims can suffer from long-sightedness or short-sightedness issues

. The patients of Astigmatism may complain of headaches and fatigues. They can face problems when trying to read something or gazing at a distant thing. In fact in most cases the patients of astigmatism have problems in focusing and so they cannot concentrate for long on reading materials.

Types of Astigmatism

The disease can be classified into several categories according to the axis of the chief meridians. In a variant called Regular astigmatism, the chief meridians are vertical. In Against-the-rule astigmatism, the axis varies between the 60 to 120 degree range. If some one is suffering from With-the-rule astigmatism, the reflection axis stays within 0 to 30 or 150 to 180 degrees. The type named Irregular astigmatism is commonly called Murdoch Syndrome where the chief meridians are not vertical.

The major cause behind astigmatism is the irregular curve in the corneal or the lens. As a result the person has an optical defect due to which the vision is blurred. A common kind of astigmatism is corneal astigmatism. In such cases of astigmatism the cornea is shaped as an ellipse rather than being spherical in shape. As a result the cornea cannot focus on light and the person afflicted cannot see clearly.

The other common type of astigmatism is lenticular astigmatism and in this kind of astigmatism the curve of the lens inside a person’s eye is not even. As a result the eye of a person scatters light instead of focusing it when the light strikes retina at a particular point. This is the long run results in blurred vision.

What are the ways of Detection of Astigmatism?

Astigmatism
is a visual disorder that needs to be detected by an eye specialist, ophthalmic surgeon or an expert optometrist. A through optometric test needs to be done in order to judge the extent and degree of the malady. If the patient is a child who can not answer the doctor’s queries accurately, a specialized test named retinoscopy is performed that uses reflected light. According to the latest research, the occurrence of astigmatism goes up with age.

Treatment of Astigmatism

Astigmatism, in most of the instances, can be cured by using optometrist certified contact lenses or spectacles. The type of the lenses varies with the work environment and lifestyle of the person. If the problem is not serious, the person can do without any specific medication.

However, if the job demands extensive load on the eyes, the person needs to undergo treatment. Some of the people suffering from the disease have found relief after undergoing a particular operation named refractive surgery. This operation is aimed at reshaping the cornea. Such an operation which is known as laser treatment however is a highly controversial one and one should discuss with a qualified surgeon before he/she undergoes this operation.

Nowadays, laser treatment has become the preferred mode of treatment for many. Nevertheless, one should consider the pros and cons of this treatment beforehand to avoid any problems later.

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