If you’re a glasses or contact lens wearer and considering vision correction surgery, you’ve probably asked: “Can LASIK fix astigmatism“? The answer is “YES”! Here are some facts about astigmatism and ways to treat them. If you have astigmatism, then you’ve surely experienced out-of-focus eyesight from any distance. This is due to the fact that your cornea (the transparent surface of the eye) is football-shaped instead of the more normally-spherical eye. When light rays enter the eye come to perfect focus on the retina; this is the ideal vision. With a rounder shape, the eye can properly control the amount of light that enters, making it easier to see clearly. An irregularly-shaped eye, however, means that the light that enters is unevenly distributed, thus resulting in blurred vision. An oddly-shaped cornea is a genetic trait, just like the color of your eyes, which may have been passed down from one generation to the next. So the blurry vision you start to notice over time may very well be out of your control.

One of the most widely-reported symptoms of astigmatism—blurry vision—can be so mild in some people that it can hardly be detected. Other symptoms, like headaches or eye fatigue, are so commonplace that they can easily be overlooked or mistaken for another issue (too much time spent in front of a computer, for example). That’s why, like other aspects of your overall health, it’s important to stay vigilant with regards to your vision. Performing every day, routine tasks like using a computer, smartphone, tablet, or even just reading a book may all provoke blurry vision.

The best way to know what’s happening with your eyesight is to get it checked regularly by an optometrist (eye care physician). Astigmatism is important to catch early on, especially in children. If left unnoticed, it can lead to more serious and permanent eye conditions such as amblyopia (the scientific term for what’s commonly known as lazy eye). As mentioned above, regular eye exams should be considered essential: get your (and your children’s) eyes checked every year to avoid complications to your eyesight. Though you might have a hard time identifying the exact cause of your blurred vision, an eye care physician should be able to clear things up for you. No pun intended.

Did you know that there’s more than one type of astigmatism? Myopic astigmatism occurs when the light is focused before it ever reaches the eye, much like myopia itself. Hyperopic astigmatism happens when one or both of the eye’s meridians (invisible lines that run from right to left and top to bottom) are farsighted (people who can see clearly from up close but have difficulties seeing far away). This occurs with hyperopia. Mixed astigmatism is the result of one principal meridian being near-sighted, with the other being farsighted.

Your depth perception can be affected by astigmatism, making it difficult to determine the proximity of certain objects. A lack of depth perception is more likely to be a symptom when only one eye is afflicted by astigmatism, as it can create a profound feeling of imbalance. Astigmatism also blurs the edges and outlines of everything you see, so even if your depth perception is untouched, the overall quality of your vision may be poor regardless.

However, there is some good news: astigmatism isn’t an eye disease, this change in vision poses no real threat to your overall eye health—it may just make things look even blurrier than they did before. If you find your blurry vision extremely bothersome, one of the easiest ways to simplify complications of astigmatism is with LASIK eye surgery. LASIK permanently reshapes the cornea, bringing it to a rounder shape to help you see clearly. Glasses and contact lenses may also be prescribed to you to correct astigmatism. The best way to learn more about your vision correction options if to make an appointment with your optometrists. They can help you find the best solution for your individual needs.

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