Causes and Risk Factors for Astigmatism
While scientists know that an irregularly shaped cornea or lens causes the symptoms of astigmatism, what actually causes that irregularity is unknown. Often, people who develop it are born with it, and according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the risk for developing it is inherited. Astigmatism can also occur as a result of an eye injury, surgery, or disease. But contrary to popular belief, squinting, reading in poor light, sitting too close to the TV, and similar activities do not cause astigmatism.
While many people are born with astigmatism, it can develop at any time during childhood or adulthood. Those at highest risk have a family history of astigmatism or other conditions of the eye. Additional risk factors include thinning or scarring of the cornea, a history of cataract surgery or other eye surgeries in the family, and excessive nearsightedness or farsightedness, which lead to blurred vision.
Although the cause of the misshapen cornea or lens isn’t known, ophthalmologists can offer patients a great outlook when it comes to treating the condition. In mild cases, no treatment is needed at all, but astigmatism does need to be addressed when it begins affecting vision. Treatment usually includes corrective lenses like glasses or contact lenses , although some patients may benefit from Ortho-K, specially designed lenses that temporarily correct the problem when worn. In severe cases, patients may need to undergo surgery to reshape the cornea for a permanent correction.
See Your Doctor
The optometrists and ophthalmologists at Excellent Vision have helped countless patients treat their blurry vision and eyestrain caused by astigmatism. If you have been experiencing fuzzy eyesight, eye irritation, or difficulty seeing at night, call us at 603-430-5225 to schedule an appointment at a location near you.