Medical & Surgical Ophthalmology

refractive surgery

Astigmatism

What is astigmatism?

Astigmatism is a refractive error in which there are multiple focal planes, which means that the light rays do not all fall on the retina (which would give normal and clear vision), but rather converge before or after it depending on the axis making it difficult to focus clearly on objects, and affecting both near and distance vision.

Astigmatism can be associated with myopia (nearsighted) or hyperopia.

The way to measure it is by means of dioptres, generally in a negative sign and accompanied by a degree of orientation, between 0 and 180º.

What causes astigmatism?

Generally the disease is due to a problem in the curvature of the cornea (it becomes elliptical or oval), which induces different degrees of focus.

The causes of this corneal involvement are usually genetic, but they can also be due to trauma, surgery or certain diseases.

This is astigmatism

How does astigmatism manifest?

Astigmatism can remain stable throughout life and not affect vision depending on its severity:

If the astigmatism is mild, there is an accommodative asthenopia (visual fatigue) with less diopters than in the farsighted, which manifests itself with headache, blurred vision after reading, irritation and tiredness.

On the other hand, if the astigmatism is intense, there is a vision loss in the form of distorted images, decreased distance visual acuity, difficulty in perceiving both near and far details, and visual problems when switching from near-far vision.

Astigmatism treatments

Astigmatism can be corrected by optical treatments with cylindrical lenses, either with corrective glasses or contact lenses.

If you do not want to use these methods, surgical treatments are available such as LASIK laser refractive surgery (in mild astigmatism up to 4 diopters it has shown great safety and effectiveness), as well as intraocular lens implantation in the case of high astigmatism.

In the case of high astigmatisms, surgeries such as arcuate keratotomy (a series of incisional techniques that modify the corneal curvature) or even corneal transplantation in the case of irregular and highly advanced astigmatisms with keratoconus are chosen.

Astigmatism prevention

Astigmatism cannot be prevented, but it can be detected early in an ophthalmological review to treat it as soon as possible.

Summary

Debut

It does not have a specific age of appearance.

Symptoms

Visual fatigue, distortion of images, difficulty seeing both far and near, and when changing vision between different points.

Revision

In the presence of any of these symptoms, see an ophthalmologist.

Prevention

Astigmatism cannot be prevented, but it can be diagnosed and treated early.

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