Astigmatism is a common condition that can result in blurred or distorted vision at all distances, varying with the strength of the astigmatism. It can affect people at any age. People with astigmatism are often short-sighted or long-sighted as well.
- What causes astigmatism?
The images your eye transmits to your brain are only clear if rays of light passing into your eye focus on a single point on your retina, at the back of your eye.
Astigmatism is caused when either the surface of the eye (the cornea) or the lens behind it, is an irregular shape. Instead of being round, it is shaped more like a rugby ball. As a result, the light doesn’t focus correctly on the retina and the image is blurred.
- What are the symptoms of astigmatism?
Astigmatism can cause blurred vision when you are trying to focus on activities that require you to see objects at long distances, such as road signs. It can also affect your vision for close activities, such as reading or sewing. If left untreated, astigmatism can lead to headaches, fatigue, squinting and pain in the muscles around your eye.
- How do I know if I have astigmatism?
If you suspect you have astigmatism you should visit your eye care practitioner for an eye test.
Here is the list of the eye-practitioners in South Africa
Your eye care practitioner will use an astigmatism chart to help determine the curvature of your cornea or lens. An abnormal curvature will sharply focus parts of the image onto your retina, while blurring others.
Take the astigmatism test at home
Follow these five steps:
- If you wear glasses or contact lenses, put them on.
- Sit about 35 cm (14 inches) away from your computer screen.
- Look at the chart with your hand covering one eye.
- How do the lines appear? (Are they all equally clear and sharp?)
- Follow these steps again to test the other eye.
- How can astigmatism be corrected?
If your eye care practitioner confirms you have astigmatism, don’t worry. Nearly half of the population has some form of astigmatism and it can usually be corrected with glasses or ‘toric’ contact lenses.
Soft, toric contact lenses correct astigmatism by compensating for the individual differences in the shape of your eye, enabling light to focus correctly on your retina. If you are short-sighted or long-sighted as well having astigmatism, toric contact lenses will correct these vision problems at the same time as correcting astigmatism.
ACUVUE® Brand Contact Lenses for astigmatism
For clear vision with astigmatism, your contact lenses need to stay in place and not rotate or shift out of position. ACUVUE® Brand Contact Lenses for astigmatism achieve this with their unique Accelerated Stabilisation Design (ASD). ASD technology ensures that however you move your head or eyes, your vision stays stable, crisp and clear.
For ACUVUE® contact lenses with ASD technology, choose either: