The Importance of Scheduling Annual, Eye Exams
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The Importance of Scheduling Annual, Eye Exams

A few years ago, my dear maternal grandmother visited an optometrist. After thoroughly examining my grandmother’s eyes, this medical professional informed her that she had cataracts in both of them. Concerned, my grandmother immediately made an appointment with a surgeon. The two surgeries to remove the cataracts from my grandmother’s eyes were successful. Scheduling annual eye exams is crucial. During these appointments, your optometrist will check for potentially harmful conditions such as cataracts, glaucoma, retinal detachment, nearsightedness, and farsightedness. On this blog, I hope you will discover the most important reasons you should visit your eye doctor every year. Enjoy!


The Importance of Scheduling Annual, Eye Exams

Understanding Astigmatism and How an Eye Doctor Addresses It

Stella Harvey

How often do we hear someone complaining that they cannot read the letters on a road sign or that the words on a book appear blurry? Many people, young and old, experience these types of visual disturbances, and one of the reasons may be an abnormality in the eye called astigmatism. In this blog post, we will delve into the signs of astigmatism, its causes, and how an eye doctor addresses it.

What is astigmatism?

Astigmatism is a vision problem caused by an irregularly shaped cornea or lens in the eye. Instead of forming a symmetrical curve like a ball, the cornea or lens is shaped more like a football with one steeper meridian and one flatter meridian. Consequently, light rays entering the eye don't focus properly on the retina, leading to a distorted or blurred image.

What are the signs of astigmatism?

While some people with mild astigmatism may not experience any symptoms, others with severe astigmatism may have a noticeable decrease in vision, headaches, and eye strain. The most common signs of astigmatism include difficulty seeing at night, frequent squinting or blinking to see clearly, distorted or blurred vision, and eye fatigue.

What causes astigmatism?

Astigmatism can either be present at birth or develop over time due to several reasons, such as eye trauma or injury, age-related changes in the eye, and progressive eye disorders like keratoconus. Astigmatism can be further grouped into two types: regular astigmatism, where the steep and flat meridians are perpendicular, and irregular astigmatism, where the angles vary.

How does an eye doctor address astigmatism?

If you suspect you have astigmatism, the first step is to schedule an eye exam with an eye care professional. During the exam, the doctor will measure the curvature of your cornea using a keratometer and evaluate your visual acuity through a refraction test. Based on the severity of your astigmatism, the doctor may recommend corrective lenses such as glasses or contact lenses. If you don't want to wear glasses or contact lenses, the doctor may suggest refractive surgery like PRK or LASIK to reshape the cornea. These surgeries have a high success rate but also come with some risks and potential side effects.

Astigmatism is a common eye condition that affects many people worldwide. Although it can lead to discomfort and vision problems, it can be easily diagnosed and treated by an eye doctor. If you notice any signs of astigmatism, don't hesitate to schedule an appointment with your eye care professional. With proper care and treatment, astigmatism can be managed effectively, giving you clear and comfortable vision.