What are astigmatism symptoms?

What are some astigmatism symptoms? In astigmatism, your eye isn’t focusing on the rays of light uniformly onto the retina. So the focus of light is in different parts of the eye, and this primarily leads to a lot of distortion and blurred vision. This can occur at different distances depending on the extent of astigmatism. It could be for when you’re reading, when you’re looking at your computer or when you’re looking far away into the distance.

Things are just very blurred. This impacts on patient’s lives in different ways. Some patients are not even able to perform a simple task like driving or reading their cell-phone or working on their laptop. It’s corrected in a few ways.

Treating astigmatism symptoms

The aim of treatment is to make sure that all the rays of light focus nicely onto the retina, and this is done primarily in the first instance with spectacles. We would determine the power of your astigmatism, and then give you what we call a toric lens which would enable all the rays of light to focus nicely onto the retina. Similarly, contact lenses work similarly, and we would, once again, do comprehensive testing to determine what’s best for you.

We’d also discuss the various options of contact lenses. There are different materials and different lengths of time that you can wear contact lenses. We would ascertain what your lifestyle is and what the demands of your work are, and then choose what’s best for you to make sure you’re very comfortable.

Another form of correcting astigmatism is by way of intraocular lenses. These are called toric intraocular lenses. We would also subject you to very comprehensive testing to determine which power of prescription would be best for you, and we would place the lens inside your eye through a 20-minute procedure, which we perform on an outpatient basis.

We numb your eye very well and make you very comfortable; there are no injections involved. Through the operation, we would remove your natural lens and replace it with the toric lens. It’s also possible to perform the surgery by making you retain your lens by putting what we call a phakic intraocular lens.

Then there’s also the option of laser surgery. Laser surgery has the benefit and advantage of re-shaping your eye so that the curvature becomes more curved and uniform, which then allows the rays of light to focus very nicely back onto the retina.


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About the author

Leonard Teye-Botchway
Consultant Ophthalmic Physician and Surgeon |MBChB, FRCS(G), MBA, FWACS, FGCS, DCEH (Lond), Postgraduate Diploma in Cataracts and Refractive Surgery

I am Leonard Teye-Botchway and I am the Medical Director and Consultant Ophthalmologist at Bermuda International Institute of Ophthalmology in Bermuda. The joy and elation I get from seeing patients who are very happy they can see after surgery is almost unimaginable. This is what really drives me to carry on being an ophthalmologist.

We have sourced some or all of the content on this page from The American Academy of Ophthalmology, with permission.