Everything You Need to Know About Astigmatism

Image from Sean Patrick

In the intricate landscape of eye health, understanding the nuances of common vision conditions is key to maintaining optimal eyesight. One such condition that often perplexes individuals is astigmatism. In this blog post, we’ll unravel the mysteries of astigmatism, exploring its definition, causes, and how corrective eyewear, like Zenni’s, can help you navigate the curves of your vision.

Defining Astigmatism

Image from Mark Arron Smith

Astigmatism is a common refractive error affecting the eye’s ability to focus light. Unlike myopia (nearsightedness) or hyperopia (farsightedness), where the main issue lies in the shape of the eyeball, astigmatism occurs when the cornea or lens has an irregular shape. Instead of being perfectly round, like a basketball, the cornea or lens takes on a more oval or football-like shape. This irregularity can cause light to focus unevenly on the retina, leading to blurred or distorted vision.

Causes of Astigmatism

Astigmatism can be present from birth or develop over time. Some common causes include:

  1. Genetics: A family history of astigmatism can increase the likelihood of developing the condition.
  2. Eye injuries: Trauma to the eye, such as a blunt force injury, can alter the shape of the cornea or lens.
  3. Eye surgeries: Certain eye surgeries, if not performed precisely, can contribute to astigmatism.
  4. Keratoconus: This progressive condition thins and bulges the cornea, leading to astigmatism.

Symptoms of Astigmatism

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The symptoms of astigmatism can vary but often include:

Blurred or distorted vision: Objects at any distance may appear fuzzy or out of focus.

Eye strain: Trying to compensate for blurred vision can cause discomfort or headaches.

Squinting: Individuals with astigmatism may unconsciously squint to improve focus.

Correcting Astigmatism with Eyewear

The good news is that astigmatism is highly correctable, and eyeglasses or contact lenses are effective solutions. Zenni Optical offers a wide range of prescription eyewear, including lenses specifically designed to address astigmatism. These lenses, known as toric lenses, have different powers in different meridians of the lens to compensate for the irregular curvature of the eye. All you have to do is enter your prescription details during the ordering process on the Zenni Optical website, and our team will ensure you receive customized lenses tailored to correct your astigmatism and provide you with clear and comfortable vision.

Glasses Prescription Unveils Astigmatism

Detecting astigmatism in your glasses prescription involves noting non-zero values under the cylinder (CYL) and axis sections. If your prescription reads with values like -0.75 for cylinder and 180 for axis, it indicates astigmatism. Zenni’s customized lenses, tailored to your prescription, can effectively address astigmatism and ensure clear and comfortable vision.

Astigmatism, a common refractive error resulting from the irregular shape of the cornea or lens, can lead to blurred or distorted vision. The good news is that it is highly correctable with eyeglasses. Zenni Optical’s prescription lenses are designed to address astigmatism and offer a customized solution, making the journey to clear and comfortable vision as simple as entering your prescription details during the ordering process.

About the Author: Dr. Sophia Moh, OD, ABOC

Dr. Sophia Moh, OD, is an optometrist based in the Bay Area, California. She holds a doctorate from UC Berkeley School of Optometry and has worked in various eye care settings, including primary care optometry, general ophthalmology, community health clinics, and Veterans Affairs. Dr. Moh is dedicated to improving global vision health by making high-quality, affordable eyewear accessible to all. She is also a certified American Board Optician (ABO) and actively contributes to optical education through training and lectures.