They say having Astigmatism is like driving through life with a “warped windshield”. Though there is no known cause for most cases of Astigmatism, it is usually attributed to an imperfection in the shape of the eye, particularly the cornea, which is responsible for most of the eyes ability to “bend light” or focusing most of the light which enters the eye.
Due to the irregular shape, the eye’s ability to focus is inhibited. So images may appear distorted or blurred. Astigmatism is a term commonly known but there are still little known facts about this condition.
- Most people have it but don’t know it. Because some mild types of this condition don’t affect vision, most people aren’t aware they have it. It is also more common in young people and women. Astigmatism often occurs in puberty. It may also be present in birth and can increase in intensity through the years.
- It can go away. Most people do not experience symptoms nor do they require treatment. But prescription eye glasses or contact lenses have been known to treat Astigmatism in its early stages.
- The Diabetic Connection. High blood sugar levels can affect the eye, particularly the shape of the lens, which is responsible for the focusing power of the eye. This is called Diabetic retinopathy and occurs when the tiny blood vessels in the eye are blocked.
- Rubbing can cause eye weakening. Commonly seen in people with allergies, chronic vigorous rubbing of the eyes can cause of the cornea and eventually cause increased pressure and and irregular change in the shape of the eye.
- Exercising can help. This may seem odd but if you really think about it, our eyes are muscles and so they need to be kept in shape. One helpful exercise is to read and avert your gaze periodically. Start by reading one paragraph then shifting your gaze to a nearby object and then go back to reading. Doing this repeatedly will strengthen your eye muscles and improve your ability to focus.