What is astigmatism?
- Astigmatism is a refractive defect that causes images to focus on the retina in a distorted way
- It affects near and far visio
- It can occur by itself or in association with myopia or hyperopia
- It is usually stable throughout life.
What causes it?
- It is usually caused by a problem in the curvature of the cornea that impedes clear focusing on near and far objects
- The cornea loses its spherical shape, becoming elliptical
- Furthermore, the cause of this irregularity can be:
- it may also occur as a result of trauma or disease
- It may also appear after surgical procedures
How can it be prevented?
Astigmatism cannot be prevented.
It can be diagnosed through an ophthalmological examination.
The most common tests include:
- a refraction test
- a corneal topography (if needed)
Certain special or complex cases may require other types of test.
They can vary depending on age and type and degree of astigmatism.
The most common symptoms are:
- Perception of distorted images (most common symptom).
- Poor visual acuity in far vision.
- Problems in switching between near and far vision.
- Difficulties in seeing fine detail, either near or distant.
- Headaches, eye pain or dizziness, as a result of the eye’s muscular effort in trying to compensate for the defect with the accommodation of the crystalline lens (the eye’s natural lens whose elasticity enables the eye to focus). This is especially true in cases of astigmatism associated with hyperopia.
Astigmatism can cause discomfort (headaches or dizziness)
If the astigmatism is low, it may not affect vision.
Astigmatism can be corrected by glasses or toric contact lens.
If the patient prefers not to wear glasses or contact lenses, surgical solutions are available. Refractive surgery includes several techniques depending on the diagnosis:
Incisional technique. (Arcuate keratotomy): consisting of making incisions on the corneal surface, indicated for high astigmatism.
Toric intraocular lenses: phakic (implanted between the cornea and crystalline lens) and pseudophakic (replacing the crystalline lens). It is commonly used to correct high astigmatism
The ophthalmologist will determine the most appropriate technique for each case.
About 80% of success in surgery depends on: proper diagnosis and the selection of the type of surgery to use.
For the first two weeks, in particular, the patient should avoid rubbing the eyes, going swimming in a public pool and using eyelid make-up.
The patient can generally have acceptable or near-maximum vision within a few hours. Occasionally, however, it can take up to a week for vision to improve.
Yes, as can all post-operative patients, irrespective of the pathology, provided that their physical condition permits and several days have passed since the operation.
Nowadays, there are several techniques. The most popular for small refractive errors, such as myopia, hyperopia and astigmatism, is LASIK. In special cases there are other options available: phakic lenses, crystalline extraction, intracorneal lenses or intrastromal rings.
IMO Institute of Ocular Microsurgery
GPS navigator coordinates:
41º 24’ 38” N – 02º 07’ 29” E
Exit 7 of the Ronda de Dalt (mountain side). The clinic has a car park with more than 200 parking spaces.
Autobus H2: Rotonda de Bellesguard, parada 1540
Autobus 196: Josep Maria Lladó-Bellesguard, parada 3191
Autobuses H2, 123, 196: Ronda de Dalt – Bellesguard, parada 0071