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Astigmatism

eye disease doublevision lights speed driving nightMany people have never heard of astigmatism, although it is an extremely common eye condition.

Astigmatism is one type of refractive error. Nearsightedness and farsightedness are other types of refractive error. Refractive errors are not eye diseases. Refractive error is a result of and imperfection of the size and shape of the eye, which results in blurry or double vision.

If left untreated, astigmatism may cause eyestrain, headaches, and blurry vision. If you have astigmatism you may not see objects in the distance or near without some form of distortion.

Symptoms of Astigmatism

Small amounts of astigmatism can go unnoticed, however, you may be suffering from eye fatigue, eyestrain, and headaches.

Astigmatism is a condition that usually can develops early in childhood. According to a study from The Ohio State University School of Optometry, 28% of school age children suffer from astigmatism.  Parents should be aware that their children might not notice that their vision is blurry, not understanding that this is not normal.  Nevertheless, astigmatism should be treated because vision problems can lead to learning problems and in extracurricular activities.  Make sure to have your child’s eyes examined at an eye doctor’s office at least once a year.

Causes of Astigmatism

Astigmatism is generally caused by a cornea with an irregular shape. The cornea is the front, clear layer of the eye.  With astigmatism, the cornea is not round and spherical and is instead irregular having two curves instead of one curve.  Astigmatism in some cases could also be caused by the lens located inside the eye that is irregular in shape.

Eyes with astigmatism distort the light that comes into the eyes because the cornea is irregularly shaped. This causes the light rays entering the eye to create two images in the back of the eye (because of the two curves), instead of one image. This is what causes the distortion in sight.

Treatments for Astigmatism

Woman Trying on GlassesFor most people, their astigmatism is fully corrected using prescription glasses or contact lenses. If you select contact lenses to correct your vision, soft contact lenses are the most common option. If for whatever reason soft contact lenses are not an option, rigid gas permeable (RGP or GP) are also a great choice.  Rigid gas permeable lenses usually give the clearest vision but the adaptation process will be significantly longer.  Another option are hybrid contact lenses. These contacts have a center made from a rigid gas permeable (RGP) lens and an outer ring made of soft contact lens material. This type of lens provides both excellent clarity and comfort.  LASIK could be another option to correct astigmatism.  LASIK usually only corrects low levels of astigmatism and some patients with higher levels of astigmatism might not be candidates.

Tear Film Evaluation

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The well-being and safety of our patients are and always have been our highest priority.

Governor Abbott’s executive order is ending the statewide COVID restrictions and mask mandates, but Vision Centers of Houston will continue to require face masks and practice social distancing while in our clinic. As a healthcare entity, we must follow the guidelines set forth by the CDC.

We are asking you to continue masking. We know that it works. It protects our doctor, staff, and YOU. There are infectious variants are circulating in Texas, and many more people wait to be vaccinated.

Let’s do everything we can to protect each other.

We truly appreciate everyone’s patience and understanding in our desire to protect our at-risk patient population.

We will look to the CDC and their recommendations as we move forward.

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COVID-19 Mask Mandate: Our offices will continue requiring our patients and teams to abide by the mask mandate.
For additional details regarding this policy, please refer to our policy update below.