optometrist performing eye exam

Everything You Need to Know About Astigmatism

Astigmatism may sound intimidating, but it’s more common than you’d think. According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, approximately one in three people experience astigmatism. It is often misconstrued as an eye disease or an eye health problem, but is, in fact, an eye focusing condition that can distort or blur your vision.

The normal curvature of the cornea (the outer portion of the eye), and the lens (the inner part of the eye) are smooth and parallel. The typical shape of the eye is often compared to a basketball. People with astigmatism have a cornea and a lens with an irregularly curved shape. The irregular shape is often compared to a football.

Similar to nearsightedness and farsightedness, astigmatism is a refractive error. When light enters your eye, it is unevenly distributed on the retina, which causes blurred vision.

Who is at risk for astigmatism?

Astigmatism can occur in both adults and children. Your risk of being affected by astigmatism is higher if you have any of the following:

  • a family history of astigmatism
  • previous eye surgeries, such as cataract surgery
  • a high degree of nearsightedness
  • a high degree of farsightedness
  • a thin or scarred cornea

What are the signs and symptoms of astigmatism?

Symptoms may vary from person to person. Some people may not experience any symptoms, whereas others may experience one or more of the symptoms listed below:

  • blurry or distorted vision
  • headaches
  • eyestrain
  • fatigue
  • impaired vision at night
  • squinting
  • eye irritation

How is astigmatism diagnosed?

An optometrist will diagnose astigmatism through a dilated eye examination, similar to the eye examination used to diagnose nearsightedness and farsightedness. A keratometer is then used to measure the curvature of your cornea by calculating how much light reflects off of your cornea. This will determine the extent of your astigmatism. If your optometrist deems it necessary, they will test how you respond to light as your eyes focus. This part of the exam is simple, painless, and will help determine your best treatment plan.

What can I do to treat astigmatism?

If your astigmatism is mild, it may not require any treatment. However, depending on the result of your diagnosis, your optometrist will choose the best treatment option for you. Below is a partial list of common treatments:

  • Wear specialized glasses. The irregular curves in your eyes are treatable with specialized glasses that help reduce your blurry vision symptoms.
  • Wear contact lenses for astigmatism. Similarly to the glasses, you can choose from hard or soft lenses and daily or extended-wear lenses.
  • A non-invasive procedure where you temporarily wear hard contact lenses every night to correct your vision. These lenses are worn only at night.

Contact your professional optometrist if you believe you may have any symptoms pointing to astigmatism.

Did you know that you can get vision insurance as an add-on when you’re enrolling in one of our MetLife dental insurance plans? View plan details and enroll today.

young male with beard professional in an office wearing glasses working and focusing on laptop

Blue Blocker Lenses: Are They Worth The Hype?

As our bodies continue to age, it is understandable that we begin to experience more changes. And whether we like it or not, doctors and other medical specialists are here to help us make sure that our bodies are operating at the very best levels that they can and when they are not, doctors are the people we visit to find out why.

For example, declining eyesight is one of the most common and most easily diagnosable issues our bodies may encounter throughout our lives. Worsening eyesight is often associated with getting older and while there are a variety of reasons and levels of severity, ultimately poor eyesight is typically very treatable except in certain circumstances.

As a general rule of thumb, it is suggested that you should visit the eye doctor once every one to two years. Even if you don’t feel your eyesight has changed, an optometrist will be able to know for sure and make any adjustments to your eye prescription as necessary.

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Myopia and Millennials: The Trend No One Saw Coming

According to a Nielson Company audience report, it is estimated that the average American spends over 10 hours behind a screen consuming digital media and content. But is this much screen time actually helping us or hurting us?

As it happens, a number of studies have recently come out against the rapid increase in screen time for everyone from toddlers to senior citizens. In fact, some of these studies have shown a correlation between increased screen time and the following:

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6 Best Online Stores to Purchase Eyeglasses From

With a variety of lens materials, types, and coatings available to choose from – sitting in your optometrist’s office listening to the tech rattle off your options can understandably feel overwhelming. For the most part, consumers want something to get the job done at the lowest possible price unless they have other very specific concerns.

However, depending on your location, prescription strength and needs, as well as your eye doctor, you could be spending anywhere from approximately $95 to over $1,000 for a pair of prescription eyeglasses. According to health.costhelper.com, consumers spend on average approximately $196 for a pair of eyeglasses, and until fairly recently they didn’t have much of a choice.

However, over the course of the past 10 to 15 years, a new kind of eyeglass business has hit the market, cutting out the middleman, and cutting the ultimate cost for consumers. Zenni Optical, for example, will sell the complete set of fashionable eyeglasses (frame and lenses) for as low as $12, and their competitors aren’t too far behind.

Just in the past five years, a number of these online eyeglass retailers have been the talk of the fiscally conscious eyeglass consumer community since their inception.

But with all of these new online retailers on the market, which ones are the best to purchase eyeglasses from?

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How Your Computer Screen is Affecting Your Vision

During the course of most people’s days, you’ll likely use several different devices. It’s common for many professionals to check their cell phone, log on to an iPad/tablet or use a computer, all in tandem. It might come as no surprise to you that overuse of computers and technology can harm your vision. Active users often experience symptoms ranging from diminished or blurry vision to eye strain, headaches, and neck or shoulder pain.

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Prevent Vision-Related Learning Problems Through Early Detection

Vision plays a vital role in one’s ability to learn, but did you know that more than 61 percent of the United States population needs some sort of vision correction? Combine that percentage with this fact: In a person’s first 12 years of life, about 80 percent of their learning takes place visually. So, what does this mean for young children who have undiagnosed vision problems? Their learning may be impaired due to preventable, and detectable vision-related problems.

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