Astigmatism Symptoms, Causes, Treatment

Woman with a headache rubbing forehead

HeadacheThere are many kinds of vision problems that people can face. A number of them are classified as refractive errors: myopia (nearsightedness), hyperopia (farsightedness), and astigmatism. The team here at our Rapid City, SD and Williston, ND laser eye surgery center can help patients greatly restore the quality of their vision if they are suffering from a refractive error. We’d like to focus on one kind of refractive error in particular right now: astigmatism.

What is astigmatism?

Astigmatism refers to an inability to focus on objects at various distances. This may mean a certain blurriness or haziness of vision. It often accompanies myopia and hyperopia. During an eye exam, our Rapid City ophthalmologists and optometrists will be able to identify and treat your exact vision problem.

Symptoms of Astigmatism

Some of the most common symptoms of astigmatism include:

  • General blurriness of vision
  • Eye strain
  • Frequent squinting
  • Headaches after reading
  • Headaches after using the computer

Should you note any of these signs, be sure to speak with your physician or an eye care specialist. It is best to get any vision issue addressed as soon as possible.

Causes of Astigmatism

The causes of astigmatism are related to the shape of the cornea or the shape of the lens of the eye. When the shape of the cornea is an issue, the cornea tends to be irregularly shaped. Rather than round, the eye may be slightly elongated like a football. When the lens shape is the cause of astigmatism, the poor contour of the lens causes light to focus improperly within the eye.

During your visit to our Rapid City, SD and Williston, ND LASIK center, we will determine the exact cause of your astigmatism and devise a treatment accordingly.

Treatment of Astigmatism

When it comes to treating astigmatism, there are two common treatments to consider: laser vision correction and the use of prescription corrective lenses.

Laser vision correction refers to surgeries like LASIK and PRK. Using the latest in laser eye surgery technology, the shape of your cornea can be corrected, enhancing your overall vision and allowing you to see clearly. The corneal shape is altered by using a surgical laser that will safely improve the contour of the cornea.

Corrective lenses have been a treatment option for astigmatism and other refractive errors for years. This refers to the use of prescription eye glasses or prescription contact lenses to enhance the overall quality of a person’s vision.

We will carefully assess your candidacy for laser eye surgery and determine the best course of action from there. Not everyone is an ideal candidate for LASK and PRK, so corrective lenses may wind up being a more ideal treatment option.