Answering A Few Questions on Astigmatism

Question – Is it possible for Astigmatism to go away on its own?

Answer – Unfortunately, the answer is No. There are even instances where astigmatism becomes gradually severe with age. Perhaps, it has to do with both environmental and genetic factors. Research has revealed that individuals who spend a lot of time moving their eyes in a typical pattern such as looking through columns of numbers are liable to some types of astigmatism. It is more common in people with poor diets and economically disadvantaged folks.

However, we can’t explain all forms of astigmatism as some are not on the eye’s surface layer but termed ‘internal’.  This usually affects the fitting of the contact lens a bit but the good news is that astigmatism is not in any way fatal.


Question – Expatiate on the condition ‘mixed astigmatism’ and if LASIK is an effective treatment.

Answer – Mixed astigmatism is a condition where the cornea’s unequal curvature influences the farsighted condition of one of the eye’s meridians and the nearsighted condition of the perpendicular second meridian.

Ideally, LASIK is very effective in treating mixed astigmatism but you may get a more predictable result by going through surgery to correct nearsighted astigmatism.  You can get more details from your optician.

 

Question – As an astigmatism patient, do I have to wear only glasses or contact lenses?

Answer – You can choose to wear any of them as they both correct astigmatism. LASIK, PRK or any other refractive surgery is a viable option too.

Question – During an examination, I was informed by my doctor that I now have severe astigmatism. How normal is this since I learned that astigmatism as a condition remains constant?

Answer – It is always more advisable to lean more on what the optician tells you than what anyone else does.

Astigmatism is common among a lot of people if not most people. In this condition, it becomes difficult for light to focus on just one point in your eye. This results in a blurred vision as the front of the eye has more of an American soccer ball than that of a baseball’s.

The bad news is that it is possible for astigmatism to change (often for the worse) especially with age. Fortunately, unlike in a disease, it can be managed with contact lenses, glasses or refractive surgery.


Question – We have a ten-year-old son who recently went through his first eye exam after falling short of his school’s vision screening. The eye specialist revealed that there was a lot of astigmatism in an eye and a lower amount in the other. The doctor recommended glasses at all times as he termed the eye with higher astigmatism ‘lazy’.

The specialist added that the ‘lazy eye’ may turn out to be permanent as it was discovered late. How true is this?

Answer – The truth is that unchecked astigmatism may lead to lazy eye or technically, amblyopia. Before, there was a belief that a crucial window exists when one must treat amblyopia for one not to permanently have reduced vision. The crucial period was assumed to be 8 or 9.

Recent findings on the brain and neuroplasticity have shown that the treatment of amblyopia is not ineffective after a specific childhood age.

Just make sure your boy puts on his glasses always and attends sessions with his doctor to know how his vision evolves. He should start by seeing his optician more than once annually.