Remedies for astigmatism in India
Over the last few years, the field of corrective treatment for astigmatism has grown by leaps and bounds. Many options are now available to the astigmatism sufferer, who had only the option of eyeglasses just a few years ago. Cures for astigmatism can be grouped into two major categories: surgical and non-surgical options.
Unless a person’s astigmatism is very severe, the ailment ca n generally be corrected with eyeglasses or contact lenses. An easy giveaway to answer the question of whether or not you have an astigmatism can be found in you eyeglass or contact lens prescription. If your prescription has three parts rather than two, your eyecare physician has determined that you have astigmatism.
As mentioned above, most of the time the astigmatism can be corrected with simple glasses or contact lenses. Even severe astigmatism can be corrected with a special type contact lens. These lenses are more rigid, and are called rigid gas permeable lenses, or RGP’s. RGP’s should not be confused with the old style hard contact lenses, which are now obsolete. RPG’s are less expensive and more durable than soft lenses. In addition, they last for years, and they provide better vision than soft lenses do.
Surgical astigmatism treatment includes LASIK, and Photo-refractive Keratectomy, or PRK. LASIK surgery involves making a laser incision into the cornea (the surface) of the eye, and removi ng tissue behind the cornea in order to better refract light and produce clearer vision. PRK also uses a laser to remove microscopic pieces of eye tissue from the front of the cornea, reshaping it, to better refract light and thereby producing clearer vision. As with any surgery there is the possibility of complication, but the benefits include permanent correction of the astigmatism without any use of glasses or lenses.
What is astigmatism?
Before we explain anything further, we should answer the question, “What is astigmatism?” The normal cornea is spherical shaped, much like a baseball. In astigmatism the cornea is more oblong, looking more like a football or an egg. In people with astigmatism, the lens focuses on two different areas in the back of the eye instead of one as seen in the normal eye because of the football shape. As a result, the person’s vision is usually very clear in certain areas, and not clear in certain other areas. Generally, astigmatism is hereditary. Many people are born wi th an odd shaped cornea that becomes more oblong over time, creating bad vision for the individual. Astigmatism can also occur from scarring associated with eye injuries or eye surgeries. Finally, astigmatism is associated with several eye diseases that cause thinning of the cornea.
What are the symptoms ?
Symptoms of astigmatism are directly associated with the severity of the disease. Mild astigmatism will usually be manifested as blurred vision. Often times, the blurred areas may be noticed in distinct areas of the visual field. One’s eyesight may be very clear in areas of the visual field and very fuzzy in other areas. Moderate and severe astigmatism will not only result in blurred vision, but may also lead to headaches, eyestrain and poor vision at all distances.
Nearsightedness, or myopia, is a vision problem experienced by up to about one-third of the population. In fact, a recent study* found that myopia is more common among Americans now than it was 30 years ago.
Nearsighted people have difficulty reading highway signs and seeing other objects at a distance, but can see for up-close tasks such as reading or sewing.
Testing for Astigmatism in India
To check whether you have astigmatism, you would need the Astigmatism Dial Chart
Do not use glasses in this test for Astigmatism.
(1) Cover the left eye with the left palm.
(2) Hold the dial chart in the right hand and stretch the arm so that the chart comes to lie far away from the eye.
(3) Slowly bring the chart closer to you until at least some lines are dark and relatively clear.
(4) Determine the darkest (clearest) and the lightest lines. Are they situated at right angles to each other ?
(5) Rotate the chart through ninety degrees. The spatial location of the most clear and most blurred lines should remain the same.
(6) Repeat the entire routine with the left eye, keeping the right eye covered with the right palm.
Evaluation of Your Test Result
If all the lines appear equally clear, it indicates an absence of astigmatism. If the line of a particular meridian appears darker than the rest and if the line perpendicular to it appears the least clear, it is an indication of astigmatism. The greater the difference in tone between the clear and the blurred lines, the greater the degree of astigmatism.