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Diagnosis and Treatment of Astigmatism by Your Optometrist in Columbia

Eye doctors often diagnose astigmatism if you cannot see things clearly up close or far away and your cornea is not refracting light properly. The cornea is a transparent dome of tissue covering the iris and pupil responsible for sending incoming light images to the retina. If the cornea is not curved equally over the iris and pupil, light cannot fall directly on the retina. Consequently, your retina, optic nerve, and brain receive improperly refracted light causing distorted vision. Astigmatism is a common refractive error corrected by prescription glasses or contacts provided by your optometrist in Columbia, SC.

Woman reading in the library with new glasses.

Do You Have Astigmatism?

Signs of possible astigmatism include blurry vision, double vision and inability to read small text without squinting or adjusting the location of the text.  Additionally, astigmatism is often co-diagnosed with near-sightedness or far-sightedness. In some cases, astigmatism is accompanied by keratoconus,  a condition making the cornea bulge outward so vision is further distorted.  Any vision problems should be examined as soon as possible by your optometrist in Columbia to avoid worsening of astigmatism, keratoconus and other vision or eye problems.

Diagnosing Astigmatism

Astigmatism is diagnosed during a comprehensive eye exam. Your optometrist will measure both corneas with a keratometer, or corneal topography machine. Testing for astigmatism does not involve touching the eye with instruments and is completed within five to 10 minutes. Vision parameters are further testing using a Snellen chart to determine the severity of astigmatism.

How Your Columbia, SC Optometrist Treats Astigmatism

Astigmatism is normally corrected with prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses. If you are near-sighted or far-sighted, your eye doctor will write a prescription that includes criteria for accommodating these vision problems, in addition to astigmatism.

Refractive surgery is another option for people with astigmatism who do not want to wear glasses or contacts. Laser surgery on the cornea is performed on an out-patient basis that reshapes the cornea to improve refraction of light to the retina. Ask your Columbia SC eye doctor about refractive surgery if you are interested in this type of treatment for astigmatism.

Call Apex EyeCare to Make an Appointment Today

If you have astigmatism, you should have annual eye exams so your optometrist can monitor the progression of astigmatism. All refractive errors typically worsen if neglected. Making sure your prescription eyewear provides proper correction for astigmatism is essential for maintaining your vision and eye health.

Schedule an appointment for a complete eye exam at Apex EyeCare by contacting us at (803) 741-7177 today.