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While a normal eyeball is perfectly round and bends light evenly to give perfect vision, not everyone's eyes are like this. Many eyeballs are shaped differently, more like a football of the back of a spoon. This imperfection is called astigmatism, and it is a very common cause of blurred vision. Simply put, when an eyeball isn't perfectly round, any light that goes into it bends more in one direction than another, which means that only part of an image is in focus at any given time. Fortunately, optometrists in Phoenix AZ can correct astigmatism with glasses, contact lenses, or surgery.
In most cases, people are born with astigmatism, although it is possible to develop it after suffering an injury or undergoing surgery. Almost everyone has astigmatism to some degree. It is unknown what causes astigmatism, but the myths about it being caused by reading in low light or sitting too close to a TV aren't true.
The most common and obvious symptom of astigmatism is blurred vision. You might also experience headaches, poor night vision, eyestrain, or the need to squint to see something far away or to read small print. The symptoms of astigmatism often come on gradually, so it's important to seek out one of the many optometrists in Phoenix AZ if you even begin to have trouble seeing properly.
Astigmatism can only be diagnosed after a thorough eye exam by an optometrist. Since your blurred vision might also be due to other problems such as nearsightedness or farsightedness, it's important to make regular appointments with your optometrist so you can catch any issues with your vision as they arise.
The good news about astigmatism is that it is usually very easy to treat. If you have only slight astigmatism that doesn't have a major effect on your vision, your optometrist might not do anything to correct it. Astigmatism that does affect your vision can be treated with corrective lenses such as glasses or contact lenses. Soft contact lenses are usually effective in treating astigmatism, but more severe cases might call for hard-to-fit gas permeable lenses instead. Some patients find these more uncomfortable, but they almost always provide better results for those with more severe astigmatism.
For more information about astigmatism and how it can be treated, contact Eye Doctors of Arizona today. We have some of the best optometrists in Phoenix AZ on our staff, and we will be more than happy to answer any questions you may have.