Astigmatism occurs when the cornea, the clear outer surface of the eye, is not perfectly round. This irregular shape causes light rays to bend unevenly, resulting in blurry or distorted vision at all distances.
While astigmatism can be mild and go unnoticed, it can also cause significant discomfort and interfere with daily activities. Recognising the early signs of astigmatism is crucial for seeking timely diagnosis and treatment. Here are eight initial signs to watch out for:
1. Blurred or distorted vision at all distances
This is the most common symptom of astigmatism and may affect both near and far vision. Objects may appear elongated, stretched, or smeared, making reading, driving, and other tasks challenging.
2. Headaches and eye strain
Astigmatism can cause fatigue and tension in the eyes, leading to headaches and discomfort, especially after prolonged periods of reading or screen time.
Squinting helps to temporarily focus blurry vision by narrowing the pupil. However, it can cause eye fatigue and contribute to headaches.
4. Difficulty seeing at night
Astigmatism can cause glare and halos around lights, making it difficult to see clearly in low-light conditions. This can be particularly troublesome when driving at night or in dimly lit environments.
5. Difficulty To Read
Blurry or distorted text can make reading uncomfortable and challenging. Letters may appear to run together or have uneven edges, making it difficult to focus and comprehend written information.
6. Eyestrain when using digital devices
The constant focusing and refocusing required when using smartphones, computers, and other digital devices can exacerbate the symptoms of astigmatism, leading to eye strain and headaches.
7. Poor depth perception
Astigmatism can affect your ability to judge distances accurately, which can be problematic for activities like catching objects, playing sports, or navigating unfamiliar spaces.
8. Frequent eye rubbing
Rubbing your eyes may provide temporary relief from blurry vision and eye fatigue, but it can also worsen the symptoms in the long run.
If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s crucial to schedule a comprehensive eye exam with an eye doctor. They can accurately diagnose astigmatism and prescribe corrective lenses, such as eyeglasses or contact lenses, to improve your vision. In some cases, surgery may be an option for correcting astigmatism more permanently.
Ignoring untreated astigmatism can lead to further complications, including amblyopia in children and presbyopia in adults. Early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent these complications and ensure optimal vision throughout your life.
Here are some additional tips for managing astigmatism:
- Take regular breaks when using digital devices.
- Ensure good lighting conditions for reading and other tasks.
- Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes from harmful UV rays.
Get regular eye exams to monitor your vision and make any necessary adjustments to your corrective lenses. You may ensure clear, comfortable vision and avoid difficulties by being aware of the early signs of astigmatism and taking proactive efforts to control your vision. Remember that your eye health is important, so don’t be afraid to seek expert help if you have any concerns.