Your Eye Doctor in Yakima Answers FAQs about Astigmatism

Next to nearsightedness, astigmatism is the most common vision abnormality diagnosed by your optometrist. Most of us are born with a minimal degree of astigmatism but in some people, the condition worsens as they age. If you have astigmatism, the cornea is not round but oval-shaped, which interferes with the ability of your cornea to focus light on your retina. As a result of misdirected focusing of light, objects viewed in your field of vision (up close and far away) are blurry. Fortunately, your eye doctor in Yakima can evaluate the severity of your astigmatism and prescribe contacts or glasses to give you 20/20 vision.

What are Symptoms of Astigmatism Besides Blurry Vision?

People with mild astigmatism may not readily notice their vision is blurry and attribute distorted vision to tiredness or using their eyes too much. When your eyes constantly strain to focus on objects, you may experience eye muscle pain, headaches, or dryness. You really can’t tell if you have astigmatism until you visit our eye clinic and undergo a complete eye exam.

How Does My Eye Doctor Diagnose Astigmatism?

During an eye exam, you will be given a visual acuity, refraction and possibly a keratometry test to determine if you have astigmatism. To assess visual acuity, you will be asked to read letters on a chart at certain distances. Refraction tests involve placing a variety of corrective lenses in front of your eyes to see how well you read the chart. Keratometry testing allows your eye doctor to measure the shape and curvature of your cornea. In most cases, people with astigmatism often have reoccurring nearsightedness or farsightedness.

Does Astigmatism Worsen with Age?

Astigmatism not corrected with prescription contacts or glasses usually worsens as the eyes strain to focus properly without rest. Getting an eye exam every year and treating astigmatism with lenses designed to improve your cornea’s refracting abilities can help prevent worsening of astigmatism.

Can I Wear Contacts If I Have Astigmatism?

Yes! Your optometrist can fit you with toric contact lenses, a special type of soft contacts made from silicone hydrogel or a standard hydrogel material that allows your eyes to receive healthy amounts of oxygen. Gas permeable contact lenses are another contact lens treatment for astigmatism that are rigid instead of soft. While toric lenses are flexible enough to conform to the shape of an irregular cornea, GP lenses retain their shape. Following your eye exam, you and your optometrist can discuss which astigmatism contact lens type is best suited to address your vision needs.

Call Yakima Vision Center Today!

Yakima Vision Center provides comprehensive eye care for all members of your family. If you have blurry vision or other vision problems, please call our eye clinic today to schedule an appointment: (509) 965-5200.