What is Astigmatism?

Jul 1, 2018 | Blog Post, News

So your eye doctor told you that you have astigmatism. They may have even offered an explanation, saying “Your eyes are not perfectly round like a basketball. You can think of them is being shaped more like a football.” The doctor then gave you your new prescription for your glasses or contacts and sent you on your way, with the assurance that your vision will be just fine with your new prescription. Little did that doctor know that the first thing you’d do when you got home was find a mirror and look at your ‘football eyes’. Try as you might, you just can’t see the resemblance between your eyes and a football. You tell yourself that your eyes look just like everyone else’s, but you’re still concerned. Even the biggest Panthers fan in the world doesn’t want to go walking around with eyes that look like footballs.

Well, there is good news! I’m here to tell you that your eyes are in fact not horribly misshapen. The variation in the curvature of your eyes from being ‘perfectly round like a basketball’ is on the order of microns (just for reference, a single human hair has a thickness of about 100 microns). So aesthetically, a tiny amount. Whew! Breathe a sigh of relief. You can put away your worry that a stranger on the street might be able to tell your favorite sport just from a quick glance at your eyes.

But, the question remains: how does such a small difference in the shape of your eyes have such an impact on your vision? To address this question, we must understand just a little bit about how our eyes work. We are able to see because light enters through the front part of our eyes, bends, and falls on the back part of our eyes, the retina. To see a clear and crisp image, the light needs to focus together in one precise location, right on the retina. In the case of someone with astigmatism, a small variation in the shape of the eye causes the light to come into focus in two locations instead of one. This is what produces the blurry vision. In order to sharpen the blur, glasses or contacts are used to make sure that the light focuses together in a single location, precisely on the retina.

So, when you put your glasses on, Vuala! The light focuses correctly, you have crisp, clear vision, and no more worries about football until football season!

Disclaimer

Information contained within this Web site is intended solely for educational purposes and is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice relative to your specific medical condition or question. Always seek the advice of your physician or other health care provider for any questions you may have regarding your medical condition. Only your physician can provide specific diagnoses and therapies. By using this Web site, you agree to this Medical Disclaimer.

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205 E Council Street, Suite B
Salisbury, North Carolina 28144

Phone: (704) 310-5002
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kristin@salisburyeyecareandeyewear.com

 

205 E Council Street, Suite B
Salisbury, North Carolina 28144

Phone: (704) 310-5002
Fax: (704) 310-5003
kristin@salisburyeyecareandeyewear.com

 

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Monday: 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM
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Hours:
Monday: 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM
Tuesday: 10:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Wednesday: 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM
Thursday: 8:30 AM – 5:00 PM
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