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What is astigmatism... is that how you even say it?

October 25, 2017

Most of you might have vaguely heard this word "astigmatism" and some of you may even have been told you have it. But what actually is it?

 

Remember your eyeball is like a camera with two lenses. The front lens, the cornea, does most of the focusing work and generally has two basic shapes- soccer ball and rugby ball

(I am an AFL man myself but until AFL becomes international, I will stick with the rugby ball description :))

 

A soccer ball has the same curve all the way around right? So this means only one point of focus. Depending on the degree of curve though you may be short or long sighted or neutral. This determines the first number on your glasses prescription.

 

A rugby ball has two curves and therefore two points of focus. So someone with a rugby ball shaped eye will have two points of focus and therefore two numbers in their glasses prescription. The second number is the astigmatism value.

 

So basically if you have rugby ball shaped eyeballs then you need a rugby ball shaped glasses or contact lenses to fix your vision. There is also a third number which determines the orientation of your rugby ball from 0 to 180 degrees.

 

Laser eye surgery such as LASIK, SMILE and surface laser can correct astigmatism and newer technology means greater accuracy but more about that in my next post....

 

* Information on this blog is general in nature and should not be taken as professional medical advice or as a substitute for a consultation with a medical professional.

 

 

 

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