the importance of optometry exams

What Is An Astigmatism And What Can You Do About It?

Astigmatism is an eye disorder that results from how the light hits your eye (or a refractive error). This is a common eye disorder that affects a great number of people. This type of eye disorder can be corrected, and you can improve your vision. See below for further information about astigmatisms and what you can do to help improve your vision.

Astigmatism Signs And Symptoms

You may simply think that your vision is worsening, when in fact, it is just astigmatism. Astigmatism means there is a change in the shape of your eye and how light is being accepted. This can cause objects to seem blurry or could change your perception of objects. Some symptoms include:

  • Difficulty seeing at dusk (as soon as it becomes dark).
  • Constant headaches, especially after reading for long periods of time.
  • Blurred vision or inability to see objects clearly.
  • Inability to see small font or difficulty making out letters.

What You Can Do About Your Astigmatism

You should go to your optometrist every year for an annual checkup. Even if you don't have issues with your vision, it's important to see the optometrist every year to update your prescription, and for your optometrist to diagnose any issues, you may not even know you have. Other things you can do if you notice signs of astigmatism include:

  • Take breaks away from your computer screen. Give your eyes a break to allow time for your eyes to relax. Look away from your screen at least once per hour, even getting up and walking away from the screen if you can.
  • Drink plenty of water to keep your body and eyes hydrated. Also eat foods rich in vitamins and minerals such as fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as lean meats and fresh fish.
  • Give your eyes a massage by closing your eyes and placing two fingers over both eyelids. Gently massage your eyes moving your fingers up and down, then left to right, repeating the motions at least 10 times. This helps the eyes relax.
  • Take off your glasses and remove contact lenses to try and read from a book for a few minutes. Look away from the book and attempt to focus on another object. Repeat this until you tire your eyes. 
  • Have surgery such as Lasik to help correct your astigmatism and your overall vision.

If you feel you may have astigmatism or have any other vision issue, be sure to contact a medical office like Northwest Ophthalmology for a checkup before your vision worsens.