For the eye to focus optimally, two critical structures come into play: the cornea — the clear front surface of your eye, and the lens — nestled right behind your iris and pupil. A perfectly round cornea ensures sharp vision. Yet, in astigmatism, the cornea deviates from its ideal symmetrical round shape, leading to vision distortion.
Astigmatism isn't picky — it can affect both the young and old. Factors amplifying the risk include:
- A familial history of astigmatism or other eye anomalies.
- Thinning or scarring on the cornea.
- Persistent blurry vision, irrespective of distance.
- Previous eye surgeries.
Spotting the Symptoms
Affected individuals might notice:
- Blurred or occasionally doubled vision at varying distances.
- Excessive squinting and eye discomfort.
- Compromised night vision.
- Recurring eye strain and headaches.
Unraveling the Diagnosis
To ascertain the presence of astigmatism and devise a tailored treatment plan, Dr. Benjamin and his adept team will:
- Conduct a conventional vision test, where you'll read off an eye chart.
- Employ a phoropter — equipped with a plethora of lenses, enabling Dr. Benjamin to pinpoint your exact prescription.
- Utilize advanced Pentacam corneal topography to gauge your cornea's curvature and focus. This innovative tech amasses myriad minute measurements, empowering a computer to craft a detailed corneal map. This becomes indispensable should surgical intervention be deemed necessary.
Navigating Treatment Pathways
The severity of your astigmatism dictates your treatment route, ranging from corrective lenses to surgical approaches. Some minor cases might not necessitate any intervention.
Corrective Lenses & Contacts:
For milder cases, specially-designed glasses or contacts suffice. The lens in glasses corrects the vision distortions caused by the irregular corneal shape. Yet, for pronounced astigmatism, glasses might occasionally render floors or walls seemingly tilted.
Upon a mild diagnosis and a preference for contacts, Dr. Benjamin might advocate toric lenses. These are crafted to refract light, compensating for the eye's irregular shape. However, for more pronounced conditions, gas-permeable rigid contact lenses could be more suitable. Rest assured, Dr. Benjamin will steer you toward the most beneficial choice.
LASIK — a widely-acclaimed remedy for astigmatism — meticulously re-sculpts your cornea to enhance its focusing prowess. The procedure entails Dr. Benjamin numbing the eye, crafting a delicate corneal flap, and adeptly re-shaping the eye's core layers. Post-adjustment, the flap seamlessly reintegrates, doubling as a natural bandage, expediting healing. Generally, post-LASIK recovery is brisk, spanning roughly 24 hours.
However, LASIK isn't universal. Ideal candidates should be 18 or older, boasting commendable eye health — devoid of scarring or infections. Moreover, contact lens users must abstain for several weeks pre-surgery to prevent corneal shape alterations that could jeopardize the procedure.
Consistent Eye Check-ups:
Post-treatment, it's paramount to sustain regular eye examinations at our esteemed Los Angeles facility. Typically, an annual check suffices, but Dr. Benjamin, considering factors like age, associated risks, contact lens use, and other eye conditions, might adjust the frequency. The ultimate aim? Ensuring your eyes remain in prime condition.