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What are Astigmatism Symptoms?

Astigmatism is a condition in which either the cornea or lens of the eye is irregularly curved, which affects the way light refracts inside of the eye. Symptoms of this condition include blurred vision at any distance, headaches and eye strain or fatigue. Most of the time, astigmatism is considered to be a mild and easily treatable condition. It can be hereditary and present when a person is born, or it can develop as a result of a strain or injury to the eyes. In some cases, a person who is born with the problem does not realize they have it, because astigmatism symptoms are very mild or don't develop at all.

If symptoms such as blurred vision are noticeable enough to affect a person's daily functioning, a medical eye exam can diagnose the condition. An eye doctor can prescribe glasses or contact lenses to help the patient see better. Laser eye surgery also can be performed to improve the patient's vision.

Some people are born with astigmatism. Others develop the problem as a result of an eye injury or disease. If it is mild, the person might never notice astigmatism symptoms, or they might be very minor. The more irregularly curved a person's eye is, the more he or she might notice symptoms and need treatment.

One of the most common astigmatism symptoms is blurred vision. When the curvature of the eye is uneven, it affects the way light enters, which causes the vision problems. Unlike nearsightedness, which causes a person to have trouble seeing objects that are far away, or farsightedness, which causes blurred vision when looking at objects that are close, astigmatism causes blurred vision at any distance. Sometimes, a person can have astigmatism and be nearsighted or farsighted.

A person who has vision problems can also experience other astigmatism symptoms. If a person is continually working to focus in on blurred objects, it can cause the eye muscles to become strained, which can lead to eye pain. Headaches can also result from vision problems caused by astigmatism. When the astigmatism is treated, these symptoms usually will be resolved.

Most of the time, a person who experiences astigmatism symptoms should visit an eye doctor and have a thorough exam. The doctor might conduct a variety of tests to determine whether the cornea is irregularly curved. Most of these tests are used to determine how the eye reflects light or to measure the curvature of the cornea. If astigmatism is diagnosed, a person can wear glasses or contacts or can undergo laser eye surgery to help correct the problem. People who have astigmatism might also need to have regular eye exams to monitor the condition.

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