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Astigmatism and Our Family

Updated on August 26, 2017
Terrielynn1 profile image

Terrie has a certificate in fitness and nutrition. She has a passion for helping others learn about health and wellness.

I know it's a big scary sounding word, but its really not something to be afraid of. What is Astigmatism? (you ask). Well, a normal eyeball is shaped like a round ball. Light comes into the eye and bends evenly, which gives you a clear view. When you have astigmatism your eye is shaped more like a football or the back of a spoon. As a result light gets bent more in one direction than another. Which means only part of an object is in focus. Objects seen at a distance may look blurry or wavy. It’s usually an easy fix for an eye doctor. He will prescribe either eye exercises, glasses, contacts, or surgery.

Eye Glasses are an easy fix for some people.
Eye Glasses are an easy fix for some people.

Causes and Symptoms

Astigmatism is a natural occurrence in most people, to some degree. In some cases astigmatism has occurred after an eye disease, after surgery or from an eye infection. Some people have also developed astigmatism due to having diabetes. The exact cause of most cases are still not known.

If you have blurry vision you may want to see the eye doctor. Sometimes you can also experience eye twitching or flickering. You may think it's just from eye strain or being tired. But it’s the main indicator of astigmatism. If you can’t see clearly or have regular eye twitching, please make an appointment with the eye doctor. They doctor will help you find the cause of your eye problems.

See Your Eye Doctor

If you or your family have any of these symptoms.

This article is to bring awareness

and to tell my family's story.

It's not intended for diagnoses.

Astigmatism Diagnoses

If you noticed any of the above symptoms, you’ll need a thorough eye exam. You could be nearsighted or farsighted. Astigmatism can occur in either. Since astigmatism symptoms come on slowly, you will need to go and see an eye doctor if you notice changes in your vision.

Almost all cases can be corrected with glasses or contacts. If you have a mild form of common astigmatism, your doctor may refer to it as a small degree. If you don’t have any other vision problem, you may not need corrective lenses. In some mild cases the eye exercises will be enough to strengthen the eye muscles.

Irregular astigmatism, isn't as common and is linked to problems with the cornea. Which is the front part of the eye. The more common eye problem is Keratoconus, in which your cornea that is normally round, becomes cone-shaped.

Did You Know?

What Astigmatism Is?

See results

Treatments For Astigmatism

Corrective lenses: That means you may need eye glasses or contacts. If you have astigmatism, your doctor will prescribe a special type of soft contact lenses. They will be made to your specific eye issue. If your case is more severe, you might need a gas-permeable rigid contact lens. Contacts wouldn't work for my husband. The extent of his astigmatism won't allow for him to wear contacts. Years ago his lenses were the thickness of the bottoms of a coke bottle. Due to the advancements in how lenses are made that is no longer the case. His glasses are now lighter and more comfortable. The lens of his glasses are 1/2 the width they used to be. The eye doctor will assist you in finding out which is the best treatment for you.

Refractive eye surgery: Laser surgery changes the shape of your cornea. There’s more than one type, so your doctor will help you pick the one that’s right for you. You’ll need to have healthy eyes with no retina problems or corneal scars. for surgery to be an option. The use of lasers for eye surgery has come along way. Corrective laser eye surgery is less risky and more successful than those of the passed.

My Hubby Has Astigmatism

My husband has corrective lenses for his astigmatism.
My husband has corrective lenses for his astigmatism.

Our Family and Astigmatism

My husband isn't the only family with astigmatism. One out of three of our children does, along with numerous other extended family members. The form they have is called common Astigmatism. For some of them it is a mild form while others are more severe. Most have been helped by doing the recommended eye exercises along with wearing glasses, with corrective lenses. My husband had both what used to be called a lazy eye and the eye twitching due to astigmatism. Our oldest daughter was diagnosed with a lazy eye and astigmatism. We noticed a problem with her vision because, she always wanted to sit as close as possible to watch TV. My husband and daughter were told they were probably born with astigmatism. My husband cannot wear contact lenses, corrective lenses (glasses) were the best way to correct his condition. Strengthening the muscles around the eye improves the condition a lot. Our oldest child was diagnosed by our eye doctor. When she was only five years old. This is why it's important for children to have early eye exams. She was given an eye exercise program, to do three to four times a day, everyday until her next appointment. Then we continued on for the next six months. By following the doctors request she was able to avoid getting corrective lenses. I couldn't believe the difference that short time period made to her eyes. Don't worry if you have surgery on your eyes. Laser surgery has come along way and is a lot less invasive. Even the recovery time has improved. We were lucky and so far neither of our family members has needed corrective eye surgery. We do have extended family who have had laser eye surgery and it's the best thing they have ever done.

You May Need Glasses

If you wear glasses remove them before doing the exercises.
If you wear glasses remove them before doing the exercises. | Source

Exercises For Eye Health

Once your family member is told they need to exercise their eyes to improve their vision. The doctor will give them a kit, with instructions to follow. We had to use it three times a day until the next check up with the eye doctor. You will be asked to cover the weaker eye or do each exercise with one eye at a time. The kit has an eye patch and charts to read, along with instructions. The exercises might be all you need. There is a video below with the recommended exercise to help strengthen your eyes.

Help Strengthen your eye muscles:

Eye exercises will help you relax the rectos muscles and can help your condition to Improve. The whole purpose is to help your muscles feel less strain. If you are feeling pain and ache for a while take a short break, stop your muscles from feeling extra pressure.

  • Bring your thumb out and place it in front of your nose. Make sure there is at least a distance of 10 cm between your thumb and nose.
  • You can move the thumb slowly upwards to such a height where you may not be able to see it. Stop it there and let it stay for approximately two seconds.
  • You will definitely begin to feel the tension of your muscles at this minute. Bring back your thumb to the first position very slowly. When you are moving backwards, your muscles should be feeling relaxed by now.
  • Instead of pushing it up above your head, this time you should push it up to the side of your forehead.
  • You can continue the exercise by pushing your thumb at different imaginary points around your head, and till you are back to pushing it up above your head (as you did initially).
  • The duration of the exercise should be for 2 minutes and the repetition should be two to four times a day.

Eye Exercise

Top Astigmatism Facts

  • It's not as scarry as it sounds
  • It's an unusual curvature of the eye
  • Is present at birth. but can show later, from disease or after surgery
  • The common form is easy to treat
  • Caught early, you might only need eye exercises
  • Can be diagnosed by your eye doctor
  • Helped by corrective lenses or contacts
  • Can happen to both near and far sighted people
  • Sometimes surgery is needed, but is now less invasive. The surgery changes the shape of the cornea.
  • Make an eye appointment if you have any symptoms
  • The doctor will help you decide what treatment is best for you.

Resources Used

  1. Astigmatism Information from the WebMD
  2. Astigmatism Information from the Mayo Clinic
  3. What is Astigmatism online site
  4. From our family eye doctor.

© 2017 Terrie Lynn

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    • Terrielynn1 profile image
      Author

      Terrie Lynn 2 months ago from Canada

      Thank you for reading. I love how helpful the other writers here are. Yes, it passed now. have a great day.

    • Jodah profile image

      John Hansen 2 months ago from Queensland Australia

      Hi, Terrie Lynn, it appears this hub has now been approved and no longer duplicate. That is great. You offer very good advice here about astigmatism. I have myopia and have to wear glasses most of the time, but with glasses and contacts as they are nowadays, there is no need to freak out.

    • Terrielynn1 profile image
      Author

      Terrie Lynn 2 months ago from Canada

      Hi Maz. Thank you. I hope it works out well for you. Lazers are so much better than the old procedures. Thank you for stopping to comment. sorry to hear that your's was that bad. I wonder if my husband will have to get surgery as he gets older.

    • Maz Fouche profile image

      Maz Fouche 2 months ago

      Great informative article :).

      I am one of those with severe astigmatism and have to wear glasses from the moment I wake-up, till the moment I go to bed again. The contacts specifically suited for my eyes are great, just very expensive.

      I finally went for the tests to see if I qualify for corrective surgery and thankfully got the thumbs up. I am now booked for a bilateral LASIK procedure on the 3rd of August and am very excited to soon be rid of these glasses. I was advised that recovery time would be very short. Yay.

      The vision is corrected to a zero, however reading glasses will be needed around age 42 and up. Also, with severe astigmatism, there is a higher chance that a follow up surgery may be needed - referred to as an enhancement procedure.

      All the advancements made in medicine today is really amazing. As you said, laser surgery has come a long way.

    • Terrielynn1 profile image
      Author

      Terrie Lynn 2 months ago from Canada

      yes that is so true. A lot of people freak out at first. That is a perfect way to discribe it.

    • Fullerman5000 profile image

      Ryan Fuller 2 months ago from Louisiana, USA

      I worked in optical 11 years and I have several patients when they hear the word Astigmatism they freak out. I simple explain it like instead of your Cornea be basketball shape, it is shaped more like a football. Then it is not such a bad word.