Astigmatism is a condition that hundreds of thousands of people face each year. Astigmatism is when the eye is no longer shaped like a sphere and has changed to more like a football. This causes distorted or blurred vision.
Astigmatism can be corrected relatively quickly; there are some basic tests that need to be done to measure the amount of astigmatism one suffers from. Astigmatism is determined by the curvature of the cornea. A patient with astigmatism goes through several tests to not only diagnose the condition but to determine the best course of treatment for the degree of astigmatism the patient suffers.
Tests for Astigmatism:
Standard Vision Chart-
The eye care professional may use a standard vision chart to determine the degree of visual correction is needed. The chart determines how well you can see at a 20 feet distance.
The phoropter or lens machine is used to measure the prescription that is needed. They use the corrective lenses inside the machine to figure out what refraction distance you need for each eye. Sometimes the doctor will use what is called a retinoscope or a hand-held device to measure the prescription more accurately.
The Keratometer is used to measure the steepest and flattest areas of the cornea to tell how much of the vision is affected by the astigmatism. This meter is also used after corrective surgeries to measure how much of the vision has been corrected.
A Topography is a colorized map of the cornea. This can help your doctor determine if you have regular or irregular astigmatism. If you have irregular astigmatism your doctor will need to rule out this is not an early indicator of Keratoconus. Keratoconus is a degenerative condition of the cornea that causes a severe distortion of the cornea shape. Irregular astigmatism can be an early indicator of this condition. When detected early, patients can usually undergo a 30 minute treatment called Holcomb C3-R ® (Cornea Collagen Crosslinking with Riboflavin) that will prevent progressive ision changes.
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