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Astigmatism is a common refractive disorder that can turn your view of the world into a funhouse mirror. Abnormalities in the shape of the cornea or the intraocular lens can produce blurring and distortion quite apart from, or in addition to, other refractive errors, such as nearsightedness and farsightedness. Fortunately, Dr. Jeremy Ciano, Dr. Katherine Schuetz, or Dr. Hannah Downey, our Carmel optometrists on staff, can use state-of-the-art technologies to diagnose your condition and prescribe the right form of vision correction for your needs.
Some refractive errors -- abnormalities in the way the eye delivers incoming light to the retina -- are more straightforward than others. If you have nearsightedness (myopia), for example, your eyeball or cornea is simply too elongated, making your distance vision blurry; if you have farsightedness (hyperopia), foreshortened eye structures are distorting your near vision. Astigmatism, however, can actually cause blurred vision in both visual fields at the same time. Corneal astigmatism stems from bulges, dents or other irregularities in the normally-spherical corneal contours. These aberrations can also occur within the lens, a condition called lenticular astigmatism.
Astigmatism can be a complex issue because the degree and type of error in each eye can be totally different. This, coupled with the possibility of also having myopia, hyperopia or presbyopia, presents vision correction challenges that call for the services of one of our three RevolutionEYES eye doctors. Additionally, if you have a child under 13 years of age with similar vision correction needs, our two doctors at our LittleEYES location, Dr. Downey and Dr. Schuetz, can diagnose and manage your child’s condition as well. They are both well qualified in pediatric optometry and can help with a variety of conditions.
Your Carmel optometrist at RevolutionEYES will use a variety of methods to diagnose the precise degree of your astigmatism in each eye. Of course we begin with the standard vision test to check your visual acuity via an eye chart. If you appear to have astigmatism, we administer additional evaluations to measure corneal and lenticular aberrations. A combination of keratometry, corneal topography and retinoscopy enables us to "map" your astigmatism as it corresponds to outward-radiating lines of demarcation known as meridians.
Performing all these tests gives us two critical numbers. The "sphere" number represents your lenticular aberration, while your "cylinder" represents your corneal aberration. Once armed with this data, we can prescribe accurate vision correction.
Astigmatism can be corrected with eyeglasses fairly easily. Contacts for astigmatism can be somewhat more challenging to create and fit than standard single-vision contacts. That's because single-vision contacts can rotate without altering hyperopia or myopia correction, while contacts for astigmatism must remain still so they'll line up with the specific irregular zones. Toric contacts are a good solution. These lenses are specially designed to fit on the cornea in one configuration without shifting.
RGP (rigid gas permeable) contacts are another way to correct the astigmatic eye. These lenses don't try to conform to the corneal contours at all; instead, they maintain an optimally spherical shape for superb vision correction.
Dr. Ciano is a contact lens fitting expert and specializes in fitting people with vast arrays of astigmatism. He is well versed in soft, RGP, and specialty contact lenses and will work exceptionally hard to ensure you have the best fit, comfort, vision, and health. Although fitting contacts for astigmatism take a bit more time and skill than an 'ordinary' contact lens evaluation, we have the patience, experience, and one of the most extensive fitting sets in the state to make it as smooth and streamlined as possible for our patients.
If you think you might have astigmatism and may require an optometrist in Carmel, call us for an eye exam today! We can help with your or your child’s vision correction needs at either of our locations. We look forward to setting you on the path to better vision.