When the cornea of your eyes forms in an imperfect curvature, you get Astigmatism. In the United States, this is a common refractive error, affecting 1 in every 3 people (source – https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/18695106/). This abnormal shape of your lenses doesn’t let you pursue light in its proper form. As a result, you experience blurry vision and difficulty in seeing at night. Let us explore different aspects of astigmatism treatments.
Impact of Astigmatism Treatments on Your Vision:
In a refractive error like astigmatism, your eyes are not able to reflect lights correctly. But a more profound effect of this condition on your eyes depends on its type. Astigmatism is of two kinds – corneal and lenticular. In the corneal type, your cornea is oval-shaped instead of being round. In a lenticular variety, you have distorted lenses.
This abnormally shaped cornea and lenses don’t let your retina convert the lights into signals that are supposed to be sent to the brain. This causes blurry and distorted vision at both close and near distances. In addition, it weakens your night vision. Near-sightedness and farsightedness are also refractive errors like astigmatism.
Astigmatism Lights at Night:
At night, many people experience glare or holes around bright lights. If you also feel that you see lights strangely at night, you might have astigmatism. This might also happen with people without astigmatism. The reason being that your eyes dilate more to see the light in the darkness. But the astigmatism vision worsens your capacity to see clearly at night. Therefore it is advisable for people with astigmatism to avoid driving at night.
There are other issues like glaucoma, myopia, cataracts, and keratoconus, which cause unclear night vision. Your eye doctor can tell you the reason behind your weak night vision after a proper diagnosis.
Lights & Astigmatism Vision:
Astigmatism makes you squint to focus in front of lights. It happens because the cornea and lens are abnormally curved rather than being round. Therefore the lights scatter when it reaches your eyes. As a result, astigmatism lights appear blurry and fuzzy with halos, glares, and streaks. On the other hand, people with normal vision have perfectly round corneas and a lens that divides the light equally and generates a clear vision.
Driving at Night With Astigmatism Vision:
It must be pretty clear to you that driving at night with astigmatism is not safe. This is because you are dependent on street lights and vehicle headlights for a good vision of the road in the darkness. But these lights can benefit a person with normal vision. Anyone having astigmatism will get more confused and misguided by them. For them, these lights will interrupt their clear picture of the road by putting extra glare and halos on their eyes.
There are ways to treat astigmatism and its effect on your night vision. Check them out in this upcoming section.
5 Proven Treatments for Astigmatism:
Toric or Gas-permeable Contacts:
Contact lenses are a solution for astigmatism vision but not the regular ones. The experts recommend toric contacts and gas-permeable contacts. The toric contacts are specially designed to correct the refractive error. And the gas-permeable contacts improve the visual quality due to their shape.
Just like the standard contacts, the regular glasses also don’t work in case of astigmatism. Instead, you need to wear anti-glare or anti-reflective glasses. They minimize or sometimes eliminate extra glare and haze of bright lights due to the astigmatism vision. Antiglare glasses help you in the daytime, and they resolve your night vision problem as well.
Eye drops help your eyes to remain moist. Dry eyes can hamper the working of the contact lenses and, eventually, your vision. In dry eyes, the toric and gas-permeable lenses might get rotated. Ensure that the eye drops which you are buying are safe for contact lenses. You may consult your eye doctor as well before using the eye drops.
If you don’t like these fixes and want a permanent solution, LASIK eye surgery is one of the best treatments for astigmatism. In this surgery, tissue from your inner layer of the cornea is removed to correct your astigmatism vision. PRK is also an eye surgery. During this surgery, your eye is reshaped by removing tissue from the inner and top layers of your cornea. Your eye doctor can only prescribe these surgeries to you.
In orthokeratology, you are given a set of contact lenses. You need to wear them overnight while asleep and remove them in the morning. These lenses gradually correct the shape of your cornea. This treatment is also known as Ortho-K. It is effective in the case of other eye disorders as well, such as hyperopia and myopia.
Astigmatism vision is a curable refractive error. Consult an eye doctor or an ophthalmologist to understand your type of astigmatism. They can evaluate your condition and prescribe treatment accordingly.