What is astigmatism? The 'common' reason you may be experiencing 'blurred' vision – Daily Express

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Whether you have noticed your vision going blurry, or are experiencing something similar to a “halo effect” when walking at nighttime, there could be a “common” reason to blame. Astigmatism is an eye condition that impacts an estimated one in three people and can show symptoms at any age.
According to the NHS, the condition usually comes on alongside either long-sightedness or short-sightedness.
However, despite how common the condition is, many people do not realise they have it.
An expert from Lenstore.co.uk said: “This is a common refractive error as most of us have astigmatism in one or both eyes to some degree.
“Mild astigmatism often goes unnoticed and does not need to be corrected.”
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According to the NHS, the condition usually comes on alongside either long-sightedness or short-sightedness.
However, despite how common the condition is, many people do not realise they have it.
An expert from Lenstore.co.uk said: “This is a common refractive error as most of us have astigmatism in one or both eyes to some degree.
“Mild astigmatism often goes unnoticed and does not need to be corrected.”Bad eyesight due to astigmatism
But, some people suffering from astigmatism may notice changes to their vision.
These can be particularly noticeable at night time when looking at light.
According to Lenstore, these may range from “a halo effect, streak, or even a starburst effect” when looking at bright light against a dark background.
The expert added: “It’s common for those suffering from astigmatism to also experience myopia (near-sightedness) or hyperopia (far-sightedness).
“These three conditions are referred to as refractive errors because they influence how the eyes bend or “refract” light.”
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But, some people suffering from astigmatism may notice changes to their vision.
These can be particularly noticeable at night time when looking at light.
According to Lenstore, these may range from “a halo effect, streak, or even a starburst effect” when looking at bright light against a dark background.
The expert added: “It’s common for those suffering from astigmatism to also experience myopia (near-sightedness) or hyperopia (far-sightedness).
“These three conditions are referred to as refractive errors because they influence how the eyes bend or “refract” light.”
There are two main forms of astigmatism known as corneal astigmatism and lenticular astigmatism.
Corneal astigmatism occurs when your cornea – the clear front part of the eye – is misshapen.
Depending on the severity of astigmatism, the cornea takes the shape of an egg or a rugby ball, rather than the regular round shape.
This type of astigmatism is the most common form.
Lenticular astigmatism, on the other hand, is caused when the lens in the eye is shaped irregularly.Putting in contactsAccording to Lenstore, astigmatism can occur for a number of reasons.
The expert explained: “Astigmatism is caused when the cornea or the lens of the eye are not shaped regularly.
‘This means the light enters the eye at the wrong curvature and distorts the image of an object.
“The refractive error can be present either at birth and remain unnoticeable during life or intensify at a later age, or it can be developed after an eye injury, eye disease or eye surgery.”
In some cases, scarring or injury can change the shape of the cornea, resulting in astigmatism.
This is also the case if an eye surgery causes scarring on the eye.
In other cases, astigmatism can be caused by disease.
An example of this is keratoconus, which is a disease that causes the cornea to slowly grow thinner over time.
According to the NHS, teenagers with astigmatism should have frequent check-ups to ensure keratoconus does not develop.Lifestyle changes to live longerAstigmatism, in its mildest forms, does not necessarily need to be treated.
According to the NHS, there are three main ways to treat astigmatism if it is impacting your vision.
The first, and perhaps “cheapest option”, is through glasses.
In some cases, these may be available for free or at a reduced cost through the NHS.
The second is with contact lenses. Once again, lenses may be discounted or even free on the NHS is prescribed.
Laser eye surgery is the most costly option but can be a permanent fix.
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