Glasses and Astigmatism
Ever found yourself squinting at your phone or a book and thinking, "Do I need glasses?" Well, if you've got astigmatism, that might just be the case. Let's dive into what astigmatism is, how to tell if you've got it, and whether you need to start browsing eyewear collections.
First things first, what in the world is astigmatism? It sounds like a, scary medical word, but it's actually a pretty common and usually harmless condition. Most eyes are a perfect sphere, like a basketball. People with Astigmatism have eyes is shaped more like a rugby ball – it's not a perfect sphere. This funky shape can make light bend weirdly when it enters your eye, leading to blurred or distorted vision. It's like looking through a wonky camera lens.
How to Tell if you have Astigmatism
How do you know if you have astigmatism? Well, here are some telltale signs:
1. Blurry Vision: If objects at a distance or up close look blurry, and you're like, "Wait, is that a cat or a mailbox?" - you might have astigmatism.
2. Eye Strain: Spending hours on your computer and feeling like your eyes are on a marathon? That could be astigmatism making them work overtime.
3. Headaches: Regular headaches can be a sign, especially if they happen when you're reading, watching TV or working on a screen.
4. Squinting: If you find yourself squinting to see things clearly, it's your eyes telling you they need help.
Do Glasses help with Astigmatism
So, you think you might have astigmatism. The next question is, "Do I need glasses for this?" Here’s the scoop:
1. Eye Exam: This should be your first step. Your optometrist will carry out some tests and tell you for sure if you've got astigmatism.
2. Prescription Lenses: If you do have astigmatism, your optometrist might prescribe glasses or contact lenses. These aren't just any glasses or contact lenses, though. They're specially made to counteract that rugby-shaped curve in your eye, bringing the world back into focus for you.
3. Severity Matters: The need for glasses also depends on how severe your astigmatism is. Some people have a mild form and can see just fine without correction. Others might need glasses all the time. It's like needing different shoes for different activities – some need trainers, others need high heels.
4. Lifestyle Considerations: Do you spend a lot of time reading, on the computer, or driving? Glasses can make these activities much easier and more comfortable. It's all about making your day-to-day life better.
5. Contacts or Glasses?: Some people prefer contact lenses over glasses, and guess what? They make special contact lenses for astigmatism, called toric lenses. They're like magic little disks that sit on your eyes and make everything crystal clear.
6. Regular Check-ups: Astigmatism can change over time, so regular eye exams are key. You might need to update your prescription now and then depending on how each and every eye exam goes.
When it comes to astigmatism, not all lenses are created equal. Here's what you need to know to make sure your lenses are up to the task:
Choosing the Right Lenses for Astigmatism
1. Toric Lenses: The best lens for astigmatism is the toric lens! These are specially designed to correct the uneven curvature of your eye. They're like the custom-tailored suit of eyewear and made just for your eyes.
2. High-Index Lenses: If your prescription is strong, high-index lenses are a game-changer. They're thinner and lighter than regular lenses. This means you can say goodbye to those 'coke bottle' glasses and say hello to sleek eyewear.
3. Polycarbonate Lenses: Great if you are active or if you're a bit clumsy with your glasses (no judgment from us). Polycarbonate lenses are impact-resistant, making them kid-friendly and perfect for outdoor activities.
4. Aspheric Lenses: These lenses have a slimmer, attractive profile. They're designed to reduce distortions and blurriness that can happen at the edges of your lenses. If you're all about that sharp, clear vision (who isn't?), aspheric lenses are a great choice.
5. Lens Coatings: Don't forget about coatings! Anti-reflective coatings can help reduce glare from screens and bright lights – a lifesaver if you're a night owl or a screen junkie. UV coatings are also crucial for protecting your eyes from harmful UV rays.
6. Blue Light Blocking: Speaking of screens, blue light-blocking lenses are becoming more popular, especially if you spend hours on your phone or computer. They can help reduce eye strain and improve your sleep quality by blocking the blue light from screens that can mess with your sleep cycle.
7. Transition Lenses: If you are always on the move, shifting about from indoors to outdoors constantly you should consider transition lenses. They automatically darken in sunlight, giving you prescription sunglasses without needing an extra pair.
When it comes to lenses for astigmatism, it's all about finding the right combination of clarity, comfort, and durability. Whether you're a bookworm, a gym enthusiast, or fashion obsessed, there's a lens type that will fit your needs.
If you've got astigmatism, glasses can be a real game-changer. They can turn that blurry, headache-inducing world you’re currently living in into something clear. It's just like going from standard definition to high definition on your TV!
The only way to know for sure if you have astigmatism is to visit an optometrist. They’ll give you the lowdown and help you decide if glasses are your ticket to clearer vision. Taking care of your eyes is super important, they're the only pair you've got!
If you're squinting at this post and getting a headache, it might be time for you to book that eye exam. Who knows, glasses could be your new best accessory and you'll be rocking that new look in no time!
Author: John Dreyer Optometrist Bsc(Hons), MCOPTOM, DipCLP
Created: 29 Nov 2023, Last modified: 15 Feb 2024