Near-sightedness and astigmatism affect the way our eyes focus light, resulting in blurred or distorted vision. This article will dive deeper into what near-sightedness and astigmatism are, their causes and symptoms, and how they can be corrected.

What Is Near-Sightedness?

Near-sightedness is a common refractive error that affects the eye's ability to focus on distant objects. This happens when the shape of the eye causes light rays to focus in front of the retina instead of directly onto it. As a result, distant objects appear blurry and close objects remain clear.

Causes of Near-Sightedness

Several factors can contribute to near-sightedness, including genetics, environmental factors, and visual habits. If one or both parents have near-sightedness, there is a higher chance their children will also develop it. Excessive screen time and not getting enough natural light exposure have also been linked to an increased risk of near-sightedness.

Symptoms of Near-Sightedness

The most common symptom of near-sightedness is difficulty seeing objects clearly in the distance. This can also lead to squinting or headaches when trying to focus on distant objects. Other symptoms may include eye strain, fatigue, and trouble driving at night.

What Is Astigmatism?

Astigmatism is another common refractive error that affects the eye's ability to focus light. Unlike near-sightedness, astigmatism occurs when the cornea has an irregular shape, which causes light to focus on several points rather than a single point on the retina. This results in distorted or blurred vision at all distances.

Causes of Astigmatism

Astigmatism can be present at birth or develop later in life. It is often caused by an irregularly shaped cornea, but it can also be due to the shape of the lens inside the eye. In some cases, astigmatism may be a result of injury or surgery.

Symptoms of Astigmatism

The primary symptom of astigmatism is blurred or distorted vision, similar to near-sightedness. However, this blurriness may occur at all distances instead of just with distant objects. Other symptoms may include eyestrain, headaches, and difficulty seeing at night.

How Are Near-Sightedness and Astigmatism Corrected?

Both near-sightedness and astigmatism can be corrected with prescription glasses, contact lenses, or refractive surgery. Glasses and contacts work by focusing light directly onto the retina, compensating for the eye's irregular shape. Refractive surgery, such as LASIK, reshapes the cornea to correct any abnormalities.

Additional Tips for Maintaining Good Eye Health

In addition to correcting near-sightedness and astigmatism with glasses or contacts, there are steps you can take to maintain good eye health and potentially prevent these conditions. These include taking regular breaks from screens, getting enough natural light exposure, and eating a healthy diet rich in nutrients that support eye health.

Near-sightedness and astigmatism are common refractive errors that affect how our eyes focus light. They can cause blurred or distorted vision, but fortunately, they can be corrected with the right eyewear or refractive surgery. By understanding these conditions and taking steps to maintain good eye health, you can ensure your eyes remain healthy and functioning at their best.

Contact a local eye center to learn more, like Mid-Michigan Eye Care.