Could you have astigmatism without realizing it? It’s more common than you may think. If you’ve made it all the way to adulthood before realizing that something may be wrong with your vision, you’re not the only one. While astigmatism is a very common vision problem, a lot of people with astigmatism don’t even realize that they have it. If you suspect that you have vision problems, seeing an eye doctor for astigmatism can help you find relief.
What Is Astigmatism?
First of all, what is astigmatism? Your eyes are made up of several parts that take in light, process that light, and then send messages to your brain about what you’re seeing. Astigmatism happens when one of two of those parts – either your cornea or your lens – doesn’t focus light in the right way. This incorrect focus happens when the lens or cornea has more of an egg shape than a round shape.
The result is blurred vision, although that blurriness may come and go, depending on the situation. You may suspect that you have astigmatism if you experience blurred vision on occasion. The only way to know for sure is to see an eye doctor for astigmatism. If you do have this condition, you can get treatment to correct your vision.
Signs of Astigmatism
The biggest sign of astigmatism is, of course, blurred vision. However, a lot of people see an eye doctor for astigmatism for these reasons in particular:
Lights Get Blurry at Night
“Wait, you mean that not everyone sees those lines and dots at night?”
The first time a lot of people realize they should see an eye doctor for astigmatism is when they realize that not everyone experiences nighttime driving the way that they do. When you drive at night, do lights “bleed” like in the picture above? Do you hate driving at night because the lights blend together and make it hard for you to see? Does the problem get worse when it’s raining? People without astigmatism don’t experience this level of blurriness.
You Squint or Close One Eye While You Read
A lot of people with astigmatism get blurred vision while reading, especially as the light changes or as they get tired. Some people put the book down when this happens, but if you’re really into a good novel, you may make adjustments without realizing what you’re doing. Have you ever caught yourself squinting at a page or even reading with one eye closed? It can happen while looking at a book, your phone, or an e-reader. In any case, it’s a sign that you should see an eye doctor for astigmatism.
You Get Eye Strain Easily
The rest of your body may not be tired, but your eyes definitely are. Sound familiar? Eye strain is a common problem in people with astigmatism. That’s because eyes with astigmatism have to work harder to adjust as they process light. If you often experience eye strain at work or while reading, you may have astigmatism.
You Get Frequent Headaches
All of that eye strain can lead to headaches. As a matter of fact, a lot of vision problems can lead to headaches. If you frequently get headaches, especially after focusing on one thing for a while, ask your eye doctor if astigmatism might be the culprit. Relieving those headaches may be as simple as getting a new pair of glasses.
Your Symptoms Worsen When You’re Tired
When you (and your eyes) are tired, it’s harder for your eyes to focus. If your headaches, blurred vision, and other eyesight symptoms get worse when you’re tired, astigmatism may play a role.
Why You Didn’t Catch It Until Now
If you’ve dealt with astigmatism for your entire life, why did it take so long for you to realize it? Again, it’s more common than you might think. A lot of people with astigmatism don’t realize that they have it until later in life, and there are lots of reasons why.
You Could Still Have 20/20 Vision
Apart from astigmatism, you may otherwise have great eyesight. As a matter of fact, some people with astigmatism also happen to have 20/20 vision. With astigmatism, blurriness can come and go depending on the situation and the amount of lighting available. If you get the occasional blurry vision but otherwise can see just fine, then it’s easy to ignore the problem until it becomes a major issue.
You May Have Thought It Was Normal
You can’t see through another person’s eyes, at least not literally. A lot of people don’t see an eye doctor for astigmatism simply because they don’t realize that not everyone experiences those moments of blurriness. Remember the example of the “bleeding” lights above? If you thought everyone saw lights that way at night, then you’d have no reason to believe you needed an eye doctor. However, once you realize that you don’t have to see that way, a pair of glasses can transform your vision.
You Didn’t Notice Major Problems Until Recently
Astigmatism can be a big problem or a small problem, depending on the context. A few moments of blurriness may not affect your life until you suddenly start driving more often at night. Or maybe your new job requires you to stare at a computer all day. In any case, a new context can mean new problems with something that you’ve experienced throughout your entire life.
Seeing an Eye Doctor for Astigmatism
When astigmatism does cause problems, those problems are frustrating and even scary at times. Thankfully, by seeing an eye doctor for astigmatism, you can get treatment and experience clear vision like you’ve never experienced before.
Your treatment options can be as simple as a new pair of glasses or as complex as surgery. In any case, we’d love to help you here at Sterling Vision. With several talented physicians across six convenient locations, Sterling Vision can connect you with your best eyesight options. Find your closest Sterling Vision location to get started today.