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WHAT IS AN ASTIGMATISM?

A corneal curvature is also called astigmatism, which means that the cornea is not normal but deformed. Astigmatism is a common vision disorder, which is the cause of fuzzy visibility at any distance. Astigmatism often occurs in combination with short-sightedness or farsightedness.

Astigmatism is considered normal in the human eye of up to 0.5 diopters. The deformed cornea is mostly congenital, but in rare cases can develop only with time.

CORRECTION OF ASTIGMATISM - WHICH METHOD IS BEST FOR ME?

Both a pure astigmatism and an astigmatism in combination with another vision disorders can be corrected by EuroEyes. In order to determine whether the patient is suitable for laser surgery, a thorough consultation and a detailed preliminary examination are always carried out before the procedure. Safety and diagnostics are absolutely in the foreground during the preliminary examination. If a patient is not suitable for an eye laser correction, EuroEyes can offer other treatment methods.

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EYE LASER METHOD FOR THE TREATMENT OF ASTIGMATISM

EuroEyes offers Eye laser and lens surgery at procedures to correct astigmatism – also in combination with farsightedness or nearsightedness. The defective vision can be treated with the aid of state-of-the-art laser procedures such as ReLEx smile or by implanting ICL contact lenses or multifocal/trifocal lenses.

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Astigmatism – The Problem in Detail

Normal Vision

Good vision requires a sharp image being produced on the retina at the back of the eye. The optical system (cornea, crystalline lens and vitreous body) of a normal eye diverts light rays in a way that they land exactly in focus at the point of best vision on the retina, the so-called makula. This diversion of light rays is called refraction. The total refractive power is expressed in diopters (D). The total refractive power is determined on the basis of the different parts of the optical system. When the total refraction is zero diopters, objects will be depicted sharply on the retina.

Astigmatism

Astigmatism: rays of light scattered across the retina.

Ideally the curvature of the cornea is shaped regularly like the surface of a ball. Astigmatism occurs when the corneal surface is more an irregular shape, more like that of an egg. Instead of gathering in a single point, light focuses at several different points both in front of and behind your retina, causing blurred vision. The light is refracted differently through the different curvatures of the cornea, e.g. vertical light rays are refracted differently than horizontal ones. This results in a distorted image, and a dot may appear as a line. The optical correction is made by changing the refractive power so that the two focal points are shifted exactly onto the retina – basically the same effect as can be achieved with a toric cylindrical lens.

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Good to know about astigmatism

TYPES OF ASTIGMATISM

Different types of astigmatism are divided into two groups: Astigmatismus regularis (regular astigmatism) and astigmatismus irregularis (irregular astigmatism). In the case of regular astigmatism, incident light rays are imaged on vertical focal lines. In the case of irregular astigmatism, however, the optical planes are not perpendicular to each other.

SYMPTOMS OF ASTIGMATISM

Slight forms of astigmatism have hardly any noticeable effects – astigmatism only becomes noticeable when it is more pronounced. Then it often shows the following symptoms:

  • Sensitivity to light
  • Burning, redness and tears of the eyes
  • Glare caused by the irregular refraction of light
  • Headaches and fatigue

HOW IS ASTIGMATISM DIAGNOSED?

As a rule an astigmatism is diagnosed by ophthalmologist or optician. Once it is clear that there is an astigmatism, the cornea can be measured more accurately to determine the type and severity of astigmatism. An exact diagnosis can be made with the following instruments:

  • Placido disc: measurement of the condition of the corneal surface. If there is a curvature of the cornea, the mirror image of the placido rings on the cornea is distorted.
  • Ophthalmometer: measures the radius of curvature as well as the refractive power of the cornea. In addition, the ophthalmometer projects a hollow cross and a line cross onto the cornea. On the ideally shaped cornea, both crosses lie on top of each other, whereas when the cornea bends, the crosses shift against each other.
  • Videokeratoscopy: analyzes the refractive power of the entire corneal surface in case of irregular astigmatism.
  • Refractometer: determines the visual acuity of the patient.

OPTIMAL TREATMENT OF ASTIGMATISM

Depending on the strength of the astigmatism, different treatment methods are available. Astigmatism can be corrected with glasses, contact lenses or surgery. Which method is suitable to correct the visual defect depends on its shape. Irregular astigmatism, for example, cannot be corrected by glasses due to irregular corneal curvature or an irregularly curved lens.

Laser vison correction of astigmatism

Laser surgery removes the unevenness in the cornea and thus creates an even surface. Another surgical treatment approach is to correct the astigmatism with a new lens. The body’s own lens is removed and replaced by an artificial lens (intraocular lens) – the cornea is left as it is. The intraocular lens compensates for the curvature of the cornea.

EuroEyes offers various laser procedures and lens treatments for correction of astigmatism and also in combination with farsightedness or nearsightedness. EuroEyes can correct ametropia with the aid of state-of-the-art laser procedures such as ReLEx smile or the implantation of ICL contact lenses.