Before we go onto what an astigmatism test is, it is important to learn about astigmatism and astigmatism symptoms as well. Astigmatism is a fairly common medical condition that is caused by the irregular shape of the cornea. Astigmatism can affect people of any age group, even small children.
The exact cause of astigmatism has not been found as yet. Some people are born with astigmatism, some develop it later on in life. In many cases, astigmatism is found to be hereditary. Some possible causes of this eye condition include eye surgery, an injury to the eye or even keratoconus. This is a disease which leads to the thinning of the cornea and could lead to astigmatism.
Astigmatism symptoms include:-
Blurred vision – this is the most common symptom. Initially, one may experience this blurred vision by looking at distant objects only. As this condition worsens, objects nearby begin to appear blurry as well.
Other symptoms include headaches, eye strain, discomfort in the eyes, squinting, and irritation in the eyes as well.
If you suffer from any of the above it is advisable to approach your ophthalmologist who may then recommend an astigmatism test. An astigmatism test can either be a refraction test or a corneal topography test. You can also opt for an online astigmatism test which may require you to look at an astigmatism chart but it is better to get this medical test done by a qualified and experienced doctor. This test for astigmatism includes the use of two devices. One is a keratoscope and the other is a videokeratoscope. The former projects rings onto the cornea. The doctor then observes the spacing and shape of these rings. This helps the doctor to determine the severity of the condition. The videokeratoscope is a keratoscope that is fitted with a video.
Astigmatism test results may be given to you immediately or the next day. Astigmatism correction is possible and aims to correct the uneven curvature that causes the above mentioned symptoms. Your doctor may advise you to wear corrective glasses or contacts lens for this. There are special astigmatism contacts which are known as toric lenses. These can be either soft or hard lenses. Soft toric lenses are recommended for a minor degree of astigmatism. Hard or rigid gas permeable (RGP) lenses are for higher degree of astigmatism. Multifocal, bifocal and disposable contact lenses are available for treating astigmatism.