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So i first encountered the word, ASTIGMATISM in High School in biology class. Cornea, retina, short sightedness, long sightedness, refraction and reflection of light, tear ducts, myopia are some of the terms that come to mind when i flash back to biology lectures about the eye. Like most things we learn in High School, College etc, the meaning of astigmatism was already lost to me. Hey! That doesn’t mean i am a block head lol. So after my doctor’s visit, i am doing an astigmatism 101 class with you all!
So before we head to class to learn the basics of astigmatism 101 and the whole story behind this blog post, let’s have a small tete a’ tete. I hope you guys used your weekend judiciously! Relaxation is key. Destressing very important and self love, paramount! Don’t. Ever. Forget. That. Astigmatism seems to be a common medical eye problem suffered by a lot of people as i recently learnt. Astigmatism is an imperfection in the curvature of your cornea or in the shape of eye lens. Astigmatism simply means your eyes isn’t completely round.
Recently, i noticed i have been squinting more and more at my laptop, TV and while reading coupled with occasional headaches which are usually a bit severe. I was also experiencing momentary blindness whenever i wake up in the dark and turn on the lights for one reason or other.
I thought it could be stress since i have a lot to handle at the office for the past month or so and tried every destressing trick i have up my sleeve using these tricks but nothing seemed to be doing the magic and when i checked my stress levels on my phone, i found out it was okay! I put one and one together and decided to go see an ophthalmologist.
THE ASTIGMATISM DIAGNOSIS
Thursday Morning, i arrived early at the hospital. The organisation i work for has health insurance for employees but the hospital operating my own health insurance do not have an ophthalmologist so i needed to get a referrer to go see one.
So after some minor hassles, i got the referrer letter and off i went to go see the eye doctor. Now, i am always very wary about things that has to do with my face. I don’t want scars not even an acne apart from the occasional pimple that pops up at that time of the month. Yeah you know.
The receptionist at the eye hospital took my details (names, age etc) and then i was directed to the examination room where i was told to sit at the front of a very sophisticated looking machine that resembles a telescope.
Imagine my reaction then when i was told to place my chin on a part of the machine and then stare at a lens directly in front of me. The doctor told me i would feel a squirt of air and that i should not worry.
What the hell? I swiftly took my face off the machine lol. No way. Not my face and certainly not my eyes! It took a while to be convinced that no harm will come to me!
Well, i subjected myself to the “experiment” and then we were done in less than 3 minutes. No. Nothing happened to my eyes!
From there i was taken to another examination room where i did the standard screen reading tests with different glasses and boy i couldn’t see some alphabets!
That’s when i knew the squinting business is for real and i might need to start wearing glasses. The diagnosis at the end of the eye tests was astigmatism. So what is astigmatism?
ASTIGMATISM 101 BASICS
The American Academy of Ophthalmology describes Astigmatism as an imperfection in the curvature of your cornea (the clear round dome covering the eye’s iris and pupil) or in the shape of the eye lens. The cornea and lens are smooth and curved in all directions helping to focus light rays onto the retina at the back of your eye, normally. However, when your cornea or lens isn’t smooth or evenly curved, it causes refractive errors.
When a cornea has an irregular shape, it is called corneal astigmatism and when the shape of an eye lens is distorted, it is called lenticular astigmatism. Yours truly case is corneal astigmatism.
Either type of astigmatism results in objects near and far appearing distorted or blurred (hence constant squinting to clearly identify an object). Astigmatism seems to be a big word but what it simply means is your eyes isn’t completely round.
The news about astigmatism is that almost all of us have it to some degree. However the exact cause of astigmatism is not known but some persons are born with it. You may develop astigmatism after an eye injury, disease or surgery.
The major symptom of astigmatism is blurry vision. People usually put this down to stress just like i did but you might want to schedule a visit to an eye clinic to get your eyes checked out whenever you experience blurry vision!
That’s astigmatism 101 basics. Basically!
TREATMENT FOR ASTIGMATISM
So i had a chat with the ophthalmologist about treatments for persons with astigmatism and it he went on to lecture me about the two methods used in treating it. Almost all cases can be corrected with glasses or contacts but in most severe cases, refractive surgery is carried out.
Corrective lenses means either glasses or lenses. Mild cases of astigmatism are usually treated with mild soft lenses called toric or in some other cases, what is known as gas permeable rigid contacts
Refractive surgery is another treatment for astigmatism and it is a laser surgery for changing the shape of the cornea. There are different types and the doctor chooses the most suitable type.
So there you have it. Astigmatism 101 and sexy miss glasses. Right here
So who else is experiencing this? How did your diagnosis go and what treatment options did you choose?What are your own astigmatism 101 basics? Are you having any other eye related issues? How are you resolving and working with them? You all know i love hearing from you!
Let’s talk KQ Tribe. Join the conversation! Also don’t forget, sharing is caring so share on social media platforms. Thank you darlings!