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Astigmatism is a type of refractive inaccuracy in which the shape of the normally curved surface of the cornea is curved to different degrees in different areas. As a result of this abnormality, the light rays that enter the eye fails to converge at a focal point and instead comes to a focus at different focal points with a distance between them. This produces out-of-focus vision and the image formed on the retina is blurred. The person with astigmatism may perceive a clear image at one angle while attempting to focus on another point.
This abnormality can either exist from birth or may develop as the child grows. Injuries or certain eye diseases can also cause astigmatism. Both children and adults may be affected by this.
A complete eye examination is required to diagnose astigmatism. Different methods may be used, as follows:
Mild or restricted astigmatism does not require correction. The use of glasses and contact lenses may reduce but cannot cure astigmatism. With time, the condition may change and the requirement for new glasses or contact lenses may arise. Surgical correction is the only procedure that can almost eliminate or reduce astigmatism to a great extent.
The various treatment procedures available include: