Can astigmatism get worse? What causes it?
Nearly one in three people have some form of mild astigmatism. Astigmatism is a common refractive error that stems from irregularly shaped corneas. Astigmatism may be congenital or may develop after sustaining an injury or disease in the eyes. It cannot be caused or worsened by other behavioural factors, such as reading in low light or using a smartphone or tablet in the dark.
Due to the irregular shape of your eye, it has difficulty refracting light into focus on the surface of the retina, and consequently results in blurred vision. Unlike other refractive errors, like nearsightedness or farsightedness, which usually occur when the length of the eyes is longer or shorter than normal, refractive error due to astigmatism can be corrected by refracting light in a specific direction.
Can you wear contacts with astigmatism? To correct this kind of refractive error, regular soft lenses won’t cut it, since they are not able to compensate for the irregular shape of the corneas, and thus do not refract light in a specific direction. To account for this, a specific kind of soft contact lens was developed, toric contact lenses for astigmatism, so that people with astigmatism can have the choice of wearing contact lenses to correct their vision. Toric lenses are specifically designed to compensate for the shape of the corneas and refract light onto the retinas from a specific direction. Because of this, there is a specific way you must learn how to put in astigmatism contacts.
Can astigmatism get worse?
Just like other parts of our bodies, over time, our eyes grow and change. As our eyes develop, any refractive errors we may have in our eyes can get better or worse over time. It’s important to keep tabs on the severity of your astigmatism, so you should try to schedule regular eye exams with your OD. We recommend scheduling a visit once a year to keep your prescription up to date.
What causes astigmatism to worsen?
There are several factors that your eye doctor will probably take into consideration for any changes you may experience in the severity of your astigmatism. If you have keratoconus, for instance, this may contribute to progression in the severity of your astigmatism. Keratoconus is an uncommon condition caused by narrow, pyramid-shaped corneas, which can get worse as you age.
Does astigmatism get worse with age?
As we age, astigmatism tends to become increasingly severe: the corneas can become increasingly irregular, and you may notice changes in your prescription frequently from one eye exam to the next.
Depending on the severity of your astigmatism, your eye doctor may recommend different treatment options to correct your vision. For milder cases of astigmatism, your doctor may prescribe the use of corrective lenses like Acuvue Oasys for astigmatism or Biofinity Toric to improve your vision. For more severe cases of astigmatism, your doctor may prescribe the use of rigid gas permeable lenses, or even surgery.