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Astigmatism can throw your eyesight some unexpected curves -- literally. This type of refractive error is produced by irregularities in the curvature of the cornea, interfering with normal vision and complicating any other refractive errors you may already have. If your astigmatism is impairing your eyesight, it's time to seek solutions. Here at Franklin Family Eyecare, our optometrist in Somerset NJ is happy to provide the necessary astigmatism correction for Somerset, Hillsborough and Bound Brook residents.
Refractive errors (problems in the way incoming light is refracted and focused onto the retina for the creation of clear images) can occur for many reasons, from abnormal eyeball shape to the stiffening of the lens that leads to presbyopia. Astigmatism usually occurs in the cornea, although there is less common form called lenticular astigmatism that afflicts the lens. This transparent "window" over the pupil normally has a smoothly spherical shape. But in the case of astigmatism, small deformations make the contours less than perfect.
The deformations of astigmatism can leave your corneas with zones of nearsightedness, farsightedness or both, often producing different refractive issues in each eye. To complicate matters further, these deformations can run along a variety of meridians, or angles, on the corneal surfaces.
It might surprise you to learn that practically everybody has some degree of astigmatism. Many of these cases are so slight that the effect on eyesight is negligible. But when your astigmatism is distorting your vision, some form of correction is necessary -- and that's where our Somerset optometrist comes in. Dr. Josephine Ngong-Tawe can observe exactly how light is being refracted as it enters the eye and its effect on your visual acuity. If astigmatism is suspected, a device called a keratometer can reveal corneal irregularities, while digital topography produces a more precisely detailed "map" of the corneal surface. Our eye doctor can then add your "cylinder" (principal meridian distortion) and "sphere" (secondary meridian distortion) measurements to your corrective lens prescription.
Eyeglasses have always been the simplest means of astigmatism correction, but thanks to modern materials and technologies, they're by no means the only one. Specialized contact lenses can compensate for the irregularities of the corneal contours in a way that standard soft contacts often can't. For example, you can avoid the pitfall of soft lenses' tendency to rotate on the eye by getting toric contacts instead. These lenses are shaped so that they remain in one position, allowing them to correct specific areas of distortion on the cornea.
For some patients, LASIK surgery can also correct astigmatism by altering the cornea itself. If you decide to opt for this procedure, our eye doctor can co-manage its pre-operative and post-operative phases.
Don't let astigmatism get in the way of optimal eyesight any longer. Call 732-412-7328 to schedule an evaluation with our optometrist in Somerset NJ!