Beyond the Blur: Understanding Astigmatism vs Stigmatism

Your eyes are the windows to the outside world. However, typical eye health troubles can affect your visual health. So, Like eyesight problems, there are other common eye problems, such as astigmatism vs stigmatism. 

Both these eye troubles lead to blurred vision because of problems with image formation in the eye. Many people confuse them because of their similar clinical appearance. The conditions usually occur with other vision problems, such as nearsightedness and farsightedness. 

But what is the truth behind this? Is astigmatism or stigmatism the same? If not, what are the significant differences between them?

Let’s explore the details and discover what eye astigmatism and stigmatism are. Before this, make sure you take good care of your eyes no matter what. You can get the best eye care supplements from Wellnessporter to improve your overall vision.

Astigmatism vs Stigmatism

You might have heard about these two eye conditions and might be curious about their common differences. Let’s clear up this confusion for you. 

Astigmatism is basically ‘a stigmatism’. Yes, you guessed it right. Both astigmatism and stigmatism are the names for a similar eye condition. 

Both of the names refer to the refractive error that affects the image-formation property of your eye, resulting in blurred vision. So, you can use these terms interchangeably. However, astigmatism is the more common and understandable name for the condition. 

Now, let’s talk about astigmatism/ stigmatism and see how it affects your overall eye health. 

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What is Astigmatism?

Astigmatism mainly refers to out-of-focus eyesight no matter what distance. It is a common eye problem because of an irregular cornea or lens shape.

The cornea is the outermost layer of your eye, and if its shape is not regular, this can result in astigmatism. The cornea’s irregular shape prevents the correct entry of light into your eye and causes uneven focus on the retina.

In astigmatism, the eye cornea appears more like a basketball, and the problem often comes with nearsightedness and farsightedness. The condition can affect one or both of your eyes—the prevalence of astigmatism changes with age.

The condition can take a toll on your vision quality. So, ensure you take good care of your eyes and watch for signs of early detection and treatment.

Causes of Astigmatism

The cause of astigmatism is unclear. But your genetics are mainly responsible for such errors.

Many people can develop it later because of an illness such as keratoconus or injury. These problems usually appear with nearsightedness and short-sightedness. 

Symptoms of Astigmatism vs Stigmatism

Some of the common symptoms of astigmatism are:

  • Blurred vision
  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Dual vision
  • Eye strain
  • Squinting

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Types of Astigmatism

Astigmatism can be corneal and lenticular. Corneal astigmatism refers to the problem with the cornea, while lenticular refers to the problem with the lens. There are two types of astigmatism, including:

Regular Astigmatism

This is the more common type of astigmatism that occurs because of the change in eye shape. The eye appears like a football changing its regular basketball shape. It results in blurred vision.

Irregular Astigmatism 

Unlike regular astigmatism, irregular astigmatism is mainly caused by curvature problems in the eye. The outcome is similar, leading to blurred vision. 

Diagnosis of Astigmatism

The diagnosis of astigmatism is possible after a detailed eye examination. Your ophthalmologist can recommend the following tests to determine your chances of suffering from astigmatism. 

  • Refraction test – to find refractive error 
  • Visual acuity assessment test – to analyze how well you can read letters from a distance
  • Keratometry – for measurement of curvature

Treatment of Astigmatism

The treatment options for this condition are:

Vision Correction Lenses

Your doctor prescribes corrective lenses to improve your vision. This can help to improve your overall vision perception and help you overcome the symptoms of astigmatism. 

Glasses

Wearing vision correction glasses is the most convenient treatment method for astigmatism. Glasses act as a visual aid and are a non-invasive method of correcting your vision. You can wear them throughout the day and take them off while sleeping.

Orthokeratology

Another treatment option for astigmatism is orthokeratology or ortho-k. Some physicians may recommend you wear tough contact lenses for a shorter period.

These lenses are specially designed to work by altering the shape of your cornea. You wear these lenses while sleeping, and they help improve your vision.

Orthokeratology is for both adults and children. However, it works best for children because their eyesight is still developing.

Surgery

If you have severe astigmatism, surgical treatment is the only resort. These surgeries permanently correct the refractive errors. A variety of surgical options are available, such as:

  • Laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis (LASIK)
  • Epi-laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis (LASIK)
  • Laser-assisted subepithelial keratectomy (LASEK)
  • Photorefractive keratectomy (PRK)
  • Small-incision lenticule extraction (SMILE)

The surgeon uses tools or lasers to fix the refractive error during the surgical procedure. Surgeries are meant to modify the existing cornea in your eye and treat stigmatism or astigmatism.

However, refractive surgeries have complications, so follow your physician’s instructions regarding post-surgery eye care. 

Eye Care Tips with Astigmatism vs Stigmatism

Living with astigmatism can be difficult. But here are a few tips to take good care of your eyes and improve your quality of life.

  • Don’t compromise on lightning while working, reading, or watching TV.
  • Limit your screen exposure and wear anti-glare glasses to protect your eyes.
  • Adjust your phone size or text size while working. 
  • Make sure to take frequent screen breaks to prevent eye fatigue.
  • Take care of your eyes while you are staying outdoors. 
  • Visit your ophthalmologist regularly.

Bottom Line

Astigmatism is also a refractive error that occurs when the shape of your cornea or retina differs from the normal. 

The change in the shape of the cornea or lens results in poor focus of light in the eye and affects image formation. For this reason, people who suffer from this condition suffer from blurred vision. 

Many often confuse this with astigmatism and wonder if the two differ. However, the truth is that both astigmatism and astigmatism are different names for a condition. 

If you are diagnosed with it, then worry not; take proper care of your eyes, and talk to your ophthalmologist about a suitable treatment plan. 

What do you think?

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