Astigmatism: Causes and Correction Options

Astigmatism: Causes and Correction Options

Having clear vision is something that many of us take for granted. We rely on our eyes to navigate through our daily lives, and any impairment can significantly affect our quality of life. One common vision problem that many people face is astigmatism. If you are experiencing blurry or distorted vision, it may be time to visit an eye doctor in Amarillo, Texas, to discuss your symptoms and explore possible correction options. At Balfour Optical, our dedicated staff is committed to providing excellent value and personalized care to help you achieve optimal eye health.

What is Astigmatism?

Astigmatism is a refractive error that occurs when the cornea or the lens of the eye has an irregular shape. Instead of being uniformly curved like a basketball, the cornea may resemble the shape of a football. This irregularity prevents light from properly focusing on the retina, leading to blurry or distorted vision. While astigmatism can occur alongside other vision problems like nearsightedness or farsightedness, it can also exist on its own.

Causes of Astigmatism

Astigmatism can develop at any age, and it is often present from birth. It can be hereditary, meaning that if a family member has astigmatism, you may be more likely to develop it as well. Other possible causes include:

1. Eye injury or trauma: An injury to the eye, such as a penetrating injury, can alter the shape of the cornea or lens, resulting in astigmatism.

2. Eye surgery complications: Certain eye surgeries, such as cataract surgery, can sometimes lead to astigmatism if there are complications during the procedure.

3. Keratoconus: This is a progressive condition where the cornea gradually thins and bulges forward, causing irregular astigmatism.

Signs and Symptoms

Astigmatism can present with various signs and symptoms, including:

1. Blurred or distorted vision: Objects may appear stretched or elongated, both horizontally and vertically.

2. Difficulty seeing at night: Poor night vision is a common complaint among individuals with astigmatism.

3. Eye strain and fatigue: Constantly trying to focus on objects can cause eye strain and fatigue, leading to headaches and discomfort.

4. Squinting: Squinting can improve vision temporarily by narrowing the opening through which light enters the eye, reducing the blur caused by astigmatism.

Diagnosis and Correction Options

If you suspect you may have astigmatism, it is crucial to schedule an appointment with an optometrist in Amarillo, Texas, for a comprehensive eye examination. At Balfour Optical, our experienced eye doctors will perform a series of tests to determine the extent and type of astigmatism you have.

1. Visual acuity test: This test measures the sharpness and clarity of your vision at different distances, enabling the doctor to identify any visual abnormalities.

2. Refraction test: By using a phoropter, the eye doctor can determine the precise prescription needed to correct your vision. This test helps in prescribing glasses or contact lenses.

3. Corneal topography: This test produces a detailed map of the cornea’s curvature, helping the eye doctor identify irregularities and assess the severity of astigmatism.

Correction options for astigmatism primarily involve the use of corrective lenses, including glasses and contact lenses. The prescription will be tailored to address both astigmatism and any other refractive errors you may have, such as nearsightedness or farsightedness.

1. Eyeglasses: Glasses with toric lenses are commonly prescribed to correct astigmatism. These lenses have different powers in different meridians, providing optimal vision correction.

2. Contact lenses: There are several types of contact lenses suitable for astigmatism. Rigid gas-permeable (RGP) lenses, toric soft lenses, and hybrid lenses are all viable options. The choice will depend on factors such as comfort, lifestyle, and the severity of astigmatism.

It is important to note that Balfour Optical, while not performing surgical procedures such as cataract surgery or LASIK, provides expert advice and referrals for such treatments. If you are considering these surgical options, our knowledgeable staff can guide you to trusted ophthalmologists specializing in these procedures.

Caring for Your Eyes

In addition to seeking professional eye care, adopting good habits for maintaining healthy eyes is crucial. Here are a few essential practices to incorporate into your routine:

1. Regular Eye Exams: Schedule comprehensive eye exams with an eye doctor near you in Amarillo, Texas, at least once every one to two years. These exams can detect any changes in your vision and catch potential eye diseases early on.

2. Protect Your Eyes from the Sun: Shield your eyes from harmful ultraviolet (UV) radiation by wearing sunglasses that offer 100% UV protection. This is particularly important in Amarillo’s sun-drenched environment.

3. Take Breaks from Digital Screens: Prolonged screen time can cause eye strain and fatigue. Follow the 20-20-20 rule: Every 20 minutes, take a 20-second break and look at something 20 feet away.

4. Stay Hydrated: Drinking enough water helps keep your eyes lubricated and reduces the risk of dry eyes.

5. Eat a Balanced Diet: Include foods rich in vitamins A, C, and E, as well as omega-3 fatty acids, in your diet to support healthy eye function. Incorporate leafy greens, citrus fruits, fish, and eggs into your meals.


Astigmatism is a common vision problem that can be effectively corrected with proper diagnosis and treatment. By visiting an eye doctor near you in Amarillo, Texas, such as Balfour Optical, you can receive the personalized care and attention you deserve. Our skilled staff will work with you to find the best possible correction option, whether it be glasses or contact lenses, to restore clear and comfortable vision. Remember to prioritize your eye health by scheduling regular eye exams and adopting good habits for maintaining healthy eyes. By taking care of your eyes, you can continue to enjoy the world in all its clarity and beauty.Bottom Image for Eye doctors office in Amarillo