Many people are unaware and confused about what astigmatism really means. It is not an eye disease, like some may think. But, rather a refractive error, like nearsightedness or farsightedness. This week’s article will explore this eye condition in more depth by looking at the most common types of astigmatism.
At our family eye care clinic, we see a lot of patients with astigmatism. It is something that can be developed in childhood, through an eye injury, eye condition/disease, or even a surgery. Check out our previous blog post – What Is Astigmatism for general information on this eye topic.
Types Of Astigmatism
Someone without astigmatism will have a smooth and evenly curved cornea; however, someone with astigmatism will have an irregular shaped cornea. This irregularity has an effect on how the eye interprets light. Instead of a singular focal point on the retina, someone with astigmatism will have multiple focal points. This causes distortion, which we call in the world of optometry a refractive error. Meridians are used in explaining the types of astigmatism. Yoursightmatters.com explains meridians as follows:
“The best way to understand meridians is to think of the front of the eye like a clock. If you made a line between 12 and 6 as one meridian, and a line connecting 3 and 9 is another.”
In essence, meridians are used to explain the multiple focal points that result from astigmatism. Check out Eyecarebusiness.com website for a visual representation of meridians and how astigmatism results in multiple focal points.
The Three Most Common Types Of Astigmatism
- Hyperopic astigmatism occurs when light is focused on two points, one on the retina and one behind the retina.
- Myopic astigmatism occurs when light is focused on two points, one on the retina and one before the retina.
- Mixed astigmatism occurs when light is focused on two points, one before the retina and one after the retina.
Check out this interactive video on astigmatism by All About Vision.
How A Regular Eye Exam Can Change Your Child’s World
I cannot stress enough how important regular eye exams are for children. Being able to see clearly ensures your child is able to develop healthy and happy. Unless parents are taking their children to their local Victoria eye doctors, children may be navigating a world that is unclear. Because they just don’t know any better! It is up to parents to ensure their children are seen regularly by an eye professional.
If you want to know more about how MSP covers children exams, visit our insurance page.
Do you need to book an eye exam for your child? Learn about the different eye exams we offer at Inner Harbour Optometry on our eye exams page. Once your ready to book, give us a call or easily book online with Dr. Sharma!