What is Astigmatism
Astigmatism occurs when the cornea can't focus light properly onto the retina.
This results in one seeing a blurry image.
The cornea is dome shaped and is located on the outside of the eye. It consists of a transparent layer which covers the iris, pupil and lens. The function of the cornea is to bend light so this light focuses onto the retina (at the back of the eye). From here special cells (photo receptors) detect the light and sent nerve impulses via the optic nerve to the brain where the image is formed and thus one can see the image. If the cornea is wrongly shaped, light is not bend properly and so does not land on the retina correctly (see image below) and a person with astigmatism will see a blur. Normally the shape of the cornea is spherical (like a baseball). However, in astigmatism the cornea is elliptically shaped, more like a football.
The amount and the direction of the astigmatism determines what the blur looks like. People with nearsightedness (myopia) or farsightedness (hyperopia) may see a dot as a blurred circle. A person with astigmatism may see the same dot as a blurred oval. The bending of light is called refraction and astigmatism is a refractive disorder.
Astigmatism is not a disease nor does it mean that you have "bad eyes."
It simply means that your cornea is improperly shaped.
What are the symptoms of astigmatism
- Image distortion or seeing blurry images at all distances.
- Headache and fatigue.
- Squinting and eye discomfort or irritation.
If you suspect your child has astigmatism: check if your child can see some part of a pattern or picture more clearly than others. For example, lines going across may seem clearer than lines going up and down.
Someone suffering from mild astigmatism may experience headaches, eye strain, fatigue or blurred vision at some distances. Severe astigmatism may result in having blurred or distorted vision.
Their are other eye diseases and eye conditions with similar symptoms so this does not necessarily mean you have astigmatism. However, if you experience one or more of these symptoms, contact your eye doctor for a complete eye examination.
Astigmatism can increase slowly. Regular eye care like eye exercises with Eyerobics can help to insure that proper vision is restored and maintained.
What causes astigmatism
Astigmatism is a very common condition. Some experts believe that almost everyone has a degree of astigmatism, often from birth. This may remain the same throughout life. Some experts say that the tendency to develop astigmatism (not astigmatism in itself) is inherited. Therefore some people are more prone to develop astigmatism than others.
Astigmatism can also be caused by problems in the lens of the eye. Small variations in the curvature of the lens can produce small degrees of astigmatism (lenticular astigmatism). In this case, the cornea usually has a normal shape. Infants, as a group, have the least amount of astigmatism. Astigmatism could increase during childhood, as the eye is developing.
Regular astigmatism can be caused by
- The weight of the upper eyelid resting on the eyeball creating distortion
- Surgical incisions in the cornea
- Trauma or scarring to the cornea
- The presence of tumors in the eyelid
- or a developmental factor
How is astigmatism diagnosed
Often a patient will seek treatment because he/she experiences blurred vision. A variety of tests can be used to detect astigmatism during an eye exam. An instrument used for diagnosing astigmatism is the Keratometer. This instrument measures the amount and direction of the curvature of the central cornea. A corneal topographer can measure a larger area of the cornea. It can measure the central area and mid-periphery of the cornea. One may be asked to describe what he/she sees when observing the astigmatic dial, a series of lines that radiate outward from a centre. People with astigmatism will see some of the lines more clearly than others. A keratoscope projects a series of concentric light rings onto the cornea. The areas of the cornea which are misshaped are revealed by areas of the light pattern that do not appear concentric. Because these instruments are only measuring the cornea, it is also important to bend the light entering the eye (refraction) in case the lens is also contributing to the astigmatism. The refraction measures the optics
or visual status of the eye and the result is the eyeglass prescription. Refraction is measured by looking at an eye chart. The doctor will put different lenses in front of the patient's eyes and asks which one looks better.
How can astigmatism be treated
Usually, If the degree of astigmatism is slight and there are no other problems like nearsightedness or farsightedness, corrective lenses may not be prescribed. When astigmatism causes eyestrain, headache, or distortion of vision, prescription lenses could be
prescribed. Eye glasses or contacts however, can make your eyesight worse as you are not exercising your eyes properly anymore. There are very effective alternatives like Eyerobics that help you regain your clear eyesight naturally without glasses or contact lenses or expensive risky surgery.
The corrective lenses which may be prescribed are called Toric lenses and have an additional power element called a cylinder. Normally, when a person blinks, a contact lens rotates. In toric lenses, it is important for the lens to return to the same position each time. These toric lenses have thin zones, or cut-off areas (truncated), or have other ways to rotate and return to the correct position. Toric lenses have greater light-bending power in one axis than in others. The lenses are shaped to counteract the shape of the sections of cornea that are causing the difficulty. Because the correction is in one direction, it is written in terms of the axis the correction is in. On a prescription, for example, it may say -1.00 X 180°. Cylinders correct astigmatism, minus spheres correct myopia, and plus spheres correct hyperopia.
Sometimes, even refractive surgery may be
prescribed too to try to correct some forms of astigmatism.
It is questioned whether people with very small amounts of astigmatism should be treated. Generally, if the patient can see reasonably clear and experiences no overt symptoms, treatment is not necessary. However it is advisable to use a Natural Vision Program like Eyerobics to prevent further astigmatism. An ophthalmologist may not fully correct the astigmatism when treating larger amounts of astigmatism, or astigmatism for the first time. The cylindrical correction in the eyeglasses may make the floor appear to tilt, thus making it difficult for the patient at first. Often, the lenses will be placed in a trial frame so the patient can try the prescription. It could take a week or so to get used to the glasses. As glasses or contacts do NOT improve eyesight but are merely an aid and because they make your eyes lazy and thereby making them weaker we strongly advice against the use of lenses before trying an eyesight improvement program like Eyerobics.
In 1997, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved laser treatment of astigmatism. In the case of keratoconus, a corneal transplant is often advised if the astigmatism can not be corrected with hard contact lenses.
The major risks of surgery (aside from the surgical risks) are over and under correction of the astigmatism. There is no cure for over correction. Under correction can be solved by repeating the operation. Also lasik is very expensive and can cause scar tissue. Scar tissue is a lot less flexible than normal tissue resulting in a bigger disability to adjust to different circumstances.
The natural alternative: How Eyerobics could help
Putting a rigid lens in front of your eyes, by means of glasses or contact lenses only addresses the symptoms of astigmatism. The cornea and lens of your eye is flexible. Glasses are not. This results in an over or under correction as these lenses are set to one or two focal distances. So if you look further away or closer by than this focal distance the lenses correct wrongly (they cause wrong refraction). Besides you not exercising your eyes enough, this too contributes to your eyesight becoming worse over time. Ever noticed how people with glasses need to get stronger and stronger lenses over time? So what is the alternative?
Your eyesight and movement of the eye is controlled by muscles. They effect the shape of your eye ball and the curvature of the lens and cornea. Astigmatism is often caused by stressed and weak eye muscles which can not do their work properly to shape the eye ball and the cornea. Wouldn't it make sense to get these muscles back in shape rather than using crutches like glasses? If you have a muscle injury elsewhere or you have not used your leg muscles for a while due to trauma or surgery, would you opt for a wheelchair, or would you go see a physiotherapist to get your muscles back in shape? Exactly the same counts for your eye muslces. Due to a lot of stress and constant seeing on one focal distance (lots of reading, computer work, etc.) the muscles or our eyes become fatigued and strained. We all know that to get fit you need to exercise, yet we do not apply this principle to our eyesight. No wonder our eyesight is getting worse! This is where The Eyerobics program can make the difference. It is a program of eye exercises based on the Bates Method. This is a well known method developed by Dr William Bates (an ophthalmologist) in the 20's.
The eye exercises are designed to address most eye disorders including astigmatism by improving the function of your eye muscles and at the same time relaxing them. The focus is on improving your eye muscles thereby enabling your eyes to adjust to the abnormally shaped cornea. Especially when astigmatism is caused by an abnormal curvature of the lens Eyerobics has been very effective in restoring clear sight.
"After four eye operations, 25 years in glasses and contact lenses, and still having problems I discovered Eyerobics.
In 2 weeks I started getting results and such clear vision that I removed my contact lenses and have never used them since. I made a visit to my eye specialist in Melbourne. I wanted an unbiased opinion so I didn't mention what I had been doing.
After he examined me, he told me my eyes were great and I wouldn't need glasses or contacts again. I couldn't be happier with the results, so simple and yet noticing each day the major improvements."
Tracey McIvor - Euroa, Victoria.
The program comes with a instructional DVD and accompanying information on the different sets of exercises. It is tailored to suit your eye conditon. You watch the DVD once or twice to familiarise yourself with the exercises. Then you do the exercises about twenty minutes per day. The exercises are easily incorporated into your daily routine. Often people do them while having breakfast or dinner or on their way to work. Then during lunch or a few minutes in between work duties. Twenty minutes is the minimum. Of course if you do them more often you could get faster results. Most people see improvement of their eyesight within one week!! Even people with very bad eyesight have benefitted from the program.
"I received Eyerobics dubiously, on Friday 14th May and I am marveled by the significant improvement in my eyes. I have not worn glasses since 4 days after that, although I have needed them to assist me in reading for the past ten years. Being such a busy person, I thought it would be impossible to take time out to do the exercises daily, but they are so subtle and simple that I find I'm automatically slipping them into all the appropriate situations. And that's enough!
It's amazing how consistent I am, mostly, I think, because I am now AWARE of how I am using my eyes and that makes me choose consciously to look after them. Why don't optometrists tell us this stuff? To experience something so easy and so beneficial to everyday life is wonderful. Furthermore, I have enjoyed showing the program to all who are cursed with glasses or contact lenses (and there has been) 100% keen interest in using it. My eyes thank you."
Graham Nock (51 yrs) Woodlands, Western Australia.
The accompanying information provides further reading materials on the subject, a pinhole glasses sample card, and the whole quality program comes with a
full 12 month money-back guarantee.
Bonus #1 = Email Support
Bonus #2 = Eye Testing Chart
Bonus #3 = Newsletter
Getting started couldn't be easier.
The cost of this program, (which includes the DVD and all the bonuses) is normally AUD $89.95 / EUR 53.95 / USD $89.95
Even though the price is extremely reasonable (maybe around the cost of a visit to an optometrist or even less), here's what's really important:
If this program was just another exercise program then maybe you could let it go past. But this is your eyesight - does it really matter what the price is? If you can retain or regain your natural vision, not have the inconvenience and discomfort of glasses or lenses, not have to undergo surgery and not have the embarrassment of ever-worsening vision, what is that actually worth to you? I can't put an exact dollar figure on it for you - maybe you can't either. But I can tell you that this program could very possibly be the best investment you'll ever make.