Astigmatism is a refractive error, (like nearsightedness or farsightedness). It isn’t an eye disease or a health problem, rather it’s an error with how the eye focuses light. If your child has astigmatism, the light fails to come to a single focus on the retina of his/her eye. Instead, multiple focus points occur in front of the retina or behind it. Basically, objects are seen as blurred or distorted. In a recent study of 2,523 American children ages 5-17 years, more than 28% tested positive for astigmatism.
How it’s Caused
Astigmatism is usually caused by an irregularly shaped cornea. The cornea should have a symmetrically round shape, like a baseball. However, in the case of astigmatism, the cornea is shaped more like a football, with more distinct curves at the edges of the eye. Astigmatism can also be caused by the shape of the eye lens or overall shape of the eye
How it’s Detected
Astigmatism often occurs early in life, so it’s very important for you to schedule an eye exam for your child. The doctor can measure the amount of astigmatism your child has by shining a light into his/her eye while manually introducing a series of lenses between the light and your child’s eye. This test is referred to as retinoscopy.
How it’s Corrected
Astigmatism, like nearsightedness and farsightedness, can typically be corrected with eyeglasses or contact lenses. The prescription your child receives depends on the type of astigmatism and the severity of it.
Schedule an Eye Exam with Pediatric Eye Care Today
Pediatric Eye Care of Maryland takes your child’s eye health very seriously. With a full staff of highly skilled Ophthalmologists, Optometrists, and Orthoptists we’ve got ocular health covered. If you feel any concern about your child’s vision, have questions concerning eye health, or need information on the services we offer contact us today.
If you’re concerned that your child may have astigmatism, give our offices a call today. We’ll be happy to schedule an eye exam for your little one. With 3 board certified, fellowship trained pediatric ophthalmologists on staff, we can ensure that your child will receive the best care.