Astigmatism of the eyes in adults: causes, symptoms and treatment

Astigmatism of the eye, the photo of which is depicted below is an unpleasant ophthalmologic disease that occurs not only in adults but also in children.

The essence of the disease lies in the name itself, which translates as "the absence of a focal point."

Causes of eye astigmatism

Causes of astigmatism are caused by a disruption in the optic configuration of the eye, which can be expressed either in the uneven curvature of the cornea or in the presence of a lens of irregular shape.

In general, this disease is an inherited visual pathology. Quite often it is associated with a congenital uneven pressure on the eye membranes of structures such as the eyelids, oculomotor muscles and the orbital bones.

In this regard, it follows that the ophthalmologist was examined as early as possible if one of the parents suffers from astigmatism.

In the case where the acquired astigmatism takes place, the causes of the occurrence are somewhat different. Most often, these are cicatricial changes in the cornea, resulting from eye trauma, operations on the organ of vision, dystrophic processes, and also as a result of corneal opacity or inflammation.

Symptoms and Diagnosis for the definition of astigmatism

Before talking about how to test astigmatism, let's talk about its manifestations.

The described disease is characterized by the development of asthenopia, which, as is known, is manifested by rapid visual fatigue and sensation of "sand" in the eyes. In addition, "intolerance" of glasses is possible, which necessitates frequent replacement.

Symptoms that characterize astigmatism, as a rule, are not very specific. In the early stages, the ailment is often manifested only by a small defocus of vision, which is usually taken for eye fatigue.

Patients are usually worried only if signs such as loss of vision, redness of the eyes with burning or pain, double vision in reading or working at the computer, and difficulty in determining the distance to the object appear.

Illustrative astigmatism photo can be seen below.

Diagnosis of astigmatism should, above all, include a consultation of an ophthalmologist. Only a doctor is able to correctly assess the status of such important functions of the visual organ in the complex, including both examination of the eye structures, and determination of the magnitude of refraction, as well as methods relating to indirect visualization.

The correct diagnosis is not as simple as it might seem from the outside. Due to the fact that traditionally used methods often do not give a complete and correct picture of the disease, diagnosis requires the use of special equipment.

This is especially true for young patients and children, whose defects in the optic system of the visual organ are masked by muscle tension, so that inadequate glasses can be assigned, which only aggravate the situation.

How to determine astigmatism with the help of visometry

The diagnosis of astigmatism can be made with the help of visometry.

Visometry, and to put it more simply, testing visual acuity, for a given ailment can be carried out by two methods: either without correction, or with correction.

In the case of visometry with correction, a trial frame is used, with one eye covered with opaque material, and before the other one in turn, cylindrical lenses with different refractive powers are placed, achieving the best visual acuity.

Check for stigmatism with

Another method by which a test for astigmatism is performed is a skiascopy. It consists in the fact that the patient is asked to sit on a chair and at the level of his eyes place a light source( usually a lamp).The doctor also occupies a sitting position 1 meter in front of the subject and is armed with a special device - a skiascope, which is flat on the one hand and concave with the other mirror. On this mirror, the optometrist directs the light source so that the ray through the pupil is on the eye bottom, which in this case begins to glow red. Then the doctor makes movements by a skiascope along the vertical axis, which causes a shift of the illuminated portion of the fundus to form an increasingly large area of ​​the shadow. His conclusions ophthalmologist does just the same in the direction of this movement.

Such manipulation with spherical, and also with cylindrical( astigmatic) lenses is carried out( this is called cylinder cylinders).

This is a rather laborious, but quite accurate method of diagnosis, however, it should be noted that in the course of its conduct with astigmatism of vision, it is often impossible to accurately determine the direction of the main meridians.

How to check the diagnosis of astigmatism by refractometry

Refractometry helps to give more complete information about the change in refraction, and therefore to provide a more accurate definition of astigmatism. This procedure is performed in the conditions of mydriasis( in other words, with the dilated pupil) and allows you to quickly obtain an accurate result, especially with minimal disturbances.

Refractometry is a completely objective way of investigating the refractive power of the eye. Currently, in ophthalmology, automatic refractometers are widely used in this study, the principle of which is to emit infrared rays reflected when passing through ocular media and recorded by the apparatus with subsequent software analysis of the data. In this case, the result is displayed on the screen, as well as printed out.

Testing for astigmatism with biomicroscopy and other methods

When deciding how to determine astigmatism, one should not forget about a method such as biomicroscopy of the eye. It is conducted to determine the possible causes of the disease( inflammatory or degenerative pathological conditions of the cornea).

This procedure allows you to view all the structures of the visual apple in an enlarged view.

Other diagnostic methods include ophthalmoscopy, used to exclude pathology of the fundus and vitreous.

A definitive result is provided by computer keratotopography, which allows to detect the presence and extent of the corneal form of the disease.

The anteroposterior segment of the organ of vision is examined during ophthalmometry and ultrasonography of the eye.

Astigmatism and the army: is the service contraindicated in this diagnosis?

Conscripts with a diagnosis of astigmatism, the army may be contraindicated. The truth is not for everyone and not in all cases. Everything depends on the severity of the ailment.

According to the requirements, the definition of refractive disorders of the eye in persons of conscription age is determined by a ski-ray or refractometry.

If the conclusion of a doctor based on these methods is the difference in refraction from the two main meridians of 6.0 or more diopters, then the service in this case is not exactly threatened. If this difference is from 4.0 to 6.0 diopters, the draftee is considered to be limited to fit for service, and with a difference of 2.0 to 4.0 D, it is a valid one with limitations.

Treatment of astigmatism: selection of glasses

The first thing to think about when deciding how to cure astigmatism is glasses. They are used widely enough, using special lenses - cylindrical ones, which help to correct the deficiencies in the optical system of the visual apparatus by increasing or decreasing the refractive force in one of the main meridians of the eye.

These lenses have their own characteristics in a particular patient. For patients with a combination of astigmatism and farsightedness, they look like a longitudinal slice of the cylinder, and for people who have astigmatism along with myopia, resemble the impression of the outer surface of the cylinder.

If the sufferer of this ailment does not tolerate glasses, for example, dizziness, eye and headaches begin to disturb him, this indicates either an incorrect selection of glasses or that the vision has changed and the glasses need to be replaced by stronger ones or weaker ones.

It should be remembered that if a patient has eye disease astigmatism, the selection of glasses is not an easy task at all, but if everything is done correctly, then no problems should arise with vision.

Treatment of astigmatism with contact lenses

In patients with astigmatism, the treatment can include correction with special contact lenses - toric.

The latter materials are made of the same materials as conventional ones, but they have a special design: their spherical cylindrical shape is meant.

It should be noted that there are both reusable and disposable lenses of a similar shape, which allow for correction of the disease up to 4.0 Dpt.

Advantages of this method compared to spectacle correction are obvious: using the contact lenses the best conditions for binocular vision( i.e., for both eyes) are created;with their help, optical distortions and a prismatic effect( when the head moves seem to move and objects), which arise when wearing glasses, are reduced to almost none;changes in the image of the subject on the retina, as well as changes in the visual fields in this case will be minimal.

However, the method has its drawbacks. For example, due to prolonged wearing of lenses, discomfort in the eyes, inflammation or even dystrophic changes in the cornea can develop. Sometimes the use of toric lenses leads to an increase in myopia, a change in the shape of the cornea and, as a consequence, to an even greater progression of astigmatism. However, if a person does not wear lenses for a while, the shape of the cornea is restored.

Eye drops with astigmatism

Quite often when deciding how to treat astigmatism, doctors prescribe to their patients various eye drops that improve blood circulation. The use of vitamin drops is especially useful. They improve the metabolism of the eye tissues, including those suffering the most from astigmatism( the cornea and the lens).

Of course, direct vision from the use of such drugs will not improve, but with their help you can achieve a suspension of the progression of the disease. But to improve the eyesight you can use "Taufon", "Emoksipin" or "Quinaks".As a rule, they are used in courses, twice or thrice a year.

Gymnastics for the eyes with astigmatism

In addition, how to treat astigmatism of the eye with medications and lenses can use another method to help cope with this disease - gymnastics, but not ordinary, but eyeball. Such charging helps to prevent muscle atrophy, and also improves the general condition of the visual organ.

Exercise should be performed with a regularity of at least 2 r / day, repeating each of them at least 6 times:

  • with closed eyelids move your eyes first up and down, then left-right;
  • first on, and then against the movement of the clock hands rotate closed, and then open your eyes;
  • blink very often for a minute;
  • focus on a 30 second look at the forefinger pointing to the bridge of the nose;
  • look alternately at distant and near objects.

There is a complex of exercises for the eyes, developed by the American ophthalmologist U. Bates. According to this author, one of the reasons why ocular astigmatism appears is the muscle tension of the optic apple, which is characterized by unevenness. Many of his exercises, he borrowed from ancient oriental treatises, stating that the power of the eyes is dependent on the general state of the body.

Here is an example of some exercises from its complex:

  • to make one hundred big turns of the head;
  • reading a small font to move the look between the lines combining this movement with soft blinks;
  • alternately turn your head and move your eyes between the lines;
  • for a minute gently and often blink.

Treatment of complex stigmatism with laser

As you know, you can completely get rid of the described ailment only by surgical operation. Astigmatism in adults is mostly treated this way.

To date, ophthalmic surgery is carried out mainly with the use of a laser.

Laser treatment of astigmatism can be carried out in a variety of ways. Perhaps the most effective, and therefore the most famous for today is the technique called laser keratomileus( or simply "LASIK").

In the course of this procedure, the surgeon, using a laser, separates the surface layer of the cornea and aligns its surface, and then places its previously removed upper flap in its original place. Thus, it turns out that a new lens is actually created under the protective layer of the cornea.

This technique allows minimizing the possibility of complications and reducing the postoperative period to 1-2 days. It's good to see patients begin in a few hours.

The more advanced technology of the operation described above is called REIC.Its distinctive feature is the evaluation of the optical characteristics of the visual apple, which allows to select an individual program of laser treatment and, as a result, to achieve the greatest possible visual acuity for a particular patient.

A similar method can be won, including, and complex astigmatism, the treatment of which by other methods can be difficult.

As a rule, after the operation, doctors recommend limiting the load, avoiding thermal procedures( baths, baths) for a while, and also not taking alcohol for at least a month.

To reduce the inflammatory reaction immediately after the operation, drops with dexamethasone are used. To suppress the infection, antibacterial drops are prescribed, and with dry eyes - moisturizers.

Prevention of ocular astigmatism

Prevention of astigmatism consists, first of all, in the alternation of visual loads with active( mobile) rest. After 20-30 minutes.work should switch to gymnastics for the eyes and give it an average of five minutes.

The measures aimed at general strengthening of the organism( for example, swimming or massage, etc.) will also be useful. A significant role is given to nutrition.