This is distorted vision caused by a variation in refractive power along different meridians of the eye. It may be regular or irregular. Most cases are due to irregularities in the shape of the cornea, but the lens may also cause astigmatism. Heredity may also play a part, and the error can usually be treated with the prescription of suitable lenses.
Astimatism is a condition related to the foregoing two, and means that the surface of the cornea, or window of the eye, is irregular, but along different meridians of light, usually at right angles to each other. On the other hand there may be a different irregularity. Vision may be blurred, headaches are possible, and sometimes school work suffers if the parent is not aware of what is occurring. Occasionally it is due to a distortion in the shape of the lens.
Treatment is effective in most cases very good results may take place. I might mention that a pronounced form of this is called keratoconus. An irregular cone, often like a bleb of fluid, develops on the front of the cornea, and grossly distorts vision. It can cause blindness.
Astigmatism is curable. In recent years with the development of eye transplant surgery, the defective cornea may be surgically removed and a new one put in its place. It is a delicate and very intricate operation. But it can restore vision by almost 100 per cent.
When I was a lad in primary school, I started to develop a keratoconus. As time progressed it worsened, so that I lost vision totally in my left eye. I travelled the world seeking a cure, only to come back home to Australia to find the world expert at corneal transplants at the time lived less than 15 kilometres from my home.
From a total visual loss in my affected left eye, following the operation I regained excellent vision. Now I still wear specs to correct it, but I can read perfectly normally. My new eye is better than my old eye. I can assure mothers that if this is their child’s problem, please be referred to an expert in this field. Having the vision tested will determine if corrective lenses are needed for better sight. Results are incredible these days. This is a major development on the world eye scene.