If you’ve been to your Denver eye doctor recently, you may have been diagnosed with “astigmatism.” Don’t worry; there are more than three million Americans dealing with astigmatism just like you. But what is astigmatism? As eye doctors for veterans, we want to make sure you have the best information possible, so here’s the inside scoop on this common condition.

Astigmatism means that your eye isn’t completely round. In fact, pretty much everyone’s eyes aren’t perfectly round. It’s only when your eyeball starts to look more like a football that it becomes a cause for concern. That’s because your eye works by bending light onto your retina. But when your eye has a dramatically different curvature, this light gets bent the wrong way. Only some of the light of what you’re looking at enters your eye correctly, meaning that objects both near and far are blurry and hard to make out. 

We know a lot of crazy things about astigmatism, but doctors still don’t know why different people have differently shaped eyes. We think it’s probably hereditary, but beyond that, we’re not sure. What we do know is that astigmatism can develop later in life if you receive any kind of injury to your head or eye, if you undergo surgery, or if you receive an eye disease. We also know that astigmatism can NOT develop or worsen because you try to read in the dark or sit too close to the TV. While you shouldn’t do that, it does not affect the shape of your eye!

If you’re wondering whether or not you might have astigmatism, here’s a handy guide to the symptoms of this condition. Still not sure? Then give us a call or come on down to your Colorado eye doctor and find out why helping veterans is our passion!