Can Astigmatism Be Cured?

Astigmatism is a condition where the lens or cornea of your eye is slightly misshaped and when light enters, it meets either above or below the retina.

what-is-astigmatism

What Causes Astigmatism?

Astigmatism can be caused by a number of things including the normal culprits of irregular vision, such as:

If you think of your eye as a muscle (which it is), if the muscle isn’t exercised, eventually it won’t function properly. The lens develops an irregular shape and the results can be seen in the above diagram. The light should meet right in the center of the retina.

What are the Symptoms of Astigmatism?

Symptoms of astigmatism include:

  • Blurred and distorted vision
  • Trouble focusing
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Squinting
  • Eye strain and headaches

If you experience a combination of the above symptoms it’s possible that you have astigmatism. In fact the odds are likely, as astigmatism effects more than 1/2 the adult population of the United States (including me).

When a doctor prescribes lenses for astigmatism, the lens will be cut at a slight angle (call ‘axis’ on your glasses prescription). This compensates for the angle that light is entering your eye, causing it to land, not above or below the retina, but right on it.

Can Astigmatism Be Cured?

Like all eye disorders, if they’re treated properly anything can happen if you decide it’s possible.

Once you understand the eye is a muscle and is responding this way because it’s being put under unnatural conditions, you can begin the healing process and strengthen your eyes.

You should get an additional pair of glasses without an “axis”. You should use the glasses with the “axis” prescription for driving and other times you must have sharp vision,  but the rest of the time it’s fine to use the glasses that don’t.

This is the first step to curing astigmatism – preventing it from getting worse. the more you wear the axis lens, the more your eye will learn that this is how it should behave.

During the times you don’t need your glasses, simply take them off. This gives your eyes the chance to relax and a chance to learn how to see properly again.

(A great place to get cheap, good quality glasses online is Zenni Optical. You can get frames and lenses for as low as $7.)

The first step is prevention, but there are a number of exercises you can do help stop the progression of astigmatism, and eventually even cure it:

Eye Exercises for Astigmatism.

Exercise #1: Ballooning: Ballooning is an eye exercise with activates your eyes’ internal muscles. Over time this leads to sharper vision, and will also help if you suffer from near-sightedness.

Performing the exercise is very easy and a modification of it (explained below) can be done discreetly anywhere:

Hold a pencil or other object at arms length and look at it. Slowly move the object closer to your face aiming for the area right between your eyes.

Track the object with your eyes, until the object is touching your face, or you begin to lose focus.

If you lose focus, stop at the last point it was in focus and move very slowly closer to your face, while trying to keep the object in focus.

Once you’ve gotten to the point where you can’t keep it in focus anymore, slowly move the object back out to arms-length, all while focusing your eyes on it.

Do this 30-50 times per session.

Alternative Method: An alternative and more discreet way of doing this exercise is to simply, look cross-eyed at your nose, stretching your eyes as far in as they can go inwards. Hold that for 5 seconds and then looking somewhere far away (more than 20 feet). Again, do this about 30-50 times, per session.

Exercise #2: The Clock: This is also an easy exercise that massages the muscles around the eye. It helps promote your peripheral vision as well as relaxes the cornea and lens.

To do this exercise, simply stare straight up, stretching your eyes as far as they can go. Hold for 10 seconds

Note: if you start to get dizzy, simply sit down while doing this exercise.

Then repeat while looking down. Then right, left, top-right, bottom-left, bottom-left, and top-right.

You’re looking to hit every angle of your vision.

To maximize this exercises efficiency, always move to the opposite angle from your previous one. Instead of going from looking up to looking right, look down, then right-left, etc. This ensures that you hit the full spectrum of your visual field and maximize the effectiveness of this exercise.

For a more through and in-depth program to help improve and cure astigmatism, click here.

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