Eye cylinder or astigmatism (HOW TO CURE IT?)
In the text that follows, you will learn what astigmatism or cylinder of the eye is, what causes this condition, how to recognize the symptoms of astigmatism, and how to treat the cylinder of the eye. In addition, we will also talk about diagnosing astigmatism, natural treatment options, different types of astigmatism, exercises for the cylinder of the eye, and astigmatism in children.
Well, let’s get started.
In the simplest terms, astigmatism or cylinder of the eye is a condition in which the eye is not completely rounded. It is a more complex refractive error that needs to be corrected, and modern technologies have made lenses that have proven to be a very effective and comfortable method of correcting eye cylinder or astigmatism. Before you fully understand how astigmatism affects vision, it is necessary to explain what refractive error is.
What is the refractive error of the eye?
Refractive error is a physical abnormality manifested by a change in the size, shape, or curvature of the eye. Due to this abnormality, the light entering the eye is refracted irregularly, and as a result, vision is impaired.
Refractive errors can have different levels of damage, and therefore different levels of severity of the condition. Some people may have a minimal dioptre difference, and some dioptres may be drastically larger.
In order to better understand refraction, you need to know that when light enters the eye, it passes through the cornea itself and the lens where it is directed toward the retina. The cornea/lens refracts incoming light directly onto the surface of the retina and this is what provides us with clear vision. When a refractive error occurs, light is no longer focused directly on the retina, and the vision impairment associated with the particular refractive error occurs.
Astigmatism – causes
Most people are born with congenital astigmatism, but science still does not know why this is so and what is the main cause that leads to the appearance of the cylinder of the eye. Certain studies have shown that an eye cylinder can appear after an eye injury, surgery, or some other eye disease.
It is very rare for a condition called keratoconus to cause astigmatism because this disease causes the cornea to become thinner and cone-shaped. The cylinder of the eye cannot be obtained from reading in dim light, sitting close to the television, or looking at the monitor.
Eye cylinder – symptoms
Symptoms that indicate astigmatism are:
Blurred or distorted vision
Night vision problems
Astigmatism – types
There are five different types of astigmatism, and what they all have in common is that the light rays come together to form not one but two focal points and this creates a vision problem.
The first type of astigmatism is called simple myopic astigmatism or cylinder eye in which light is separated into two focal points, one in front of the retina and one on the retina itself.
Another type is called simple hyperopic astigmatism or cylinder of the eye in which the light comes to two focal points, but one is on the retina and the other is a focal point that is supposed to be virtual and behind the retina.
The third type is compound myopic astigmatism or cylinder of the eye where the light reaches two points, both located in front of the retina, but in two different locations.
The fourth type is complex hyperopic astigmatism or cylinder eye where light reaches focal points that should be in a virtual spot behind the retina but in different virtual locations.
Finally, the fifth type is called mixed astigmatism or cylinder eye where the rays come to two points, one of which is in front of the retina and the other behind the retina.
Eye cylinder – diagnosis
As with most eye conditions, the symptoms of astigmatism develop quite slowly and are sometimes difficult to recognize. You should definitely visit an ophthalmologist if you notice changes in your vision. In order to establish the diagnosis of an eye cylinder, a complete eye examination is required, during which the doctor will test the visual acuity, and with the help of special tools, he will measure the roundness of the cornea. You can schedule your appointment with an ophthalmologist here.
Astigmatism – treatment
In almost all cases of astigmatism, contact lenses or glasses are what should help, but if you have a mild form of astigmatism and don’t have any vision problems, you may not need either.
There are two types of treatment for the common eye cylinder:
Corrective lenses, which means contact lenses or glasses, and most likely your doctor will prescribe toric lenses that can refract light more on one side. If your form of astigmatism is somewhat more severe, you could get hard gas-permeable lenses during a procedure called orthokeratology. These lenses are also worn while sleeping and their main function is to reshape the cornea. Over time, as the cornea reshapes, you will need to continue wearing lenses, but not as often as at the beginning.
Astigmatism or cylinder of the eye can also be treated using refractive surgery, more precisely laser surgery that changes the shape of the cornea. LASIK is one of the most common procedures performed for astigmatism, and in order to be a candidate for this operation, you need to have healthy eyes, and no problems with the retina or corneal scars. An irregular cylinder of the eye is very rare, but it is generally associated with problems of the cornea, the front part of the eye, and one of the examples of irregular astigmatism is keratoconus.
During laser astigmatism surgery, a laser is used to remove a small amount of tissue from the cornea to correct the curvature of the front of the eye. In other words, using a laser, the eye is shaped to look more like a soccer ball and less like a rugby ball. It is precisely this that allows light to focus on the retina in just one point and thus provides perfectly clear vision.
Most people who have a cylinder of the eye and meet some basic criteria can undergo laser surgery, but laser surgery cannot be performed on people whose refractive errors are too large (too high diopters).
After a detailed examination, the doctor will tell you if you are a good candidate for laser eye surgery and which type of surgery is most suitable for your case. It depends on your general health, the thickness of the cornea as well as some lifestyle habits.
For example, lens replacement surgery rather than laser surgery is recommended for patients who are over 55 years old and have a cylinder eye. During lens replacement surgery, the natural lens is removed and an artificial lens is implanted that behaves identically to the natural lens and provides excellent vision at three distances.
Laser eye surgery is an operation with a very low percentage of risk and millions of people around the world have corrected their vision in this way. Technological advances in medicine constantly reduce the number of side effects and other possible complications, which is why this operation is among the safest.
Astigmatism in children
A large number of newborns are born with astigmatism, which usually disappears on its own after the first birthday. Children whose vision problems are not corrected may have problems in school, and this may lead to some other, wrong diagnoses. Considering that young children are not able to say that they have a vision problem, it is necessary to take them to a regular examination by an ophthalmologist as soon as possible, because in most cases some problems that can be solved in early childhood, if not treated, can later create bigger problems. You can make an appointment for an ophthalmological examination by clicking on this link.
Eye cylinder – natural treatment
Although eye cylinder cannot be corrected with natural remedies, there are vitamins that you should take that can help you correct some milder forms of astigmatism.
Vitamin A is otherwise excellent for maintaining eye health and should be taken in larger amounts if you have vision problems. Natural sources of vitamin A are vegetables such as kale, carrots, and pumpkin. In addition, there is vitamin B found in fish such as trout, salmon, or catfish, and eggs, beef, and chicken are great sources of vitamin B. Citrus fruits, rich in vitamin C can be a great addition to your diet for good eye health, and in addition to citrus fruits, you can find vitamin C in dark, leafy vegetables as well as in strawberries and peppers.
Exercises for eye cylinder or astigmatism
Believe it or not, astigmatism can be helped by exercises that will strengthen the eye muscles just like any other muscle in the body. In addition, these exercises will help you to:
- Reduce stress
- You strengthen and relax the eye muscles
How to do eye cylinder exercises?
Place your thumb above your nose at a 90-degree angle.
Move your thumb clockwise to the 12 positions, hold for 2-3 seconds, and return to the starting position. Follow your thumb with your eyes the whole time.
After that, move your thumbs to position number 1, also hold for a few seconds, and return to the starting position.
Move your thumb for all positions on the clock.
During the exercise, do not forget to breathe evenly and follow your breathing.
We hope that with this article we have managed to answer all your potential questions and doubts you had about the term astigmatism or cylinder of the eye.
We recommend you read below: Laser Dioptre Removal (EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW)
Bojan Kozomara (Banja Luka, December 30, 1978) is a Doctor of Science, Doctor of Medicine, specialist in ophthalmology, and the director of the special hospital for ophthalmology "Dr. Kozomara" in Banja Luka.
In his hometown, he completed both high school and medical school, and in 2009, he specialized in the field of ophthalmology. In 2021, he became a Doctor of Medical Sciences in the field of ophthalmology, and he honed his profession at the Clinic for Eye Diseases, Military Medical Academy in Belgrade, Serbia, and at the Oculistica Universita "Careggi" Clinic in Florence, Italy. After completing his specialization in Italy, he decided to return to his native Banja Luka and start a private clinic there, which in a very short time became popular and recognizable in the region, as well as in the world.