Myopia (commonly known as short-sightedness) and astigmatism are examples of refractive error that cause blurry vision and, albeit the similarity, they are two different conditions. Both refractive errors affect your visual acuity, however, the difference is that myopia causes blurry vision of far away objects and astigmatism from any distance. Similarly, there are different elements, for example, causes and symptoms, that stand out when looking at the differences between myopia and astigmatism.
Let’s figure out how to understand these two types of refractive error which are fundamental to identifying them in time to save the wellbeing of your eyes.
What is myopia, and what are its symptoms?
Myopia, or short-sightedness, is a condition affecting people’s ability to see distant objects. It occurs when the length of the eye becomes too long, which causes light to fall short of the retina. This leads to blurred vision when looking at objects far away.
Some common symptoms of myopia include:
- Blurred vision or overcast of objects at long distance
- Squinting to concentrate on far off objects
What is astigmatism, and what are its symptoms?
Astigmatism is a condition that occurs when an imperfection in the cornea or lens of your eye causes light entering the eye to be scattered which causes cloudy vision. There are two main types of astigmatism; corneal and lenticular astigmatism. Both can affect anyone and at any age.
Some common symptoms of astigmatism are:
- Blurred vision at a all distances
- Visual weakness
- Two-fold vision
- Red eyes
- Squint to center
Myopia VS Astigmatism
The primary difference between these two conditions is that they are two distinctive refractive error, people with myopia will have blurred vision at long distances, while people with astigmatism will experience blurred vision at any distance. In any case, there are more differences between both conditions that incorporate indications and starting point.
The following are some of the key differences between myopia and astigmatism:
- Myopia occurs when the axial length of the eye is elongated. While for astigmatism, it occurs when the cornea or lens of the eye is not perfectly smooth and round as it should be.
- Myopia results in light entering the eye being focused in front of the retina. In astigmatism, light is focused on multiple points on the retina.
- Myopia usually develops between the ages of 8 to 14 years and can stabilize around 15 to 21 years old. Astigmatism on the other hand can happen at any age.
Treatment for myopia and astigmatism
Even though the difference between myopia and astigmatism is clear, both errors have the similar options for their treatment and rectification:
Glasses and contact lenses
Myopia and astigmatism have an exceptionally positive essential point: both conditions can be rectified. The most widely recognized approach to battle the manifestations of these conditions is using glasses or lenses that enable the individual to concentrate on any picture paying little respect to distance appropriately.
To utilize this conventional technique, it is essential to know the number of diopters that the individual has or is dependent on them to make specific lenses that correct the imperfection and enable light to frame on the retina.
Another type of corrective lenses for correcting myopia is used in orthokeratology (ortho-k). It is a type of rigid contact lenses usually worn at night during sleep to reshape the cornea.
LASIK medical procedure
Not all individuals need to wear glasses and contact lenses, yet some of them want to settle on an authoritative redress. In these cases, refractive surgery can be an option and the LASIK (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis) medical procedure is suggested. This laser surgery includes lifting the cornea to apply the same laser innovation and correct the deformity that is causing myopia, astigmatism, or maybe both.
If you experience any of the symptoms described above, do consult an eye doctor for an eye check up as soon as possible.
Related: Preventing myopia progression