Staying Open-Minded About Your Healthcare

When I was first diagnosed with breast cancer, I didn't know what I was going to do. After the devastation subsided, I decided to take a very standard, western approach to my healing. Although initial efforts were successful, my cancer recurred a few months later. I endured many additional months of treatment before I started focusing on myself. I decided it was time to incorporate complimentary alternative treatments into my healing regimen, including massage therapy. I can't even begin to tell you how much it changed my life. My healing became a process, instead of something I simply had to endure. I hope that the articles on my website can inspire you to stay open-minded about your own healthcare.

Is It Eyestrain Or Astigmatism?


Astigmatism is a common eye condition caused by a misshapen cornea that results in blurry vision. It shares many symptoms with eye strain and is often mistaken for that condition. Here's how you can tell the difference between the two.

Eyestrain vs. Astigmatism

Eyestrain occurs as the result of overuse of the eyes. You can develop it in a variety of ways such as using electronic devices for long periods of time, engaging in extended periods of reading, and attempting to see in low-light environments. It causes an assortment of symptoms to manifest including:

  • Blurry or double vision
  • Watery or dry eyes
  • Headache
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Pain in the neck, shoulders, and back
  • Inability to focus

Astigmatism, on the other hand, develops because the cornea in the eye is shaped like a football or the back of a spoon rather than a perfect circle. This causes light to refract in multiple directions in the eye, leading to distorted vision. Unlike eyestrain, astigmatism is only associated with a few symptoms:

  • Headaches
  • Blurry or distorted vision
  • Squinting

Additionally, you may develop eyestrain as a result of trying to focus on tasks or elements in your environment for long periods of time.

Eyestrain is a temporary condition, while astigmatism is a permanent one. If your symptoms dissipate after resting your eyes for awhile, then likely you are only suffering from eyestrain. If blurry or distorted vision persists regardless of whether your eyes are well rested or not, then you may be suffering from astigmatism. The only true way to tell the difference is to have your eyes examined by an optometrist or ophthalmologist.

Fixing Astigmatism

Luckily, astigmatism is an easily correctable condition that can be treated in three ways. The simplest two options are to get glasses or contacts. The lens of the glasses or contacts offsets the awkward angle of the cornea to focus the light in the eye. The main benefit of this choice is it's a quick and simple fix. The drawback is you have to make an effort to wear the corrective vision gear to obtain the benefit. Additionally, astigmatism changes over time, so you'll have to update your prescription regularly.

The third option is to get refractive surgery, also called LASIK. This procedure involves reshaping the cornea to correct the vision problem. The main benefit of this option is the effects are typically permanent, so you'll save money on buying glasses and contacts. However, this is a surgical procedure with all the associated risks.

To learn more about diagnosing and treating astigmatism and eyestrain, contact a vision specialist like one from Dixie Ophthalmic Specialists at Zion Eye Institute in your area.


20 May 2015