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11111 Kingston Pike
Knoxville, TN 37934

Monday 7:30 - 4:30
Tuesday 7:30 - 4:30
Wednesday 7:30 - 4:30
Thursday 9:00 - 6:00
Friday 7:30 - 1:00
Saturday Closed
Sunday Closed

Most people have heard of astigmatism and many have even been told that they have astigmatism.  If you are at all confused or unsure of what astigmatism is and what is means to your vision, you may want to read this.

The official definition of astigmatism is:  a defect in the eye or in a lens caused by a deviation from spherical curvature, which results in distorted images, as light rays are prevented from meeting at a common focus.

Ok, so how does astigmatism affect your vision and what can you do about it?  Astigmatism not only can blur your vision, it also distorts your vision.  If it is mild, astigmatism can cause a slight blurring of your vision causing the need to squint to clear up the images you are viewing.  If it is moderate or severe, astigmatism can significantly blur your vision and cause eyestrain and headaches if left uncorrected.

How should astigmatism be treated?  The common treatment for astigmatism is glasses or contact lenses.  LASIK can also be used to correct astigmatism.  Depending on the severity of the astigmatism, your options may be limited.  The good news is that with modern technology, we have excellent options to provide you with clear, comfortable vision, regardless of the severity of your astigmatism.

The first step to take to understanding your vision is to see your eye doctor.  After thoroughly examining your eyes, your eye doctor will be able to determine if you have astigmatism, the severity, the type (corneal or lenticular),and the treatment options which will be best for your individual needs.  If it is determined that you have severe astigmatism, your treatment options will be limited and it is imperative that you find an eye doctor who is skilled in fitting specialty contact lenses.  If contact lenses do not interest you, then make sure you choose the best lenses for your eyeglasses.  Your licensed optician will help you choose the best lenses for astigmatism.  There are many lens options available to you and it is important to understand your options.  If you choose solely based on price, you will most likely be disappointed.

Astigmatism is only one type of refractive error that can blur our vision.  The more commonly known conditions are myopia (near-sightedness) and hyperopia (far-sightedness).  Astigmatism can exist alone, or can be combined with myopia or hyperopia.  The more complex the refractive error, the more important it is to choose the right treatment options.  Our vision can be very complex and it is important to rely on eye care professionals to provide you with the best options.  

Bottom line:  Annual eye exams are not only important for eye health, they are also important to provide you with the best options for vision correction.  When choosing an eye doctor, do your homework and make sure you are choosing an eye doctor who will provide you with the best treatment options.  We rely on our vision every day.  Make sure your vision is the best it can possibly be.

Have you ever been told that you have keratoconus?  Keratoconus is a condition that affects the front surface of the eye called the cornea.  Many people who have keratoconus do not even know it.  In its beginning stages, keratoconus is very difficult to detect.  Your eye doctor can detect keratoconus in its early stages using a corneal mapping device called corneal topography.  Keratoconus usually presents in early adulthood and can progress as one ages.  It is important to detect keratoconus in its early stages and to see an eye doctor that is very familiar with the disease and treatment for it.

There are many types of contact lenses designed for keratoconic corneas.  In most cases of keratoconus, eyeglasses provide less than optimal clarity due to the warping effect of the cone.  By using specially designed contact lenses, visual acuity can be improved above and beyond what eyeglasses can provide.  Traditional soft contact lenses also fall short in acuity because they take the shape of the cornea and do not address the conical shape of the cornea.

A new procedure that has recently been approved by the FDA is called corneal cross-linking.  This procedure is used to slow down the progression of keratoconus in young adults.  Even after cross-linking, the keratoconus must still be addressed with specialty contact lenses to provide optimal vision.  Cross-linking does not reverse the effects of keratoconus, but rather slows down or halts the progression of the disease.

Keratoconus can be hereditary so it is important to stress the importance of regular eye examinations for family members of people with keratoconus.  If keratoconus is diagnosed early, the prognosis is much better.  It is important to find an eye doctor who is experienced in fitting specialty lenses.  Keratoconus contact lenses can be rather expensive.  Some vision plans provide very good benefits for "medically necessary" contact lenses.  

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