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Celebrating a Bright Christmas with Astigmatism

Enjoying the holiday cheer despite the blurry atmosphere

Imagine this: It is your first time watching a light show with your family. But the moment it starts, the parade of colors and lights overwhelms you. Everything turns out fuzzy. So, as you try to adjust your eyes, you feel this strain that leads to a headache moments later.

It’s that time of the year again when everywhere you go is bright with flashing Christmas lights. However, for someone with astigmatism, your eyes register them differently. You might be wondering how the decorations look from a non-astigmatic viewpoint. But this shouldn’t divert you from the magic of this season! Read on to further understand this refractive error.

What is Astigmatism?

Astigmatism is a common eye problem. Having an irregularly shaped cornea or lens is a cause for this. For better visualization, it should look like the top of a basketball — dome-shaped. But, with astigmatism, it is more like a football. This irregularity affects and changes how the light passes in your retina. Thus, instead of reaching the right place, it extends to multiple focal points, leading to blurry, distorted, or haloed vision.

normal vs astigmatism eyeball

Festive Lights in an Astigmatic’s Perspective

Try standing in front of your lighted Christmas tree. What do you see? Are there beams? Do they also look like they’re shining as one? You may wonder why you see streaks or halos around light sources or why they become blurry. But don’t fret just like in every other situation, there is an explanation. Here’s the little science behind it.

In any dark or low light occurrences, your pupils dilate or become larger, letting more light enter your eyes. But as your eyes can’t bend light rays correctly, the festive decorations come out blurry, making light from Christmas trees have beams and parols look fuzzy. Thus, you see one whole light dancing as one instead of perceiving them as individual pieces. 

normal vs astigmatism vision low

Symptoms to Keep an Eye On

Some people experience the visual symptoms of astigmatism but may not be fully aware that they have it. Eyes here because this might be you! 

  • Eye strain or discomfort 
  • Eye pain
  • Blurry or distorted vision
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue
  • Trouble seeing at night
  • Squinting to see clearly 

Note that these symptoms may differ from person to person, depending on the severity. If yours is a more severe case, then astigmatism can affect your day-to-day life significantly. Some examples are the impact of eye strain and visual fatigue, which pose problems such as difficulty focusing on screens and seeing without glasses or contact lenses. You wouldn’t want astigmatism to get in the way of your traditional Home Alone binge-watch during the holidays, right?

Treatment is Possible!

If you see yourself agreeing or relating to the things above, you likely have an astigmatism. However, if you already know you have it and are here to learn more about your eye problem, read on!

As usual, if there’s a problem, there’s a solution. So, don’t worry because there is a treatment for this. You have three options — isn’t that good news? Opting for eyeglasses is one choice. The lens can correct and reduce your distorted vision. But if that’s not your cup of tea, you can choose toric contact lenses. They help to properly bend the light to reach your retina at the right place. As they are specifically for astigmatism, their shapes differ from regular contacts.

Oh — you’re probably looking for a more lasting solution, right? If you wish for something permanent, you can go for refractive surgery. LASIK or PRK (photorefractive keratectomy) are your surgery options. Through these procedures, as the laser reshapes your cornea for vision correction, it also helps correct irregularities that cause astigmatism. However, remember that despite it being the closest cure, you might not be a good candidate. You need to undergo tests and processes before your doctor gives you the go-signal. Thus, you should consult an expert before jumping into a decision. 

Seeing Better is the Greatest Present

Your Christmas can still be merry and bright despite the refractive error. Yes, you may celebrate the joyful season uniquely by viewing the cheery lights differently, but it shouldn’t spoil your fun. So, now is the time to add corrective glasses or lenses to your wish list for Santa. Or better yet, treat yourself by going to your nearest Executive Optical store to have your eyes checked for free! EO has a wide selection of eyeglasses and contact lenses. You’ll find a pair or two that could match your holiday outfit. Who doesn’t want to look good and see clearly, especially during this season filled with parties? 

Now that you have the basics down, you know what next steps to take. Remember to keep being the astig person you are, even with astigmatism. You got this!

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