Can Astigmatism Get Worse?

Astigmatism refers to a vision condition that causes blurry or distorted vision. You develop this condition when light entering your eye goes out of focus, which is mainly because your cornea is more oval than round. This common vision condition is not like a disease but usually occurs with other refractive problems, such as farsightedness or nearsightedness. Astigmatism can be hereditary or may well be the outcome of pressure of the eyelids on the front of your eye, the vision disorder keratoconus, or some scarring or trauma of the cornea.

Can Astigmatism Get Worse?

In most cases, your astigmatism stays the same, but some people do experience their condition becoming worse over time. Though it gets worse slowly, you may definitely notice your problem becoming severe with age. Experts are of the view that people who move their eyes in a specific direction a lot are more likely to develop astigmatism – it happens when your job involves scanning columns of numbers or something similar. Moreover, people with lower socio-economic status who have poor diets are more likely to develop this eye condition.

It is important to point out that it is not always possible to identify the underlying cause of astigmatism. Sometimes, the causes are internal rather than corneal. Nevertheless, you should know that you are not going to develop astigmatism by sitting too close to the TV or reading in poor light.

What Makes Your Astigmatism Worse?

Can astigmatism get worse? Yes, it is possible, and there are certain factors that contribute to this vision deterioration. To understand exactly what causes your eye condition to become worse, it is important to develop a better understanding of different types of astigmatisms. The condition can be divided into two categories actually – regular and irregular.

  • Regular Astigmatism refers to an irregular shape of the eye. It means you may have a football shaped eye, and the causes are usually genetic.
  • Irregular Astigmatism refers to the problem caused by damage to the eye. It usually improves with surgery or contacts.

Whatever the type, you should take steps to avoid ocular stress because it can aggravate your astigmatism to some extent.

Causes of Ocular Stress

A number of stressors contribute to ocular stress. For instance:

  • Excessive Computer Use: So much time spent in front of your computer can cause ocular stress. Many jobs involve spending time in front of a computer screen, but you need to ensure that you take short breaks and focus your eyes on something else. Even if you do not get up and walk for a couple of minutes, be sure to take vision breaks at least.
  • Reading: Reading newspapers and books can also cause eyestrain, and the problem becomes worse when you also consider the role of electronic reading devices like tablets and digital e-book readers in your life. Spending the entire day in front of your computer is taxing for your eyes but you make matters worse by including digital e-book readers in your routine. You are not trying to relax; you are only trying to add to the eyestrain and stress.
  • Specific Jobs: You need to take serious care of your eyes when your job involves fine detailed work. Anything that you have to keep close to your face such as writing, reading, sewing, or even accounting falls into the category of detailed work. Too much of such close-up work can cause ocular stress.

What's more, you may end up making ocular stress worse by working in low light, watching TV in low light, not drinking enough water, or not having a balanced diet. Paying attention to these factors and correcting these issues may actually help improve your astigmatism.

How to Avoid Ocular Stress

Can astigmatism get worse? It certainly can, and ocular stress has a big role to play here. Here are some steps you can take to avoid ocular stress.

1. Try the 10-10-10 Rule

The rule is simple – take a short break of 10 seconds after every 10 minutes and focus on something 10 feet away. You can try it whenever you want – while reading, working on a computer or even doing any fine detailed work. If there is a window in your office, look at something 10 feet away after every 10 minutes of whatever you are doing for 10 seconds only. Make it a habit and you will soon notice some positive changes in your vision.

2. Blink

Unbelievably, people forget about blinking when they are too engrossed in doing something. This is especially true when your focus is on a computer screen. You have to understand that blinking helps keep your eyes lubricated. It also helps relieve some stress. Ensure that you have good lighting in the area where you are working on your computer. Moreover, be mindful of taking short breaks and keep blinking to prevent vision problems.

3. Eat Right

 Not getting enough nutrients may also result in vision problems. Ensure that your diet includes lots of vitamins and important nutrients to keep your eyes healthy. You can also take vitamin supplements to reduce ocular stress and improve astigmatism.

4. Use Humidifier

Your eyes are likely to become dry when you have a heater or air conditioner turned on in your room. This causes serious irritation in the eyes and even contributes to ocular stress. The best thing is to install a humidifier in your room to prevent excessive dryness. 

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