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Does Astigmatism Affect Depth Perception?

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A young woman holding a pair of glasses in front of her, struggling to see

A regular eye exam schedule can do wonders for your overall eye health. Your optometrist can stay up-to-date with developing visual issues like astigmatism and provide treatment options that can help you manage the condition.

Astigmatism is an irregularly shaped cornea or lens that prevents light from focusing properly on the retina. This irregularity causes your vision to become out of focus at any distance. The visual distortion that comes with astigmatism can also result in poor depth perception. 

Let’s take a closer look at astigmatism, including symptoms, how to manage it, and if it can affect your depth perception.

What Is Astigmatism?

Astigmatism is a common vision condition resulting in blurred vision. It occurs when the clear front cover of your eye is irregularly shaped or because of the curvature of the lens inside your eye. 

Instead of having one round ball-like curve, the eye’s surface is egg-shaped and causes blurred vision at all distances.

Some common signs and symptoms of astigmatism can include: 

  • Eye discomfort
  • Blurred vision at any distance
  • Headaches

Astigmatism typically occurs with other vision conditions like myopia (nearsightedness) and hyperopia (farsightedness). Some causes and risk factors of the condition include a family history of astigmatism and previous eye injuries or eye surgeries.

How Your Eye Doctor Can Help

Your eye doctor can help diagnose and treat astigmatism through a comprehensive eye examination. Your optometrist will discuss and review your personal and family health history, your eye health, and any medications you’re taking. 

Testing for astigmatism involves measuring how your eyes focus light and determining the power of lenses you’ll need to improve your vision.

Some treatment options for astigmatism include: 

Through testing, your eye doctor can determine your updated prescription to account for astigmatism. 

Two images of a bridge, one representing clear and normal vision and the second image is blurry, representing what astigmatism looks like

Astigmatism & Depth Perception

Depth perception is the ability to see things in 3 dimensions and judge how far away an object is. You generally need to have binocular (two-eyed) vision for an accurate level of depth perception. 

The visual distortion caused by astigmatism can also affect your depth perception. Astigmatism that affects your depth perception can make it more difficult to judge how close or far away an object is. 

Poor depth perception can also cause non-visual symptoms like dizziness or nausea, so getting the right treatment option for your needs is essential.

Astigmatism is just one of the conditions that can affect your depth perception—other conditions that can cause depth perception issues include: 

  • Strabismus
  • Amblyopia
  • Nerve problems in one eye
  • Trauma to one eye

Aspheric & Toric Contact Lenses for Astigmatism

Aspheric lenses are designed to help address mild astigmatism. These specially shaped lenses are necessary to compensate for the unique curvature caused by astigmatism.

Toric lenses are used to correct high astigmatism and contain different prescriptions along the horizontals and verticals of the lens. These multiple prescriptions provide the balance needed to counteract the effects of astigmatism.

Your optometrist can help you manage both low and high astigmatism with aspheric and toric contact lenses.

Managing Your Astigmatism

Astigmatism is a condition that can cause blurry vision and subsequently lead to poor depth perception. Your eye doctor can help manage the condition through specialty contact lenses and prescription glasses to help you see clearly once again.

Book an appointment with our eye care professionals at The Eye Care Team to find the right astigmatism solution for you.

Written by Dr. Daniel Evans

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