Astigmatism is common in children and, if left uncorrected, can lead to blurred vision and cause amblyopia or lazy eye
Astigmatism is known to be hereditary. Therefore, if you have astigmatism, there is a good chance your children will have it too.
Optometrist Bong Thze Thin shared: “Nowadays, many young people, even children, have astigmatism. Studies have shown exposure to screens increases the risk of having astigmatism.”
She continued: ”Early childhood screening by paediatricians or eye care practitioners is very important because children may not realise they have blurry vision, and they are unlikely to complain about blurred or distorted vision.”
Astigmatism is a type of refractive error that occurs when an irregular cornea or lens prevents light from focusing properly on the retina. It is a common vision condition which can affect people of all ages.
Bong added: “Close to 50 per cent of people in Southeast Asia have astigmatism, according to one study.”
Early childhood screening
She said that if astigmatism or another eye problem is found, see an ophthalmologist to get the proper treatment. Without treatment, astigmatism can:
- impact a child’s performance in school and sports
- and vision loss
“For young children, astigmatism should be treated or corrected with spectacle early because astigmatism can impact children’s quality of life if not addressed early.
“Reduced vision will impact their ability to see clearly, hindering their performance in school and sports. The eye condition may cause lower scores on language and literacy exams, affecting their overall communication and development,” Bong said.
It will also impact their ability to enjoy their childhood and appreciate moments in their life.
“Astigmatism can also cause amblyopia, which leads to reduced vision. If not addressed early, it would be difficult to be treated later in their life. This inadvertently will impact the choice of career in the future.
“For example, pilots and doctors require perfect vision (6/6). Thus, they cannot pursue these careers because they do not have perfect vision due to lazy eyes.”
Bong stressed that early and regular screening is important for all people of all ages to identify eye and vision problems and find the correct vision corrective solution and treatment.
“We always advise our customers, especially children, not to rub their eyes as much as possible. For digital device users, we will advise them to take frequent breaks between screen time, which helps relax the eyes.”
Contact lens and astigmatism
Toric contact lenses are specially designed contact lenses to address astigmatism. In addition to the regular short-sightedness corrective power, the special shape of a toric lens creates different refractive or focusing powers that can help correct corneal or lenticular astigmatism.
“Therefore, toric contact lenses are often the best choice for contact lens wearers with astigmatism.
“ACUVUE has a wide range of products for short-sightedness, astigmatism and even multifocal. The Oasys Toric for Astigmatism silicone hydrogel clear contact lens is an example of an ACUVUE product which provides all-day-long comfort and visual acuity for people with astigmatism.
“Johnson & Johnson Vision Care has provided us a wide range of ACUVUE trial lenses support which enables us to find the best fit for our customers.”
Bong established her Eyedeal Optometrist practice in 2010 at Bandar Puteri Puchong in the Klang Valley. She started with limited essential equipment to manage the customers’ vision problems.
“With the trust of our customers and their constant word of mouth recommendations, more customers came to us. Their continuous support enables us to improve our services by investing in state-of-the-art equipment to examine and address their eye and vision problems, value-adding to our services.” – The Health