How much do you really know about your eyes? Sure, you know if you have 20/20 vision or if you are blind as a bat – but what about eye conditions that exist in the ‘in between?’
The Twitter account @UnusualFacts6 deals with ‘the most weird and horrific facts on the Internet,’ and they just surprised many people with a weird fact about themselves they didn’t even know: they have astigmatism.
They did so with a comparison photo that ended up going viral. It showed the way people with normal vision see lights at night compared with the way people with astigmatism see lights at night.
I know that I have astigmatism because I wear special contacts for it, but I didn’t realize it was why I see lights like this when I don’t wear my contacts – so even I learned something new from this eye-opening post.
This is the post that went viral, comparing how people with astigmatism see light vs people with normal vision
Side note: It is very difficult to drive at night if you see light like this.
Astigmatism is a refractive condition that is caused when the front surface of the eye, known as the cornea, or the lens within the eye has unequal curves.
In a normal eye, the cornea and lens curve together to form a rounded shape. On the other hand, the cornea or lens on an eye with astigmatism form an egg-like shape.
The naturally rounded shape with equal curves is intended to refract incoming light so that a smooth and detailed picture is produced on the retina.
Without this perfect symmetry, the unequal curves prevent incoming light from properly bending. As a result, the individual sees a blurry picture.
You may suffer from astigmatism in one eye or both eyes. You may be born with the condition or develop it as you age.
In addition, there are two different types of astigmatism: corneal and lenticular astigmatism.
- Corneal astigmatism is when the unequal curves form in the cornea.
- Lenticular astigmatism is the result of the mismatched curves forming in the lens.
Both types of astigmatism result in blurry vision, although, it can change the ways in which you process the blurriness – either vertically, diagonally, or horizontally.
In most cases, this condition results in conjunction with another eye condition, either nearsightedness (myopia) or farsightedness (hyperopia).
There are a variety of other (not so fun) symptoms that can bother someone with astigmatism. Other common symptoms include eyestrain, discomfort, difficultly seeing at night, and even headaches (ugh!).
A doctor can detect astigmatism with a simple eye test – that’s how I found out I had it. There are a variety of ways to manage the condition and live a comfortable and normal life.
For instance, I wear special contacts designed for astigmatism and so while I’m wearing them I never even notice I have it.
On the other hand, I haven’t upgraded to the glasses for astigmatism, so I do notice the blurry lines at night when I wear my glasses. Rest assured, there are glasses for astigmatism available.
In addition, there’s always the option for refractive surgery to correct the problem.
Refractive errors, of which astigmatism falls under, are the most common eye issues facing all age groups.
The World Health Organization reports that refractive errors are the leading cause of visual impairments, along with the second cause of vision loss around the world. Plus, they account for 43% of visual impairments worldwide.
So, even if you are just now finding out that you have astigmatism, you are not alone -not even close! According to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, astigmatism impacts an estimated 1 in 3 people living in the US.
Slightly frightful fact: ignored and untreated refractive errors contributed to 6.8 million people around the world going blind in 2010.
Therefore, if you think you have astigmatism, or any other vision issues, make sure to see an optometrist ASAP.
Don’t let it get you down. Plenty of famous artists and other successful people have had eye issues in the past, as well as today.
Take El Greco for instance! The painter, sculpture and architect is well-known for drawing elongated figures in his paintings, which was argued many years after his death to symbolize how he saw the world due to his refractive condition.
Clearly, judging by the comments section, a lot of people were surprised to find out that not everyone sees a bunch of blurry lines at night!
As always, there were some haters and disbelievers…
But Unusual Facts shut them right down…