Correcting for astigmatism

I suffer from astigmatism. I see better at certain angles than at others, so if I’m not wearing spectacles that correct for it, the aspect ratios of everything I see is quite messed up.

It also results in massive parallax errors. When I was entering the wedding hall where I was going to get married the next morning, I was asked to cut a ribbon. And given that I was wearing contact lenses (which don’t correct for astigmatism) I ended up putting the scissors in a place where the tape didn’t exist, leading to much laughter among the attendees, and worries among the bride’s relatives that she was marrying a blind man.

It also leads to embarrassments on the cricket pitch, when you find that you can’t judge the ball properly in three dimensions, and you end up mistiming the shot, or dropping sitters. In this respect, I have great respect for men like Sourav Ganguly, Anil Kumble, Asanka Gurusinha and Sreesanth, all of whom play/played their cricket wearing contact lenses, which don’t correct for astigmatism.

I also think the measurement of astigmatism is quite unscientific. The doctor puts on a lens in various angles and makes you read the usual “DHLEN CTPALO.. ” chart. And asks you which angle makes you see it most clearly. When most angles look pretty much the same, you just end up making a random choice, which may not correct your actual astigmatism at all .

I wonder why they haven’t come up with a technique like making you compare lengths of lines in different directions, and inferring the angle of astigmatism based on what you say about these comparisons.

And if one such scientific method do exists, and it’s just my opthalmologist who’s not using it, I better change opthalmologists soon!

One thought on “Correcting for astigmatism”

  1. On measurement of astigmatism, I’ve always thought it’s a bit unscientific too.
    On a brighter (clearer?) note, J&J has come out with 15-day disposables which can be made to correct astigmatism. Obly, the added functionality comes at a price…
    Also, knowing the eye-chart by heart, have you ever tried to”cheat” on the test?

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