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¿Qué es el astigmatismo?

¿Qué es el astigmatismo?

Cuando una persona sufre astigmatismo lo que le ocurre es que la curvatura de su córnea no es igual en toda su área, es decir, tiene zonas irregulares. La misión de la córnea para la visión es sumamente importante. Es la encargada de refractar la luz necesaria para que la imagen que estamos observando se proyecte en la retina, y una vez allí, gracias a las células fotorreceptoras, la luz se transforma en impulsos nerviosos. A continuación, mediante el nervio óptico, estos impulsos se trasladan al cerebro.

Si se padece astigmatismo, al tener asimétrica la superficie de la córnea, la luz se refractará mal, lo que ocasiona que las imágenes se vean distorsionadas tanto de lejos como de cerca. La diferencia con la miopía y la hipermetropía es que estas suelen producirse por un defecto en el tamaño del globo ocular, y esto ocasiona que, o bien la imagen se proyecte en un punto anterior a la retina (miopía), o en uno posterior (hipermetropía).

La córnea puede tener la curvatura perfecta, pero al tener el ojo demasiado pequeño o demasiado grande, se producen igualmente fallos en la refracción y ocasiona mala visión. Una persona miope solo verá mal de lejos, y un hipermétrope, de cerca. Estos dos defectos no se pueden padecer a la vez, son excluyentes uno del otro, pero el astigmatismo es completamente distinto, puede ser el único fallo del ojo o puede darse junto con una miopía o una hipermetropía.

Como en cualquier ametropía, existen diferentes grados de afección, y no todos requieren de tratamiento. El astigmatismo muy leve puede ser asintomático, es decir, no muestra ninguna complicación perceptible y el propio ojo corrige el defecto de visión involuntariamente sin molestias para quien lo padece.

Si es más pronunciado, aparecerán síntomas como el dolor de cabeza, mareos y dificultad para enfocar. Según el grado estas molestias serán más o menos intensas. Para corregirlo existen varias fórmulas: lentes de contacto, gafas, cirugía…

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