Do you know what astigmatism is? A succinct post on Twitter sums up the common medical condition in two photos.
If this viral tweet from @UnusualFacts is to be believed, there are many people walking around with no idea they've been living with astigmatism their entire lives.
Viral Tweet Demonstrates Living With Astigmatism
The Twitter post showed two side-by-side photos of the road at nighttime with one of the photos displaying bright flares from the lights and the other without the flares. It supposedly shows how an eye with astigmatism sees the world compared to a "normal" eye.
Astigmatism is when the cornea is slightly curved rather than completely round..
With astigmatism, light focuses on several points of the retina rather just one point. This is what people with Astigmatisms vs without. pic.twitter.com/RXWWayFBRJ — Unusual Facts (@UnusualFacts6) March 25, 2019
As of writing, the tweet has more than 55,000 likes and 23,000 retweets. Plenty of people on Twitter reacted to the tweet, freaking out about finally understanding the way they've been seeing the world all their lives.
wowwww… artists with astigmatism who draw the world as they see it vs artists without astigmatism drawing the world as they see it,,, warring over which depiction is accurate when all along it’s been like this — the new designer (@hinatoes) March 25, 2019
Holy shit I thought everyone saw the lines, when I was litttle I would squint to make em longer to entertain myself, thought that was normal — Mi (@MamaKekkin) March 27, 2019
astigmatism makes it so hard to drive at night — Tama (@TamashiiHiroka) March 27, 2019
The Reality Of Astigmatism
The tweet may be intriguing, but is it accurate?
According to the American Optometric Association, astigmatism occurs when the cornea or the lens of the eye is irregularly shaped. As a result, light cannot focus on the retina and vision becomes blurred.
The photos on Twitter isn't quite the right way to see the astigmatism, though.
"Yes, it's possible that someone can see blur that streams off an object, but the way that the picture was created, it really looks more like glare of lights," Dr. Samuel D. Pierce, president of the American Optometric Association, explains to BuzzFeed News. "Astigmatism is not a source of glare, it's a source of blur."
Pierce says that people can more accurately take note of their astigmatism by simply looking at a full moon. There are many types of astigmatism, but people with any type will be able to see small and blurry ghost moons. It could be above and below the actual moon, on the sides, or at other angles.
It is true that there are plenty of people in the world who can relate to this condition. AOA reveals that most people actually live with a certain degree of astigmatism, but a very slight degree do not usually require treatment or affect vision seriously.