What is Astigmatism?

It is a defect in the curvature of the cornea or lens of your eye. Normally, the cornea and lens are smooth and curved equally in all directions. This helps lights focus sharply on the retina behind your eye.

If your cornea or lens is not smooth and properly curved, the light will not break properly (bend). Doctors call this a refractive error.

Fracture errors seen may include the following;

Close-sightedness (myopia)

Farsightedness (hyperopia)

Adults with astigmatism may find that their vision is not as good as it should be. Children may not be aware that they have this condition. They are unlikely to complain about blurred or distorted vision.

In a normal eye, the cornea and lens focus focus on the lights on the retina. An eye with astigmatism incorrectly focuses on light. Both near and far objects appear blurred.

What Causes Astigmatism?

Astigmatism is common. Doctors do not know why the shape of the cornea varies from person to person, but they know that the probability of developing astigmatism is inherited.

Astigmatism can develop after an eye disease, eye injury, or surgery. It is not true that astigmatism can develop or get worse by reading books in low light or sitting too close to the television.

Astigmatism Symptoms

Blurred vision or distorted visual fields

Eye strain


If you have these symptoms, it may not necessarily be astigmatism. You should visit your ophthalmologist and determine what causes your eye exam symptoms.

How is Astigmatism Treated?

The first choice for those with astigmatism is glasses. There are several options for people to regain clear vision;

Glasses: Contains a special cylindrical lens that compensates for astigmatism. This provides additional power in certain parts of the lens.

Generally, a single vision lens is recommended to provide clear vision from any distance. However, additional lenses may be required for patients over 40 years old.

Contact Lens: Some people have better vision with contact lenses rather than glasses. Contact lenses can provide clearer vision and a wider field of view. However, since contact lenses are worn directly on the eyes, they require regular cleaning and maintenance to protect eye health.

Standard soft lenses may not be effective in astigmatism correction. However, special toric soft contact lenses can correct many types of astigmatism. Since hard gas-permeable contact lenses retain their normal shape while in the cornea, they can compensate for the irregular shape of the cornea and improve vision.

Orthokeratology: Orthokeratology (ortho-k) involves the placement of a series of hard contact lenses to reshape the cornea. The patient wears contact lenses for a limited time, such as at night, and then removes them. People with moderate astigmatism can get a clear lens-free vision for most of their daily activities. Orthokeratology does not permanently improve vision.

Laser and other surgical procedures: Astigmatism can also be corrected by reshaping the cornea with LASIK or PRK. PRK removes the tissue from the superficial and inner layers of the cornea. LASIK removes tissue only from the inner layer of the cornea.

If you have an astigmatism, you have wide options to correct your vision problem. In consultation with your doctor, you can choose the treatment that best meets your visual and lifestyle needs.

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