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What is Astigmatism?

Astigmatism is a refractive error of the eye. The condition occurs when the normally spherical eyeball is shaped more like a football. Light reflects off the eyes lens and creates blurry and out of focus images. Astigmatism is found during a routine eye exam with an eye doctor.


Symptoms and Causes of Astigmatism


People with astigmatism experience blurry vision at all distances. People with this vision condition may also be farsighted or nearsighted. Common symptoms include:


  • Distorted vision
  • Eye strain
  • Headaches
  • Sensitivity to light
  • Squinting


The vision problem affects both children and adults. Astigmatism is usually hereditary, that is, you are born with it but it may also result from injury or after eye surgery. Premature babies and babies born with low body weight have a higher chance of being born with astigmatism.


Types of Astigmatism and Treatment Options


Corneal astigmatism results from an irregularly shaped cornea, while lenticular astigmatism occurs because of an irregularly shaped lens.

Astigmatism treatment options include:

  • Prescription glasses
  • Contact lenses
  • Ortho-K lenses
  • Laser eye surgery


Toric lenses are speciality lenses used to treat astigmatism. They are available as contact lenses, lenses for eyeglasses and intraocular lenses.


Get an Eye Exam to Check for Astigmatism


Your eye doctor does many tests as part of An eye exam. Your visual acuity will be checked using an eye chart, a keratometer will measure the curvature of your cornea, and a refraction test with a phoropter will find your eyeglass prescription.


If the optometrist determines you have astigmatism, he will prescribe you glasses or contact lenses to correct the problem and give you clear vision at all distances. Call My Eyelab today at 1-866-EYE-DOCS to schedule your appointment for an eye examination.


Eye Health Resources


Read about other refractive errors of the eye to learn more about common vision problems.


Myopia Equals Nearsightedness

Hyperopia Equals Farsightedness

All About Presbyopia


Astigmatism Resources


  1. American Optometric Association – Astigmatism

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