Astigmatism is a common type of refractive error caused by an abnormality in the shape of the eye. People with astigmatism experience blurred vision at all distances. Glasses, contact lenses, and refractive surgery are all potential treatment options for astigmatism.

What is astigmatism?

Astigmatism is an imperfection in the curvature of the eye's cornea or lens. In a normal eye, the cornea is rounded like a sphere. People with astigmatism have an abnormally shaped cornea; one half of the cornea may be flatter than the other or one area of the cornea may be steeper than it should be. When light rays enter the eye, this irregularity prevents them from focusing properly on the retina, resulting in blurred vision.

Symptoms of astigmatism

Astigmatism causes blurred vision and makes it difficult to focus on objects at near or far distances. This type of refractive error can be mild or severe. When it is not corrected with eyeglasses or refractive surgery, astigmatism can cause headaches and eyestrain.

Causes of astigmatism

Astigmatism is a hereditary eye condition. It is a very common type of visual problem and often occurs alongside nearsightedness or farsightedness.

Astigmatism is caused by a corneal abnormality or lens abnormality. A normal eye is smooth and curved like the surface of a baseball; this perfectly shaped cornea will refract light in order to focus images on the back of the eye. Astigmatic eyes have an irregularly shaped cornea or lens. Light rays do not refract properly off an astigmatic eye, causing blurred vision.

Treatment of astigmatism

Astigmatism can be treated with prescription glasses and contact lenses or with laser eye surgery. Treatment is recommended based on a number of factors, including the degree of refractive error, lifestyle, and medical history. People with astigmatism should talk to their doctor about their treatment options.