Read more about What is Astigmatism?

Astigmatism is an eye condition where your eyeball is not perfectly circular like a basketball, but is shaped more like a football, resulting in blurry or distorted vision if you are not corrected.

Symptoms of astigmatism

While some people with astigmatism do not experience any symptoms, other people might experience any of the following:

  • Blurry or distorted vision
  • Eye strain/ irritation
  • Headaches
  • Tiredness
  • Squinting
  • Problems with night vision such as driving at night

It is possible that these symptoms are caused by another health issue or vision problem besides astigmatism. Please schedule an appointment with our eye doctor if you are experiencing any of these symptoms. During your comprehensive eye examination, you will receive a proper diagnosis and treatment plan based on the underlying cause of your symptoms.

Causes of astigmatism

In general, astigmatism is inherited and is a condition people are born with. It can also develop as a result of an eye disease, injury, or surgery. Astigmatism may be a result of keratoconus, a degenerative eye disorder that occurs when the cornea becomes thinner and becomes more cone-shaped.

Risk factors for astigmatism

Individuals of all ages, children to adults, can develop astigmatism. People with the following conditions are more likely to develop astigmatism:

  • Family history of astigmatism
  • Family history of keratoconus or other corneal conditions
  • Excessive nearsightedness or farsightedness as these can change the shape of your eyes

Types of astigmatism

Astigmatism can be classified into two types: corneal astigmatism and lenticular astigmatism.

Corneal astigmatism

In corneal astigmatism, the front part of your eye which is a clear, thin layer, is not evenly shaped. As a result, when light enters your eye, it doesn't bend properly, resulting in blurry or distorted vision.

Lenticular astigmatism

In lenticular astigmatism, instead of the cornea being irregularly shaped, it is the lens directly behind the cornea that is irregularly shaped, which produces a similar effect. A distorted or blurred vision occurs if the light goes through an irregular or uneven surface, resulting in blurry or distorted vision.

Treatment for astigmatism

Astigmatism can be easily corrected with glasses, contact lenses, or refractive surgery. A comprehensive prescription would contain three components. There will be a sphere power, and if you have astigmatism, you'll also have a cylinder and axis power to help you correct it. If you have high levels of astigmatism, you may benefit more from being fitted with specialty hard contact lenses to better correct your astigmatism, since glasses may not be the best option for people with really high levels of astigmatism. You should, however, always keep an alternate pair of glasses handy.

You should schedule an eye exam with our optometrists if you experience any symptoms of astigmatism so that they can properly diagnose you and and determine the best course of treatment for you, whether you need glasses, specialty contacts, regular soft contact lenses or toric contact lenses, or if you are qualified or a good candidate, they may refer you for refractive surgery. Learn more about contact lenses for astigmatism.

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