What You Need To Know About Astigmatism

Astigmatism is common and affects 1 in 3 people.

There are more than 3 million cases per year in the U.S. alone. The cause for astigmatism is a curvature of the eye that causes blurred distance and near vision. The cornea or the lens inside the eye would have mismatched curves being egg-shaped.

Symptoms to look for:

  • Blurred or distorted vision
  • Trouble reading
  • Extreme tiredness
  • Eye strain or discomfort
  • Headaches
  • Difficulty with night vision
  • Squinting

You should see a doctor if your symptoms interfere with activities you enjoy or your ability to perform everyday tasks. It’s often present at birth, and as children, they may not realize their vision is blurry. Children should have their vision tested while they’re a newborn, at doctor visits until they reach school age, and then once every one to two years.

What causes astigmatism?

The eye has two curved structures that bend light onto the retina. The cornea is the transparent front surface, and the lens is a clear structure inside the eye that changes shape to help the eye focus on near objects. In a perfect eye shape, the cornea and lens bend all incoming light equally to make a focused image on the retina at the back of the eye. If the cornea or the lens is egg-shaped with mismatched curves, light rays aren’t bent right, and two different images form. The two images overlap or combine, resulting in blurry vision. Corneal astigmatism is when your cornea has mismatched curves. Lenticular astigmatism is if your lens’ curves are mismatched. It may be current at birth, develop after an eye injury, disease, or surgery. Reading in the dark, sitting too close to the television, or squinting won’t cause or make astigmatism worse. Astigmatism may be present with other refractive errors, including nearsightedness or farsightedness.


Astigmatism is diagnosed with an eye exam. An eye exam includes a series of tests to check your eye health and for a refraction. All vision tests used to examine aspects of your eyes and vision are to decide the prescription needed for eyeglasses or contact lenses.

There are multiple treatments for astigmatism.

Treatments for astigmatism include corrective lenses or refractive surgery. Types of corrective lenses include eyeglasses and contact lenses. The lenses of eyeglasses help compensate for the uneven shape of the eye. Lenses make light properly bend into the eye and can also correct nearsightedness or farsightedness. Contact lenses can correct most astigmatism. Orthokeratology uses contact lenses to reshape the cornea and improve vision. Rigid contact lenses are worn at night while sleeping until the eye curvature evens out. The lenses become worn less frequently to maintain the new shape, but if treatment stops, your eye will return to its former condition and refractive error. Another way to correct astigmatism is by having refractive surgery. If you’re interested in this route, your doctor will evaluate you and determine if you’re a candidate for refractive surgery. Refractive surgery includes a few different variations of LASIK. Other types of refractive surgeries include refractive lens exchange and implantable contact lenses.

Be prepared.

Have a list of any questions, symptoms, and concerns you have and bring it with you for when you go to your eye exam. Your doctor will help you decide what route you want to take for treating your astigmatism.

Here’s a site with an astigmatism test you can take.

This test isn’t meant to prove you have astigmatism. If you have vision difficulty while taking this sample test, or if you have any symptoms of astigmatism, you should contact your doctor and make an appointment as soon as possible.

Lowqy Copy



(978) 932-7695

%d bloggers like this: