Astigmatism and Your Eyes

Vision Correction

Quick GuideCommon Eye Problems and Infections

Common Eye Problems and Infections

What Is Astigmatism?

Astigmatism is a common eye condition that's easily corrected by eyeglasses, contact lenses or surgery.

Astigmatism is characterized by an irregular curvature of the cornea. This is one type of refractive error. Astigmatism occurs in nearly everybody to some degree. For significant curvature, treatment is required.

A person's eye is naturally spherical in shape. Under normal circumstances, when light enters the eye, it refracts evenly, creating a clear view of the object. However, the eye of a person with astigmatism is shaped more like a football or the back of a spoon. For this person, when light enters the eye it is refracted more in one direction than the other, allowing only part of the object to be in focus at one time. Objects at any distance can appear blurry and wavy.

What Causes Astigmatism?

Astigmatism can be hereditary and is often present at birth. It can also result from pressure from the eyelids on the cornea, incorrect posture or an increased use of the eyes for close work.

What Are the Symptoms of Astigmatism?

People with undetected astigmatism often experience headaches, fatigue, eyestrain and blurred vision at all distances. While these symptoms may not necessarily be the result of astigmatism, you should schedule an eye exam if you are experiencing one or more symptoms.

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