Can Astigmatism Go Away on Its Own?

  • Medical Author:
    Andrew A. Dahl, MD, FACS

    Andrew A. Dahl, MD, is a board-certified ophthalmologist. Dr. Dahl's educational background includes a BA with Honors and Distinction from Wesleyan University, Middletown, CT, and an MD from Cornell University, where he was selected for Alpha Omega Alpha, the national medical honor society. He had an internal medical internship at the New York Hospital/Cornell Medical Center.

  • Medical Editor: Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD

    Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.

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Ask the experts

Can astigmatism go away on its own?

Doctor's response

No. About 30% of all people have astigmatism. In the vast majority of those, the condition does not change much after the age of 25. The presence of astigmatism as a child or young adult does not signify that an eye disease will later occur. Progressive astigmatism can occur with corneal trauma, repeated infections of the cornea, and degenerative diseases such as keratoconus.

Many patients with mild astigmatism have no symptoms from this and require no treatment. If there is regular astigmatism and it causes blurred vision, the astigmatism can be compensated for satisfactorily with eyeglasses or contact lenses. If myopia or hyperopia are also present, the glasses or contact lenses can also correct that condition. If the astigmatism is irregular or of a high degree, glasses or a soft contact lens may not fully correct the astigmatism and a hard (rigid) contact lens may be necessary to allow the eye to see normally. Neither glasses nor contact lenses permanently correct the curvature abnormality.

Modern refractive surgery, which reshapes the surface of the eye with a laser, can also be used to reduce or eliminate the astigmatism. Wavefront guided LASIK or photorefractive keratectomy (PRK) can also reduce irregular astigmatism. Various considerations involving ocular health, refractive status, and lifestyle frequently determine whether one option may be better than another.

For more information read our full medical article on astigmatism causes, symptoms, and treatment.

REFERENCE:

"Visual impairment in adults: Refractive disorders and presbyopia"
UpToDate.com


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Reviewed on 10/10/2017

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