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What is Astigmatism

Astigmatism is a common vision condition that affects the shape of the eye’s cornea or the lens inside the eye. In a normal eye, the cornea and lens have a smooth, evenly curved surface, similar to a basketball. This curvature helps to focus light rays precisely onto the retina, located at the back of the eye, resulting in clear vision.  

However, in astigmatism, the cornea or lens is irregularly curved, more like a football or the back of a spoon. This irregular shape causes the light rays to focus at multiple points instead of a single point on the retina. As a result, people with astigmatism experience blurry or distorted vision at various distances, both near and far.

Significant astigmatism can be treated with toric contact lenses, laser treatment and, for patients with cataracts, an intraocular implant.

Astigmatism can occur in combination with other vision problems, such as nearsightedness (myopia) or farsightedness (hyperopia). It is typically present from birth and can be hereditary. In some cases, astigmatism may develop after an eye injury, surgery, or certain eye diseases.

The symptoms of astigmatism can vary depending on the severity, but common signs include blurred or distorted vision, eye strain, headaches, and difficulty seeing clearly at night. Astigmatism can be diagnosed through a comprehensive eye examination conducted by your eyecare professional.