What is Astigmatism?
Astigmatism is a condition that causes distorting or blurred vision due to the irregular shape of the cornea. When light rays enter the eye they do not focus correctly on the retina, resulting in a blurred image. Astigmatism may also be caused by an irregularly shaped lens, which is located behind the cornea. Light has to be bent (refracted) by the lens and the cornea correctly before it reaches the retina in order to see things clearly.
How is Astigmatism Treated?
Your eye care professional can diagnose astigmatism with a thorough eye exam. Astigmatism often occurs with other conditions such as myopia (nearsightedness) and hyperopia (farsightedness). Because astigmatisms may increase slowly, you should visit your eye care professional whenever you notice a significant change in your vision.
How is Astigmatism Diagnosed?
Almost all degrees of astigmatism can be corrected with properly prescribed eyeglasses or contact lenses. For a person with only a small degree of astigmatism, corrective lenses may not be required at all, as long as other conditions such as nearsightedness or farsightedness are not present. If the astigmatism is moderate to high, however, corrective lenses are probably needed.