Astigmatism is a common vision problem affecting about 1 in 3 people. This condition causes blurry vision both up close and far away due to a slightly misshapen lens or cornea.

Astigmatism is usually easy to diagnose and treat with either corrective lenses or refractive surgery.

Types of Astigmatism

Corneal astigmatism is by far the most common type of this condition. This astigmatism is caused by irregular curves in the eye’s cornea, which is the thin, clear covering on the outside of the eyeball. Astigmatism can also occur due to an imperfectly curved lens in the eye. This is called lenticular astigmatism. Both types of astigmatism cause light to focus in different places on your eye’s retina rather than in one focal point, resulting in blurred images.

Diagnosing and Treating Astigmatism

Astigmatism can occur at varying severities, though most cases are mild. Mild astigmatism is easily treated with laser eye surgeries like LASIK. Eyeglass or contact lens prescriptions can also correct astigmatism. You may suffer from astigmatism by itself, although the condition is often diagnosed in conjunction with nearsightedness (myopia) or farsightedness (hyperopia).

Astigmatism is easily detectable and will be discovered during a regular eye exam. You may suffer symptoms from astigmatism including eyestrain and headaches, though the most common sign is simply blurred vision. Astigmatism can occur from birth, though it can also gradually develop later in life.

Regular eye exams are the best way to ensure your astigmatism is properly treated. During an eye exam, we’ll test for astigmatism by checking your vision, measuring the curvature of your cornea and assessing how your eyes focus light.