What is astigmatism?

Astigmatism is a common eye condition marked by an irregular curvature of the cornea. This type of condition is also known as a refractive error, and occurs in nearly everyone to some degree. If the cornea is significantly curved, the condition must be treated.

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 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.

What causes astigmatism?

Astigmatism can be hereditary and is often present at birth. It can also be the result of pressure from the eyelids on the cornea.