Learning More About: Astigmatism

What are common astigmatism symptoms and how is astigmatism treated?

Astigmatism Overview:

Astigmatism is a term to describe an eye condition that affects vision at all distances.


Marked by blurred or stretched out vision, astigmatism happens in eyes that inconsistently focus light images on top of the retina. The retina is the light-sensitive tissue at the back of the human eye responsible for processing images.

Astigmatism treatments include corrective lenses like eyeglasses or contact lenses and can also be treated surgically. Astigmatic vision is the most common vision problem, can develop in children or adults, may or may not be noticeable, and can only be verified by a qualified eyecare professional.

Astigmatism Symptoms:

Astigmatism symptoms are pretty easy to spot – eyes that feel tired or strained, frequent headaches, trouble driving at night, squinting, or blurred vision at near, middle or far distances.

Eye Diagram: Astigmatism

Astigmatism develops when the outer part of the eye (the cornea) has an abnormal curvature. This causes light to pass through the eye unevenly. That means the resultant light (images) within the eye land on the retina unevenly as well.

This causes vision to seem blurry or stretched. Astigmatism symptoms can appear in either children or adults. It is usually an inherited condition that you're born with, though certain surgeries or eye injuries can also create astigmatism.

Astigmatism Treatment:

Only an eyecare professional can accurately detect, diagnose and treat astigmatism. That's why it's so important to test children who may not know they're having a vision problem, and why routine comprehensive eyecare exams are vital to maintaining healthy vision and healthy sight.

Astigmatism treatments help the eyes focus images correctly on the retina at near, middle and far distances. This can be accomplished through prescription eyeglasses, contact lenses or in some instances, through the use of surgery that reshapes the cornea of the eye.

Each astigmatism treatment option has benefits and drawbacks that should be discussed completely with an eyecare professional.

The information seen here is for reference purposes only and is not intended as medical advice or to diagnose or prescribe any specific treatment(s). For all questions and concerns about your vision, eye health and potential eye problems, please consult an eyecare professional.

Special thanks to the National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health, for source material that aided in the creation of this website. Visit the NEI/NIH website.

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