Understanding astigmatism

There’s a good chance you’ve heard of astigmatism before. It’s a common eye condition that causes blurred vision, discomfort in your eyes and headaches.

What's the cause?

An irregular shaped cornea or lens. In most cases, a cornea is perfectly round in shape – like a soccer ball. This means light can bend and focus on the retina in just the right place, helping you to see clearly.

If you have astigmatism, the cornea may be more oval shaped – like a rugby ball – causing the light to bend differently. This results in what’s called a ‘blur circle’, which makes it tough to focus on objects in the distance (and sometimes up close as well).

What are the symptoms?

  • Blurred, distorted or ‘double vision'
  • Fatigue and eye strain
  • Headaches
  • Short-sightedness (myopia) or long-sightedness (hyperopia).

What does vision with astigmatism look like?

Click and drag the image below to see how astigmatism can affect your vision.

How can you treat it?

The good news is astigmatism is easy to diagnose during a routine eye test and rest assured, it’s also easy to correct with glasses or contact lenses and in some cases laser surgery. Your optometrist will recommend the best option for you.

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