Astigmatism is a variation or disturbance in the shape of the cornea

Astigmatism is a variation or disturbance in the shape of the cornea.

When an astigmatic person looks at the spokes of a wheel, some spokes appear clearer than others. Because only parts of the image are correctly focused, distortion is caused at all distances.

Astigmatism is one of a group of eye conditions known as refractive errors. Refractive errors disturb the way that light rays are focused within the eye. Astigmatism often occurs with short sight or long sight, about half of glasses wearers have this added problem.

Astigmatism is caused by an unevenly shaped cornea (like a rugby ball). The uneven (oblong) shape causes the rays of light to focus on two points on the retina, causing distortion and blurring of images.

Common symptoms of astigmatism include

• Blurred or distorted images at all distances
• Headaches
• Squinting and eye discomfort or irritation

Eye tests and examinations will diagnose whether you have astigmatism and measure the severity. Astigmatism is shown on your glasses prescription in the box marked CYL. and is measured by the strength of a cylindrical lens needed to achieve correct vision.

Astigmatism can be corrected with glasses, contact lenses, refractive laser surgery and Implantable contact lenses.

Astigmatism can be corrected by soft contact lenses as well as hard contact lenses. Contact lenses for astigmatism are known as toric lenses.

It is worth discussing with a doctor the best form of correction or treatment for astigmatism to meet your needs and lifestyle.