Eye Disorders / Diseases and Conditions > Astigmatism

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If you experience blurry vision, you may have astigmatism. Astigmatism is not a disease nor does it mean you have "bad eyes." Headache, fatigue, squinting and eye discomfort may indicate astigmatism. Most patients have some astigmatism.

Diagram of astigmatismWhat is astigmatism?

Astigmatism is an optical condition, variation or disturbance in the shape of your cornea or in the eye as it acts as an optical system. It exists when the front surface of your eye, the cornea, is not perfectly round. Instead of having equal curvatures like a round ball, it has different curvatures like a football or an egg. As a result, light is not focused in your eye in a point.

What causes astigmatism?

It is usually hereditary. It also may be the result of such factors as pressure of the eyelids on the cornea, growths on the eyelids; an eye disease called Keratoconus, or improperly fit contact lenses.

What is the treatment for astigmatism?

A comprehensive eye examination will include testing for astigmatism. Astigmatism can be optically corrected with properly prescribed eyeglasses or contact lenses. Other options are surgical that alter the shape of the cornea. Astigmatic Keratotomy (AK), photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK) and LASIK are the surgical procedures used.


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