Astigmatism causes blurry, fuzzy or distorted vision that is usually associated with an imperfectly shaped cornea. Like nearsightedness and farsightedness, astigmatism is a refractive error, meaning it is not an eye disease or a eye health problem; it’s simply a problem with how the eye focuses light. Astigmatism is diagnosed by an optometrist and mild cases may be corrected by the use of corrective lenses, orthokeratology (where the corneal curvature is temporarily corrected by hard contact lenses) or in severe cases, by refractive surgery.
The symptoms of astigmatism vary from person-to-person. Some people might be asymptomatic (showing no signs of the condition) while others are symptomatic (showing signs of the condition). If you experience any of these symptoms, do not assume it is due to astigmatism. These symptoms may be caused by other, less serious health conditions. If you experience any one of them, see your physician.
- Blurred (objects appear fuzzy) or distorted vision (objects appear twisted or out of focus)
- Excessive squinting or closing of the eyes
There are several treatment options for astigmatism. If you suspect you have astigmatism, contact your doctor. Talk with your doctor about the best treatment plan for you. Treatment options include the following:
Corrective lenses, such as glasses or toric contact lens, are prescribed to offset the eye’s visual abnormalities or defects, such as excessive nearsightedness, farsightedness, or astigmatism.
To correct severe astigmatism, an ophthalmologist might recommend refractive or laser eye surgery which corrects the abnormal or irregular curve of the cornea. The surgery is an outpatient procedure (does not require a hospital stay) that is performed with local anesthesia.