What is astigmatism?

Astigmatism is a distorted shape of the lens or cornea that contributes to blurred vision.  It is not a disease, it does not cause blindness, and nearly everyone has at least some small amount of astigmatism.

For example, take a look at the contact lenses below:

The contact on the top is “round” and “spherical”.  This would be a cornea with no astigmatism.

The contacts on the bottom are distorted and out-of-round.  These would be corneas with astigmatism.

Contact Lenses
two contact lenses

Astigmatism can make vision blurry because it disrupts how light is focused.  Astigmatism can be mild or severe, regular or irregular.  Most of us are born with at least some astigmatism.  It can change over time.  Also, astigmatism can occur due to anything that changes the shape of the lens or the cornea such as trauma, surgery, or disease (like keratoconus).

Astigmatism can be treated with glasses, contact lenses, intraocular lenses (during cataract surgery), and corneal surgery.

So, forget about astigmatism being a big hairy monster.  It is very common and we have many options to improve the sharpness of your vision.  Give my office a call, I’m happy to help.