What Is Astigmatism?

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Astigmatism is an extremely common eye condition; in fact, most people have it to some degree. Learn more about astigmatism here and find out when to see your eye doctor if you think astigmatism might be interfering with your vision.

Symptoms of Astigmatism

Astigmatism occurs in eyes that are not completely curved. If your eye has any irregularities in its curve, light can’t focus properly on your retina, so your vision becomes unfocused and blurry. Slight astigmatism is perfectly harmless; however, more severe cases of astigmatism may result in difficulty focusing your vision, as well as related conditions like sore eyes and headaches.

Treatment for Astigmatism

Astigmatism is typically treated in the same manner as farsightedness or nearsightedness. Glasses and contact lenses can both compensate for your astigmatism, giving you clear vision again. In some cases, you may also choose laser surgery to repair your astigmatism, as long as you have otherwise healthy eyes.

When to See a Doctor

If you are already nearsighted or farsighted, your regular eye doctor will easily be able to determine if you have astigmatism as well. These conditions are often linked, and your astigmatism can be corrected with your prescription lenses. Continue to visit your eye doctor every 1-2 years, since all of these conditions can worsen as you grow older.

If you don’t already wear glasses or contact lenses, however, it’s still possible to develop astigmatism. Visit an eye doctor if you start suffering from headaches, or if you notice that your vision has grown blurry. Many people have an especially difficult time seeing at night. For older adults, it’s a good idea to have regular eye screenings to check for astigmatism and other eye diseases, even if you haven’t developed symptoms.

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