Astigmatism Definition: What is Astigmatism?


What is astigmatism?

Astigmatism is simply a condition that means your eye is not fully round. Surprisingly, almost everyone has a touch of astigmatism to some degree.

A 'normal eyeball' is in the shape of a perfectly round ball. When light enters it, it bends evenly which gives you the clear view you typically have. However, if your eye is shaped more like the back of a spoon, then the light is bent in one direction more than the other. This results in only part of an object being in focus. So, objects at a distance may appear wavy or blurry.

An irregular astigmatism is a form of astigmatism which is far less common and is often linked to issues with your cornea, which is the front part of your eye. A common condition is Keratoconus. This is where the cornea becomes cone-shaped, rather than the normal round shape it should be.​

What causes astigmatism?

It is a totally natural condition and most people find they are born with it. The exact cause is actually unknown and since we don't know the exact cause, treatment varies depending on severity.

You can also get astigmatism after an eye disease, eye injury, or eye surgery.

There is a myth that circulates that you can get it if you sit too close to the TV or read in low light. This is untrue.

Are there any symptoms?

Symptoms of astigmatism include blurry vision. You may think your blurry vision is due to eye strain or fatigue, but it is a major symptom of astigmatism.

The good news is, it’s fairly easy to fix astigmatism with contact lenses, glasses or surgery. If you find you cannot see clearly, it's best to make an appointment with your eye doctor to source the problem and receive effective treatment.

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