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Astigmatism occurs when the cornea is shaped like a football (more curved in one direction than the other) and often occurs in combination with myopia (nearsightedness) and hyperopia (farsightedness). This causes light to focus in more than one point on the retina, resulting in blurry and distorted vision.  It is a very common type of refractive error in the eye, and not a disease.

Light focuses in more than one point on the retina causing blurry and distorted vision at all distances
Symptoms of astigmatism:
  • Blurry, distorted vision at all distances
  • Straight lines appear wavy
Causes of astigmatism:
  • Heredity
  • Lid swelling such as caused by a stye
  • Corneal scars
  • Keratoconus
Diagnosing astigmatism:

The doctors at Karlik Ophthalmology can conduct a refractive evaluation to determine whether your eyes focus light rays exactly on the retina. A visual acuity test will determine your ability to see sharply and clearly at all distances.

Blurred vision created by astigmatism
Treatment of astigmatism:

Glasses and contact lenses are used by many for the correction of astigmatism. Special toric or astigmatic soft lenses can be used, along with gas permeable hard lenses for higher degrees of astigmatism. 

If you are about to undergo cataract surgery, a relaxing incision can be made to reduce the amount of astigmatism after surgery, thus making your distance vision clearer without any glasses.

Refractive surgery (LASIK or PRK) can correct most degrees of astigmatism, nearsightedness, or farsightedness. The doctors at Karlik Ophthalmology can work with you to determine if you are a candidate for these procedures.

Other types of refractive errors include: nearsightednessfarsightednessand presbyopia.