Astigmatism is an uneven curvature of the cornea that causes light rays to focus at multiple points within the eye, distorting vision. Astigmatism often occurs in combination with near or farsightedness.
Symptoms of Astigmatism
With astigmatism, the eye cannot focus clearly at any distance and will have difficulties seeing fine details. Objects with vertical lines, such as walls or buildings, may appear to tilt.
Normal Vision: Light rays pass through the cornea to merge and focus perfectly on the back surface of the eye, called the retina, producing clear vision.
Astigmatism: Because the cornea is irregularly shaped, light rays focus at multiple points within the eye and distort vision. The astigmatic eye cannot focus clearly at any distance. Astigmatism often occurs in combination with near or farsightedness.
Possible Causes of Astigmatism
Astigmatism is often hereditary, but may go unnoticed until the problem worsens with age. Other common causes include:
- Past eye surgeries
- Eye injury resulting in scarring of the cornea
- Keratoconus, a disease that distorts the shape of the cornea
Treatment of Astigmatism
Several treatment options can help correct an astigmatism. We’ll determine the right one for you. Some options include:
Visit the American Academy of Ophthalmology’s webpage on Astigmatism.