Health
A young girl getting an eye exam with an eye doctor in the background.
A young girl getting an eye exam with an eye doctor in the background.
A young girl getting an eye exam with an eye doctor in the background.

Astigmatism

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What is astigmatism?

Astigmatism is a type of refractive error that usually presents at birth. An abnormal shape of the cornea or lens causes two focal points in two locations, making objects up close and at a distance appear blurry. Astigmatism may occur at the same time as nearsightedness or farsightedness.


Symptoms of Astigmatism

  • Problems with focusing and seeing details at any distance
  • Blurred vision
  • Headaches
  • Eyestrain
  • Squinting

Diagnosis of Astigmatism

Astigmatism can be diagnosed during a general eye exam by:

  • A visual acuity test to measure vision at distances
  • A refraction test to determine the correct prescription for glasses
  • A slit-lamp exam to assess the structures of the eyes
  • Corneal imaging (mapping) to evaluate the shape of the cornea (corneal topography or tomography)

Treatment Options for Astigmatism

  • Eyeglasses
  • Contact lenses
  • Corneal based corrective laser surgery, such as laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis (LASIK) or photorefractive keratectomy (PRK)
  • Lens-based surgery using a special intraocular lens implant

Consult with your eye doctor during routine exams to evaluate your risk for developing astigmatism and to discuss any next steps.

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