What is Astigmatism?

Astigmatism is a common and usually minor condition that causes blurring of your vision due to a refractive error of the lens. If you have astigmatism it means that your cornea is irregularly shaped; more like a rugby ball than a football. If left untreated an astigmatism can also cause headaches, eye strain or tiredness, but it is easy to treat with toric contact lenses.

Quick astigmatism facts:

  • Astigmatism is a refractive error that stops your lens from focusing light rays sharply onto your retina
  • Astigmatism causes blurry vision and can also cause headaches, eye strain or tiredness when left untreated.
  • The best way to treat astigmatism is by wearing toric contact lenses or specially-designed glasses

The best contact lenses for astigmatism

Astigmatism causes

Astigmatism is usually present at birth, although in rare cases it can occur after an eye injury or operation. There are two main types of astigmatism:

  • Regular astigmatism: The cornea is curved more in one direction than the other
  • Irregular astigmatism: The curvature of the cornea isn’t even across the eye and can curve in multiple directions or be steeper towards the bottom

Astigmatism symptoms

The most common symptom of Astigmatism is blurred vision, caused by the refractive error. Other common symptoms include headaches, eye strain squinting and tiredness when the condition is left untreated.

Astigmatism in children

Because in most cases you are born with astigmatism, it is common for the condition to present in children who have this condition as adults. A simple eye test will identify astigmatism and your optician can advise on suitable treatments depending on your child’s age.