What is an Astigmatism?

Astigmatism is a common vision problem and is usually caused by an irregularly shaped cornea. To illustrate what astigmatism really is, compare an egg to a ping-pong ball, or a football to a basketball. Because they are not perfectly round, the egg and football have lots of astigmatism, whereas the ping-pong ball and the basketball have none.

Similarly, two round surfaces in the eye are responsible for focusing light: the clear outer window of the eye called the cornea and the lens, which resides just behind the colored part of the eye (the iris). If one or both of these surfaces are NOT perfectly spherical or round, we say that astigmatism is present.

ASTIGMATISM may cause:

  • distortion
  • blurred vision
  • eyestrain
  • headaches

Small amounts of astigmatism can be ignored, but if any of its symptoms are present, astigmatism can be corrected by glasses or contact lenses.

Astigmatism and Cataract Surgery

Cataract surgery by itself will not correct astigmatism. For more information on cataracts, please see our our article “Cataracts and Your Vision“.




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