Astigmatism is a very common visual condition where the front surface of the eye (cornea) is not curved in the normal way. This can cause images to appear blurred and stretched out.
- Corneal astigmatism: Most corneas are shaped like a round football but in corneal astigmatism the cornea is shaped like an oval rugby ball. Due to this change, when light rays enter the eye, they do not focus correctly on the retina at the back of the eye. The result is blurred vision.
- Lenticular astigmatism is like corneal astigmatism but this occurs in the lens behind the eye, rather than in the cornea. In lenticular astigmatism, the shape of the lens is not perfectly curved. This causes images to reach the back of the eye (retina) imperfectly. Most patients with lenticular astigmatism have a normally shaped cornea.
Astigmatism can occur in children and adults. It is usually present at birth but it can develop after an eye operation or an injury to the eye.
The symptoms of astigmatism can vary in different people. Some people have no symptoms at all. Common symptoms may include:
- Blurred or distorted vision at all distances
- Squinting when trying to focus
- Eye strain when reading or using a computer monitor
If you experience any of the symptoms above, see your GP since some of these symptoms can be due to other healthcare conditions. If you don’t notice symptoms yourself, astigmatism will be diagnosed with a routine eye examination by an optician.
Prescription lenses or contact lenses can help to improve mild astigmatism or could help slow the effects of astigmatism. If your astigmatism is more severe or you want to reduce your need for glasses, you may want to consider other types of astigmatism correction.
At Circle Health, we can arrange a private appointment for you to visit a leading consultant ophthalmologist who specialises in assessing astigmatism. They will use advanced tests and devices to thoroughly assess your vision, and advise you about the astigmatism correction options that would be most appropriate for you.