This occurs when the cornea or lens is not spherical shaped. Light from an object doesn’t form on the retina, but instead at two separate points, causing blurred or distorted vision. Most people who wear glasses have some form of astigmatism.
What causes astigmatism?
Your cornea should be curved like the surface of a football. Astigmatism is caused by irregular shaped crystalline lens or cornea, and is often referred to someone having a rugby ball shaped eye.
In most cases astigmatism is present from birth, however it can develop from an eye injury. It can also develop after a complication of eye surgery or corneal scar.
Signs of astigmatism:
- Headaches whilst driving or watching TV
- Difficulty focusing on objects at any distance
- Regular eyestrain
- Tired eyes
In most cases the astigmatism can be corrected using prescription glasses or specially designed ‘toric’ contact lenses.
Laser eye surgery can also be used to correct astigmatism. The laser beams are used to change the curvature of the cornea.