Astigmatism: Types, Symptoms, and Treatment

Blurred image of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Fransisco. Example of vision with astigmatism.

Were you diagnosed with astigmatism? You’re not alone. According to the American Optometric Association, most people have some degree of astigmatism. Astigmatism is a common eye condition that causes blurred vision. It often occurs alongside near-sightedness or farsightedness.
Astigmatism means the curvature of the eye’s cornea (front surface of the eye) or lens is misshapen, which disrupts the refraction of light rays. Eyes without astigmatism are spherical, while eyes with astigmatism are shaped more like a football. When light enters a spherical eye, it refracts (changes direction) evenly, reaching the retina at the same point. However, when light enters a non-spherical eye, it focuses on several retina locations, causing blurry or distorted vision.

Types of Astigmatism

There are five types of astigmatism, including:

  • Simple myopic astigmatism
    Light is refracted into two focal points: one before the retina and one on the retina. This occurs alongside near-sightedness.
  • Compound myopic astigmatism
    Light is refracted into two focal points, both of which are before the retina but at two different locations. This occurs alongside near-sightedness.
  • Simple hyperopic astigmatism
    Light is refracted into two focal points: one on the retina and one on a virtual point behind the retina. This occurs alongside far-sightedness.
  • Compound hyperopic astigmatism
    Light is refracted into two focal points, both of which are virtual locations behind the retina, at two different locations. This occurs alongside far-sightedness.
  • Mixed astigmatism
    Light is refracted into two focal points: one before the retina and one behind the retina. This occurs alongside near- and far-sightedness.

Common Signs and Symptoms of Astigmatism

Symptoms of astigmatism may vary from person to person, be sure to visit an experienced ophthalmologist if you experience any of the following:

  • Blurred, distorted, or fuzzy near, intermediate, and far distances
  • Difficulty seeing at night
  • Eyestrain
  • Squinting
  • Eye irritation
  • Headaches

How Can I Correct Astigmatism?

Astigmatism is diagnosed through a comprehensive eye exam, which may include a visual acuity test, a refraction test, and keratometry, which measures the curvature of your cornea. Mild astigmatism may not require treatment. However, more severe cases of astigmatism can be corrected using one of the following treatments:

  • Corrective lenses Your eye doctor may recommend eyeglasses or contact lenses to correct astigmatism. Contact lenses are convenient and comfortable to enjoy clear vision and an active lifestyle without glasses or surgery.
  • LASIK surgery Eye Specialists of Louisiana offer state-of-the-art bladeless LASIK surgery to improve your eyesight and eliminate your need for eyeglasses and contacts.

Eliminate symptoms of astigmatism and experience clear and focused vision with Eye Specialists of Louisiana. For more information, please call 255-768-7777.