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What is astigmatism?

This is an optical defect caused by an irregularity in the curvature of the eye causing light rays entering the eye to bend unequally, thus preventing sharp focus. Vision is typically blurred at all distances.

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What causes astigmatism?

Many people are born with an eye shaped more like a football rather then like a baseball, the normal shape of the eye. This oblong shape causes the resulting refractive error known as astigmatism. Vision problems caused by astigmatism can get worse over time.

How do I know if I have astigmatism?

Astigmatism is typically diagnosed during a comprehensive eye exam through a test known as a refraction. Symptoms of astigmatism include difficulty focusing clearly on objects that are both close and far away. Other symptoms include frequent headaches, eyestrain, and fatigue. If you experience any of these symptoms, you should consult your eye care professional for an exam.

Are there any treatments for astigmatism besides correction with glasses or contact lenses?

Many people with astigmatism may be candidates for procedures such as LASIK surgery (laser vision correction). Check with your ophthalmologist to determine if this option is right for you.

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