What is astigmatism?

Astigmatism is a very common focussing problem of the eyes. Many people who wear glasses have some degree of astigmatism. It occurs when the cornea or lens of the eye isn’t a perfectly rounded shape.

In people without astigmatism, the cornea and lens are curved by the same amount in all directions, like the surface of a football. In cases of astigmatism the eye is more steeply curved in one direction than the other – more like the shape of a rugby ball. This means that light entering the eye isn’t focused properly, creating a blurred image. Astigmatism can be easily corrected with glasses or contact lenses which will make your sight clear.

Much less commonly, astigmatism may be irregular meaning that the cornea is curved by a different amount in multiple directions or in different areas of the cornea. This type of astigmatism may be caused by an eye condition or injury to the cornea, and glasses may not correct your vision fully.

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