by Alison N. Haughton, MA
Astigmatism is a condition that results in blurred, unfocused, or fuzzy vision. The cornea (front surface of the eye) or lens (located behind the cornea) has an abnormal or irregular curve.
There are 2 common types of astigmatism:
The precise cause of astigmatism is unknown. It is often present at birth and may occur with nearsightedness or farsightedness. Sometimes, it may occur after an injury or eye surgery.
Factors that may increase your chance of astigmatism include:
Some people with astigmatism may have no symptoms. In those who do have symptoms, astigmatism may cause:
Symptoms vary depending on the extent of the astigmatism.
You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. An examination of your eyes will be done.
Tests to evaluate your eyes may include:
Treatment options may include the following:
Corrective lenses, such as glasses or toric contact lens, are prescribed to offset the eye’s visual abnormalities or defects.
To correct severe astigmatism, an eye surgeon might use special knives or a laser beam to correct the abnormal or irregular curve of the cornea.
There are 3 types of surgical procedures that an eye surgeon might perform:
There are no current guidelines to prevent astigmatism. See your eye doctor for regular check-ups.
Eye Smart—American Ophthalmology
National Eye Institute
The Canadian National Institute for the Blind
Canadian Ophthalmological Society
Astigmatism. American Academy of Ophthalmology website. Available at: https://www.aao.org/eye-health/diseases/what-is-astigmatism. Updated March 1, 2017. Accessed December 14, 2017.
Astigmatism. American Optometric Association website. Available at: https://www.aoa.org/patients-and-public/eye-and-vision-problems/glossary-of-eye-and-vision-conditions/astigmatism. Accessed December 14, 2017.
Mozayan, E, Lee, J. Update on astigmatism management. Curr Opin Ophthalmol 2014 Jul;25(4):286-90.
Facts About Astigmatism. National Eye Institute website. Available at: https://nei.nih.gov/health/errors/astigmatism. Updated October 2010. Accessed December 14, 2017.
Last reviewed November 2018 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Michael Woods, MD, FAAP
Last Updated: 12/20/2014