Astigmatism is a common vision problem usually caused by an irregularly shaped cornea or lens within the eye. This causes blurry, distorted or fuzzy vision. Astigmatism can occur alongside myopia or hyperopia.

What Causes Astigmatism?

The exact cause is unknown; however genetics is likely to play a significant part. Astigmatism can be present at birth but can also develop later in life. You may be at risk of developing astigmatism if you have any of the following:

  • Family history of astigmatism
  • Family history of keratoconus
  • Scarring of the cornea
  • History of eye surgery such as cataract
  • If your mother smoked when she was pregnant with you

Symptoms of Astigmatism

Some people surprisingly do not suffer from any symptoms at all. The symptoms can differ from person to person and may include:

  • Blurred, fuzzy and distorted vision at all distance whether it near of distant
  • Poor night vision
  • Eyestrain
  • Squinting to make this clearer
  • Headaches
  • Eye irritation

Treating Astigmatism

Milder cases of astigmatism which cause no symptoms may not require any treatment.
Symptomatic astigmatism is most often corrected using spectacles and contact lenses, both of which non-invasive. Refractive laser surgery and orthokeratology are also options but are more invasive.

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