Astigmatism: Causes, Symptoms & Test

Astigmatism affects nearly 33% of the population in the U.S. That’s a staggering number to consider. Thankfully, it’s a highly treatable condition despite it being commonplace. For years now, people with astigmatism have sought out refractive surgery as a safe and effective way to treat their condition. Learn what stigmatism is, the causes and symptoms before seeking a long-lasting solution. Take the astigmatism test if you are experiencing any symptoms.

What Is Astigmatism?

Simply put, astigmatism is a condition that signifies that an eye is not completely round. Normal eyeballs are almost a perfect sphere, allowing light to effectively enter and bend. However, if you have an abnormally shaped eye, the light that enters gets skewed to a degree, which can lead to blurry vision or other vision problems. More often than not, your vision will become partially blurry. Thankfully, there are several cost-efficient and effective solutions for astigmatism, including LASIK surgery, eyeglasses, and contact lenses.

What Causes Astigmatism?

The causes of astigmatism are widely unknown. It is known, however, that it’s a naturally occurring condition that many people are born with. Astigmatism can also be caused by a wide variety of other factors, including eye injuries, related surgeries, and diseases. No matter the cause, astigmatism can easily be corrected through advanced procedures and corrective lenses.

What Are the Symptoms?

Blurry vision is perhaps the most prominent symptom of astigmatism. Eye strain has also been attributed to the condition, but more often than not, your astigmatism will not cause you discomfort. If you experience blurry vision, we recommend receiving an eye exam from an experienced eye doctor. However, if you have other vision problems, we strongly advise you to receive a proper eye exam to get a better understanding of the condition of your eyes.

Astigmatism Test

If you think you are suffering from astigmatism, here are a few ways you can know for sure before going to your doctor for an official astigmatism test.

  1. Put on your glasses or contacts if you wear them
  2. Sit a foot away (12 inches) away from your computer screen
  3. Google search an astigmatism chart (it should have a lot of lines going in a circle)
  4. Cover one of your eyes with your hand
  5. Do you see sharp lines?
  6. Test your other eye

All lines should appear equally dark to you. If you see a variety of light blurry and dark sharp lines, there may be a chance you have astigmatism. However, astigmatism can only be confirmed by an ophthalmologist.

How Can LASIK Fix Astigmatism?

Laser vision correction, also known as LASIK, is an effective solution for astigmatism, nearsightedness, farsightedness, and other eye conditions. Since astigmatism affects the curvature of your cornea, laser technology can easily reshape key areas of your eye so your cornea can property distribute light. When your eyes are affected by astigmatism, its magnitude rarely exceeds 3.0 diopters (D), which means that LASIK can fully correct it with one procedure.

Astigmatism can also be treated by eyeglasses or contacts, but these are not permanent solutions. Over time, the cost of glasses and contacts will stack up while your condition remains unaltered. In fact, it may even worsen. If you want a long-lasting solution for your astigmatism, talk to an ophthalmologist near you.