What is Astigmatism?

Astigmatism is an imperfection in the curvature of the cornea. The cornea is the clear, round dome which covers your eye’s iris and pupil. A normal cornea is smooth and curved equally in all directions, helping light rays to focus onto the retina at the back of your eye. When the cornea is not smooth or is misshapen, the light rays do not refract properly and vision is affected. People who have astigmatism will experience blurry or distorted vision when looking at objects both near and far. This is also known as patient refractive error.

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How is a Astigmatism treated?

Astigmatism is very common and can easily be corrected with eyeglasses, hard contact lenses or soft toric contact lenses. Your doctor can discuss the best option for correcting specific vision needs. For some individuals, surgery may be an option.

What other options are available for correcting Astigmatism?

If you do not like the inconvenience of glasses or contacts, or perhaps do not like the look of eyewear, there are elective surgical options to correct astigmatism such as LASIK and PRK.

If you are having surgery to remove a cataract, you now have the option of choosing an intraocular lens (IOL) that will correct your corneal astigmatism at the same time as your cataract surgery. Traditionally, your surgeon removes the cataract and replaces the clouded lens with an IOL. However, the standard IOL will not correct blurred or distorted vision due to corneal astigmatism. If you have astigmatism and desire freedom from glasses and contacts for distance vision following cataract surgery, a Toric IOL designed to correct corneal astigmatism can be implanted.