Astigmatism is caused by an irregularly shaped cornea,
which in turn causes blurred vision, eyestrain and headaches.
It's a common problem easily manageable with prescription eyeglasses.


When the cornea is perfectly round, light rays bend (refract) evenly onto a small area of the retina to create a sharp image. With astigmatism, the cornea (the clear, outermost layer of the eye) is oval. So the light is unable to focus, producing a blurred image.


The most common symptoms of astigmatism are blurred vision, headaches, eyestrain or reading difficulties. Astigmatic people may also notice distorted near and far vision, unclear peripheral vision, inability to distinguish certain shapes and details and an inability to see clearly between horizontal and vertical lines.

Eye exam for Astigmatism

In order to detect astigmatism, your eyecare professional will ask you to cover one eye with your hand, without pressing on the lid, and take the test below. Then, he will ask you to cover the other eye and do the test again.


If some of the lines appear grayer and some blacker, you probably have an astigmatism and the optometrist will continue with the examination before giving you a prescription for corrective lenses.

* The image of the test above has no medical value and should only be considered for preparation and understanding of your eye exam with your eyecare professional.


Many people do not know they have astigmatism until they are diagnosed during a routine eye exam.

Even if the symptoms are very mild, prescription lenses will help improve your vision significantly, and can even help slow the effects of astigmatism. Lenses will be specially designed to compensate for the particular shape of your corneas. Speak to your eyecare professional and learn more about the options available to you.  

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