Astigmatism of the eye | test | symptoms | treatment

Astigmatism Symptoms and treatment

Astigmatism is a common eye disorder of sight at which serious forms of the disease require vision correction prescription glasses with contact lenses which are sometimes necessary that can lead to surgery.

What is astigmatism of the eye? 

Astigmatism means the asymmetry of the cornea (the transparent layer that covers the front of the eyeball), whose main role is to pass through and refracted light rays, allowing them to focus on the retina retina) at the back of the eye. However, when the cornea is unevenly covering the eyeball, then the rays are not focused on a single point, and the result is blurred vision. Otherwise, the ideal cornea has symmetrical curved surface, like a ball. Astigmatism in milder forms usually does not cause vision problems, because blinking maintains the symmetry of the curve of the cornea. In more severe forms it is necessary to do correction with prescription glasses, contact lenses, or with necessary performed eye surgery. This disorder can be congenital or hereditary, and sometimes is caused by some injury of the eyeball, or some scarring of the cornea that occurs after injury or infection. Also, astigmatism of the eye often occurs in combination with other problems in the refraction of light, such as nearsightedness and farsightedness.

Astigmatism of the eye; TYPES 

It is still not known exactly what causes astigmatism, it is certain that its presence in most cases is affected by external factors.

Keratoconus and blurred vision

Severe, but fortunately rare form of astigmatism - keratoconus, is the state where the cornea progressively thins and takes on a conical shape. This disorder usually manifests itself in adolescence or early adulthood. Otherwise, the cornea is composed of transparent collagen fibers, which keep its normal shape, and in the case of keratoconus is weakened, causing blurred vision.
Keratoconus in advanced stages can threaten eyesight and then transplantation is required, but modern therapy in most cases eliminates the problem.

Lenticular Astigmatism of the eye 

It occurs due to abnormalities of another curved structure inside the eye - natural internal crystalline lens, which also focuses light rays. Blurred vision due lenticular astigmatism can be corrected with prescription glasses and contact lenses.

Astigmatism Symptoms

This visual disturbance is followed by the most common signs such as blurred vision or double vision object under examination.

Typical symptoms for astigmatism eye are:
  • Blurred images of small objects and letters, difficulty when reading
  • Double images
  • The inability to see objects at near and far distances without blinking
Astigmatism in children

It is especially important to know that children with blurred vision do not realize that this is a problem, because they have no previous experience on which to base that conclusion on. Therefore, regular examination by an ophthalmologist is extremely important, to ensure timely treatment. Children with problems such as astigmatism of the eye can suffer from the following problems:
  • Difficulty in focusing on the printed words and lines
  • Fatigue and pain in the eyes, headache

Astigmatism; EYE TEST

The most common symptom of astigmatism is blurred of vision, and to give a diagnosis applied are four tests:


The patient reads letters or numbers from a standard table, with a distance of six meters.


In front of the eye corrective lenses of different strengths are put, until the patient is able to clearly see numbers (or letters) on the control panel. Then ophthalmologist determines the diopter. Sometimes a device – retinoscope is used to identify the refraction of light rays in the eye.


Special-condition measured by the curvature of the central cornea in both eyes, which in the case of astigmatism is not identical. Keratometre determines the highest and lowest level of curvature, allowing an ophthalmologist to determine the shape and focusing ability of the cornea. This device is also used when prescribing contact lenses as well as to check the curvature of the cornea after eye surgery.

Topography of the cornea

With this advanced diagnostic methods obtained is the most accurate information about the shape of the cornea. The patient looks at a visual target, based on the data recorded by the real computer map we get a clear insight into the state of the cornea. This data is important for planning refractive surgery, cataract surgery and sometimes to determine the types of contact lenses.

Astigmatism; TREATMENT

Even though measures to prevent astigmatism are still unknown, this disorder is successfully corrected with prescription glasses, contact lenses or if necessary surgery. Also, many doctors believe that astigmatism of the eye in the mildest degree should not be treated.

Astigmatism; cylinders 

Glasses with cylindrical glass for astigmatism of the eye

The special cylindrical glasses neutralize the effects of irregular shape of the cornea which causes blurred vision. This glass requires a certain period of adaptation, because the image that people see depends on the angle of refraction. If there is no complete adjustment after a week (or slightly longer) of wearing special glasses, be sure to see an ophthalmologist to get correct glasses.

Cylindrical contact lenses

For astigmatism, the eye is also successfully treated used lenses with cylinders. All contact lenses rotate when a person blinks, but ones used to correct astigmatism - the so-called toric lenses - are designed to return to the same position each time subject blinks and compensate for the irregularity of the cornea.

Laser eye surgery

This procedure reshapes the cornea with the laser beam, so that it can more precisely focus the light rays. The surgery is performed under local anesthesia, after which the patient is given antibiotics and anti-inflammatory drops. This procedure can be followed by some side-effects, particularly with reflection from the different sources of light, which impairs the clarity of vision at night. In addition, often after the procedure occurs dry eye syndrome, which is solved by the use of adequate drops. Astigmatic keratectomy is another surgical procedure to correct astigmatism. The surgeon makes small incisions in the cornea, the least prominent parts of wrong curved cornea, allowing for more precise focusing of light rays on the retina.