Close up of a woman’s eye wearing a contact lens
Close up of a woman’s eye wearing a contact lens


Astigmatism is a condition that occurs when the eye cannot focus clearly, causing blurry or distorted vision. It can affect vision of both near and far objects and coexist with myopia or hyperopia.

Astigmatism happens due to normal differences in eye shape. When the cornea (clear outer layer of the eye) or lens (inner part of the eye that helps with focus) has an oval shape, light rays entering the eye are bent incorrectly.

This causes light rays to focus on multiple points instead of a single point. Light rays incorrectly focused on multiple points cause blurry or distorted vision.

The cause of astigmatism is unknown. Many people are born with astigmatism or develop it early in life. Astigmatism may also develop after an eye injury or surgery.

Did You Know?

Astigmatism is common. It affects approximately one in three people.

Symptoms of Astigmatism

Common symptoms of astigmatism include:

  • Blurry or distorted vision
  • Needing to squint to see clearly
  • Eyestrain (when eyes feel tired)
  • Eye discomfort
  • Difficulty seeing at night, like while driving
  • Seeing a glare around headlights at night

An eye doctor can check for astigmatism and discuss treatment options during a comprehensive eye exam.

See Also: What Happens During an Eye Exam?

Did You Know?

Some people, especially children, might not notice symptoms of astigmatism, which is another reason why comprehensive yearly eye exams are important.

Treatments for Astigmatism

Astigmatism is corrected by refocusing the light rays that enter the eye.

Common treatments include: