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Astigmatism Layout

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Astigmatism is a very common refractive (focussing) error of the eyes which can cause blurred vision. It occurs as a result of irregular curvature on the surface of the cornea (corneal astigmatism) or in the lens of the eye itself (lenticular astigmatism). Astigmatism may cause blurring of both distant and near objects. You can be born with astigmatism or it may develop as you age. Astigmatism can also occur in combination with either near-sightedness (myopia) or far-sightedness (hyperopia). Astigmatism may be experienced as uneven blurring because the irregular curvature can make some parts of what you view more out of focus than other parts. By using the diagrams below, you can create an effect like that of astigmatism when you tilt the top of the page away from you. Lines running across the page will appear less distinct than lines running up and down.
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  • Added: October, 25th 2009
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  • Tags: refractive, eye, vision, cornea, retina, light, visual, astigmatism, astigmatic
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Content Preview
Focusing error causing blurred vision
Contact Lenses:
A wide range of lens
technologies is available in both hard (rigid
gas permeable) and soft (usually
Astigmatism
disposable) materials, and including
options for extended wear. Ask your
optometrist which ones will be best for you
in correcting your astigmatism.

Refractive Surgery: Refractive surgery
can permanently reshape the surface of
your eye using methods such as LASIK,
PRK, and LASEK. Ask your optometrist
for more information; he or she will be able
to assist with an assessment and referral if
appropriate.

Regular Eye Exams:
The NZ Association
of Optometrists recommends a regular eye
examination every 2 – 5 years for healthy
adults. After age 65 more frequent exams
are necessary to ensure early diagnosis
and treatment of sight threatening
conditions such as glaucoma and age-
related macular degeneration (ARMD).
52 Mokoia Road
Birkenhead
North Shore

Phone (09) 418 1347

ASTIGMATISM – blurred vision and tired eyes
What is astigmatism?
The blur resulting from uncorrected
What are the Treatment Options?
Astigmatism is a very common refractive
astigmatism can make things (such as
(focussing) error of the eyes which can

print) uncomfortable to look at, difficult to
cause blurred vision. It occurs as a result
focus on, and may cause headaches,
Corrective lenses counteract the focussing
of irregular curvature on the surface of the
tiredness and poor concentration. Your
error caused by irregular curvature of the
cornea (corneal astigmatism) or in the lens
optometrist can prescribe glasses or
cornea or internal lens of the eye.
of the eye itself (lenticular astigmatism).
contact lenses to correct your astigmatism
Refractive surgery can be used to reshape

and provide you with clear, comfortable
the surface of the eye.
Astigmatism may cause blurring of both
vision.
distant and near objects. You can be born

with astigmatism or it may develop as you

Spectacles:
Prescription glasses
age. Astigmatism can also occur in
Why do I get tired eyes?
correct both corneal and lenticular
combination with either near-sightedness
If you have tired eyes you may have
astigmatism and smooth the focus across
(myopia) or far-sightedness (hyperopia).
uncorrected astigmatism. Astigmatism can
your field of view. Depending on your

cause fatigue if you are concentrating on a
degree of astigmatism they may need to
Astigmatism may be experienced as
visual task (reading, computer use, driving,
be worn all the time or just when
uneven blurring because the irregular
etc.) for a long period of time. Your
concentrating on a specific task. A new
curvature can make some parts of what
focussing system is constantly adjusting,
spectacle correction for astigmatism can
you view more out of focus than other
trying to achieve a sharp image which the
be uncomfortable to wear for the first day
parts. By using the diagrams below, you
astigmatic eye cannot produce without
or two because the sharp clear vision it
can create an effect like that of
optical correction. Fatigue or frontal
affords may also have some distortion. For
astigmatism when you tilt the top of the
headaches may occur if you ‘squint’ your
instance a round plate might appear oval
page away from you. Lines running across
eyes to see more clearly, causing the
or a flat table might seem bowed. Most
the page will appear less distinct than lines
muscles of the eyelids and face to become
people quickly adapt to this, but in some
running up and down.
uncomfortable.
cases the optical prescription may need to
be modified to achieve a particular balance

between clarity and visual comfort. Your
What can you do?
optometrist will be able to discuss this with
you as part of evaluating treatment options
See your optometrist for a comprehensive
best suited to your astigmatism.
eye exam. This will provide a diagnosis for
the cause of any vision problems, including

astigmatism. If you do have astigmatism

your optometrist will provide professional
advice about the range of options to

correct your vision.

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