Astigmatism is characterized by an irregularly shaped cornea or lens, which prevents light from properly focusing on the retina, the light-sensitive surface at the back of the eye. The cornea's surface is shaped more like a football than a basketball, and the eye is unable to focus light rays to a single point. At any distance, vision becomes out of focus in this case. Furthermore, the curvature of the lens within the eye can change, causing an increase or decrease in astigmatism. This change is common in adulthood and can occur before the development of naturally occurring cataracts.
Astigmatism is frequently associated with other vision conditions such as myopia (nearsightedness) and hyperopia (farsightedness) (farsightedness). These vision issues are known as refractive errors because they affect how the eyes bend or "refract" light.
Through a comprehensive eye exam, our optometrist can diagnose astigmatism. Astigmatism testing determines how the eyes focus light and the power of any optical lenses required to improve vision.