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A 42-year-old member asked:

what sort of problem is astigmatism?

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Beth Friedland
Ophthalmology 42 years experience
Corneal shape: Astigmatism is a difference in the refractive power of the eye surface. Usually the corneal surface is like a sphere, think beachball or basketball. With astigmatism the corneal surface is more like a football with different curves in each direction. You can get astigmatism from other structures, such as the lens, but this is much more rare.
Dr. Andrew Shatz
Ophthalmology 26 years experience
Irregular shape: Astigmatism refers to a lens that is not perfectly round. Our corneas and natural lenses appear round to the naked eye, but are in fact not perfectly circular (soccer ball shaped). The more football-shaped they are, the more astigmatism they have, and the more distorted things appear through them. Glasses and contact lenses correct for the astigmatism, removing the blur and distortion it causes.

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A 21-year-old member asked:

What causes astigmatism?

4 doctor answers8 doctors weighed in
Dr. Vasu Brown
Integrative Medicine 34 years experience
Irregular Cornea: Astigmatism usually is caused by an irregularly shaped cornea. Instead of the cornea having a symmetrically round shape (like a baseball), it is shaped more like a football, with one meridian being significantly more curved than the meridian perpendicular to it. Astigmatism usually causes vision to be blurred or distorted to some degree at all distances.
CA
A 21-year-old member asked:

How is astigmatism treated?

2 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Gurmukh Singh
Pathology 49 years experience
Contact lenses: The irregularities in the curvature of the cornea can be addressed though customized contact lenses.
CA
A 21-year-old member asked:

How common is astigmatism?

2 doctor answers6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Richard Bensinger
Ophthalmology 52 years experience
Astigmatism: Astigmatism occurs in about 60% of eyes. It is an ovalness of the eye corrected with a reverse oval in the eyeglasses and contacts. The degree is quite variable and most have a small amount but you need to see your ophthalmologist to have yours measured.
A 21-year-old member asked:

Does astigmatism get progressively worse?

2 doctor answers3 doctors weighed in
Dr. Christopher Guzik
Family Medicine 24 years experience
It might: Almost all degrees of astigmatism can be corrected with properly prescribed eyeglasses or contact lenses. For a person with only a slight degree of astigmatism, corrective lenses may not be needed at all, as long as other conditions such as nearsightedness or farsightedness are not present. If the astigmatism is moderate to high, however, corrective lenses are probably needed.
A 42-year-old member asked:

How can I stop my astigmatism from getting worse?

4 doctor answers5 doctors weighed in
Dr. Ilan Cohen
Ophthalmology 25 years experience
You cannot: With the exception of certain eye diseases, most people's prescription, including astigmatism, is stable from the early 20s to the middle to late 40s and sometimes beyond. You can correct for this with glasses, contacts or laser vision correction.

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Last updated May 19, 2013

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