Astigmatism is a type of reactive error in which the eye does not focus light evenly on the retina resulting in distorted or blurred vision at all distances. Symptoms can include eyestrain, headaches and trouble driving at night.
Although the cause of astigmatism is unclear, it is believed to be partly related to genetic factors. The underlying cause is an irregular curvature of the cornea or abnormalities in the sense of the eye. Astigmatism is diagnosed by an eye exam.
Astigmatism is caused by irregularities in the curvature of the parts of the eye responsible for focusing light rays (the cornea and the lens). An even curve (a round eye) results in even distribution of the light rays making up an image, which will be clear. If the curvature of the eye is uneven (rugby ball shaped), light rays will be unevenly distributed, causing blurred images at distance and at near.
The opticians’ prescriptions will show two numbers, called ‘Sphere’ and ‘Cylinder’. The larger the cylinder is, the more astigmatism there is and the greater the blur.
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