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What is Astigmatism?


Dr. Arthur Cummings Explains

14 March 18
Blog Post


We are often asked if it is possible to treat astigmatism with laser eye correction. The answer is definitely yes we can. But what exactly is this eye condition and how does it impact on vision?

For someone with astigmatism their cornea or the front clear part of the eye is not perfectly round.

So for a person who does not have astigmatism the surface of the cornea is a bit like a soccer ball in that the surface has the same curvature all around.

But for a person with astigmatism the cornea is shaped more like a rugby ball. In one direction it has a nice smooth curve, but in the other direction it has a much steeper curve.

This leads to your vision being blurred both up close and in the distance.

It can also lead to eyes becoming tired very easily.

Imagine looking at the letter “E” on a chart.

If you have no Astigmatism then the vertical part of the “E” and the horizontal part land up in the same place.

If you have astigmatism the different curve in your cornea can cause the horizontal, or vertical lines – or both – to be bent or distorted.

The brain needs to work harder to compensate.

In addition the vision is not always the same.

For people without astigmatism, when they wear glasses, no matter at what angle they are looking through their glasses because their corneas are regular they get the same benefit.

With astigmatism if you look slightly off centre then you are not getting the perfect prescription.

So astigmatism is a condition in which your vision is reduced.