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What is astigmatism?

Dr. Jeanne Morrison, PhD
Family Practitioner

Astigmatism is an eye disorder in which your cornea (a clear covering that goes over the center of the front of the eye past the colored iris) or the lens (the clear part of the eye behind the center of the eye and iris that helps focus light) is irregularly shaped. Instead of being a smooth shape, corneas or lenses with astigmatism have places of irregular flatness or curve. This causes some areas of vision to be blurry. Astigmatism is easily fixable through corrective lenses and surgery, though not everyone with astigmatism feels enough of an inconvenience to correct it.

Blurry vision? Strained eyeballs? Headaches? It could be astigmatism -- a common condition caused by an abnormally shaped cornea or lens. Light gets distorted as it enters the eye and doesn't focus properly on the retina. But don't worry. Glasses, contact lenses, or laser surgery can correct astigmatism.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.