Astigmatism, along with short sight and long sight, is a common cause of blurry vision. It's usually corrected with glasses or contact lenses.
What is astigmatism?
Astigmatism means your eye is shaped more like a rugby ball than a football, so light is focused at more than one place in the eye.
This can cause:
- blurred vision
- eye strain (you may notice this after concentrating for a long time – on a computer, for example)
In young children, a high astigmatism may cause lazy eye. It's important this is spotted early so it can be treated.
What you can do for astigmatism
If astigmatism is affecting your eyesight, there are several ways to correct it.
|Ways to correct astigmatism||Pros||Cons|
|Glasses||the cheapest option; may be available free or discounted on the NHS||could get lost or broken|
|Contact lenses||choice of soft or hard types; preferred by active people; may be free or discounted on the NHS||may not be suitable for everyone; risk of eye infection through poor contact lens hygiene|
|Laser eye or lens surgery||may be permanent; may be better for people with more severe vision problems||risk of complications during or after surgery; not available on the NHS; can be expensive; some side effects|
Page last reviewed: 17 October 2017
Next review due: 17 October 2020