While “astigmatism” is a type of refractive error along with “farsightedness” and “nearsightedness,” it is not as well understood. Each of these types of refractive errors is so-called because each affects how the eye bends, or refracts, light. In the case of astigmatism, the cornea, which is usually round (like a basketball), is more conical in shape (like a football). As a result, the eye is rendered incapable of focusing incoming light on a single point on the retina, and vision is blurred at any distance. Fortunately, astigmatism is easy to detect during a comprehensive eye exam. Just as easily, this type of refractive error can be corrected through the use of prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses. Most people have some degree of astigmatism, which frequently occurs with nearsightedness and farsightedness. You rely on your vision to read, drive, and watch television. Whether or not you experience blurry vision or eye discomfort, protect your vision and quality of life by having routine eye health examinations.
Jun 05, 2012