Astigmatism is caused by an irregular curvature of the cornea or in the shape of the eye's lens, producing blurred vision a doubling or ghosting effect in your vision. A normal lens and cornea should be smooth and equally curved in all directions, helping light rays focus sharply onto the retina at the back of the eye. Imperfect curvature of the lens or cornea causes a refractive error, meaning light rays are not refracted properly.
An irregularly shaped cornea is called corneal astigmatism. When the lens shape is irregular, it is known as lenticular astigmatism. With either type, vision for both near and far appears blurry or distorted.
Astigmatism can cause vision problems for adults, and may affect a child's ability to achieve in school and sports. This condition is detected during regular eye exams and can be treated with prescription lenses, or in some cases, laser eye surgery.
Watch Dr. Matthew Clary and Dr. Ryan N. Mercer discuss astigmatism.
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