An astigmatism is a common visual impairment. Depending on the severity, this leads to blurred or distorted vision. Astigmatisms are unrelated to age and in many cases occur in conjunction with short- or long-sightedness.

What causes an astigmatism?

Normally, the curvature of the cornea is even – similar to a sphere. In an astigmatism, the shape is distorted – it is egg-shaped. Due to the misshapen surface of the cornea, the incoming rays of light are no longer all broken to the same extent. The light rays no longer meet at a single point, but rather form a bar or rod on the retina. In German, this is therefore also referred to as ‘rod-sightedness’.

What are the symptoms of an astigmatism?

Due to the curvature of the cornea, rays of light hitting the eye are not focused to a single point. The resulting image is distorted and blurred.

How is an astigmatism detected?

Often, mild astigmatisms go unnoticed. Only with more-severe cases of astigmatism does your eyesight become blurred and fuzzy – for both short and long distances. You should consult an ophthalmologist if you experience these symptoms.

How is an astigmatism treated?

Our eyes cannot compensate for an astigmatism independently. An astigmatism can be corrected with a pair of glasses or contact lenses. In the case of severe or irregular astigmatisms in particular, good vision can be achieved once more with a contact lens – often even better than with a pair of glasses. Various lenses can be used to correct an astigmatism – for example, toric lenses.

Do you have astigmatism?