Astigmatism, along with short sight and long sight, is a common cause of blurry vision. It's usually corrected with glasses or contact lenses.
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:
In young children, a high astigmatism may cause lazy eye. It's important this is spotted early so it can be treated.
Take your child for regular eye tests – astigmatism, as well as short sight or long sight, may affect their reading or concentration.
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: Sat Oct 2020 Next review due: Sat Oct 2020