What is astigmatism?

Astigmatism is an imperfection in the curvature of the cornea resulting in distorted or blurred vision at all distances. The condition is very common and occurs when the shape of the cornea is not spherical or regular. Simply, the curvature of the cornea can be described as the curvature of a rugby ball (or American football) which is varied over the surface instead of having a constant radius like the curve of a football.


If the corneal curvature is irregular, the light entering the eye is not correctly received by the retina, causing blurred and distorted vision, regardless of the distance at which the objects are located2.


Vision lacks precision and it is difficult to distinguish clearly between certain shapes and details.


Astigmatism is usually accompanied by myopia (near-sightedness, when close objects look clear but distant objects appear blurred) or hyperopia (far-sightedness, when distance objects look clear, but close objects appear blurred).

  1. Warren E. Hill, MD. Keratometry database
  2. https://www.aao.org/eye-health/diseases/what-is-astigmatism

Vision with healthy eyes

Vision with astigmatism

How is astigmatism treated?

Astigmatism can be treated in several ways. Glasses and contact lenses can correct your refractive error caused by astigmatism, but once the condition is stabilised in adulthood then your eye surgeon may suggest a surgical procedure. 


If combined with cataract or presbyopia surgery then a toric intraocular lens (IOL) provides a reliably effective method for reducing existing astigmatism.3


  1. https://www.ophthalmologytimes.com/view/tips-toric-iol-marking

Speak to your eye surgeon to discuss the best way to treat astigmatism, if required.

"The freedom of not wearing glasses and having new lenses has been extraordinary and wonderful."

Susan R, Sulcoflex Trifocal patient (UK)