Astigmatism is an eye condition where there is asymmetric blur of an object. In an astigmatic eye, one direction of the image may be focused on the retina and the other part in front or behind the retina.
Astigmatism is usually due to the shape of the front of the eye, the cornea, not being completely spherical. This results in light which would normally be focused as a point on the retina, being focused as a line. To focus the image on the retina, a cylindrical spectacle lens is required to be placed in front of the eye. This will make objects at any distance clear.
The best way to understand this is to compare a soccer ball to a rugby football. The soccer ball is spherical and has the same shape across the surface, while the rugby ball has a steep and a flat meridian. Astigmatism is like the second ball, and requires a corrective prescription that has different powers in different dimensions of the lens. This can at times prove to be a huge problem for contact lenses, although our new contact lenses have been very successful.
If you have astigmatism we have some great ideas on how to treat it, with glasses or contact lenses, so come and see us at Eye CU Optometrist.