Astigmatism, a Common Cause of Blurry Vision

June 20, 2011 — by William Goldstein
Tags: Astigmatism Contact Lenses Lasik Farsightedness Nearsightedness

Astigmatism is one of the most mistunderstood terms in eye care. In fact, it almost sounds like a life-threatening disease when some patients talk about it! "How can I have LASIK, Dr. Goldstein? I have....ASTIGMATISM!". And really, it's just another common cause of blurry vision.

In most cases, astigmatism is actually a very benign condition, and one that can be treated very successfully. The first step is to understand what astigmatism really is. Actually, astigmatism is similar to near and farsightedness. It is merely a problem in the way that the eye focuses light. Astigmatism occurs when the eye has unequal curvature, and is shaped like a football instead of round in all directions like a basketball. This difference in curve causes two points of focus in side the eye. Nearsighted, or myopic patients have eyes that are too long, and farsighted, or hyperopic patients have shorter than ideal eyes. The treatment of astigmatism is similar to treating nearsightedness and farsightedness. A slightly different approach must be taken, but the solutions are the same!

Glasses, conact lenses, LASIK and other surgeries are very successful in restoring the rounded curvature needed for good vision. Even cataract and relex patients can enjoy good vision with the use of toric lens implants. So, just like near and farsightedness, astigmatism is merely a 'refractive error' that can be treated to allow good vision in almost all patients.
More information is available on Dr. Goldstein's website,, and appointments can be made by calling the office at 586-323-2020