How Do I Know If I Have an Astigmatism?

How Do I Know If I Have an Astigmatism?

How Do I Know If I Have an Astigmatism?

How Do I Know If I Have an Astigmatism?

How Do I Know If I Have an Astigmatism?

Most people have some level of astigmatism. You are in good company if you have this condition. Fortunately, it is easy to manage astigmatism using prescription lenses that can correct your eyesight. Laser eye surgery is a longer-term solution for those who do not want to depend on prescription eyeglasses or contact lenses.

What Is Astigmatism?

Astigmatism is an imperfection in the eye's curvature that causes blurred near and distance vision. It occurs when the lens or cornea has an irregular curve. Healthy eyes have a spherical shape that refracts light evenly and focuses it precisely on the retina. That allows you to see clearly. 

With astigmatism, the eye’s shape is like the back of a spoon, causing light to refract unevenly. Light entering the eye tends to refract more in one direction than the other instead of focusing on the retina. 

Consequently, things look wavy and blurry at any distance. Some people with astigmatism also experience eyestrain along with blurred vision. Furthermore, the cornea’s curvature can change, decreasing and increasing astigmatism over time.


Early Signs of Astigmatism

The main symptom of astigmatism is blurred vision. However, it would be best if you had an eye doctor’s diagnosis to determine the cause of your vision problems. You might have astigmatism if you experience the following signs and symptoms:

Blurred Vision

The cornea is the transparent tissue at the front of the eyeball. Light enters the cornea and travels to the lens, which focuses it onto the retina. The retina then transfers the signals it receives to the brain. 

When you have astigmatism, there is a mismatch in the natural curvature of the cornea and lens. That causes the retina to receive two different images, affecting the eye’s ability to focus. The result is blurred vision. 

Depending on your condition's severity, you may experience mild to severe vision distortion. Distant objects appear blurry for people with myopia, and near objects appear blurry for those with hyperopia. With astigmatism, things at any distance appear blurry.


Blurry near and distance vision can lead to eyestrain over time. Your eyes constantly adjust and attempt to focus on a clear image whenever you are using them. Uncorrected astigmatism prevents your eyes from achieving focus, leading to eyestrain and fatigue. You could have this common eye condition if you experience the following:

  • Squinting.
  • Dizziness.
  • Eyestrain.
  • Headaches.

You may have to squint to see things more clearly, which can lead to facial fatigue and headaches.

Poor Night Vision

Your symptoms can worsen when it is dark. The pupils in healthy eyes dilate in low light to let more light into the eye to improve vision. Pupil dilation worsens your blurry vision when you have astigmatism. Your eyes allow more peripheral light in, making lights appear fuzzy and creating a halo effect. These symptoms can make it challenging to focus on tasks such as driving at night. 


An eye exam is the best way to determine whether you have astigmatism, which can occur alongside hyperopia and myopia. If you have this eye condition, your eye doctor will determine its severity and recommend the appropriate treatment to improve your sight.

For more on astigmatism, visit the Eye Center of Virginia at our office in Williamsburg, Virginia. Call (757) 919-3500 to schedule an appointment today.

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