What Are the Symptoms of Astigmatism That You Should Be Aware Of?

man with eyesight problem

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  • The most common symptom of severe astigmatism is blurry vision
  • Most of these symptoms are usually experienced after doing certain activities, like reading a book, spending long hours looking at a computer screen, staring into the distance or doing other visual tasks

Astigmatism is not a disease — this is a misconception that often confuses and worries people. Rather, it just means that the shape or lens of your cornea is not perfectly circular,1 and may be curved like the back of the spoon or the side of a football.2 Astigmatism is common in people among all age groups, and if you are farsighted or nearsighted, then it’s highly likely that you’ll have astigmatism. 

What Does It Feel Like to Have Astigmatism?

People with mild cases of astigmatism hardly experience any symptoms, and as such, do not need any type of treatment. However, those with more serious cases of astigmatism may find it hard to visually identify fine details, either when looking at an object up close or viewing something from afar.3

The most common symptom of severe astigmatism is blurry vision.4 This occurs because the eyes and its optical elements are unable to focus a point object into a sharply focused picture on the retina. Other hallmark indicators of this condition include:5

Eye fatigue or eye strain

Eye irritation

Fluctuating vision

Difficulty seeing at nighttime or in the dark

Squinting

Headaches

Most of these symptoms are usually experienced after doing certain activities, like reading a book, spending long hours looking at a computer screen, staring into the distance or doing other visual tasks.6

If you experience any of these symptoms, it’s best to consult an eye doctor to determine if you need treatment or if there are other conditions that are triggering these vision problems. If the astigmatism symptoms are so severe they detract you from enjoying certain activities or get in the way of how you do your daily tasks, knowing how to address this dilemma is crucial.

How Do You Identify Astigmatism in Children?

According to a study funded by the National Eye Institute (NEI), at least 10 percent of preschool kids have this condition, and it is actually prevalent among very young children. Twenty-three percent of those ages 6 months to 1 year have astigmatism, although they do grow out of it. By the time they reach their fifth or sixth birthday, only 9 percent of children have astigmatism.7

However, some children may not immediately realize that they have blurry or distorted vision, and therefore may suffer from certain symptoms like headaches, light sensitivity and squinting. Thus, it’s important for children to be screened for eye problems by a pediatrician, ophthalmologist or optometrist. The American Optometric Association advises parents to have their child’s eyes checked:8

  • At 6 months of age
  • Once the child turns 3 years old
  • Before first grade
  • Every two years after that

Astigmatism May Occur With Other Refractive Errors

Usually, astigmatism manifests in combination with other eye conditions, mainly myopia (nearsightedness) or hyperopia (farsightedness). Myopia occurs when your eye is longer than normal or if the cornea is curved too much. As a result, the light is focused in front of your retina instead of being focused precisely on it. This makes objects that are far away blurry to your vision.

Hyperopia happens when your eye is shorter than usual or if the cornea is curved too little. It has the opposite effect, and when your eye is in a relaxed position, the light does not come to a focus on the back of your eye. This makes nearby objects look blurry.9

MORE ABOUT ASTIGMATISM

Astigmatism: Introduction

What Is Astigmatism?

Astigmatism Symptoms

Astigmatism Causes

Astigmatism Test

Types of Astigmatism

Astigmatism Treatment

Contact Lenses For Astigmatism

Astigmatism Prevention

Astigmatism FAQ



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