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Astigmatism is a common and usually minor condition of the eye that causes blurred or distorted vision.
Astigmatism, along with short sight and long sight, is a common cause of blurry vision. It's usually corrected with glasses or contact lenses.
What is astigmatism?
Astigmatism means your eye is shaped more like a rugby ball than a football, so light is focused at more than one place in the eye.
This can cause:
- blurred vision
- eye strain (you may notice this after concentrating for a long time – on a computer, for example)
Astigmatism normally occurs alongside short sight or long sight.
In young children, a high astigmatism may cause lazy eye. It's important this is spotted early so it can be treated.
Take your child for regular eye tests – astigmatism, as well as short sight or long sight, may affect their reading or concentration.
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What you can do for astigmatism
If astigmatism is affecting your eyesight, there are several ways to correct it.
|Ways to correct astigmatism
||the cheapest option; may be available free or discounted on the NHS
||could get lost or broken
||choice of soft or hard types; preferred by active people; may be free or discounted on the NHS
||may not be suitable for everyone; risk of eye infection through poor contact lens hygiene
|Laser eye or lens surgery
||may be permanent; may be better for people with more severe vision problems
||risk of complications during or after surgery; not available on the NHS; can be expensive; some side effects