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What is Astigmatism?

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Have you ever been told your eye was shaped like a football?

When your cornea has two different curvatures it usually causes astigmatism.

Astigmatism is a very common type of prescription that affects 75% of people. In a comprehensive eye exam an optometrist checks the health of your eyes and your prescription. Eye health is to ensure good vision throughout your life, and the prescription is how we can give you the clearest vision possible using glasses or contacts. Astigmatism is a prescription, although there are some rare health concerns that are related to astigmatism such as keratoconus. Astigmatism is diagnosed by your corneal curvature and prescription. Astigmatism is caused by an irregular shaped cornea or lens. The cornea is the front surface of your eye and the lens is inside your eye and is responsible for focusing. With astigmatism, the shape is not a perfect sphere, it has two different curvatures like a football. Those two different curvatures produce two different focal points which result in a blurred image. Astigmatism typically causes blurred vision at all distances. Glasses can make those two focal points clear and reduce eyestrain.

Written by Mindy Blumberg

Dr. Mindy Blumberg is an optometrist registered with the BC College of Optometrists and is a member of the BC Doctors of Optometry. She graduated from the University of Waterloo and moved to Whistler, BC, to live in the mountains. Mindy grew up alpine ski racing and now has a special interest in sports vision. She helps with performance vision training with the Canadian Ski Cross and the BC Alpine Ski Team. Dr. Blumberg brings expertise on post-concussion vision rehabilitation and performance sports vision. She also uses these functional vision skills and vision therapy to improve reading and comprehension in children by enhancing the visual systems needed to have academic success.
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