Astigmatism is a very common condition that most people have to a certain degree. Slight amounts of astigmatism do not require correction since it does not affect vision. Large amounts of astigmatism affect a person’s vision similar to nearsightedness or farsightedness by not allowing light to focus on a single point on the retina. There are three types of astigmatism:
- Hyperopic Astigmatism (farsighted astigmatism): caused by reflecting light in front of the retina.
- Myopic Astigmatism (nearsighted astigmatism): caused when light reflects behind the retina.
- Mixed Astigmatism: caused when light is reflected both in front and behind the retina.
In a healthy eye, the cornea is shaped spherically like a basketball, while someone who has an astigmatism has an eye that is shaped more oblong like a football. Because the light coming into the eye does not reflect properly on the retina, astigmatism symptoms can include headaches, blurred vision, and difficulty reading or using a computer for long periods of time.