Q:

What visual problem is created by astigmatism?

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Quick Answer

Astigmatism makes objects at any distance appear blurry and wavy, says WebMD. This occurs due to an eye that is not completely round, which creates a type of refractive error.

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Full Answer

WebMD explains that astigmatism is a natural and common eye condition that causes blurred or distorted vision. The natural shape of the eye is like a sphere. Normally, when light enters the eye, it refracts evenly and produces a clear view of an object. However, a person with astigmatism has an eye shaped like a football or the back of a spoon. In this case, light is refracted more in one direction than the other, causing only part of an object to be in focus at a time. Thus, objects look blurry and wavy at a distance. Astigmatism happens in almost everybody to some degree. The main symptom of astigmatism is blurred vision, which is often associated with eyestrain and fatigue. It also sometimes occurs with other vision problems, such as farsightedness and nearsightedness.

Astigmatism is easily corrected by eyeglasses, contact lenses or vision correction procedures, states WebMD. Corrective lenses are typically recommended for people with moderate to high astigmatism. Another possible treatment is refractive surgery, a method that corrects astigmatism by altering the cornea’s shape through refractive or laser eye surgery.

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