Astigmatism is a common and treatable eye condition which causes irregular focus.

Astigmatism is a common and treatable eye condition which causes irregular focus.

About astigmatism

Astigmatism is a common and treatable eye condition.

The front surface of a normal eye is round like a football, but people with astigmatism have eyes shaped more like an oval rugby ball. This changes the path of light so that the image formed at the back of the eye is not sharply focused.

People with astigmatism will usually also be short or long sighted.

People can be born with astigmatism or it can develop later in life. 

Many people have a little astigmatism and their sight is unaffected. If the astigmatism is more severe, you might notice:

·         Blurring and distortion of near or far-away objects

·         Headaches when trying to focus

·         Tired eyes

Causes of astigmatism

The exact cause is usually unknown although genetics can play a part. Sometimes astigmatism can develop after an eye injury, surgery or because of an eye disease. Astigmatism is not caused by reading in bad light, using a computer or watching too much television.

Treatment for astigmatism

Astigmatism can usually be treated with prescription glasses or contact lenses.

Safe surgical procedures such as LASIK or ICL implantation are also available, but usually only for fee-paying patients. To find out more about surgical options, please contact Moorfields Private

Moorfields are also leaders in research to correct more complex forms of astigmatism affecting patients after surgery, corneal infection, corneal injury and patients with keratoconus. 


Patient information leaflets

Children's leaflets

Astigmatism: 8-12 

Astigmatism: for teens/parents