Your eye is made up of rounded spheres and partial spheres that enable your eye to focus light on a single point of your retina. However, if the sphere of your cornea or natural lens is distorted, you develop a refractive error called astigmatism. At his practice in South Pasadena, California, board-certified ophthalmologist Mitchell C. Latter, MD, diagnoses astigmatism during comprehensive eye exams and provides corrective lenses and surgeries to correct your vision. If you’ve noticed that your sight is blurry, call or schedule an eye exam online today.

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What is astigmatism?

Astigmatism is a refractive error that causes distorted, blurry vision. It’s a common condition and is due to irregularities in the shape of your cornea or natural lens. Astigmatism causes blurred vision as well as eye strain and headaches. Astigmatism may be present at birth or it may develop at the same time as nearsightedness (myopia) and farsightedness (hyperopia) — other refractive errors. Unlike nearsightedness and farsightedness, astigmatism makes your vision blurry at all distances.

What causes astigmatism?

A healthy, normal-shaped eye has a perfectly round cornea and lens. Light passes through these parts of your eye and is focused on a single point of your retina. If you have astigmatism, your cornea or lens is more oblong than round, which prevents your eye from focusing light on a single point of your retina for clear vision.

Your risk of astigmatism is higher if your parents or other family members also have it. The condition can develop after an eye injury or surgery.

How is astigmatism corrected?

Depending on the severity of your astigmatism, Dr. Latter corrects your vision with eyeglasses, contact lenses, or surgery.


If you wear eyeglasses to correct astigmatism, your lenses incorporate an additional cylinder lens power to correct the difference between the two meridians of your eye.

Imagine the meridians like the latitudinal and longitudinal lines on a globe. Without astigmatism, your eye is a sphere and those lines are equally curved. However, with astigmatism, your eye is shaped like a football, so the curves are different. Lenses made to correct astigmatism bend the light that enters your eye to make up for that difference.

Contact lenses

If your astigmatism is mild enough, Dr. Latter may be able to correct your vision with regular soft contact lenses. However, if your astigmatism is more severe you may need to wear rigid gas permeable lenses or weighted toric soft contact lenses.


Another treatment option is surgery. Dr. Latter offers lens implant procedures, which are similar to the surgery to repair cataracts. However, when he replaces the lens in your eye, Dr. Latter uses a special toric lens that corrects the uneven curvature of your eye. Additionally, manual or laser incisional techniques can be performed on the cornea.

If you have blurred vision or frequent headaches or eye strain, call Dr. Latter or schedule an appointment online today for a comprehensive eye exam.