ABC Medical Center > Astigmatism

What is Astigmatism?

21:53 - 4 May , 2021


It is a common eye anomaly caused by an irregular curvature of the cornea or lens that prevents light from being refracted correctly, causing blurred or distorted vision, both far and near. It can arise during birth or after an eye disease, injury, or surgery. It can occur together with other refractive disorders such as myopia or hyperopia.

There are two types of astigmatism:

  • Corneal: irregular curves in the cornea.
  • Lenticular: irregular curves in the lens.
  • Signs and symptoms Astigmatism

    • Eyestrain.
    • Discomfort or pain in the eyes.
    • Headaches.
    • Focus effort when trying to see clearly.
    • Blurred or distorted vision.

    It’s important to see an ophthalmologist for diagnosis and treatment if you notice any of these symptoms and are having trouble seeing clearly.

    Children sometimes do not realize their visual defect, so a specialist must perform an eye exam frequently, particularly at school age, since this condition can affect their school and sports performance, as well as their social adaptation.

    Diagnosis and treatment Astigmatism

    The ophthalmologist will perform a general eye exam through a series of tests that assess your eye health, your visual acuity, and the way your eyes refract light, to define the treatment to follow so that you can have clearer vision and make no effort to focus your eyes.

    Astigmatism is usually treated with the use of corrective lenses or refractive surgery.

    Corrective lenses:

    • Framed glasses: they are designed to compensate for the irregular shape of the eye, allowing the correct refraction of light.
    • Contact lenses: it is an excellent alternative for people who prefer them due to their great variety: soft, rigid, disposable, long-term use, and bifocals, among others.

    Refractive surgery:

    If you are a candidate for this procedure, the shape of your cornea will be surgically fixed so that you do not need to wear glasses or contact lenses.

    There are several types of refractive surgery. Some of them are:

    • LASIK (laser-assisted in situ keratomileusis): This is the most common procedure to flatten the cornea using a laser.
    • LASEK (Laser-Assisted Subepithelial Keratectomy): A computer-guided excimer laser is used to reshape the cornea’s curvature.
    • PRK (photorefractive keratectomy): the epithelium is removed using an excimer laser, allowing the cornea to adapt to the new shape.
    • Epi-LASIK: Recommended for people who are not candidates for conventional LASIK.
    • SMILE (Small Incision Lenticular Extraction): Using a laser, a small lens is created with tissue inside the cornea, which will be removed later through a small incision.

    Other types of refractive surgeries consist of the use of implantable contact lenses.

    Potential risks of refractive surgery:

    • Scar tissue on the cornea.
    • Altered vision with halos or lights.
    • Infections.
    • Eye dryness.
    • Visual problems.

    At ABC Medical Center’s Internal Medicine Department, we offer health care services with the highest quality and safety, from the prevention, diagnosis, timely treatment, and monitoring of infectious, respiratory, endocrinological, dermatological, rheumatic, nephrological, gastrointestinal, and hematological pathologies of both chronic-degenerative diseases and acute conditions, through a comprehensive and multidisciplinary model.


    • nne.nih.gov
    • aao.org
    • mayoclinic.org
    • medlineplus.gov
    • imo.es
    • medigraphic.com
    • Pons CL, Pérez SRG, Cárdenas DT, et al. Características del astigmatismo en niños. Rev Cub Oftal. 2019;32(2):1-16.
    • Mariño HO, Guerra AM, Cárdenas DT, et al. Lentes esclerales: características e indicaciones. Rev Cub Oftal. 2017;30(1):1-10.
    • Molina CD, Sánchez PL, Valdés VV, et al. Comportamiento de defectos refractivos en estudiantes y trabajadores hipertensos y/o diabéticos. Universidad de Ciencias Médicas de Cienfuegos. Medisur. 2020;18(6):1122-1129.
    • Raya-Hernández DJ, Alegría-Gómez ED, Baca-Lozada Ó, et al. Doble lentículo como complicación de cirugía refractiva tipo SMILE. Rev Mex Oftalmol. 2019;93(1):35-38.

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