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    How the Right Glasses Correct Astigmatism

    Do you have astigmatism in one or both of your eyes? Does someone you know have it? Whether you have a clear diagnosis or simply suspect the condition, Payne Glasses can help educate you about the condition and how to properly correct it.

    What Is Astigmatism?

    Astigmatism is a common eye condition in which the eye’s front surface, or cornea, or the inside, the lens, has mismatched curves. As a result, the eye is more egg-shaped than round, and it can cause blurred vision. The two lenses don’t bend light rays the same way, so two images overlap. Astigmatism is considered a refractive vision error.

    Corneal astigmatism is when the cornea has mismatched curves, and lenticular astigmatism is when the lens has mismatched curves.

    Sometimes, this mismatch isn’t pronounced enough to require correction. Sometimes, it requires surgery, and other times it can be corrected with the right eyeglass lenses.


    The condition is often present at birth but can develop later in life due to an eye injury or eye disease. Doctors do not know why some eyes are shaped differently; however, they do know that the condition is inherited. So if you have astigmatism, you can likely trace it to someone in your family.

    Astigmatism can occur in combination with nearsightedness or farsightedness, which are also refractive errors of vision. It is a myth, however, that astigmatism can worsen from reading in low light or sitting too close to the television.


    Astigmatism symptoms may include:

    • Blurred vision
    • Headaches (especially in children)
    • Eyestrain
    • Squinting to try to see clearly
    • General eye discomfort

    If you have these symptoms, you should see an eye doctor. However, keep in mind that these do not automatically slate you for astigmatism. You may have other eye issues that need to be corrected.


    A comprehensive eye exam by an ophthalmologist or optometrist is the best way to diagnose astigmatism. You’ll start by reading an eye chart to determine the clarity of your vision at certain distances. Then, your eye doctor may use a phoropter to help determine what shape of lens will best correct your vision. You look through a series of lenses and let them know which offers the clearest vision.

    Your doctor may also use an autorefractor, which shines light into your eyes and measures how it changes at it bounces off the back of the eye. This determines your eye shape.

    Finally, they may use a keratometer or corneal topography, which maps the surface of the eye much like a topography map, to measure the curve of your cornea.


    Eye surgery can correct astigmatism in some cases. Cornea surgery involves the clear front surface of the eye. Doctors can perform PRK, or photorefractive keratectomy, during which an eye surgeon removes and reshapes the cornea. The other more common option is LASIK, or laser-assisted in-situ keratomileusis, during which an eye surgeon reshapes the cornea through a thin flap made on the eye’s surface.

    One other more invasive surgery involves removing the eye’s lens and replacing it with an artificial one. This is most commonly done for elderly people who also have cataracts.

    Keeping in mind that all surgery involves risks, you might want to opt for the most common way of correcting astigmatism, which is with corrective eyeglasses. Eye doctors correct astigmatism with corrective lenses that make the light bend into your eye properly so that you can see clearly. If you look at your prescription, the CYL (cylinder) number indicates the amount of lens power needed to correct astigmatism. It’s measured in dopters and represents the difference between the greatest and weakest powers of the eye.

    If nothing is in the CYL column on your prescription, or you see a zero there, you don’t have an astigmatism that needs to be corrected. Otherwise, you will see a minus or plus sign with a number alongside the OD, which indicates the right eye, and the OS, which indicates the left eye. Optometrists usually write the astigmatic correction with a minus sign, and ophthalmologists usually write it with a plus sign. They’re simply two different ways of determining the correction.

    Mild astigmatism, which is quite common and may not require corrective lenses, involves a dopter of 1 or less. Moderate astigmatism involves a dopter of 1 to 2 and generally requires corrective lenses. A dopter of 2 to 3 is considered severe, and a dopter of 3 or more is considered extreme.

    In any case, corrective eyeglasses offer a safe, effective way to correct astigmatism and help you see clearly. What’s more, there are plenty of fun, stylish glasses to choose from at Payne Glasses.

    Payne Glasses

    Payne Glasses offers a wide array of affordable, stylish eyeglasses to fit your every need. Just put your prescription information in with your order (see how to read your prescription for help) and select the lens and style that’s best for you. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us.


    Mayo Clinic:

    • https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/astigmatism/symptoms-causes/syc-20353835#:~:text=Astigmatism%20(uh%2DSTIG%2Dmuh,your%20eye%2C%20has%20mismatched%20curves.
    • American Academy of Ophthalmology: https://www.aao.org/eye-health/diseases/what-is-astigmatism
    • Web MD: https://www.webmd.com/connect-to-care/lasik/astigmatism-surgery-options-to-know-about
    • https://www.visioncenter.org/blog/astigmatism-severity/#5_Types_of_Astigmatism



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