In order to see perfectly clearly, any object we look at needs to be uniformly in focus at the back of the eye. Astigmatism occurs when part of the image is always out of focus, causing blurred vision.

What are the symptoms of astigmatism?

Most glasses wearers will have some form of astigmatism. In more developed cases, or without treatment, symptoms could also include:

  • Headaches
  • Having to squint to see clearly
  • Eye strain or tiredness when focusing on prolonged tasks - like when you’re reading a book or a computer screen

What causes astigmatism?

Astigmatism is usually something you’re born with, although it can develop and vary later on in life due to age-related changes. It’s not clear why it happens, but this eye condition is most likely linked to your genetics. You’re also more likely to have astigmatism if you’re short- or long-sighted.

Astigmatism could develop after:

  • An eye injury
  • Eye surgery
  • An eye disease

What help is available?

In most cases, astigmatism is easily corrected with either glasses, contact lenses (called toric lenses), or even surgery.

Your optometrist will be able to detect astigmatism during a routine eye test, and they’ll recommend the best option for you.

Did you know?

AA Members are entitled to a free eye test (valued at $60), once every two years. Remember to present your AA Membership card in store.

Frequently asked questions

Free exam for AA Members applies to standard eye examinations only, normally valued at $60. Excludes contact lens examination and visual field checks. Limited to one per AA Member every two years. Available to current AA Members upon presentation of AA Membership card.