Astigmatism, along with short sight and long sight, is a common cause of blurry vision. It's usually corrected with glasses or contact lenses.

What is astigmatism?

Astigmatism means your eye is shaped more like a rugby ball than a football, so light is focused at more than one place in the eye.

This can cause:

  • blurred vision
  • headaches
  • eye strain (you may notice this after concentrating for a long time – on a computer, for example)

Astigmatism normally occurs alongside short sight or long sight.

In young children, a high astigmatism may cause lazy eye. It's important this is spotted early so it can be treated.


Take your child for regular eye tests - astigmatism, as well as short sight or long sight , may affect their reading and concentration.

Find an optician here.

What you can do for astigmatism

If astigmatism is affecting your eyesight, there are several ways to correct it:


Pros - the cheapest option; may be available free or discounted on the NHS

Cons - could get lost or broken

Contact Lenses

Pros - choice of soft or hard types; preferred by active people; may be free or discounted on the NHS

Cons - may not be suitable for everyone; risk of eye infection through poor contact lens hygiene

Laser eye or lens syrgery

Pros - may be premanent; may be better for people with more severe vision problems

Cons - risk of complications during or after surgery; not available on the NHS; can be expensive; some sife effects.


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The information on this page has been adapted by NHS Wales from original content supplied by NHS UK NHS website nhs.uk
Last Updated: 02/07/2021 09:04:16