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Astigmatism results in blurring of all images whether they are near or far. This usually occurs when the cornea is shaped like a football with a steeper curve in one direction and a flatter curve in the other, rather than round like a basketball. This uneven shape causes light rays entering the eye to focus on more than one point, rather than only one the retinas as they should.

Astigmatism is very common affecting about 1 in 3 people, and is usually present at birth. If you are nearsighted or farsighted, there is a good chance that you have a touch of astigmatism too. A small degree of this refractive error is considered normal and does not require correction.

In mixed astigmatism, the symptoms of nearsightedness and farsightedness occur simultaneously. This combination of vision problems results in the overall inability to see images clearly.

Treatment options include glasses, contact lenses, or LASIK/PRK (laser vision correction).


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