Astigmatism occurs in an eye which is not completely round. This is one type of refractive error. Astigmatism occurs in nearly everybody to some degree. For vision problems due to astigmatism, glasses, contact lenses, and even vision correction procedures are all possible treatment options.
A person's eye is naturally shaped like a sphere. Under normal circumstances, when light enters the eye, it refracts evenly, creating a clear view of the object. However, the eye of a person with astigmatism is shaped more like a football or the back of a spoon. For this person, when light enters the eye it is refracted more in one direction than the other, allowing only part of the object to be in focus at one time. Objects at any distance can appear blurry and wavy.
Astigmatism refers to an abnormal, elliptical shaping of the front surface of the human eye, or cornea. Although it is part of the larger group of eye conditions known as refractive errors, a category that includes the more commonly known ailments of nearsightedness and farsightedness, astigmatism is neither a disease nor a certain cause of vision problems.
Only in cases where the curvature of the cornea is severe enough to prevent the human eye from focusing in on light rays will corrective lenses possibly be required. Unlike nearsightedness or farsightedness, someone with severe astigmatism will experience distorted or blurred vision at both close and long range. They may also suffer from headaches, fatigue and other discomfort as a result of the abnormal curvature.