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 later on in life due to age-related changes. It’s not clear why it happens, but it’s 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

What is the difference between myopia and astigmatism? 

The main difference between myopia (short-sightedness) and astigmatism is that they are two different refractive errors. Astigmatism causes blurred vision at any distance, whereas myopia causes far away objects to appear out of focus.

Astigmatism treatments


Glasses are a simple solution to astigmatism, and can be customised based on your prescription. For instance, if your astigmatism symptoms are more severe in one eye than the other, your glasses can accommodate for this.

Contact lenses

If you have astigmatism, your optician can prescribe you a special type of soft contact lenses called toric lenses. They can bend light more in one direction than the other, which makes them ideal for people with astigmatism. Find out more about contact lenses here.

Laser eye surgery

Laser eye surgery is a more permanent treatment for astigmatism. The surgeon uses a special laser to change the shape of your cornea and correct the refractive error within the eye.