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Is Astigmatism a Refractive Error?

Blog, Eye Exam, Eye Information, Eyeglasses

You may have heard about astigmatism before, but how much do you really know about it? Most people have questions about the symptoms of astigmatism or how it can be treated. Others wish to know, ‘Is astigmatism a refractive error?’


A refractive error indicates that your eye shape or size deters proper light manipulation, which can lead to blurry visuals at different distances. Let’s discuss whether this plays a role in astigmatism. 

Is astigmatism a refractive error?

Yes, astigmatism is a refractive error. It happens if your cornea is shaped like an oval instead of a circle or if you have irregular curving in your eye lens. That can make it challenging for your eye to point light to the retina, which is necessary for clear vision.


Due to the abnormalities in the eye, your eyesight can become blurry up close, far away, or in between. You might even experience headaches or irritation in your eyes if you don’t get the proper vision correction. 


Some other types of refractive errors include hyperopia, myopia, and presbyopia. All of these eye issues can happen due to problems with your eye lens or corneal curve, which makes it difficult for your eyes to direct light. 


To test for astigmatism or other refractive errors, the eye doctor may:


  • Assess how well you can see by having you point out letters or values on an eye chart. 
  • Use a keratometer or corneal topography to examine your corneal curve up close. (This step is essential if you’d like to get contacts.)
  • Determine your eyes’ light refraction abilities by having you look through multiple lenses.


Tip: If you suspect you have astigmatism or other refractive issues, take a list of your symptoms to your eye doctor. This data will make it easier for them to diagnose you for astigmatism and to set you up with the proper prescription. 

How can I get an astigmatism prescription?

If you have any astigmatism symptoms and are interested in getting a prescription, the first step is to schedule an eye exam with an eye doctor near you. It’s simple to book an appointment with For Eyes. Just call a store in your area, and bring your insurance and driver’s license to the visit. 


After conducting the eye tests, the optometrist may recommend special glasses or toric contact lenses to modify the way light infiltrates your eyes. The goal? To fight back against the blurry vision. 


Remember: It may be challenging to get used to astigmatism glasses or contacts at first. As long as you wear your eyewear as recommended by your eye doctor, the adjustment period will soon come to an end. Give it a little time, and talk to your optometrist if you have any concerns. 

Summary: Astigmatism

If you have a refractive error, you likely have a problem with the shape or size of your cornea or eye lens, which creates blurry vision at specific distances. Is astigmatism a refractive error? Yes, it is. 


Like the other refractive errors, astigmatism can make it challenging to see something near you or far away, depending on the degree of your condition and if you have any other refractive errors. Other issues that are similar to astigmatism include hyperopia, myopia, and presbyopia. 


To get an astigmatism prescription, we recommend arranging a comprehensive eye examination with a nearby optometrist. By the end of your eye appointment, you’ll know if you have astigmatism and what you can do to correct it.

Don’t let an astigmatism diagnosis intimidate you. Our team of eye specialists is here to help. Book an appointment today at your nearest optical store.

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