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Can you be short-sighted and have astigmatism at the same time?
Medically reviewed by Sharon Copeland on 12 January 2021
Yes, you can be short-sighted and astigmatic. There are three different types of astigmatism, these are classified as:
- Myopic astigmatism - when an eye with astigmatism is combined with near-sightedness and the two curves of the lens or cornea are focused in front of the retina.
- Hyperopic astigmatism - this is when farsightedness is combined with astigmatism and the two curves of the lens or cornea are focused behind the retina.
- Mixed astigmatism - when an eye features a curve that is farsighted, and another curve which is near-sighted.
These three types of astigmatism can be classified further as regular or irregular.
There is also lenticular astigmatism which affects the lens rather than the cornea. In this instance, the lens has variations that cause images to reach the back of the eye, or retina, in a distorted way. It is common to have lenticular astigmatism while having a normal shaped cornea.
Astigmatism and short-sightedness can be corrected with toric contact lenses, which also cater for those with long-sightedness.
What are the symptoms of astigmatism?
Astigmatism is a common eye condition which can affect one or both eyes. It can result in blurred or distorted vision at all distances and can affect people at any age.
Astigmatism is a refractive error caused by an unusual, shaped cornea, (like a rugby ball as opposed to the more common spherical football shape). This distorts light entering the eye and prevents it from focusing correctly on the retina, causing images to appear blurry.
Most astigmatism is regular astigmatism; however irregular astigmatism can also be experienced and is usually a result of an eye surgery which can cause scarring on the cornea.
Regular astigmatism prevents light from being able to focus onto a single point on the retina of your eye. Symptoms of astigmatism include:
- Blurry vision
- Eye Strain
- Trouble seeing at night
You'll find these symptoms all the more noticeable whilst driving or using the computer.
How do you check for astigmatism?
Astigmatism is diagnosed easily by an ophthalmic optician during a complete eye examination. The curvature of the front of your cornea can be measured using a keratometer or corneal topographer. If you experience symptoms of astigmatism, you should make sure you visit your optician for an eye exam. Once astigmatism is diagnosed, regular eye tests should be undertaken as astigmatism often fluctuates over time and this will ensure you are also wearing the right prescription.
How do you fix an astigmatism?
Astigmatism can be corrected with glasses or contact lenses to alter the way in which light enters the eyes.
Refractive surgery is one of the less common astigmatism correction options, however, it is a procedure that changes the shape of your eyes. It comes with risks associated with most surgeries.
How can I correct short-sightedness and astigmatism?
Toric contact lenses provide correction in a wide range of powers to address short-sightedness and long-sightedness. They also offer astigmatic correction made up of a cylindrical power and its axis.
Read our guide on astigmatism to find out even more about the condition and using toric contact lenses for visual correction.
Quick links:A guide to blurry vision
Computer Eye Strain: Symptoms and Solutions
What is high myopia?