Can you be short-sighted and have astigmatism at the same time?

Medically reviewed by Wut Win, Dispensing Optician at Feel Good Contacts.

Yes, you can be short-sighted and astigmatic. There are three different types of astigmatism, these are classified as:

  1. Myopic astigmatism - when the two curves of the lens or cornea are focused in front of the retina.
  2. Hyperopic astigmatism - this is when the two curves of the lens or cornea are focused behind the retina.
  3. Mixed astigmatism - when an eye features a curve that focusses light in front of the retina and another curve which focusses light behind the retina.

These three types of astigmatism can be classified further as regular or irregular.

Most astigmatism is corneal astigmatism, when the cornea has two different curves, a bit like a rugby ball. Lenticular astigmatism 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 possible to have lenticular astigmatism while having a regular shaped cornea.

Astigmatism and short-sightedness can be corrected with toric contact lenses or glasses, which also cater for those with long-sightedness.

What is astigmatism?

Astigmatism is a common eye condition that 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 irregular shaped cornea, (like a rugby ball as opposed to a 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. It is less common and is usually a result of an eye injury that caused scarring or from a condition such as keratoconus.

Regular astigmatism prevents light from being able to focus onto a single point on the retina of your eye.

What are the symptoms of astigmatism?

Astigmatism can cause

  • Blurry vision
  • Eye Strain
  • Headaches
  • Squinting
  • 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 Optometrist during an 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 axis.

You can find both daily disposable toric contact lenses and monthly contact lenses for astigmatic correction at Feel Good Contacts.

They can also be corrected by glasses. Your spectacle prescription will include cylinder power and axis which will correct astigmatism.

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?
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