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Astigmatism is a vision condition that causes blurred
vision due mainly to the irregular shape of the cornea,
the clear front surface of the eye. An irregular shaped
cornea prevents light from focusing properly at the
back of the eye. This can result in blurred vision at any

Small amounts of astigmatism usually don't affect
vision and don't require treatment. In fact, most people
have some astigmatism. But if your child complains
about distorted or blurred vision, eye discomfort, and
headaches after reading, the reason could be a more
significant degree of astigmatism that needs correction.

It is common for a child with astigmatism also to be
either nearsighted or farsighted, since all three vision
conditions are caused by a defect in how the eyes bend
or "refract" light, called a "refractive error". However,
researchers have not been able to identify the specific
cause of astigmatism. In most cases it is hereditary and
present from birth. As a child grows, the degree of
astigmatism can change and may either decrease or
worsen over time.

Astigmatism is usually treated with prescription lenses.
For older children, contact lenses may offer better
vision in some cases.

Vision Topics