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Astigmatism is usually caused when the cornea is more "football" shaped than round. This refractive condition may be present alone or along with nearsightedness or farsightedness. Astigmatism also can be caused from an eye injury that scars the cornea, from degenerative corneal conditions or from eye surgery. Virginia Mason Franciscan Healths optometrists have many decades of experience diagnosing, treating and managing patients with astigmatism. For more information about Virginia Mason Franciscan Health's optometrists or to schedule an appointment regarding astigmatism, call 206-223-6840.

Diagnosing astigmatism

Astigmatism can occur at any age. Two common eye tests used to diagnose astigmatism are the visual acuity test, which determines reading and distance vision, and a refraction exam with a phoropter, a machine that measures and determines the amount of correction a patient needs to see clearly. Another test that may help determine the amount of astigmatism is keratometry, which measures the curvature of the cornea.

Treating astigmatism

The most common way to correct astigmatism is through the use of eyeglasses or contacts lenses. Refractive surgery may be an option on a limited basis. Your optometrist will discuss all of these options with you.