Astigmatism is a type of refractive error of the eye. People are able to see clearly because the front part of the eye (cornea) is able to bend (refract) light and focus it onto the retina. If the light rays are not clearly focused on the retina, the images you see may be blurry. With astigmatism, the cornea is abnormally or unevenly curved. This curve causes vision to be out of focus. Astigmatism can be corrected with glasses or contact lenses, or cured with laser surgery.
Review Date 8/22/2022
Updated by: Franklin W. Lusby, MD, Ophthalmologist, Lusby Vision Institute, La Jolla, CA. Also reviewed by David C. Dugdale, MD, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.