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There are several reasons why one might have vision issues. Whether it be short sightedness, far sightedness, or glaucoma, we will show you here how astigmatism can affect you.

A common issue amongst the population, this visual condition stems from a disfiguration of the corneal lens on top of the eye. Often times, the symptoms are minor. Patients state they typically experience blurry vision (at any distance) and headaches.

How it Works

Astigmatism can happen at any age, and is typically more difficult to treat over time. It is recommended that parents bring their children into a vision clinic early in their development to conduct a basic, comprehensive vision test. The root cause of this issue stems from how the light is focused, or refracted from the front of the eye (cornea) to the rear of the eye. When astigmatism is present, this means that beams of light are not flowing to their proper place in the eye, leading to fuzzy pictures.

Identifying Symptoms of Astigmatism

Any optometrist can diagnose the symptoms of common astigmatism in a routine eye exam. The typical test administered is the visual acuity test. Think of your last visit with the eye doctor. Did they have you stand on a line and read numbers and letters from a board? That is one mode of preemptively identifying a problem with your vision.

  • Topography test – By using a special piece of equipment to determine the curve of your eye, these tests can determine how light is traveling into your eye. This measurement is especially important in determining the type and shape of contact lenses you receive.
  • Refraction exam – Now think of the typical stereotype for getting glasses. Remember those huge, bulky pieces of machinery asking “1 or 2? Okay now 2 or 3?” These are tests which utilize what’s called a phoropter to see how the light is being focused in your cornea.

Options for Treatment

Thankfully, this ailment is easily treatable and there are several options to consider.


A long-term, noninvasive solution, “Ortho-K” has a patient utilize a series of still contact lenses over time to eventually alter the shape of the cornea. It is long term because the cornea will default back to an astigmatic shape over time.

Contacts and Glasses

Just as you would imagine, regular contacts and eye wear will assist with the correction of the refracted light entering your eye. Simply put, the new angles from this equipment counteract the negative astigmatic angle when light enters your eye.

Laser Surgery

Through modern technology it is possible to utilize laser energy to change the shape of your cornea, effectively returning it back to the rounded shape that it is supposed to be. There are two types: LASIK and PRK.

Dr. Joseph Cohen O.D. 

Woodland Hills Optometrist
Receive an excellent service on a comprehensive eye care
(818) 345-3937
Providing service in English and Farsi for American and Iranian Patients
19737 Ventura Blvd., Suite 201, Woodland Hills, CA 91364