Common Types and Categories of Astigmatism

Common Types and Categories of Astigmatism

September 5, 2022  |  eye disease, Eye Exams
A lady looking into a machine for an eye check

Astigmatism is one of the most common eye problems in the world. According to the National Eye Institute, a study performed on 12,000 Americans between 1999 and 2004 found that 36% of participants had astigmatism. That’s over one-third! 


Millions of Americans are affected by astigmatism throughout their lives, but many do not know that there are several different types of astigmatisms, all of which have their causes and effects on your vision.  


Astigmatism is a refractive error that occurs due to imperfections in the eye. Eye doctors can determine what kind of astigmatism you may have, and how to properly correct your vision. 


In this post, let’s take a look at the common types of astigmatism and how they differ in cause and effect. 


Astigmatism: Three Categories 


Astigmatism often results from a flaw in the cornea, a clear protective outer layer that is rounded like a camera lens. The cornea uses refraction to bring images into focus. If this process is disrupted in some way vision problems are the result.  


There are three different categories of stigmatism that help determine your diagnosis. 


  • Myopic astigmatism. This type of astigmatism is defined by a patient who has a blurry vision far away and clear vision close up. If the cornea has a proper arc, nearsightedness is caused by other parts of the eye. This occurs when the cornea’s principal meridian produces nearsightedness. 

  • Hyperopic astigmatism. This type of astigmatism is defined by farsightedness in a patient. That means the patient’s vision is poor up close and clear far away. This occurs when the cornea’s principal meridian produces farsightedness. 

  • Mixed astigmatism. Some corneas produce both myopic and hyperopic vision. This occurs when one principal meridian produces nearsightedness and the other meridian produces farsightedness.   


Common Types of Astigmatism 


Now that you understand the three categories of astigmatism, you need to learn about the three types.  


  • Regular astigmatism. This occurs when the curvature of the cornea is not completely round. This means that the eye is curved more in one direction than the other. Regular astigmatism distorts vision, making objects appear blurry or stretched. 

  • Irregular astigmatism. Irregular astigmatism is similar to regular astigmatism in that the curvature of the eye is not perfectly round, however, the key difference with irregular astigmatism is that the cornea does not curve evenly in one direction. Instead, the curve is uneven or curved in multiple directions. 

  • Lenticular astigmatism. Corneal astigmatism is by far the most common type of astigmatism, however, at times it can occur in the intraocular lens as well. When the intraocular lens has curvature imperfections, this is referred to as lenticular astigmatism. 


How to Deal with Astigmatism  


The best way to deal with astigmatism is by visiting your local optometrist to determine if you need glasses or contact lenses. 


A pair of lenses will help correct your vision impairment and negate the effects of astigmatism. 


LASIK eye surgery is also an option, but it should only be considered after other optical considerations.  


Astigmatism Treatment at Oxford Family Vision Care 


Astigmatism is one of the most prominent eye problems in the United States today. It affects about one out of every three adults and often results in the need for prescription glasses or contacts. 


Oxford Family Vision Care also offers LASIK screenings to help you determine if LASIK is the right option for you.  


If you want to get control of your astigmatism and start living the life you want, reach out to Oxford Family Vision Care today!