Accessibility View Close toolbar

What Is Astigmatism?

Image of family wearing glasses.

Astigmatism is an extremely common eye condition that affects both children and adults. It occurs when there is an imperfection in some part of your cornea, the clear tissue that covers your iris. Light rays pass through the cornea as they travel to the retina, a thin layer of cells at the back of your eye. The retina turns light rays into impulses that are transmitted to your brain, which interprets them as images.

Normally, the cornea is completely round. If you have astigmatism, some parts of your cornea may be rounder than others, which can cause a distortion in the way light rays focus on your retina. Astigmatism is considered a refractive error because it affects the way your eyes refract, or bend, light. It often occurs in conjunction with other refractive errors, such as nearsightedness or farsightedness.

Symptoms of Astigmatism

Common symptoms of astigmatism include:

  • Blurred or distorted vision
  • Trouble seeing clearly when driving at night
  • Squinting
  • Eyestrain
  • Headaches

If you have a mild case of astigmatism, you may not notice any changes in your vision.

Diagnosing Astigmatism

Many of the symptoms of astigmatism, such as blurred vision and eyestrain, can also occur if you need glasses or you already have glasses or contacts, but your eyes have gotten worse. Luckily, astigmatism can be easily spotted during an eye examination.

During the examination, your visual acuity will be measured based on your ability to read letters or numbers on an eye chart. The focusing power of your eyes will also be determined, and an instrument called a keratometer may be used to measure the curvature of your cornea. These tests help eye care professionals determine if you have astigmatism.

Treating Astigmatism

Eyeglasses will help improve your vision if you have been diagnosed with astigmatism. Although you probably will not be able to notice any difference just by looking at your new glasses, a subtle change in your lenses will allow you to see better. Glasses improve vision in people with astigmatism because the lens power is increased in a small area of a lens to compensate for the imperfection in your cornea. Some people with astigmatism feel that contacts offer better vision than glasses, but either option will help improve your eyesight.

Reshaping the cornea can alleviate astigmatism temporarily or permanently. Special contact lenses that are worn overnight change the shape of the cornea, allowing you to see clearly during the day. However, if you stop wearing the lenses at night, your symptoms will return. Two types of laser surgery, LASIK and photoreactive keratectomy (PRK), permanently reshape the cornea but may have associated risks.

Helping you make the most of your vision is our priority. If it's been awhile since we have seen you, call us today to schedule an appointment.

Contact Us

Office Hours

Monday:

7:45 am-5:30 pm

Tuesday:

7:45 am-6:30 pm

Wednesday:

Closed

Thursday:

8:45 am-5:30 pm

Friday:

8:45 am-5:30 pm

Saturday:

9:00 am-1:00 pm

(closed 2 Saturdays a month, call to verify)

Sunday:

Closed

Testimonials

  • "I wouldn't go anywhere else and highly recommend Dr. Orabone and the Seifert & Associates staff to take the best care of you."
    Mary V.
  • "Dr. Siefert is the best. He's meticulous and patient, very thorough too! I highly recommend him for eye classes too."
    Lori P.
  • "I can't rave enough about my experience! Dr. Orabone was so kind and helpful. I went in late on a Friday with a terrible eye infection. She immediately diagnosed me and helped me find a treatment. She even called me the following day to check up on me and to make me an appointment with an ophthalmologist. She went way above and beyond to make sure I was being taken care of. Excellent service! I highly recommend!"
    Ash M.
  • "What a wonderful experience! The staff is kind, courteous and helpful; the selection is slammin' and Dr. Seifert is clearly a man dedicated to using cutting edge technology in order to provide the very best eye care. Five stars and I can count them now sans squinting!!!"
    Denise L.
  • "The best eye dr I have ever been too. Very thorough and easy to understand. Would recommend to anyone with vision troubles"
    Tawnee R.
  • "Great place. Very nice. I'm from NJ & broke my only pair of glasses. I called the girl said to come in. When I did I was shocked. They fixed it & did not charge. Great staff ..Highly recommend & great frames to choose from. Thank You!!"
    Susan T.
  • "Excellent group of people. From the doctors to the front desk staff. Everyone is willing to help and do it with a smile. Dr. Seifert is always keeping up with the latest in technology which translates to an exceptional standard of care. I would recommend Seifert Eye Associates to all my friends and family."
    Brandon M.
  • "Great practice with state-of-the-art equipment. Dr. Orabone is wonderful and all the staff are so friendly and helpful. Also a great selection of eye ware. I highly recommend!"
    MaryAnne M.
  • "I'm very happy with Dr. Seifert and his staff. I think the equipment they use is newest and best. I would highly recommend them to anyone needing eye care."
    Kelli L.
  • "I normally get my eyes checked in Manhattan and decided to try Dr. Seifert. I do not think I ever had a better exam. It was thorough, it was carefully explained verbally and visually. I recommended that my wife give Dr. Seifert a try. The staff was excellent as well."
    Bill H.
  • "LOVE Seifert Eye Associates. They have the best client services and always go above and beyond for their patients. If you live on the East End this is the only doctor you should be going to! They are also great with kids."
    Jennifer K.
  • "The most comprehensive eye exam i have ever received!
    This doctor knows what's he's doing and so does his staff.
    Office is patient friendly and the optical side has a great selection of designer and affordable frames."
    Barbara M.
  • "Great office, clean, friendly, state of the art equipment! Even as Dr Seifert game me the news of having to get "progressive lenses", was done in a tactful way!!! :-) Would definitly recommend the office for eye exams."
    Marlene S.
  • "I've been coming to Dr Seifert for years and have always had a great experience! The staff here are always really friendly and accommodating. I'd highly recommend Dr Seifert."
    M. W.
  • "I have used Dr. Seifert for many years. He is diligent and innovative. He always looks for the best the patient can get and explains all options in a very understandable manner. He is an excellent doctor, besides a very nice and kind person. I highly recommend Dr. Seifert !"
    Maik J.
  • "I had a great experience. Very professional staff and the doctor was very helpful. Great frame selection too!"
    Rodrigo M.