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What is Astigmatism?

The cornea around your iris and pupil is, under usual circumstances, round. As light enters the eye from all angles, the cornea's role is to help project that light, aiming it toward your retina, in the anterior portion of your eye. What happens when the cornea is not perfectly round? The eye is not able to focus the light correctly on a single focal point on your retina's surface, and will cause your vision to be blurred. This is known as astigmatism.

Many individuals have astigmatism and the condition usually accompanies other refractive errors that require vision correction. Astigmatism frequently occurs during childhood and often causes eye strain, headaches and squinting when left untreated. With children, it may cause difficulty in the classroom, especially with reading or other visual tasks. Those who work with particularly small or detailed objects or at a computer monitor for long periods of time may find that it can be problematic.

Diagnosis of astigmatism starts with an eye test with an eye care professional. Once detected, an automated refraction or a retinoscopy exam is performed to check the severity of astigmatism. The condition is commonly corrected with contact lenses or glasses, or refractive surgery, which changes the way that light hits the eye, allowing your retina to get the light correctly.

For contacts, the patient might be prescribed toric lenses, which control the way the light bends when it enters the eye. Standard contacts have a tendency to move each time you close your eyes, even just to blink. But with astigmatism, the smallest movement can cause blurred vision. Toric lenses are able to return to the exact same position immediately after you blink. You can find toric contact lenses in soft or rigid lenses.

Astigmatism can also be rectified by laser surgery, or by orthokeratology (Ortho-K), a non-surgical alternative involving the use of rigid contact lenses to gradually change the shape of the cornea over night. It's advisable to discuss your options with your eye doctor to determine what your best option is for your needs.

A person's astigmatism can get better or worse gradually, so make sure that you're regularly seeing your optometrist for a proper exam. Also, make sure you have your children's eyes checked before they begin school. Most of your child's learning (and playing) is mostly visual. You'll help your child get the most of his or her schooling with a thorough eye exam, which will pick up any visual irregularities before they affect education, sports, or other activities. It's important to know that astigmatism is highly treatable, and that the sooner to you begin to treat it, the better off your child will be.



Eyecare services are currently available for you, your children and family. However, please consult our Google Business page or call us for our current hours of operation. We want to advise you about the procedures and efforts that we are making to address the challenges regarding COVID-19/Coronavirus. (Read more)

Our efforts you can expect at our practice:

  • Staggered appointment times with minimal to no wait times in our reception area. Patients may also check in and wait outside in their cars to be called in for exam.
  • Following guidelines based upon medical evidence and closely monitoring the guidance from the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
  • Educating our doctors and staff on preventative measures provided by the CDC with daily staff meeting updates.
  • Increasing the frequency and extent of our cleaning practices, such as additional wipe downs of all hard surfaces including the front desk, examination rooms after every exam and additional cleaning for all “patient touch points” (door handles, eyeglasses, counter tops, and other high-touch surfaces).
  • Providing additional resources that are available to patients and employees including hand sanitizers, extra soap and paper towels at all sinks and restrooms.
  • Implementing heightened sanitation and hand-washing procedures for all staff.


  • Only bring scheduled patients to the office (1-Accompanied adult per minor or elderly patient).

  • If you recently traveled to any of the high risk countries within the past 30 days, please, delay & reschedule your appointment for 30 days after you returned from your travel.

  • If you have any flu-like symptoms (fever, chills body aches, & trouble breathing), please, delay your appointment for 30 days.

  • If you are experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, and you arrive at our office, we will kindly ask you to leave & reschedule your appointment

  • Please notify us as soon as possible if you need to reschedule your appointment. This allows us to release your reserved time to another patient.

With appropriate precautions we will together address this challenge and modify behaviors that will make us better prepared to face such challenges in the future. Thank you for your cooperation.


Dr. Brawley, Dr. Friederich, Dr. Seibel, Dr. Wehner & Staff at Vision Care Consultants