Astigmatism is a common vision error caused by the irregular curvature of the cornea or lens in the eye. The condition can result in blurred vision.
Normally, cornea, the transparent anterior portion of the outer covering of the eye, is spherical in shape. But in astigmatic eyes, it is mostly oval shaped and has two curves. This results in the light entering the eye to focus in one or more places. The error can be easily treated.
Astigmatism can cause distorted vision at all distances and is seen at the time of birth and along with nearsightedness and farsightedness. The perfect symmetrical shape of cornea is only is seen in few people, so most people have slight astigmatism, which is automatically adjusted by the eye. It is estimated that around 20% of children and 15% of adults have astigmatism which causes vision error.
Astigmatism is not exactly an eye disease rather it is a defect in one of the most important part of the eye and it can be successfully treated. Since most cases of astigmatism is seen at the time of birth, it necessary for parents with family history of astigmatism to take their children for infant eye examinations.