Understanding Astigmatism: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment Options at Valley Laser Eye Centre

Astigmatism is a prevalent and often misunderstood refractive error that can cause blurred or distorted vision at all distances. It occurs due to irregularities in the shape of the cornea or lens, which prevents light from focusing properly on the retina. With approximately one in three people affected by astigmatism, understanding this eye condition, its causes, symptoms, and available treatment options is essential for maintaining optimal eye health and clear vision.

At Valley Laser Eye Centre in Abbotsford, BC, our team of committed eye care professionals aims to provide educational resources, personalized care, and advanced treatment options for patients dealing with astigmatism and other vision-related issues. In this comprehensive blog post, we will explore the fundamental aspects of astigmatism, including its causes and symptoms, and the wide array of treatment options available at our clinic.

Disclaimer: This blog post does not replace medical advice and should not be implemented prior to consulting a fully certified medical professional.

The Causes of Astigmatism

Astigmatism is primarily caused by an irregularly shaped cornea or lens, which affects the eye’s ability to focus light. The cornea is the transparent outer layer of the eye, while the lens is responsible for focusing light on the retina. In a perfectly shaped eye, the cornea and lens have a symmetrical curvature, allowing light to focus accurately on the retina. However, astigmatism makes the curvature irregular, leading to distorted or blurred vision. Factors that might contribute to the development of astigmatism include:

1. Genetics: A family history of astigmatism increases the likelihood of developing the condition.

2. Eye Injuries: Injuries to the eye can alter the shape of the cornea, resulting in astigmatism.

3. Eye Surgery: Some refractive eye surgeries, such as cataract surgery, can cause changes in the cornea’s shape, leading to astigmatism.

Recognizing the Symptoms of Astigmatism

Astigmatism can manifest through various symptoms that may develop gradually or be present from birth. Some common indications of astigmatism include:

1. Blurred or distorted vision at all distances

2. Difficulty seeing at night and increased sensitivity to glare

3. Frequent squinting or eye strain

4. Frequent headaches due to eye strain or difficulty focusing

Consulting an eye care professional is essential if you experience any of these symptoms, as a comprehensive eye examination can determine the presence and severity of astigmatism and guide the appropriate intervention.

Non-Surgical Treatment Options for Astigmatism

Several non-surgical treatment options can help correct astigmatism, including:

1. Eyeglasses: Prescription eyeglasses with specially shaped lenses can correct astigmatism, providing a clear and focused vision.

2. Contact Lenses: Both soft and rigid gas-permeable contact lenses can correct astigmatism. In some cases, toric contact lenses, which are specially designed for astigmatism, may be recommended.

3. Orthokeratology (Ortho-K): Ortho-K is a non-surgical process involving the use of specially designed rigid gas-permeable contact lenses worn overnight to temporarily reshape the cornea, improving vision during the day.

Surgical Treatment Options for Astigmatism at Valley Laser Eye Centre

For individuals seeking a more permanent solution to correct astigmatism, Valley Laser Eye Centre offers various surgical treatment options, including:

1. Photorefractive Keratectomy (PRK): PRK is a type of laser eye surgery that reshapes the cornea by removing a thin layer of its surface, correcting the irregular curvature causing astigmatism. This procedure can provide long-lasting improvements in vision and eliminate the need for eyeglasses or contact lenses.

2. Laser-assisted Subepithelial Keratectomy (LASEK): LASEK is similar to PRK but involves using a finer technique to remove the cornea’s surface layer, potentially reducing the risk of complications and promoting faster recovery.

3. Advanced Surface Ablation (ASA): ASA is a variation of PRK, using an advanced technology laser to carefully reshape the cornea’s surface to correct astigmatism, providing a long-term solution for clear vision.


Astigmatism is a common refractive error caused by the irregular shape of the cornea or lens, resulting in blurred or distorted vision. Understanding the causes, symptoms, and available treatment options allows you to make informed decisions to maintain clear vision and eye health. At Valley Laser Eye Centre in Abbotsford, BC, our dedicated team of eye care professionals is committed to providing personalized care, comprehensive eye examinations, and state-of-the-art treatment options to correct astigmatism and other vision-related conditions.

Schedule a consultation with our skilled ophthalmologists in Abbotsford to discuss your concerns and explore the most suitable treatment options for astigmatism. Trust Valley Laser Eye Centre to provide personalized care tailored to your needs, ensuring that you receive the best possible support on your journey towards improved eye health and well-being. Take the first step towards a clearer vision by contacting us today.



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