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An introduction to astigmatism

  • Laser eye surgery is a safe and effective treatment for astigmatism

  • Astigmatism is a common eye condition where a person has an irregular curvature of the cornea.

  • A person’s eye is naturally spherical in shape. Under normal circumstances, when light enters the eye, it refracts evenly, creating a clear view of the object.

  • However, the eye of a person with astigmatism is shaped more like a football or the back of a spoon.

  • For this person, when light enters the eye, the cornea refracts (bends) the light more in one direction than the other, allowing only part of the object to be in focus at one time.

  • Objects at any distance can appear blurry and wavy.

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How astigmatism symptoms can impact your life

Astigmatism can significantly affect how you perceive the world.

Symptoms of astigmatism include:

  • Blurry, distorted, or fuzzy vision up close, far away and in between
  • Difficulty seeing at night
  • Eyestrain
  • Squinting
  • Eye irritation
  • Headaches

These astigmatism symptoms can have profound negative effects on your lifestyle, depending on how you use your eyes. Fortunately, you can correct the effects of astigmatism with corrective lenses or permanently correct astigmatism with laser vision correction.

Causes of astigmatism

Like a basketball a healthy and normal eye is spherical. When your eye is more oval shaped (like a football) – you’ve got astigmatism. That means that the curvature of the cornea (the transparent covering at the front of the eye) is not the same vertically as it is horizontally.

When light enters the eye, the eye focuses light on two different planes rather than at a single point. Images appear blurred or distorted, and you may experience ‘ghosting’ or ‘double-vision’. The picture below illustrates how light focuses on the retina of a healthy eye versus an eye with astigmatism.


Don’t feel overly concerned about astigmatism

Instead, think of astigmatism as just one of the many beautiful and infinite differences we see in all of us. Some of us have longer than average arms and legs, some of us have shorter than average arms and legs. This variety in nature includes the shape and size of our eyes.

You’re more at risk for astigmatism if you have:

  • A family history of astigmatism
  • Scarring or thinning of your cornea
  • Excessive nearsightedness
  • Excessive farsightedness

There is no way you can prevent astigmatism from developing.

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astigmatism treatment

It’s difficult to find helpful and straight forward information online about laser eye surgery. Our goal is to myth bust and help you find the right astigmatism treatment for you (even if it’s not at our clinic).

You can have an astigmatism examination in Toronto

An ophthalmologist (eye surgeon) or optometrist (eye doctor) can diagnose astigmatism by conducting a comprehensive eye exam that includes:

  • A visual acuity assessment test – reading letters from a chart at a specific distance to see how well you can read the letters
  • A refraction test – a machine that performs a similar job as we describe above
  • Keratometry – a device that an eye doctor or surgeon can use to measure the curvature of your cornea
  • Sometimes, severe forms of astigmatism can develop into disease states, like keratoconus

Keratoconus is a severe and progressive condition, so if you find your astigmatism worsening, it’s imperative that you get an eye exam at your earliest opportunity. If you think you have astigmatism and wish to discuss surgical treatment, contact us.

Astigmatism treatment details

Glasses and toric contact lenses are temporary solutions to correct astigmatism. People have a common misconception that laser eye surgery cannot correct astigmatism. This is wrong. Laser eye surgeons can use any of the following procedures to permanently cure astigmatism.

Videos and more information about astigmatism treatments

Watch a video below and discover how you can correct your astigmatism

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Toronto Laser Eye Surgery Clinic

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“To all Clearview Staff, thank you for making me feel so comfortable during my pre-op and LASIK procedure. I was very nervous and you all were so kind. I appreciate all your expertise and Tender Love and Care.”


“Dr. Kranemann is an EXCELLENT Ophthalmologist!! He helped my father’s vision with amazing results and we are truly grateful. Dr. Kranemann is a perfectionist and a remarkable professional who cares about the patient. He works very hard to help everyone, and his staff is wonderful and very kind. Dr. Kranemann is focused on the patient’s vision with extreme care and efficiency at every appointment.”


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“Had the new vision correction procedure SMILE. WOW is all I can say. Life without glasses is amazing. Great surgeon and medical staff. Will refer his expertise on to family and friends.”


“I found Dr. Kranemann very kind, I was very nervous and he went out of his way to make sure that I understood everything he was going to do. His staff are very nice and helpful. He is a great doctor, I’m glad I have him.”


“Dear Dr. Kranemann, Many thanks in the nice, smooth and trouble free cataract surgery you carried out on both my eyes at Clearview Institute. I would like also to extend my thanks to all the staff of clearview. They are efficient, kind hearted and very helpful. I wish all of you the continued success you well deserved.”


“Dr. Kranemann is exceptionally intelligent and experienced. He is passionate about achieving perfect results for his patients, and proved it by correcting my father’s vision perfectly. We are very happy and grateful and highly recommend Dr. Kranemann.”


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