All about astigmatism glasses: do you need it?

Lensmart 2022-01-20 00:02:57

Astigmatism is a vision problem that affects a small number of the human population. People with astigmatism have an irregularly shaped cornea and these irregularities affect how light passes through the retina. So the way their eyes react to light exposure is different from that of people with regular corneas.

Furthermore, people with astigmatism are either nearsighted or farsighted and they find it hard to see clearly in places with low light.

normal eye vs astigmatism

When dealing with astigmatism, experts often recommend astigmatism glasses and they work so well as a visual aid but not everyone who suffers from astigmatism will require glasses to see clearly. This is because a person may have astigmatism and still have a 20/20 vision. It is only if the case cannot be corrected with a corrective surgery that the optometrist may then recommend astigmatism glasses. Besides surgery, rigid contact lenses may be used to correct the problem too.

If you have a severe case of astigmatism, you will most likely need astigmatism glasses to improve your vision. If you start experiencing these problems, your doctor will most definitely recommend astigmatism glasses:

· Squinting

· Headaches caused by eyestrain

· Poor night vision

· Double vision

Once you begin to experience the above, you definitely need astigmatism glasses but you first need to visit an eye doctor who will perform a test on you so as to determine the proper prescription for you. With the correct prescription, you can then proceed to buy astigmatism glasses from reputable stores or online platforms.

How to read your astigmatism correction prescription    

In the previous paragraph, we explained the importance of getting the right prescription glasses before you go hunting for glasses to buy. But how do you interpret your correction prescription? Here is what the numbers you see mean.

For instance, if your prescription shows -1.00 then that means you have just one diopter and you are nearsighted which is fair but if the number reads something like -4.25 that means 4 ½ diopters of nearsightedness. People who are more nearsighted require thicker lenses than those with much lower nearsighted prescriptions like -1.00. Conversely, when the number changes from – to + that means farsightedness. People with a +1.00 are much less far-sighted than those with +5.

With the above serving as the foundation, what will a prescription for an astigmatic person contain?

The prescription will have S x C x Axis but what do these variables mean?

1. S: S represents the sphere of the eyes and represents the degree of sightedness be it near or far.

2. C: C represents astigmatism which may be a negative or positive number. The C in your prescription measures the diopters of astigmatism which may either be a positive or negative number as seen from our example above.

3. Axis: The Axis is the astigmatic orientation which may be anywhere between 0-180. The rounder the cornea the worse the astigmatism will be. Since in normal cases the cornea should be shaped like a baseball, not a football.

So an example of how an astigmatic prescription will read is as follows:

+3.50 + 3.00 x 45

-2.00 + 1.50 x 180

Can glasses fix astigmatism?     

Astigmatism glasses can fix astigmatism because they correct vision impairment in general. The good news is that these glasses can correct most conditions involving astigmatism. But doctors only recommend them if other options do not work. For most patients, corrective surgery or contact lenses are used instead.

Astigmatism glasses

Do astigmatism glasses work for night driving?

People with astigmatism find it hard to see clearly at night and even more difficult to drive. But with astigmatism glasses, their vision will improve in places with less light. Astigmatism glasses will reduce the glares experienced with light penetration. They are also effective in addressing hyperopia and myopia.

What to consider before buying a pair of glasses for astigmatism

If you browse online you will find so many stores selling different types of glasses for astigmatism but not all of them offer credible vision improvement. Unfortunately, many people fall into the trap of buying poor-quality glasses or glasses that do not even address astigmatism at all.

Even if you buy the right one, the prescription may be wrong. So to avoid making a mistake, here are things to consider when shopping for astigmatism glasses.

1. The Lens

The lens is one of the first things to consider when shopping for glasses. If your prescription has a higher number, you will need a much thinner lens than normal. This is why you should always consult a doctor first to be sure of your prescription before you buy your glasses, not after. There are standard and trivex lenses on sale but the latter is required for high astigmatism.

2. Coatings and Layers

Glasses with extra costs are ideal for a few reasons. The coats will protect the lens from fogging and the frame from scratches that will ruin the appearance. If the coating is anti-reflective that's even better because it will reduce glare which is great for vision. So when buying glasses always go for the ones with coats because they protect the lens and frame much better than coat-less ones.

3. Frame/Size/Shape

You also should consider your face shape and size when making your selection. Today, there are different types of frame styles for all face types so finding one that will fit you should not be a problem. But first, you should know your face shape. Is your face round, oval, heart or any other shape? 

Consider going for a frame that will fit your facial structure. You may also choose the color or set of colors you like to suit your taste when selecting astigmatism glasses.

Astigmatism glasses are effective instruments for treating mild or severe astigmatism. However, do not conclude that you need one without consulting an expert. Should your doctor recommend one, you can then proceed to pick the glasses you like based on your correction prescription and other secondary requirements.


Find more about this topic: 

How to know if you need glasses?

How does astigmatism affect glasses lens thickness?

What does it mean when your left or right eye is twitching?

Astigmatism vs. normal: all you need to know

What are 20/10, 20/20, and 20/40 vision?

All you need to know about astigmatism lights

What is CYL, AXIS and SPH in eye prescription?