Astigmatism Q & A

What is astigmatism?

Astigmatism causes blurry or otherwise flawed vision and occurs when your cornea is irregularly shaped or due to an aberration of the curvature of the lens inside your eye.

Most men, women, and children have some form of astigmatism, but slight astigmatism typically doesn't affect your vision enough to require treatment. Over time, astigmatism can either improve or devolve and get worse. Dr. Choi tests for astigmatism during regular eye exams and checkups.

How is astigmatism diagnosed?

To check for astigmatism, Dr. Choi measures how your eyes focus light. Then, she can determine the prescription to improve your vision.

Visual Acuity Tests

You read letters on a chart to help Dr. Choi measures your visual acuity. Visual acuity test results are in numerical fractions, such as 20/30. The top number is testing distance, 20 feet, and the bottom number is the distance at which you read smallest letter size. Normal distance visual acuity is 20/20.

Keratometry Test

A keratometer measures the curvature of your cornea. Dr. Choi focuses a circle of light on your cornea and measures its reflection to determine the curvature of your cornea's surface, a measurement essential to fitting you for contact lenses.

Refraction Test

A phoropter measures how your eyes refract light. During this test, Dr. Choi places a series of lenses in front of your eyes and measures how they focus light. Based on your responses, she adjusts the power to determine the type of lenses best for you.

After performing these tests, Dr. Choi tells you if you have astigmatism and discusses the available treatment options.

How is astigmatism treated?

If you have astigmatism, Dr. Choi evaluates your condition suggests the most appropriate course of treatment, which may include one or more of the following.


Eyeglasses are one of the simplest ways to improve vision affected by astigmatism. Dr. Choi fits you with eyeglasses containing a special cylindrical lens that compensates for astigmatism by equipping specific parts of the lens with additional power.

Contact lenses

Toric soft contact lenses and rigid gas-permeable contact lenses correct several types of astigmatism. Hard lenses maintain their regular shape while you wear them and compensates for your cornea's irregular shape.

Orthokeratology (Ortho-K)

Ortho-K involves fitting you with a series of rigid contact lenses to reshape your cornea. Under Dr. Choi’s guidance, you wear these lenses for a limited time, such as while you sleep, and then remove them. Ortho-K doesn’t permanently improve your vision. If you stop wearing the temporary lenses, your vision may deteriorate to its normal condition.


Dr. Choi also treats astigmatism by reshaping your cornea through LASIK or PRK. During PRK, she removes tissue from the superficial and inner layers of your cornea, whereas LASIK involves removing tissue only from the inner layer of the cornea.

To learn more about treatments for astigmatism, call 714-957-2704 or use the online booking tool to schedule a consultation.

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