Common Types and Categories of Astigmatism

Mar 28, 2022


Astigmatism is a common visual condition that affects individuals of all ages. It is characterized by an irregular curvature of the cornea or lens, resulting in blurred or distorted vision. If you are experiencing blurry vision, difficulty seeing fine details, or eye strain, you may have astigmatism. Understanding the different types and categories of astigmatism is essential in determining the appropriate treatment.

Regular Astigmatism

Regular astigmatism is the most common type of astigmatism. In this form, the cornea or lens has two distinct curves, one steeper and one flatter. This results in clear vision along two principal meridians that are perpendicular to each other. Regular astigmatism can be further categorized into with-the-rule astigmatism, against-the-rule astigmatism, and oblique astigmatism.

With-the-Rule Astigmatism

In with-the-rule astigmatism, the steepest curvature of the cornea or lens is in the vertical meridian. This means that the vertical lines appear sharper, while horizontal lines may appear more blurred. It is commonly seen in older individuals.

Against-the-Rule Astigmatism

Against-the-rule astigmatism is the opposite of with-the-rule astigmatism. Here, the steepest curvature is in the horizontal meridian, resulting in clearer horizontal lines and relatively blurred vertical lines. It is more prevalent in younger individuals.

Oblique Astigmatism

Oblique astigmatism occurs when the steepest curvature is at an angle other than the vertical or horizontal meridian. This can cause distortions in both horizontal and vertical lines, leading to blurred vision in multiple directions.

Irregular Astigmatism

Irregular astigmatism is less common compared to regular astigmatism, but it can cause significant visual disturbances. Unlike regular astigmatism, the cornea or lens does not have a symmetrical and consistent curvature. This causes multiple focal points within the eye, resulting in distorted and unclear vision. Irregular astigmatism can be caused by eye conditions such as keratoconus, corneal scars, or corneal surgeries.

Corneal Astigmatism

Corneal astigmatism refers specifically to the irregular curvature of the cornea. It can be either regular or irregular in nature, depending on the uniformity of the corneal shape. Corneal astigmatism is typically diagnosed through a comprehensive eye examination, including measurements of corneal topography or the use of specialized instruments to map the curvature of the cornea.

Lenticular Astigmatism

Lenticular astigmatism occurs when the lens, rather than the cornea, has an irregular shape. This type of astigmatism is less common and is often associated with changes in the lens due to age-related conditions like cataracts. Lenticular astigmatism can result in progressive vision deterioration and may require surgical intervention to restore clear vision.

Diagnosing and Treating Astigmatism

If you suspect you have astigmatism or are experiencing visual disturbances, it is crucial to schedule an appointment with an eye care professional. A comprehensive eye examination will include tests to measure your refractive error, such as the use of a phoropter or autorefractor. Your eye doctor will determine the type and severity of your astigmatism and recommend suitable treatment options.

Eyeglasses and Contact Lenses

The most common and non-invasive way to correct astigmatism is through the use of corrective lenses. Eyeglasses with specialized lenses that compensate for the irregular corneal or lens curvature can provide clear vision. Additionally, toric contact lenses are specially designed for individuals with astigmatism, ensuring a comfortable fit and clear vision.

Refractive Surgery

In cases of significant astigmatism, refractive surgery may be a viable option. Procedures such as LASIK (Laser-Assisted In-Situ Keratomileusis) and PRK (Photorefractive Keratectomy) reshape the cornea to correct its curvature, resulting in improved visual acuity. These procedures are performed by skilled ophthalmologists and require thorough evaluation to determine candidacy.


Orthokeratology, also known as corneal reshaping therapy or ortho-k, involves the use of rigid gas-permeable contact lenses to temporarily reshape the cornea while you sleep. This can provide clear vision throughout the day without the need for glasses or contact lenses. However, orthokeratology is not suitable for everyone, and regular follow-ups with an eye care professional are essential.


Astigmatism is a common visual condition that can affect your daily life if left uncorrected. Understanding the different types and categories of astigmatism can help you navigate the treatment options available. Baron Rick W Dr, an expert in vision care, can diagnose and guide you through the journey of managing astigmatism, ensuring clear and comfortable vision. Don't let astigmatism interfere with your life; schedule an appointment today to experience the difference.

Patricia Pujols
This article provided me with valuable information about astigmatism. 😊 It's important to understand its types and categories for better diagnosis and treatment.
Nov 10, 2023
Luiz Cruz
Great information! 👍
Oct 12, 2023