The cornea at the front of our eyes are responsible for focusing images on to the retina in conjunction with the lens. Ideally the cornea should be a regular sphere like a football, however, in majority of people it can be, to varying degrees, shaped more like a rugby ball. This means that the it is steeper in one plane compared with the other and this can result in images being focused at different areas on the retina and as a result they can be blurred.
The mainstay is the use of spectacles and toric contact lenses. They can give excellent vision but can be inconvenient depending on how high the prescription is.
1. Laser Eye Surgery
Although laser eye surgery is an excellent option for not only correcting the short or long sightedness it can be used to correct the astigmatism as well, however, high prescriptions may not be suitable for laser eye surgery. Moreover, the age of the patient is also a determinant of suitability for laser eye surgery.
2. Implantable Lenses
Where the prescription is too high for laser or there are other contraindications to laser then the placement of an artificial lens behind the iris and in front of the natural lens may prove to be an excellent way to correct astigmatism as well as long and short sightedness. This option is more suited for short sighted individuals.
3. Lens Surgery
Often referred to as Clear Lens Extraction (CLE) or Refractive Lens Exchange (RLE), this proceed is more suited to people over the age of 45 and involves the removal of the natural lens and placing a clear artificial lens in its place to correct the prescription where it is short or long sighted and with any degree of astigmatism. The placement of a toric lens can be placed after lens or cataract surgery and gives an excellent chance of good vision without spectacles.