Astigmatism 101: Does Astigmatism use Different Glasses?

Eye glasses

You might be wondering about myopia and astigmatism and how they are different from each other.

The cause of the blur between the two is actually very different. Thus, you need a different type of glass for astigmatism. But there are glasses that can function as both, that’s why you can see glasses that can correct both astigmatism and myopia together.

Astigmatism uses a cylindrical lens since it is a refractive error different from Myopia or Hyperopia. In Myopia, light is focused before the retina, and after the retina if hyperopia. While astigmatism refracts light in a different spot. Thus, a different kind of glass is needed to solve the issue.

Can you wear normal lenses with astigmatism?

Normal glasses is different with the glasses for astigmatism since astigmatism glasses corrects cylindrical error. People with astigmatism have a blurry vision in all distances, while normal glasses corrects you vision depending on what distance you can see clearly.

Thus, wearing normal glasses for astigmatism will not solve the problem, you need to get the right prescription in order to correct astigmatism.

Another thing to point out is that if you have a very low astigmatism which is about 0.75 below, you can use a normal lens if you have myopia. Since in actuality 0.6 below astigmatism is considered normal.

However, if you are working in a job where attention to details are necessary such as paper works and visually demanding jobs, you might need to wear astigmatism lens to prevent any errors.

Also, if you experience discomforts such as dizziness and nausea, uncorrected astigmatism may be a culprit. In this case, you may check with a qualified health professional to get a proper diagnosis and treatment.

Can you get glasses just for astigmatism?

There are glasses just for astigmatism because there are people who have 20/20 vision have astigmatism. This is because astigmatism is caused by another type of refractive error.

In astigmatism, light is refracted in a different direction so you need to correct things out. This is also the reason why people with astigmatism also have a poor night vision.

In myopia and hyperopia, light is refracted either before or after the retina, causing the person to see poorly from a specific direction. This could be not seeing things clearly when objects are far (Myopia) and not seeing things that are near (Presbyopia).

Astigmatism on the other hand, is not affected by distance and blurs things out regardless of the object’s distance.

What level of astigmatism require glasses?

Astigmatism in DioptersLevel of Astigmatism
<0.6 DioptersNormal
0.6 – 2.0 DioptersMild Astigmatism
2.0 – 4.0 DioptersModerate Astigmatism
>4.0 DioptersSevere Astigmatism
Table Summary of Astigmatism and their severity

You do not need to wear glasses if you have astigmatism unless it affects your quality of life or it causes you some discomfort such as dizziness and headaches.

In fact, astigmatism and glasses has no correlation with each other when it comes to making astigmatism better or worse. A research paper titled: “Reduction of Astigatism after Infancy in Children Who Did and Did Not Wear Glasses and Have Strabismus. concluded that they found no significant correlation between the two.

Thus, if you don’t want to wear glasses, as long as you don’t feel any difference in your quality of life, you may do so.

If you really need to see clearly, then it will be perfectly fine to wear astigmatism lenses.

Source: Ingram, R.M., et al. “Reduction of Astigmatism after Infancy in Children Who Did and Did Not Wear Glasses and Have Strabismus.” Strabismus, vol. 9, no. 3, 2001, pp. 129–135., doi:10.1076/stra.

In fact, in a research paper from the World Ophthalmology Congress states that just as little as -1.0 diopters uncorrected astigmatism can cause a signifant difference in a person’s quality of life. So if you really need to wear astigmatism glasses, you are free to do so and it won’t make things worse.

Source: Wolffsohn, James S., et al. “Effect of Uncorrected Astigmatism on Vision.” Journal of Cataract and Refractive Surgery, vol. 37, no. 3, 2011, pp. 454–460., doi:10.1016/j.jcrs.2010.09.022.

What do people with astigmatism see?

What people with astigmatism can see on texts

People with astigmatism can see the following: Double or Twofold Vision, Blurred vision in all distances, Squinting to center objects and poor night vision. All of which are greatly associated with astigmatism, and may need a guidance of a health professional if you experience this.

In actuality, people with astigmatism can really find it hard to see texts, lines and at night. This is because of the improper refraction of light in their eyes.

Texts and lines appear to be doubled due to this. Making it confusing to read and one of the reasons why people with a high astigmatism always feel discomforts such as dizziness, nausea and headaches.

Same with lines. People with astigmatism can’t see lines well because of the double vision. It can be visually explained by this photo.

In this photo, you can see what people with astigmatism can see. It may just seem blurry but in actuality, this is caused by doubling vision. The lines appear to be out of the place it should be, causing the person to try or squint to force it to center.

This makes people with astigmatism bad at checking on where an object is because of the double vision.

Another thing worth taking note is their night vision which can be shown in this photo.

Lights are extended in a person with astigmatism, causing it to be hard to see things at night. In fact, because of this, people with astigmatism are very sensitive to light causing them to see bad.

Try this experiment:

  1. Open the lights in your room at night – This means that your eyes will adjust to the light around you making it less sensitive to light.
  2. Close the lights immediately – A few seconds after closing the lights, you will experience that you really can’t see well in the dark. This is because your eyes have adjusted to extreme light conditions and when it suddenly got dark, it has not adjust yet. This is the same with people with astigmatism, since lights are quite enhanced but to the extended lines, it will be hard for them to adjust at night.

For more information on what people with astigmatism see, check out this article: The world in the eyes of a person with astigmatism

Do I need to wear glasses all the time for astigmatism?

Choosing to wear or not wear glasses have factors to check on: if you are experiencing a decreased quality of life due to blurred vision, or if you feel discomfort because of uncorrected astigmatism. Other than that, choosing not to wear astigmatism glasses won’t make your eyesight worse.

As stated by a study stated above, glasses and worsening astigmatism are not correlated with each other. So you are free to choose.

Can astigmatism be cured?

There are numerous ways to treat astigmatism, the most accepted way is through surgery with has 90+% success rate. It is fast but the disadvantage is they can be quite costly.

For more videos like this, visit my youtube channel:

This is a video of me explaining active focusing which is a method under hormesis which also works in Astigmatism.


Jason Ong is a YouTuber and the one who owns this site. He shares what he learned to people and make videos if necessary. He was a former lecturer. The things he taught are topics related to Clinical Laboratory Science or what others call Medical Technology. Right now, he is also working part-time in an app company as a production supervisor. You can visit his YouTube Channel on

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