Astigmatism: Do you need to wear Glasses?


A picture of glasses

There is a chance that you just went to an eye check and the doctor said you have astigmatism and you are looking if you should wear a glass or not. Then this article will help you decide whether you should start wearing glasses or not. If there are side effects if you don’t want to wear them.

People with a prescription of 0.75 diopters astigmatism or more may need to start wearing glasses. Since 0.75 is already considered mild astigmatism, it can cause a significant reduction in the lifestyle or quality of life of people. The person’s occupation is also a factor if glasses are necessary.

In fact, a research titled “Effect of Uncorrected Astigmatism on Vision” concluded that astigmatism as little as 1.00 diopters can cause a significant reduction on a person’s quality of life. There are other factors to consider and one of the things to look out for is what is the level of your current astigmatism.

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 are the levels of astigmatism?

There are 4 levels of astigmatism: Normal (<0.6 Diopters), Mild Astigmatism (0.6-2.0 Diopters), Moderate Astigmatism (2.0-4.0 Diopters) and Severe Astigmatism (>4.0 Diopters). All of which corresponds to the level or distortion in the images seen or can also be the degree of discomfort one can have in astigmatism.

An image of someone who has a normal eyesight and other shows what people with astigmatism see.

This is a visual representation of what a person with astigmatism can see. As you can see, people with astigmatism tend to see a doubling of an image or text which makes is uncomfortable to look at, causing numerous symptoms of astigmatism such as headaches and dizziness.

At what level of astigmatism should you really wear glasses?

Once you reach the mild level of astigmatism, it is time to think about wearing glasses. Mild astigmatism are in the level of 0.6 Diopters and above. This level may now cause some discomforts such as difficulty reading texts, headaches and dizziness.

However, that is not the whole picture, there is no correlation between glasses and increasing or decreasing astigmatism. As proven by a research paper titled: “Reduction of Astigmatism after Infancy in Children Who Did and Did Not Wear Glasses and Have Strabismus.”.

So if you decided not to wear glasses, then it is completely up to you. The only thing to look out for is if it affects your quality of life such as your work or you are experiencing discomforts because of under correction.

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.9.3.129.6762.

Is my eyesight bad?

Here is a table summary showing the various levels of astigmatism categorized into its diopter equivalent. With this table, you can know if your astigmatism is bad depending on what your reading is.

Astigmatism in DioptersAstigmatism in Diopters
<0.6 DioptersNormal
0.6 – 2.0 DioptersMild Astigmatism
2.0 – 4.0 DioptersModerate Astigmatism
>4.0 DioptersSevere Astigmatism
Table summary of the various levels of astigmatism

In the table, you will see that less than 0.6 diopters is considered normal. In fact, around a third of the people in US alone have astigmatism as pointed out by a prevalence study in the Archives of Ophthalmology. But having a 0.6 diopter astigmatism is still considered normal since it doesn’t really affect much of the person’s quality of life.

Source: Vitale, Susan. “Prevalence of Refractive Error in the United States, 1999-2004.” Archives of Ophthalmology, vol. 126, no. 8, 2008, p. 1111., doi:10.1001/archopht.126.8.1111.

Once you get to the level of mild astigmatism which is 0.6 or 0.75 above, it is the time to start consider wearing astigmatism lenses.

Should you really wear glasses at 0.75 prescription?

At 0.75 prescription, you are already considered as someone with mild astigmatism. This might involve a change in your quality of life so you must wear glasses if it is so. Also look out for discomforts such as headaches or dizziness due to your astigmatism.

But as said, if it does not affect your quality of life whatsoever, then you are free not to wear one. As said in the research paper, there is no significant correlation between glasses and astigmatism. So if you think your glasses will permanently cure your astigmatism or glasses will make it worse, then science has not yet proven this.

The 0.75 prescription is a common question since a lot of people start at this prescription. So it deserves to have a separate part in this article.

Furthermore, there are more things to consider if you would want to wear glasses or not.

  1. If you work in an extreme attention to detail kind of job such as being an artist, encoder and much more.
  2. If you are experiencing discomforts

If you work in a job that requires you to be attentive to details visually, then it is wise to start wearing glasses. As said, there is no correlation between glasses and astigmatism, which means that wearing astigmatism glasses won’t make your eyesight worse.

Another is discomfort, there might be other underlying reason why you are experiencing discomforts. If you are experiencing this even if you are wearing glasses, it is time to have an eye check.

That way, a qualified professional will give you the correct prescription and may even diagnose if there is an underlying cause if your vision is getting worse.

A video of me explaining active focusing which helped me reduce my eyegrade

This is a video of me explaining active focusing which helped me in my astigmatism.

Can you get glasses just for astigmatism?

There are glasses and contact lenses which is just for astigmatism. It is for correcting refractive error and you can buy them separately if you don’t have myopia, as there are people who have 20/20 vision with astigmatism.

There are actually people with 20/20 vision and have astigmatism. That is normal and you might be one of them. So there are lenses like that made for them.

What happens to astigmatism if I don’t want to wear glasses?

Not wearing glasses on astigmatism more than 1.0 diopters can affect your quality of life. People with uncorrected astigmatism causes them to have poor night vision, and they tend to see distorted texts and lines. Other than that, not wearing or wearing glasses will not make your eyesight worse.

Night Vision of people with astigmatism vs normal

As there is no correlation between glasses and astigmatism, you are free to wear it or not. Only remember that if you feel discomforts, it is time to visit a health professional to get a comprehensive eye exam. Here are some of the things to look out for.

  1. Vision is Getting Worse at a very fast rate
  2. You are experiencing discomforts such as headaches
  3. You have an underlying condition such as diabetes

Jason

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 https://ongjason.com/youtube

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