Astigmatism, large difference bt eyes and a love of musical instruments

So I have a question based off of the fact that I know a violin player with high astigmatism and low myopia and someone posted on the fb group about having a huge difference bt eyes and at least one person here mentioned guitar playing and a low myopia high astigmatism situation.

And I’m thinking both astigmatism and having a large difference bt eyes are essentially being myopic in a specific direction

Does extended periods of doing closeup that heavily favors one direction that’s not the center cause more astigmatism or difference bt eyes than the I spent too much time on a screen variety of myopia?


I would say yes. You can manipulate the direction of the eyeball if you try hard enough. So if you’re looking in one direction for too long, your eye doctor will prescribe astigmatism going generally in that direction.

What’s also interesting to me is the person that I know doesn’t wear glasses unless made to or driving at night so it’s hard to say the astigmatism is lens induced

So I’m think if I get the time I’ll go thru a few pages of our intro section and count up the following

People with at least 1diopter of astigmatism or a large difference bt eyes in at least one eye who play instruments

People with astigmatism or a high difference bt eyes who don’t mention instruments

Same with ppl without imbalanced refractive states

Can’t assume that our community is representative of all people with vision problems but would be a fun headcount

Yes! You hit the mark here. Search for Elliott Forrest, whose theory predicts this.

Here is even an optometry publication admitting that playing stage music is linked to astigmatism.

If you figured this out without having come across it before, your statistical intuition is pretty good.

Forrest’s theory is that the tension in the extraocular muscles from anisotropic eye movement pulls the cornea into an uneven shape. Eye exercises that favor the other direction might actually help here.


Never heard of this before but good to know my hunch is right. So basically our methods may not be the best for people in a low myopia high astigmatism situation esp the ones who don’t really wear correction but still have high astigmatism

I’ve read about it before specific to violin or viola. Can’t remember where. I bet it’s the source Varakari found. But it’s also due to the head tilt. I bet the axis matches that.

As far as I can tell, astigmatism is improved by lots of focus work on different lines of different orientations at distance.


Great observation. My LE CYL axis is (roughly) this direction:image and the RE is : image
Directional images (tree branches for example) that are perpendicular to the axis in each eye are blurrier. I use ‘blinking’ to work on this: start with both eyes open, find a tree branch perpendicular to LE axis (this direction: image ), which can be seen clearly by RE (which can see along that axis clearly). Close the RE then hold the clear image as long as possible with LE only. The cortex seems to hold onto the clear image for a few seconds before it starts melting away. Do that repeatedly with LE and RE.

Have wondered whether it is common for the L and R axis to be in opposing directions like that or if it is just a fortunate anomaly.


Seems to me, the two axes can superimpose, or cancel out to give normal vision. I don’t think it’s accidental for the two to be either opposite or in other cases similar.

I do this binocularly, but I also don’t have cylinder power in my lenses…it’s more a prevention for worsening astigmatism and helping to get rid of the transient astigmatism.


Thanks for this interesting thread, @Bigkittyqueen! I read it before, now started reading the article Varakari posted and now realized that it might apply to me as well, but in a slightly other fashion. I’ve been playing the guitar a couple of thousands of hours from age 6-20, and the music stand is always on the left. My right eye, which is my dominant, has a lot more astigmatism (1,75) than my left (0,75), which is contrary to the idea on EM that the weaker eye worsens with too much correction (my sph is the same in both). Maybe it’s because of this squinting of the dominant eye across to the other side that astigmatism got stronger in this one. Just a thesis, what do you guys who seem to have more of an idea of this (also @Astigmatism_Assasin) think about it?

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i think its possible. i also recommend talking w the optometrists behind these publications and see what they say