I've Had No Astigmatism Correction but I have Astigmatism

Like I said in my intro, based on my home test, I’ve found that yesterday I have -0.75 cyl 160 axis in left eye, right eye is -0.50 cyl and my axis is difficult to qualify exactly. Today the left eye increased to -1, but I’m wondering if it’s because I was doing it with a little less lighting.

However, except for a period of a few years (not sure how long) between my late teens and early twenties, I haven’t had any astigmatism correction in my glasses or contacts for at least 5 years. My prescription had been -5.75 for both eyes for five years, but when I went to the optometrist last month, my left eye was measured at -6. I found this dubious, I hated the correct I got in the new glasses, and went back to my old with the balanced correction. Also, with good natural lighting, I can read most of the 20/15 line of the eye chart. However, I notice a little bit of the directional blur, and I think I received a stronger prescription in the left eye to compensate for that in my last visit (which is why I probably got headaches from the new glasses). Why didn’t the optometrist (2nd time I’ve been to this office) check for astigmatism? I don’t know, kinda weird.

Anyway, I decided to experiment with some +1.5 reading glasses over my current glasses (yes, I have binged for several days on hours of content). When I close my right eye and tilt my head 90 degrees close to the axis angle, my left eye begins to slightly double up the text on my screen in a way I can perceive (tops and bottoms of texts are normally a little blurry, with my head tilted, the sides become blurry). When I blink and wait a moment, the text “snaps” into focus… for a split second. It does this, in out, in out. And I feel I can control it, but not for very long. I guess this is active focus, but for astigmatism?

Forgot to add, I know Jake says no astigmatism correction for cyl under -1, the reason why I am considering it is because my readings are close to -1 (usually -0.75, and so far one -1) for the left eye. So I’m error proofing myself.

Most people have some astigmatism, whether or not it’s corrected.

I’m in a similar position as you, as are most people.

I prefer active focus on lines of different angles and eliminating any habits that make astigmatism worse. I will never wear cylinder, personally. (I wore some briefly between ages 8 and 10 at times, but that was it.)

Some optometrists also like to avoid cylinder, but they end up overcorrecting in trying to reach spherical equivalent. This actually happened to me as well.


Thanks for responding. Actually I went to my optometrist office today to ask for the official prescription from the test I did a month ago. Apparently they gave me -6 for left eye and -6.25 for right eye. Left eye has -0.75 cyl at 170. Which is almost spot on with my homemade measuring tool (-0.75 cyl at 160). But like I said, with the newer stronger glasses with cyl correction, I got a headache, and it “felt” strong. The older “weaker” ones without cyl I can still see most of the 20/15 line so I don’t know why they gave me all this.

Anyway, this means that I will forget about astigmatism correction completely.


Good idea! :smiley: and welcome. I`ve seen you are from Jamaica so lots of bright days I guess - this will help you with Active Focus.

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See if you can do this over a bigger distance on text that is at least 6 meters away, with or without the reading glasses. If you can, it is active focus or fusion of double images. If you can’t do that, it means that your eye simply adjusts the lens to focus on the blurred meridian. However, your perpendicular meridian to the now focused one becomes out of focus. You can experiment with this on this astigmatism wheel:

Astigmatism basically means that the 160-degree axis of your left eye is -0.75 D more myopic than the perpendicular axis. If the distance from your eye to the image makes it so that it is within the focus range of both axes of the eye, you can make the image be in focus on either axis, but not on both at the same time. Try this on the astigmatism wheel above. The contrast of the spokes of the wheel will be different for you and some will be blurry. You can focus on the blurry ones but as soon as you do it, previously sharp ones become defocused.


Can you please share the habits that make astigmatism worse? My daughter’s recent eye check up doctor added -0.5 cylinder at 90 degree to one eye… I did not get any glasses for her yet. I am extensively doing my research. Thank you so much for your reply in advance!

Does she wear glasses?
If not, don’t get her glasses for -0.5 cyl in one eye.
If she does, still don’t get the cyl added. This is very small and if added to the lens your daughter can easily end up with lens induced astigmatism, always increasing, further encouraging the bad eye usage habits.

Astigmatism appearing at 90 degree may be an indicator that while she moves her eyes horizontally left and right on the full range of motion, she may not use them on the full range up and down. Most typically people look down (on book, on smart phone, tablet, cooking, etc) and they look in front of them (TV, board, etc) but they don’t move their eyes up towards the ceiling / sky, or when they do, they move the head with the eyes and this way the eyes don’t have the full range of motion.
Can also happen if the lights are very sharp from upwards - too much sun, roof top window, basement flat with window higher up on the wall, etc.

Can be relatively easily corrected by keeping the head still and moving your thumb up and down and following with the eyes, or just moving the eyes up and down and holding the eyes still for about 5 seconds at the top and bottom positions. And also rolling the eyes around on a full circle, following a finger if it’s easier to do that way. You may notice that she “chops” the top part off (very rarely it can be the bottom part of the vertical axis if she drops the head with the eyes when looking down).
It’s a bit like loosening the back so you can touch your toes. So I’m not suggesting drills or strains, just gentyl restoring the full range of motion.

So in short, she uses the eyes more horizontally than vertically and that is reflected in a tiny cyl measured.


“Statistically significant correlations were found between astigmatism and cross-bite”

“The astigmatism was associated with the presence of class I malocclusions”

There are more cases of astigmatism, not just correction and habits. Look carefully, there could be something wrong in body.

Thank you so much for your reply. I truly appreciate it! She does not wear glasses. Her spherical diopters are not changed. Cylinder was added to one eye. We spend two hours (6PM-8PM) three-four days in a week in the pool for last few weeks. I think too much sun is the cause. I will ask her to do the eye movements.

I know measuring machines have improved a lot but I’m still shocked to hear that an opto even considered giving a prescription with -0.5D cyl in one eye only. Minor (relatively) out-of-the-blue vision degradations are almost always the result of a vision habit. So focus - even from an opto - should be on finding root cause and then working on reversal. (-0.5D cyl in one eye is not genetic).
It’s a crime against kids’ eyes. Honestly

In my previous home I developed a habit of sitting at a nice spot under a rooftop window. Developed -0.5D cyl at 90 degrees. Worked on equalizing the horizontal and vertical range of movement and went back to another opto and the cyl was gone.

As said there are 2 options:

  • people use one axis less than normal (to avoid too much light from one direction or always being indoors and simply never lifting the eyes for distance vision)
  • people use one axis more than the other parts of the eye (e.g. musicians with one sided musical instruments, always looking at the fingers of the left hand; office workers looking at 2 monitors next to each other while sitting at 70cms only, overusing horizontal movement but living a sedentary life so not looking at the distance or up to vertically compensate for the overuse horizontally)

I hope your daughter’s transient astigmatism disappears soon after trying to practice full range of motions with the eyes.


Thank you so much for your explanation. I have already started eye rotation exercises. She has a habit of looking downwards while walking.

Isn’t her habit caused by a structural misalignment?
I had a habit looking up with my eyes and down with my head. Both habits now defunct after practicing the opposite and aligning the structure.

I am sorry to divert the topic, my only wish is to make sure you know everything is ok with her bite.
If not, you can make her sight better, along with smile. Only let everyone be aware braces won’t fix the cause, so eyesight not improving after braces is a stupid argument… If you want to fix the cause of bad bite and possibly of astigmatism, go for ALF or sodis a.p.f. before braces (I bet you even wouldn’t need braces after these).


Hi BiancaK, recently I was pondering on this exact thing. The place where I study has a window just in front of it and it’s my main source of lighting. When the window is closed there is very less light after turning on every bulb, around 80-90 Lux. I was thinking that does light coming directly from front effect my astigmatism(180 degrees) ?does it have any potential to coz any problem??
Would love to know your opinion on this.

I’m not an expert.
But bright light from front and up is more likely to cause astigmatism around 90 degrees as you will not lift your eyes - simply to avoid too much of the bright lights.
For 180 degrees
a) It may be that you have a desk lamp installed on the side to compensate for the 80-90 LUX? If you have stronger lights from the side that can make the side ways lazier as they are helped out by extra light while the rest of the eyes have to work more for clarity (This is basically the same as having strong lights from above)
b) It may be that you simply don’t use your eyes left and right. E.g. you have your notebook / text book / smart phone right in front of you and you have the laptop to look up to vertically. So you are overusing the vertical movement in comparison to the horizontal one.

Check the second half of this post:

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So this is my study place, the light coming from window is maximum 400 lux and I use a side lamp around 600-700 lux(not sure)
So this side lamp is contributing in my 180° astigmatism. What should I do then? There is very less light without the lamp.
Also I don’t understand how we should move our eyes, like should we move the head also or just the eyes?

I’ve been working on my astigmatism theory for a while now. And the picture absolutely confirms my findings so far.
So you have a notebook (and sometimes a smart phone) in front of you on the desk and you look up on the laptop elevated, i.e. the setup makes you use the up and down eye motion a lot more than the horizontal one. And at the same time you have significantly stronger lights from the side, so the horizontal line is boosted by more lights while the rest of your eyes need to work a bit more due to less lights. And this adds up to a cyl correction around 180 which is the underused - light supported horizontal line.

Unfortunately, because this is a real life scenario, it is relatively difficult to correct or make it better.
I don’t think that working in even very little light is good, i.e. without the desk lamp - that’s how monks developed myopia while copying texts in badly lit libraries…
If the room around you could have more lights in general so the desk lamp is less contrastive that would be a good thing - but of course there’s the question: how feasible is that in your real life?
There’s one thing I did with my set up. When it wasn’t handwriting time, but simply watching or reading time, so my hands didn’t create a shadow on the paper, then I moved the lamp around. Variations: kept it on the left side but turned 90 degrees; placed on the right side; placed it on the window sill, or if not using the laptop then moved it to the middle (on the laptop or in front of it). Won’t compensate fully, but at least gives a bit of variety to your eyes. Not frozen into one position only…

This is not EM but me. Worked for my astigmatism and for quite a few people I recommended to:

  1. Keep your head still during the whole exercise. Hold your left thumb in front of you. Then keep your arm straight and move your thumb left and back to the middle and follow this with your eyes only. Hold the eyes still for about 5 seconds at the furthest point. Once you are back in the middle, repeat the same with the right thumb and moving to the right side. Repeat it a few times.
  2. Then hold your right thumb in front of you and keep it still during the whole exercise. Keep your eye on it while turning your head to the left and back, hold 5 seconds at the furthest point. Once you are back in the middle, change to the left thumb and keeping your eye on the thumb, turn your head right and back, holding the furthest position still for 5 seconds.
  3. Finally hold both of your thumbs in front of you, hold your head still and keep looking forward during the whole exercise. Slowly move your thumbs apart with straight arms, don’t move your eyes just follow the thumbs in the peripheral vision. Can you open up your arms to the max without losing sight of the thumbs? Does one side disappear sooner than the other one? After a few days you should see change on the range and on the symmetry.

I’m not suggesting drills or strains, just gently restoring the full natural range of motion. Do it slowly and most probably you will feel some resistance or some discomfort when you are getting to the further half of the range, the range that you are not using naturally. It’s yoga flow like, not gym weight lifting like! Don’t overdo, just do it gently a few times when you remember to do it.

Edit: The above is suggested for cyl prescription on the horizontal direction, between 165 and 15 degrees. Can be changed by 90 degrees and applied for cyl between 75 and 105.
Also makes sense to do both to compare the differences in movement and in feeling - to observe what’s easier in the non-cyl direction.


I agree with you, mostly my eyes move from my desk to the laptop only, there is very little or no sideways movement. And this happens most of the time during the day until I am outdoors playing something.

The lighting in my room is literally worse, and recently i remembered something that may have contributed to my developing astigmatism. Before I went to the opto in April, i had my exams in march and for 2-3 weeks i used to study at night at that too with only the side lamp that you see in the picture, no others lights and it was at that time i started to see blur even after wearing my glasses, i think this heavily contributed in development of my astigmatism.

I think that i can improve my lightings a bit, i can shift to another room in my house which have lights from 3 directions one side from the window and that too in the east, tube lights on the sidewalls and two ceiling lights just above the table( i don’t shift there bcoz there are disturbances while studying but I guess for my eyes I have to do this)
Thanks for telling me the exercise, will surely try to do it everyday, thanks a lot :slight_smile:
Also, if I wear my full power glasses for 3-4 hours will that contribute in lens induced astigmatism? i am always confused how often should i wear my glasses

The full-powered glasses are for distance only, so you can use them when you’re outside and trying to see at distance. If you’re reading or studying or in the house you probably shouldn’t be wearing them. If I were you I’d probably try to remove the astigmatism correction from the distance glasses completely or lower it as much as possible.

Thanks for sharing the details confirming my theory.
You can quickly “develop” opto-measurable cyl by a few weeks of absolutely incorrect vision habit but the good news is, if you do not wear cyl in your prescription and you know how you contributed to cyl, it is relatively easy to reverse.

You’re welcome. Cannot emphasize enough that this should be a gentle method to restore the normal full range of motion. If you get too heavy on the horizontal line you may end up with an overtrained cross vision where the vision in between 0-90 and 90-180 will be blurry and that would be a complete mess up. Just think of it more like rolling your shoulders or leaning forward after spending some time sitting motionless.

Your cm measurement is between 84 and 90, so your correction is something around -1.25D
You should not wear glasses for close up activities at all.
You should not introduce distance glasses with cyl or you’ll have lens induced added astigmatism.
You should wear your distance glasses enough to keep a reference of what clear vision is - instead of just learning to live with blur. To improve you’ll need enough distance vision time and good vision habits.