Not-lens-induced (genetic?) Astigmatism: Experiences?

Is there anyone here who has started out with astigmatism prescription in their very first pair of glasses and therefore suspects it not to be lens-induced?

I didn’t start with low myopia that became worse and at some point had a cyl correction added (like it seems to be the case for most people with astigmatism?), so I am wondering if there might be some genetic component to it in my case and if most of the advice given here applies to me (I have watched Jake’s video on genetic astigmatism, where he talks about starting out with 3 diopters of cyl, but my measures weren’t that extreme either…). For about 8 months I’ve been trying all these things like adding sph instead of cyl and reducing cyl in my differentials, but haven’t made a lot of progress so far.

My first prescription at age 15 was this:
R sph 0 cyl -1,0
L sph +0,25 cyl -1,0

Now, at age 24, I’m here (normalized with some directional blur):
R sph -1,75 cyl -1,25
L sph -1,75 cyl -1,75
Axis stayed about the same over the years (180°).

Anyone else who had astigmatism before myopia? How did/would you approach it? Sometimes I feel a bit lost with this kind of “history”, so I’d love to hear about any kind of thoughts or experiences on this!!


Maybe someone more knowledgeable can elaborate, but If by the time you were 15 you still had none in one and a mild 0.25 in the other, I believe it to be really hard for it to be genetic. And it went up as your time with glasses passed, so I’d say totally lens-induced.

You may have already seen in some other videos that some degree of astigmatism occurs naturally and fluctuates but is barely noticeable for the brain if at all. Now if you got checked in that situation with the hi-technical, super duper ultra optometry machine, it may have seen it and translated it to actual astigmatism, which was then most likely wrongly corrected by those glasses, therefore consolidating it and making it worse progressively as time went on…

Also have in mind that astigmatism and double vision don’t require active focus but “staring” at stuff in the most passive way possible. There are guides around.

My first glasses also had astigmatism on only one eye and today I ended up with similar CYL numbers than you in both. And I haven’t had much progress with astigmatism yet either. So yeah. :stuck_out_tongue:

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Thanks for your answer!
The +0,25 was the spherical correction (guess I said “better” at the wrong time during the exam :D), so I started with- 1,0 cyl in both eyes. I agree that 15 is quite late for a genetic condition to occur:thinking: on the other hand I had the eye exam because I had noticed my eyesight getting blurry for quite a while.
Was there anything that helped you even make small progress?

Apparently, you can cause astigmatism with unusual visual scanning habits. At least, that’s what Elliott Forrest found a while ago, and for all I know, when people tested this, they confirmed the finding. Here’s an article how certain stage musicians tend to get astigmatism.

According to Forrest, the minus cylinder axis goes along the direction of more eye movement, so in your case, it could be a habit where you often seek left-right with your eyes, but rarely seek up-down.

And of course, lenses could then make it worse. The usual thing; they cover up a symptom without addressing the cause.

BTW, when you add minus cylinder but don’t need sphere, like in your old prescription, the plus sphere can be a good idea to keep the spherical equivalent closer to normal. A minus cylinder lens is still a minus lens, so I’d be careful about treating minus cylinder and myopia as totally different topics.


@Katja Relaxing and staring at some text makes some of the doubles fluctuate, but I can’t seem to pull it off consistently enough. Then there’s the issue of astigmatism and double vision which are different but I also have a hard time with that. I’d suggest to read around some topics to find other experiences and details! :slight_smile:

@Varakari That is actually… very revealing. And could potentially explain my high astigmatism. Not only because of reading music but books. I used to love reading when I was a kid instead of going out and also studied too much in school honestly (for what it was actually worth, am I right…).

In any case, I always wondered why my astigmatism is mostly strictly vertical in first place, and that could very well be the answer, Could we deduce that exercising up-down movement (or the opposite direction of the astigmatism you have) yields better results then??

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Forrest did so and ran a study, and it seemed to indicate that this works, but the result wasn’t as strong as you’d expect. So maybe there’s another parameter to getting it right? Or maybe they weren’t using the best correction? I think it’s worth investigating further, but I’m too occupied with myopia right now to spend a lot of time on that theory.

If you have a closer look and figure something out, I’d be really interested!

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Wow, very nice article.
Have found two publications by Dr Elliott B Forrest:



This made me turn my phone 90 degrees and read up-down instead of left-right to create some complementary astigmatism 90 degrees from my axis :joy:

Maybe that can help give the muscles in the eye some rest

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Thanks for the article on astigmatism in musicians, which seems to support Forrest’s theory. I have mild astigmatism in the right eye and much stronger astigmatism in the left, but am not a musician, so I would like to figure out what caused this big difference. I have done a great deal of reading in my long life, most of it in bed lying on my side, and am wondering if this could be a cause. It was undoubtedly a cause of my myopa.


Thanks for the links. I already had the first article and looked for the second article online but could not find it - and now I have it. Astigmatism is a big issue for me and I want to read up all I can find about it.

I have been trying to find out whether genetic astigmatism can change in axis and have failed to find anything on the internet. As I do not have my earliest prescriptions I cannot tell how high my astigmatism was then. My axis of astigmatism has definitely changed and quite considerably, since my last prescription, and if this is not possible with genetic astigmatism, it would confirm my assumption that my astigmatism is not genetic. Can anyone enlighten me on this?

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Yes! my first prescription was actually POSITIVE lenses spherical and some negative cylinder, but I was like 7… so basically noticed I couldn’t read the board from the back soon after starting school

Hmmm but my axes are like 75 and 80 degrees (be careful with which notation we use - that is the angle of best vision i.e. 90 degrees from where you have the cyl power) i.e. I also cannot see as well vertically . So I guess you guys talking about reading a lot with 180 degrees axes mean the other notation (specifying weakest angle i.e most cylinder power)?

Ah so this is why my very first prescription as a kid looked like this:

® +1.25 sph / -1.5 cyl, (L) +1.75 sph, -2 cyl

Is there any hope of getting back to 20/20 for people like us who already had astigmatism before wearing lenses? @jakey @FMR or anyone else knowledgable?


@Lajos: Your powers show mild to moderate astigmatism with near emmetropia on one axis.

Overall, you’re very mildly hyperopic, and any relative myopia is tiny…

If those powers are actually correct.

I would try to optimize all habits you can that might be related to astigmatism, and start doing sessions where you try to focus on various lines and shapes in different orientations. First one, then another, and so-on. Try with glasses initially.

Also, no extra near point stress allowed!

It’s likely possible to improve your astigmatism over time and eventually need less correction power.


Thanks for taking the time to answer. That was my first prescription as a kid, not the current one which is way worse :neutral_face:

So back then did you still have distance trouble? And now do you have actual myopia?

Yeah I vaguely recall that the reason I was taken to the optician was because I couldn’t read the board from the back of the class at school. Yeah now I have quite high myopia and the astigmatism has progressed to around -2.5 both eyes (but we’re talking about over the course of 30 years). So the original question was whether you think that such NON-lens induced astigmatism can be reversed…and you answered yes. But I will of course try the EM method to reduce it (adding spherical equivalent at first) I was just wondering if there is any hope in general or should I not get my hopes up.

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Yeah, I think you’ll have some success, especially since the majority of the problem is myopia now, and a good part of the astigmatism is actually probably myopic astigmatism now. Whether you can improve the astigmatism significantly beyond the first glasses power, no one knows until you try. But this is a slow process that can be even slower if a person does too much close work on screens.

I had astigmatism correction of 0.5 in my first glasses in one eye, personally. I don’t need any astigmatism correction today and haven’t in a long time. Do I truly have zero astigmatism? No, I think I might have a small amount, but I don’t really often notice, and it’s not even always there. Most people have some.

One thing I’ll tell you, is don’t just focus on improving the myopia first…try to focus on both.

Have you read my post on lens induced astigmatism yet? I would treat it as if it were, since at least half probably is.

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Hi @Katja – I started out with -1.75 cyl in both eyes last year. I also started out with -1.50 sph in my left eye and -2.00 sph in my right eye.
I have only worn glasses for about 1,5 years – got that first prescription in April 2018.
My new prescription as of June this year has the same sph numbers, but higher astigmatism: -3.00 in my left eye and -2.25 in my right :worried:
I was really optimistic when I first found Endmyopia a short time ago (even a few days ago when I did my intro here on the forum) but now I’m more worried. Astigmatism seems a lot harder to work with than myopia, and like you I started out with astigmatism in my first pair of glasses.

Really haven’t found any solutions, yet. I found the articles posted in this thread very interesting, particularly the one about musicians since I happen to play the harp. As you can see from my prescription, my left eye has developed more astigmatism than my right, which could in fact be due to my harp playing.
Thought I’d mention that, just in case anyone was looking for some additional observations.

Have you made any progress with your astigmatism yet?

@Almilon did you try to check your astigmatism with the paper disc tool on the EM website? It’s crude but you can use it for a basic validation of your axis and cyl power (though for the power it’s less accurate)