Reducing/equalizing astigmatism too fast

I’m not sure, but I think I reduced my astigmatism too aggressively. I’ve got my spherical figured out, but I’ve basically been ignoring astigmatism since I started because mine is low (S -0.5/D -0.25). But I’m getting strange eye discomfort no matter what spherical I wear.

Has anybody made this mistake before? What sensations do you get when you’re under-prescribed for astigmatism?

I feel discomfort in my left eye that roughly aligns with my astigmatism axis, so I wonder if that’s what it’s from. Is this typically how astigmatism feels?

I just posted a few related studies in the science section. Adaption to change in cylinder is hard. According to the below study, within a couple hours of putting on different cylinder correction, your brain starts to adapt and it takes 6 months for this adaptation to stabilize.

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I never wore glasses in my life until 2021, and have always had 20/20 or better vision (for the most part). Had my eyes checked in January and they said I don’t need to wear glasses, but if I wanted to the prescription is -0.25 SPH, and -0.75 CYL in the left eye and -0.50 CYL in the right. I had some glasses made up to that specification and it seems to be grossly over-corrected.

I have found that I can see better than 20/20 with no SPH correction and -0.25 CYL in each eye. I’m only wearing the glasses outdoors for fun or driving.

I’m sure the astigmatism in my case is coming from my bad laptop computer placement during lockdown. I’m doing a bunch of things to try to improve that.

The image difference for me can be very noticeable with the -0.25 CYL vs naked when the astigmatism is acting up. Text at distance looks more like a “captcha” without the astigmatism correction, streetlights can look frosted instead of clear, and a lot of things are perfectly readable but “ugly” without the astigmatism correction.

So if I were you and you have a cheap source of eyewear, I would try putting in maybe a minimal amount of astigmatism correction and seeing if it makes your life better. For me a quarter diopter works just as well as three-quarter diopters. (Better actually because the stronger correction gives me nausea when I turn my head.)

If I look out the window at the kids playing in the park with the -0.25 CYL correction vs without, it looks like looking out a dirty window vs a clean one, if that helps any.

Today I did all my crazy anti-eyestrain stuff and made a real effort with avoiding bad habits on the computer, and I could barely see the difference between my minimal astigmatism glasses and naked. For me, at least, the astigmatism is pretty much not there in the morning, and only shows up with tired eyes.

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@Dlskidmore and @nycmao thanks for your posts and apologies for the late reply. Unfortunately unrelated health issues have come up in the meantime on my end.

This helps to confirm my experience with astigmatism. I’m not sure that I’ve had any improvement on that front since I joined EM. My last astigmatism prescription is about the same as my pre-EM ones, even though I’ve had a spherical drop in Rx of about -0.5 D.

I think I’ll add the cylinder back to my lenses and see how this goes. My hope is that the close-up strain will reduce.

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I just reduced my astigmatism in my r eye from -0.75 to 0.0 and added 0.5 in diopters to compensate. The first day I did get a minor headache but the next day I was fine. It’s just slightly more blurry and more challenging to clear up otherwise no discomfort or additional sensations.


I’m curious to learn how you feel a few weeks or a month after your reduction. It seems that you’re pretty much even in terms of lens power, and that you basically traded cylinder for spherical. In my own case, I would be wary of doing more than a 0.25 change in astigmatism. But it may be that different people have different sensitivity.

Interesting to hear from you, but I place any cylinder I want, including none and never get any trouble. I adapt to it instantly, yet my vision hasn’t changed basically.

For example I shift with -2.00 cylinder (equals -1.50) in diffs and -1.50 (eq. -1.25) in norms, also none in contacts… But following this for 6 months with zero changes in cylinder - I’ve never used more than -1.50 actual cylindrical for my right eye and it’s still at -2.00 cylinder (up to -2.50), as usual. There were times with no cylinder use at all. Apparently its cause is ciliary spasm or bite issues.

Quite nothing for the question, but that’s how more cold turkey or unorthodox options could work for us.

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Correction! I did a -1.0 to -0.5 diopter reduction in astigmatism and I added 0.5 spherical to compensate. My eyes are adjusting quite well.

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Today I did all my crazy anti-eyestrain stuff and made a real effort with avoiding bad habits on the computer, and I could barely see the difference between my minimal astigmatism glasses and naked. For me, at least, the astigmatism is pretty much not there in the morning, and only shows up with tired eyes.

@nycmao Could you elaborate please on the anti-eyestrain stuff and avoid computer bad habits that helped? I found your post as my experience of astigmatism appearing this year has been the same, so would really appreciate to hear how you have been getting on.

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My astigmatism is gone now as far as I can tell.

As for bad habits: I have an armchair and at the beginning of Covid Lockdown I habitually propped my laptop on the right armrest of the chair (so that it’s always on the right side) and I was always looking at the laptop with my head turned right. So, I didn’t recognize that the screen was really close to my face, and really at a bad angle, and that instead of using the laptop for minutes at a time, I was on it for hours and hours every day.

In terms of reducing eyestrain, I now use strong plus lenses with base-in prism whenever I am going to be using the laptop computer. I strive to keep it centered and at a reasonable distance instead of right up on the arm-rest where it’s convenient.

I had good luck, too, with making some “challenge” glasses that make the perceived astigmatism worse with the glasses on. (+0.25 CYL instead of -0.25 CYL) I wore those for half an hour a day and practiced trying to see through them and “clear” the astigmatism. I haven’t worn them lately because I can’t detect any astigmatism anymore.

Basically you can use images like the ones below, that make astigmatism obvious, and try to clear them, and see if you can get a little further away from them and keep them clear.

Hope that helps you!