How does astigmatism differ from myopia?Astigmatism is typically present from birth, while myopia usually appears in school-age children. Myopia will usually get worse until it stabilises in early adulthood. While astigmatism is usually down to the natural shape of your eye, myopia is closely linked to genetics and environmental factors. For example, if one or both parents are myopic, it's more likely the child will be. However, myopia can also happen if the eyes grow slightly too long. Myopic eye Can either myopia or astigmatism be treated?Both refractive errors are diagnosed during a routine eye examination, and usually, both can be treated with corrective lenses. However, irregular astigmatism can only be corrected with the use of contact lenses. There are ways to slow down the progression of myopia through special lenses known as orthokeratology, which helps to improve the curvature of the eye while you sleep. This means you may not have to wear corrective lenses throughout the day.Your lens prescriptionAstigmatism and myopia are recorded separately on your prescription. If you see a minus sign under the 'Sphere' column, this means you have a degree of myopia. The number after the minus sign can range from 0.25 to 6.00. The higher the number, the stronger your prescription is.The 'Cylinder' column indicates astigmatism. If there is nothing here, your eyes are perfectly round. A higher number, such as 3.00, means your eyes are quite oval. The 'Axis' section of your prescription will help the lab to position your lenses correctly, according to the direction of astigmatism, which is measured in degrees. What is astigmatism? What is astigmatism? What is astigmatism?Astigmatism is a very common defect that affects the curvature of the cornea or lens. Typically your cornea or lens will be symmetrical, but astigmatism can affect this. A regular cornea is shaped like a football, but if you have astigmatism then it's more likely to resemble a rugby ball.There is both corneal astigmatism and lenticular astigmatism, depending on whether the condition affects your cornea or lens. There is also regular astigmatism and irregular astigmatism. Regular astigmatism occurs when the cornea curves more in one direction, while the irregular type occurs when the cornea curves in a number of directions. Myopic eye Myopic eye Astigmatism and myopia often come hand-in-hand, so if you have astigmatism it's more likely that you are also short-sighted. It's also linked with hypermetropia or long-sightedness. In this sense, both refractive errors affect the way the light enters your eyes.The signs of astigmatism and myopia can be similar in that they will both result in blurry or distorted vision. However, myopia occurs when objects far away appear blurred, while astigmatism will also make it more difficult to distinguish certain shapes. In both cases, you might experience headaches or eye strain if it goes untreated. Related articles See more Eyesight by age How to recognise if your child is short-sighted See more Eyesight by age How to Choose the Right Glasses for Children See more Eye conditions & symptoms How is Myopia Diagnosed?