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an error of refraction in which a ray of light is not sharply focused on the retina, but is spread over a more or less diffuse area; it is due to differences in curvature in the refractive surfaces (cornea and lens) of the eye. adj., adj astigmat´ic. Its exact cause is not known; some common types of astigmatism seem to run in families and may be inherited. Probably everyone has some astigmatism, since it is rare to find perfectly shaped curves in the cornea and lens, but the defect is rarely serious. If the refractive error is troublesome, corrective lenses may be needed.
compound astigmatism that in which both principal meridians are either hyperopic (compound hyperopic astigmatism, with rays coming into focus behind the retina) or myopic (compound myopic astigmatism, with rays coming into focus in front of the retina).
corneal astigmatism that due to the presence of abnormal curvatures on the anterior or posterior surface of the cornea.
hypermetropic astigmatism hyperopic astigmatism.
hyperopic astigmatism that in which the light rays are brought to a focus behind the retina.
irregular astigmatism that in which the curvature varies in different parts of the same meridian or in which refraction in successive meridians differs irregularly.
lenticular astigmatism astigmatism due to defect of the crystalline lens.
mixed astigmatism that in which one principal meridian is hyperopic and the other myopic.
myopic astigmatism that in which the light rays are brought to a focus in front of the retina.
regular astigmatism that in which the refraction changes gradually in power from one principal meridian of the eye to the other, the two meridians always being at right angles; this condition is further classified as being against the rule when the meridian of greatest refractive power tends toward the horizontal, with the rule when it tends toward the vertical, and oblique when it lies 45 degrees from the horizontal and vertical.
astigmatism in which the curvature in each meridian is equal throughout its course, and the meridians of greatest and least curvature are at right angles to each other.
reg·u·lar a·stig·ma·tism(reg'yū-lăr ă-stig'mă-tizm)
Ocular condition in which the curvature in each meridian is equal throughout its course, and the meridians of greatest and least curvature are at right angles to each other.