Stigmatism vs Astigmatism

Even though the terms stigmatism and astigmatism seem quite similar, they are actually two different terms used in eye care. So let’s discuss stigmatism vs astigmatism in detail! 

Both stigmatism and astigmatism are eye conditions that cause discomfort, pain, and even blurry vision. Most people mistakenly use these terms interchangeably. It is important to note that these terms are not the same and differ greatly from one another.

So let’s dive in and see how they differ from one another, i.e., stigmatism vs astigmatism, along with their causes and treatment options.

Understanding the Basics: Stigmatism vs Astigmatism


The condition known as stigmatism is an eye defect brought on by any abnormality in the shape of the lens, cornea, or entire eyeball. Consequently, it may cause discomfort and pain even when engaging in daily tasks. In addition, it may result in blurred vision or even permanent visual impairment when not getting any treatment.

Astigmatism is an eye condition caused by an uneven corneal shape. This suggests that the term “astigmatism” is typically used to describe any irregularities in the cornea of the eye. In this condition, it’s possible that a person rarely experiences any pain or discomfort. So it may go years without receiving a diagnosis. However, that is easily detectable during an eye exam.

Astigmatism and stigmatism are both classified as eye abnormalities, but astigmatism is specified as a type of stigmatism. In this way, they are different from each other. I hope you now have a basic understanding of stigmatism vs. astigmatism.


Symptoms of stigmatism

While looking at far-away projects, a person with stigmatism most likely experiences:

  • Blurred vision
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Double vision

Symptoms of astigmatism

An individual with astigmatism may occasionally show no symptoms at all. However, the common symptoms of astigmatism, including headaches and dizziness, are somewhat similar to those of stigmatism. However, the specific symptoms of astigmatism include straining the eyes and squinting to see objects more clearly.

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Squinting
  • Eye strain

Thus, you can distinguish between the two by closely examining the symptoms. And that even clarifies the difference between the two, i.e., stigmatism vs astigmatism.

Well, if you encounter any of these symptoms, just book an appointment with an eye doctor. Since detection of any issue is always better, it keeps the issue from getting worse.

READ MORE: Contact lenses for computer use


Genetics, trauma to the eye, or surgery are the main factors that cause refractive errors like stigmatism and astigmatism, depending on what part of the eye they impact. Now let’s discuss those factors in detail:

1. Genetics

Genetics increases a person’s chance of getting an eye defect such as stigmatism or astigmatism. Many people inherit this eye condition from their parents because of the abnormal shape of the cornea or other elements of the eye from birth.

2. Eye injury and surgery

A person is more likely to develop astigmatism or stigmatism if they have any kind of trauma or injury to their eyes. Occasionally, an accident or surgery can cause the cornea and other parts of the eye to alter shape. Furthermore, this results in refractive flaws such as stigmatism or astigmatism.

Treatment options:

Stigmatism vs Astigmatism

Any eye condition, including stigmatism or astigmatism, may get worse if left untreated. Therefore, schedule an appointment and have your eyes examined if you encounter any of the symptoms. Because of an early diagnosis, it’s possible to have proper treatment for this illness.

To determine whether you have developed astigmatism or stigmatism, an optometrist will perform a few tests. Then, recommendations for corrective lenses or LASIK as a treatment option are advised based on the individual’s condition. Although the terms “stigmatism” and “astigmatism” are distinct, both conditions are treated by corrective lenses, which can be worn as glasses or contact lenses.

RELATED: Is LASIK eye surgery worth it?

You can have astigmatism permanently corrected with laser therapy. To learn more about the treatment options, you should speak with an eye doctor and receive the one that will best address your concerns.

Never ignore your symptoms because your eyes are the most vital organs in your body, and they have a big impact on your everyday activities.

Final words on stigmatism vs astigmatism:

Stigmatism and astigmatism are different terms with some similarities. It becomes simpler for you to distinguish between the two, i.e., stigmatism vs. astigmatism, by going through their symptoms in detail and  what part of the eye they impact.

These two eye disorders are common and require appropriate treatment, thus, speak with your eye doctor to receive the best treatment available.

About Linda

Linda runs her own optical company in Arizona. Not only does she have eight years of expertise in this field, but her partner, an optometrist, has fifteen years as well. They are not just business associates but also close friends.

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