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Astigmatism: A Hidden Threat to Our Vision

Updated: Feb 16, 2023



Astigmatism is a refractive error that affects a substantial portion of the world's population and has been the focus of numerous research studies. A recent systematic review and meta-analysis of this visual condition was published with the aim of evaluating its worldwide prevalence, the weight of astigmatism, and its impact on vision-related quality of life.


One of the most significant findings of the study was the widespread disparity in the prevalence of astigmatism around the world. In some regions, the incidence was as low as 10% (China), while in others it could reach 80% (Italy). These results contradict the notion that astigmatism is only a problem in developed countries, highlighting that it also affects developing nations and is expected to increase in the coming years.


The meta-analysis part of the study, which analyzed data from multiple studies, found that astigmatism can cause a substantial impact on vision-related quality of life. People with astigmatism often experience symptoms such as blurred vision, headaches, and visual fatigue, which reduces efficiency and increases medical care costs. These findings serve as a clear reminder for lawmakers, healthcare providers, and the public to address this growing problem.


Globally, attention is focused on controlling the progression of myopia in relation to refractive errors, which is a task of vital importance that should not be neglected. However, as this study shows, it is important to also take into account this other visual condition with a potential negative impact on people's quality of life around the world.


In conclusion, this systematic review and meta-analysis shed light on the significant burden that astigmatism imposes on people worldwide and underscores the importance of ongoing research and intervention to address this growing problem. It is imperative to understand the full extent of astigmatism and take measures to improve the quality of life of those affected. The findings of this study serve as a wake-up call for the world to take action and address this growing problem, which has far-reaching consequences for the health and well-being of people around the world.


Emiliano Teran



To know more:


Zhang, Jun PhD; Wu, Yifei PhD; Sharma, Bhavna MSc; Gupta, Ritu MPH; Jawla, Shantanu MPharm; Bullimore, Mark A. MCOptom, PhD, FAAO. Epidemiology and Burden of Astigmatism: A Systematic Literature Review. Optometry and Vision Science:10.1097

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