Astigmatism And Contacts: Finding A Comfortable Fit

Posted on: 8 March 2016

Astigmatism is a condition where the cornea is misshapen. Normally round, the cornea of someone with astigmatism will often be oblong instead. This causes blurriness in their vision and makes it difficult for normal contact lenses to correct their vision properly, or for the lens to sit on the eye without slipping. It can be an inherited condition or caused by a trauma to the eye. It may even develop in people who move their eyes frequently in a back and forth fashion, like avid readers.

Choosing Toric Lenses

Toric lenses are soft contacts that are specially designed to meet the needs of those with astigmatism. They are thicker at the bottom to prevent the lens from rotating while it is being worn. This improves comfort and makes it easier for people to see properly. Some wearers may still experience some rotation of their contact, but this does not mean that they cannot wear toric lenses. Instead, they may just need another brand. Anyone experiencing this should discuss it with their eye doctor so they can get recommendations of what may work better for them.

Gas Permeable Lenses

Rigid contacts are also an option for patients with this condition and may help to improve astigmatism. People who are not able to find a toric brand that feels comfortable may have more luck with this type. These remain in their original round shape and stay against the eye more firmly, instead of rotating or slipping the way some soft lenses will. These are not the same as the "hard contacts" of the past that were small and uncomfortable for many people to wear. Instead, they are made with a material that makes it possible for oxygen to move through the lens and keep the cornea healthy.

Selecting Hybrid Lenses

Just as it sounds, these are a mix of rigid and toric lenses. They are firm in the center to improve vision and hold the lens in place, but are softer around the edges for better comfort. These lenses are limited in the number of companies that make them and they are often much more expensive than the other two options. The benefit is that they do make it possible for people with extremely misshapen corneas to still be able to wear contact lenses.

Astigmatism can worsen over time and reduce vision. It is very important to have annual eye exams to make certain the contacts being worn are the best fit. Constant rotating and slipping will not just reduce the quality of vision, but can irritate the eye as well. Contacts made for people with astigmatism will cost more than basic contacts regardless of what brand people choose. If contacts are not comfortable, no matter what type is chosen, it is possible to wear eyeglasses or have the vision improved through Lasik surgery instead. Contact a doctor, such as San Juans Vision Source, for more help.

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