Have you been told you have astigmatism and wonder if you can still wear contact lenses? We have good news! A resounding Yes! Our doctors will be delighted to fit you in the perfect contact lens design to correct your astigmatism. Here is a brief overview of the top 5 contact lenses for astigmatism we recommend.
What is Astigmatism?
Astigmatism occurs when the cornea of a person’s eye is naturally shaped like an oval instead of a perfectly round sphere and/or the internal lens of the eye is oval shaped and not spherical. Although many people do naturally have a slight degree of astigmatism, those with higher amounts may have blurred vision and eyestrain. Thankfully, those with astigmatism can have their vision corrected and restored by using contact lenses specifically developed to treat blurred vision caused by astigmatism.
Contact Lenses For Astigmatism
1. Gas Permeable Contact Lenses
Gas permeable contacts, RGP for short, have a untruthful history of being uncomfortable to wear. Very early designs of RGPs were uncomfortable, but modern technology and materials have greatly improved the comfort of RGPs. Rigid gas permeable lenses correct your vision by retaining their shape thereby creating an artificial cornea effectively reshaping the cornea to a perfect sphere. RGPs can correct astigmatism created by the cornea and the lens of the eye. Rotation of the lens doesn’t affect the quality of your vision allowing your vision to remain stable regardless of blinks or head position.
2. Hybrid Contact Lenses
Hybrid lenses are a marriage of a central RGP with a surrounding soft contact lens material. They were developed for patients that couldn’t tolerate RGP designs. Hybrids work like RGP designs by creating an artificial cornea correcting your astigmatism and are also unaffected by head posture or blinks. Hybrids can only correct corneal astigmatism so patients having astigmatism created by the lens of the eye are not good candidates for hybrids.
3. Toric Contact Lenses
Toric contact lenses are available in many different hydrogel ie soft materials. These designs are some of the most popular and can correct both corneal and lens induced astigmatism. Designs in this category are available for single day use, two week replacement, and monthly replacement modalities. Toric contact lenses can rotate with head posture and blinks causing fluctuations in vision. Our practice recommends single day use lenses due to significant increase in comfort and the reduction in contamination of the lenses thereby reducing your risk for complications from contact lens use.
4. Toric Bifocal Contact Lenses
So what if you have astigmatism and presbyopia (need reading glasses)? Toric bifocals are the fountain of youth for vision correction. No longer do you have to use reading glasses over top of your contact lenses. Our practice has many bifocal and multifocal contact lenses available that will also correct your astigmatism. These lenses are available both in RGPs, Hybrids, scleral, and soft lens designs. Most of these lenses work by adjusting the power of the contact to match your pupil size while looking at distance objects and near objects allowing you to see both near and far. If for some reason you can’t adapt to bifocal/multifocal contacts, monovision (one eye set for distance one eye for near) is an option that can also be worn to avoid wearing bifocal reading glasses.
5. Scleral Contact Lenses
The sclera of the eye is the white part that you see while looking in the mirror. Scleral contacts historically were reserved for severe injury patients or corneal disease. Modern designs of scleral lenses have opened new opportunities for patients with non-diseased corneas. As their name implies, scleral contact lenses rest on the white part of the eye. Due to their large size, the lenses are extremely comfortable because they totally vault over the entire cornea. The cornea contains nerves that allow the eye to sense pain. Since the scleral lenses do not touch the cornea, there is no nerve stimulation of the cornea. Scleral lenses are also a good option for dry eye patients unable to tolerate other designs. The scleral lens creates a “moisture chamber” over the cornea preventing the cornea from becoming dry. Scleral lenses are great options for patients that have failed other designs, have dry eye, or suffur from keratoconus or other irregularities of the cornea.
Treating Astigmatism with Contact Lenses
There has never been a better time in history to try contacts to correct your astigmatism. Modern contact lenses have opened new exciting ways to correct your astigmatism. If your are interested in trying contacts for the first time, or failed using old technology lenses contact our office for an appointment today. We promise to work with you until you are happy with your new contact lenses. You may schedule online, call our office or text us here.