astigmatism treatment with contact lenses


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Contact Lenses for Astigmatism

Astigmatism is a disorder of the eye, in which the cornea (the clear dome in front of the eyeball) is irregularly shaped. Normally, the cornea equally refracts light that comes from all directions. In astigmatism that light is refracted unequally, causing the patient to see all images in a blurred manner. Depending on the shape of the cornea, the blurring can be anywhere from mild to severe.

Contact lenses can be used to correct the irregular shape of the cornea, resulting in better vision. There are several different types of contact lenses used to correct astigmatism. These include; soft contact lenses, rigid gas permeable lenses, toric lenses, or toric rigid gas permeable lenses. Which lens is best depends largely on the severity of the astigmatism.

SOFT CONTACT LENSES

  • Used to correct slight astigmatism
  • Actually only mask astigmatism, not correct it

RIGID GAS PERMEABLE LENSES

  • Rigidity of these lenses force the cornea to conform to their shape
  • Any remaining space between the lens and the cornea is filled with tears. This layer of tears acts as a lens to correct the astigmatism.
  • Because of the tear lens the contact lens need only correct the near or far sightedness.

TORIC LENSES

  • Have two powers; one to correct astigmatism, the other to correct near or far sightedness
  • Primarily neutralizes the effects of the irregular cornea
  • Design limits movement on the eye
  • Costly

TORIC RIGID GAS PERMEABLE LENSES

  • Used for severe astigmatism
  • Spoon shape back surface to provide comfort and stability
  • Different powers can be ground on to different parts of the lens

If you have a known astigmatism, ask your doctor about contacts on your next visit.

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