There are a number of options for people with astigmatism who would like to wear contact lenses these days. Although there are fewer contact options for people with astigmatism than for people without it, most people find that there are a sufficient number of choices. Here at Total Eyecare in Elko, we offer contact lens exams for people with and without astigmatism.
An Overview of Astigmatism
In a 'normal' eye, the basic shape of the eyeball is round. This means that the front of the eye normally has a smooth, unbroken curve to it. In people with astigmatism, the surface of the eye is not completely smooth. Instead, there is one part of the eye that is flatter or steeper than the rest. This means that a corrective lens needs to have two (or more) different powers in order to correct the entire eye to the same degree.
Contact Lens Choices
Normal soft contact lenses take their shape from the eye and rotate within it. This is fine for correcting nearsightedness or farsightedness, but it does not work well for astigmatism. So, people with astigmatism are better off choosing from other options:
- Soft Toric Lenses are built so that they do not rotate in the eyes.
- Rigid Gas Permeable (RGP) Lenses retain their own shape instead of conforming to the eye.
- Hybrid Lenses have an RGP center and soft edges designed for comfort.
- Rigid GP Toric Lenses are available for people with a high degree of astigmatism.
- Scleral Lenses are large-diameter RGP lenses that can be helpful for people with unusual types or amounts of astigmatism.
Most people with astigmatism can wear at least one of these types of lenses. There are even daily disposable lenses for some prescriptions. Most lenses for astigmatism are mass-produced like any other contacts, but it is possible to get custom lenses for better comfort or improved vision.
Typically, people find soft contact lenses more comfortable than rigid lenses, but RGP lenses tend to give sharper vision. For some people, RGP lenses are the only practical option, either because of their degree of astigmatism or because of another issue. Hybrid lenses can be an option for these individuals if they find standard RGP lenses too uncomfortable, but there are a limited number of hybrid options on the market at this time.
Contact Our Optometrist at Total Eyecare in Elko, NV Today
Here at Total Eyecare, we can help find a pair of contact lenses that work for you. Having astigmatism is no longer a reason not to wear contacts, so give us a call here in Elko at 775-738-8491 to make an appointment! Our team is waiting to hear from you.