Correcting Astigmatism with Toric Lenses
Although it may not have been possible in the past, you can wear contact lenses to correct your astigmatism. Today toric lenses for correcting astigmatism are widely available in a variety of options. Long gone are the days of only having the option of eyeglasses to correct astigmatism.
What is astigmatism?
Astigmatism is the most common vision problem experienced by patients seeking vision correction, and it refers to an irregularly shaped cornea or an irregularly shaped lens. This irregular shape causes blurred vision and may also be accompanied by nearsightedness or farsightedness. Uncorrected, astigmatism can cause eye strain and headaches.
A regular eye is shaped like a spherical ball whereas an eye with astigmatism is shaped more like an oblong football. This oblong shape causes the eye to have two curves a steeper one and a flatter one. In most cases, astigmatism is hereditary though it is possible to develop the problem as a result of an eye injury or eye surgery.
What types of contact lenses can be worn to correct astigmatism?
Toric contact lenses are specially designed to correct astigmatism. Toric lenses are available in soft hydrogel, rigid gas permeable and silicone hydrogel lenses. They are offered in disposable and frequent replacement, can be purchased in a variety of colors and are even available in multifocals.
How are toric lenses different from regular contact lenses?
Toric contact lenses are basically the same as regular contact lenses except for a difference in the shape and design of the lenses. These lenses have two powers that are created by curvatures at different angles; one that corrects the astigmatism and one that corrects the patient’s nearsightedness or farsightedness.
To ensure that the two powers of the lenses work properly together, toric lenses are weighted to keep them relatively stable on the eye whenever you blink or look around. If a toric lens rotates on your eye, it will not be able to provide you with crisp, clear vision.
Since toric lenses require a higher level of expertise and more time to fit properly, toric lens fittings are typically more expensive than fittings for regular contact lenses. Just as the lens fittings tend to be more expensive toric contact lenses may also come with a larger price tag due to the preciseness of their design.
If you already have your lens prescription and are ready to place an order, visit the Toric Lenses page. To more about other types of contacts, read Contact Lens Types.