Did you know that one of every three Americans has astigmatism? Astigmatism is one of the three common refractive disorders of the eye. Astigmatism occurs when the cornea's shape becomes irregular. An irregularly shaped cornea can cause blurry vision, headaches, and discomfort.
The unusual curvature of the cornea makes it difficult to focus light rays. While it is a common disorder, it can often go unnoticed when mild. Doctors diagnose astigmatism together with hyperopia and myopia. Eyeglasses or contact lenses can correct it. Usually, contact lenses are a better option because of a wider field of vision.
There are two significant types of astigmatism.
Corneal or Regular Astigmatism - Corneal astigmatism is the most common type of astigmatism. It happens when the cornea's curvature is like that of a football and curves in one direction. With regular astigmatism, correction is available with contact lenses or glasses.
Irregular Astigmatism - Irregular astigmatism is the rarer of the two types. It occurs when the curvature of the cornea is irregular. It curves in more than one direction at varying levels. Rigid gas permeable contacts correct this type of astigmatism.
There are several contact lenses for astigmatism. The type of lens will vary with the kind of astigmatism you are addressing.
When it comes to correcting mild astigmatism, soft lenses are ideal. Their flexibility and softness make them very comfortable to wear. They are very user-friendly, and they do not fall out. Despite all these advantages, it is harder to find the right fit. Also, their vision is not as clear as the other alternatives available. They can quickly become misaligned and may require regular adjustments.
Toric lenses are made of hydrogel or very breathable silicone material. Toric soft lenses for astigmatism differ from other lenses used to correct myopia and hyperopia in two significant ways.
First, toric lenses have different powers in the different meridians of the lens. The different strengths correct the varying amounts of hyperopia and myopia of the eye. These variations are common in eyes with astigmatism
Secondly, these lenses have a weight at the bottom to rotate. The rotation aligns them correctly on the corneal surface. It is to keep them aligned with the varying meridians on the eye
Rigid gas permeable (RGP) lenses correct astigmatism. RGPs can correct astigmatism without the need for a toric-like design. They can do this primarily because of their rigid structure. They can maintain their spherical design on top of the irregular eye shape. The rigid surface of the RGP lens replaces the distorted cornea as the eye's surface.
Hybrid lenses take the best of RGP and soft lenses. They combine an RGP center surrounded by soft silicone material. When someone fits them in successfully, they provide the sharp vision of RGPs and the comfort of soft lenses. Their great design prevents them from falling off.
For more on contact lenses for people with astigmatism, contact Kopolow & Girisgen Doctors of Optometry at our offices in Las Vegas or Henderson, Nevada. You can call (702) 452-2020 or (702) 341-7254 to book an appointment today.