Contact Lenses and Astigmatism
If you have astigmatism, this simply means that your eye is not perfectly round or spherical. Most people have some degree of astigmatism, but in most cases, the astigmatism is so minor there’s no need to compensate for it with special eyeglasses or contact lenses. If you have a more significant amount of astigmatism, you may require correction with contact lenses or glasses to achieve good vision.
Too often, people mistakenly believe they can’t wear contact lenses because of their astigmatism. The truth is, today there are plenty of excellent options for correcting astigmatism with contact lenses.
A conventional soft lens, because it simply drapes over the cornea, does not correct astigmatism. There is a specially-designed contact lens that does correct for astigmatism with a curvature to the front surface of the lens. This type of lens is called a toric lens. There are also toric contact lenses made of rigid, gas permeable (GP) materials, too.
Because every eye with astigmatism is unique, it can take more than one pair of soft toric contact lenses to find the brand and design that provides the best fit, comfort and visual acuity for you. Also, fitting toric contact lenses for astigmatism takes more expertise than fitting regular lenses. For these reasons, getting fitted with toric contact lenses typically costs more than a regular contact lens exam and fitting.
For unusual or high amounts of astigmatism, special large-diameter gas permeable contacts called scleral lenses can be extremely effective. Also, several lens manufacturers offer custom contact lenses made of hydrogel and silicone hydrogel materials for these situations.
If you have astigmatism and are interested in wearing contact lenses, contact Palmetto Eye & Laser Center at 864-583-6381 or palmettoeyeandlaser.com. During a comprehensive eye exam and contact lens consultation in Spartanburg, Dr. Dille can advise whether you are a good candidate for contact lens wear and which astigmatism-correcting contact lenses are best suited for your specific needs.