If you haven’t looked into using contact lenses before because you have an astigmatism, then you might be wondering whether or not they are even an option. In short, the answer is yes, you can use contacts instead of glasses. In the past, you may have heard that your consideration meant that glasses were your only option, and for a long time that was true. However, over the last decade, a number of advances have been made in this area. Here is a quick look at how the landscape lies today.
In order to understand why contact lenses were not always available, it is important to understand what an astigmatism is. In the most basic terms, your retina isn’t a sphere like it is in most people, rather it is more like a oblong. There are actually two different types of this condition, however the more serious type is when the cornea itself isn’t smooth, which currently doesn’t have a very good solution. However, most people have a regular or common astigmatism. If this is the case, then the part of your eye will need more power than the rest and lenses can now be made to provide this additional power to the designated area.
There are actually two different options available. The most popular option are known as soft toric lenses. These contact lenses are made with two meridians, which is what allows for one part of your eye to see normally, while the problem area has a different power to compensate for any issues. While there are different ways that this can be accomplished, the most commonly available use a “prism ballast”. With this, one portion of the lens is actually a little thicker so that it is self correcting. That means that no matter how you put it in your eye, the lens will naturally settle into the correct position. The reason that this is the most popular option is because it is the most comfortable and most adaptable.
The other type of contact lenses are known as Gas Permeable or GP. These lenses are a little harder as well as a little smaller. The goal of these lenses is to remain perfectly spherical, even though your eye is not. Then the small gaps that are left will be filled in by your eyes natural moisture. Depending on how often you plan on wearing corrective lenses, GP might be the most economical value because they are sturdier and can last longer. However, because many people think that they are less comfortable, they are often not the first choice.
When it comes to having an eye-related health problem, aside from being near-sighted or far-sighted, an astigmatism is often considered to be one of the most common as well as the most annoying. Fortunately, with some of the advances in technology over the last decade, there are now a variety of different contact lenses available. The two most common are toric and GP. Both are effective at correcting your problems, so the final decision is really a matter of personal preference.
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