Contact Lenses and Astigmatism

There was a time when contact lenses were not an option for people suffering from astigmatism. Nowadays, people with this common eye condition can not only take advantage of this vastly available and affordable eye treatment, they can also choose between different types and colors.

Astigmatism is not a disease like most people believe. It occurs naturally in the human eye just like aging. However unlike aging, astigmatism can be corrected. There are four types of lenses that correct astigmatism.

o Gas Permeable (GP) Lenses
o Toric Lenses
o Hybrid Lenses
o Orthokeratology Lenses

GP lenses are the most common way to treat astigmatism. They provide clear and stable astigmatic correction by acting to make the surface of the eye spherical. These lenses may cost more initially than regular soft lenses, but they are very durable and one pair can potentially last for several years. The only disadvantage is the initial discomfort of having to attach a soft piece of plastic on the eyes. It could take a few weeks to get used to them.

Soft toric lenses come with the ease of adaptability and feel comfortable on the eyes. They come in different colors and options such as disposable wear (daily) and extended wear (overnight). They also cost significantly less than regular eye glasses. Their biggest disadvantage, however, is potentially fluctuating vision. This happens when the vision is clear the first minute and blurry the next due the fact that all toric lenses no matter how well they fit the eye, are prone to rotation and movement.

Hybrid lenses are created in various styles using different materials. They combine the benefits of both GP and Toric lenses and are best for eyes that are difficult to fit or suffering from irregular astigmatism.

Lastly, Orthokeratology lenses are in fact a type of GP lens. They are specifically worn while sleeping in order to mold the eye and reshape the cornea by pushing on the steep areas. This creates a flattening affect which enables the person to see clearly in the day without using any contacts. These are perfect for those who suffer from very light astigmatism or mild nearsightedness.

As always, it is best to consult with an eye doctor as to which type of lens would be appropriate for you. The first step of course is getting your eyes examined. Keywords: Astigmatism, Eye treatment.