Astigmatism is a condition in which the person can have visual difficulties because of either irregular curvature of the lens or the cornea, or corneal scaring or scattering in the lens of the eye. Experts now believe that astigmatism exists in all individuals in varying degrees and often goes unnoticed. In astigmatism, the light focuses improperly within the eye and the vision becomes either distorted or blurry depending on the severity of the condition.
Astigmatic people can often suffer from common problems like nearsightedness and farsightedness too. Along with these, other symptoms include eye discomfort, headache, irritation, fatigue and squinting.
There are specific contact lenses available on the market which are perfect for astigmatic people. These are:
Gas Permeable: These lenses are smaller than soft lenses and semi-hard in nature. They make the surface of the eye spherical and hence help to correct astigmatism. The tears of the person wearing them fill the gap between the lens and the cornea thus giving a smoother surface and sharper vision. These lenses are also economical since they last for about four to five years and are also less likely to develop deposits or tear like soft lenses can. Therefore GP lenses are regarded as the primary way of correcting irregular astigmatism which may rise as a result of keratoconus or cornea transplant.
The biggest drawback of these lenses is that people take longer to adjust to them. It might take weeks for the user to become comfortable in these lenses.
Soft Toric Contact Lenses: These are made of flexible, hydrophilic material and have two different powers in them. Therefore, to correcting astigmatism, these lenses have to be worn so that the powers match the right areas, and they must stay in the correct position. These lenses are sometimes weighted (ballasted) at the bottom for this purpose. The advantages of soft toric lenses include easy adaptability, color options and durability. Though the price varies depending on the brand, they cost less than eyeglasses.
Other contact lenses that can be used for correcting astigmatism include hybrid lenses combining a surrounding soft lens and rigid central portion. Another type of lens is the Corneal Refractive Therapy (CRT) or Orthokeratology lens. These lenses should be worn at night for shaping the cornea. They exert pressure on the raised areas and reshape the cornea so that the user can have clear vision during the day without using lenses.
However, no matter what lens you prefer to wear for correcting your vision, it is always better to go for professional advice before selecting one, so that you can be sure of having perfect sight.
There are several contact lenses that can be worn by astigmatic people. If you are suffering from astigmatism and want to know which lens is good for you then click here: Contact Lenses for Astigmatism!