What is Astigmatism and How Can Contact Lenses Help?
Astigmatism is a common vision problem that affects people of all ages. Unlike other refractive errors such as nearsightedness or farsightedness, astigmatism occurs due to an irregular shape of the cornea or lens in the eye. This irregularity causes blurred or distorted vision, making it difficult to focus on both near and far objects.
Fortunately, advancements in eye care have led to the development of toric contact lenses. These specialized lenses are designed specifically for individuals with astigmatism, providing clear and comfortable vision correction. In this blog article, we will explore the benefits and fitting process of toric contact lenses.
What makes toric lenses different?
Toric contact lenses are different from regular spherical lenses because they have two different powers. This enables them to correct astigmatism effectively by compensating for the irregular curvature of the cornea or lens. Toric lenses have two main components:
1. Cylinder Power: This component corrects the astigmatism by providing additional optical power in a specific meridian of the lens. This is typically represented by the abbreviation cyl in your prescription.
2. Axis: The axis refers to the orientation of the cylinder power, measured in degrees from 0 to 180. It helps align the corrective power to the appropriate meridian of your eye.
Fitting toric lenses:
Fitting toric contact lenses requires precision and expertise. Your eye care professional will perform a comprehensive eye examination to determine the severity and type of your astigmatism. They will also measure the curvature of your cornea using a keratometer or corneal topographer to map the irregularities.
Based on these measurements, your eye care professional will prescribe toric contact lenses with the appropriate cylinder power, axis, and base curve. It’s important to note that toric lenses come in various designs, including daily disposable, bi-weekly, and monthly wear options. Your eye care professional will recommend the most suitable type for your needs.
After prescribing the lenses, your eye care professional will perform a fitting to ensure optimal vision and comfort. They may try different lens brands, materials, and sizes to find the best fit for your eyes. The fitting process may involve trial lenses, assessing the lens rotation and stability, and making any necessary adjustments.
Benefits of toric lenses for astigmatism:
1. Sharper Vision: Toric contact lenses can provide significantly sharper vision compared to glasses for individuals with astigmatism. They correct both the spherical and cylindrical errors, leading to improved visual acuity and clarity.
2. Enhanced Comfort: Thanks to advancements in lens materials and design, toric lenses offer increased comfort and ease of wear. They are now available in soft, breathable materials that allow more oxygen to reach the eyes, reducing dryness and discomfort.
3. Convenience and Freedom: Contact lenses provide the freedom to engage in various activities without the restrictions of glasses. Toric lenses allow individuals with astigmatism to participate in sports, outdoor activities, and even wear fashionable sunglasses without compromising their vision correction.
It’s important to note that toric lenses require proper care and maintenance to ensure long-term eye health and visual clarity. Regular cleaning, disinfecting, and replacement according to your eye care professional’s instructions are crucial.
If you have astigmatism and have been hesitating to try contact lenses, consider discussing toric lenses with your eye care professional. With their expertise and the advancements in technology, fitting toric lenses has become more accurate and comfortable than ever. Experience the freedom and clear vision that toric contact lenses can provide, and embrace life without the limitations of astigmatism.