Most people mistakenly believe that they cannot wear contact lenses if they have astigmatism. But with advancements in optometry, there are already a lot of correction devices specific to this eye condition, including daily toric lenses for astigmatism.
Astigmatism is an eye condition affecting how the cornea directs light to the retina. This refractive error happens because of an abnormal curve in the cornea, restricting your ability to focus light properly.
As a result, you can experience distorted or blurry vision, making it harder for you to identify details like shapes at any distance. You may also suffer from fatigue, headaches, and eyestrain.
Though astigmatism can develop at birth, some may develop it as they age. Causes include genetics, eye injury, disease, or surgery. As for treatment, minor cases may be left untreated, but moderate-to-severe cases need correction with glasses, contact lenses, or surgery.
Read on to know the different types of contact lenses for astigmatism and how to buy the right pair.
4 Types of Contact Lenses for Astigmatism
Contact lenses are great options for correcting astigmatism. In fact, some patients respond better with contact lenses than glasses since the lenses offer clearer vision and a wider range of view.
Toric contact lenses
Toric contact lenses are soft lenses designed to correct astigmatism. These are made of a breathable silicone hydrogel material or a conventional hydrogel material.
Toric contact lenses differ from regular lenses meant for correcting hyperopia or myopia in two ways:
- Toric lenses have a feature that allows the lenses to rotate to the correct orientation on the cornea. This ensures that the power meridians of the lenses will align with the proper meridians of your eye to achieve clearer vision.
- Toric lenses contain different powers in various meridians to correct the different levels of farsightedness or near-sightedness in the meridians of the eye that suffer from astigmatism.
Since each eye with astigmatism is unique, expect to try more than a pair of toric contact lenses to find the design and brand that offers the best comfort, visual acuity, and fit. Also, fitting this kind of lens will take more expertise than fitting their regular counterparts.
Because of their complex design, it entails more money if you need to replace them. The difference in cost depends on the lens material, design, and where you buy them.
Hybrid contact lenses
As the name implies, hybrid contact lenses are a combination of soft and rigid lenses. They have a central zone made of rigid material, surrounded by a fitting zone made of silicone hydrogel or soft hydrogel material. For this reason, they provide the best of both types of lenses for astigmatism correction.
And since these have the same size as soft contact lenses and thinner edges, there is a lesser risk of them being dislodged from the eyes while you are performing activities like sports.
Specialty contact lenses for astigmatism
Today, there are styles and brands of toric soft lenses that are available in materials and designs for daily, biweekly, and monthly replacement.
Also, there are already color contact lenses with a toric design that can both correct astigmatism and enhance the color of your eyes. Some can even correct both presbyopia and astigmatism. You can also avail yourself of custom-made soft contact lenses to correct any amount or type of astigmatism.
3 Tips for Choosing Your Lenses
To help you get started with selecting contact lenses for astigmatism, here are some factors to consider.
Be aware of the important terms
Before heading to an optical shop, here are some important terms you should know.
- Silicone hydrogel – This is a material that creates more breathable lenses. It can be more absorbent or have higher water content than other lens materials.
- Dk/t – This refers to the measurement of how much oxygen the lens permits to reach your eyes. As the number increases, the more breathable the lens gets, which can reduce the possibility of damage and irritation from the contact lenses.
Opt for a reputable brand
Go with a brand that is known to offer high-quality contact lenses. If you’re buying online, the brand must also provide satisfaction guarantees, superb customer service, and affordable or free shipping.
Look into the pricing guide
Factors that can affect the cost of the contact lenses include:
- The replacement schedule
- Lens material
- With or without tint
Whenever possible, you should also consider looking into sale prices or packages that include more than a pair of lenses.
Having astigmatism can complicate your prescription, but this should not prevent you from getting fitted with the lenses that fit your lifestyle. The key is to choose your contact lenses carefully, and once you find the right brand, stick with it. Most importantly, follow your contact lens replacement schedule.
Bear in mind as well that contact lenses will require a doctor’s prescription to ensure that you get the best lenses for your eyes. This means that you still need to undergo an eye examination and a consultation with an eye specialist in Dubai, even if you plan to buy from an online contact lens retailer. Regular eye checkups also allow your doctor to check if your contact lenses fit your eyes and are effective at correcting your astigmatism.