Astigmatism is a refractive error that occurs alongside shortsightedness or farsightedness. It is a corneal misshape that alters light’s focus and refraction on the retina at the back of the eye, disturbing vision at any distance.
Causes of Astigmatism
- It is mostly hereditary, present since birth, and increases with time.
- It may develop following eye surgery or injury or disease.
- Keratoconus may cause Astigmatism, a condition where the cornea progressively becomes thinner and cone-shaped.
- Low light or television, mobile, and computer screens do NOT cause Astigmatism as commonly assumed.
- Distorted or blurry vision.
- Eye discomfort.
Astigmatism prevention and treatment
Since Astigmatism is an abnormality in the cornea’s anatomy, there is nothing you can do to prevent it. However, after proper diagnosis, there are several treatment options from which the doctor chooses the best for each condition; Eyeglasses, Contact Lenses, Laser, Lasik, and PRK are some types of treatment.
Contacts for Astigmatism
Basically, different eye meridians in people with Astigmatism need different amounts of correction to achieve proper light refraction and focus on the retina and clearer vision.
There are different types of lenses for such issue, including:
Soft Toric Contact Lenses
These toric lenses are made explicitly for Astigmatism with different powers in the meridians of the lens and a specific position to align with the eye’s meridians.
It requires high expertise for the specialist to fit the soft toric lenses according to each condition, the matter that makes them a bit pricey. However, once fit correctly, they are approved for prolonged use as long as you follow the doctor’s schedule and recommendations for use and maintenance. They also come in colors for your convenience.
Soft toric contact lenses differ from regular lenses with some features:
- They are made from high oxygen-permeable material; Silicone Hydrogel, so they are suitable for extended use as they reduce Hypoxia.
- The bottom of the toric lenses is a bit cut off.
- Toric lenses have thin-thick zones.
- Toric lenses can rotate to align with the eye’s meridians.
Rigid Gas Permeable Contact Lenses
Unlike soft lenses, rigid gas permeable lenses do not conform to the misshapen cornea. Instead, they maintain their spherical position on the cornea, and their surface corrects light’s refraction without the need for a toric design to rotate according to the cornea’s abnormal anatomy.
Just like Soft lenses, rigid gas permeable lenses are made of Silicone, which gives them high oxygen transmissibility. In turn, it makes them suitable for prolonged wearing as they let the cornea breathe and reduce Hypoxia.
Rigid Gas Permeable contact lenses have been used to treat mild to moderate Astigmatism successfully. However, for severe cases, a toric design can be added to them.
Many patients reported clearer vision when using these types of lenses. Yet, some could not adapt to the sensation of wearing them since they are not soft.
Just like Soft Toric lenses, fitting Rigid Gas Permeable lenses requires high expertise and even more, making the process a bit pricey.
Hybrid Contact Lenses
Each of the types above has its downside; Soft Toric Lenses may disposition, and rigid lenses can be uncomfortable. Therefore, scientists came up with Hybrid Lenses, which have the advantages of the two above mentioned types.
In Hybrid Lenses, the core is made of the same material as the Rigid Gas Permeable lenses, giving it the ability to maintain a proper shape to correct the cornea’s abnormality. This core is then coated with a Soft Silicone Hydrogel layer to make these lenses more adaptable for people to wear.
Again, fitting these kinds of lenses needs high expertise. They cost about as much as Rigid Lenses and are as durable.
Which type of Contact Lenses is better for Astigmatism?
There is no one best lens type for Astigmatism. When having a distorted vision, you should see a doctor for a comprehensive eye exam, in which the doctor diagnoses the condition and determines the best approach for treatment. If settled on treating Astigmatism with contact lenses, the doctor calculates the problem’s degree and picks the best type of lenses to prescribe. There are several factors to consider, and as mentioned before, it takes high expertise to measure and fit the lenses.
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Don’t forget to visit MetroBrazil store for high-quality contact lenses.