Astigmatism is one of the most common eye issues, with one out of three Americans suffering from it. To address this type of refractive error, people use specially designed corrective lenses to improve their vision. Insight Vision Center Optometry discusses each of them below.
What Is Astigmatism?
The cornea of the eye is supposed to curve like a dome. This shape makes it possible to focus light on the retina to be able to see clearly. However, with astigmatism, the cornea has an irregular shape. Instead of being rounded, the surface of the cornea is shaped like an egg. Since the focus can’t distribute light evenly on the retina, your vision may be blurred or distorted.
What Contact Lenses Should You Use for Astigmatism?
If you have astigmatism, your eye doctor may prescribe one of three types of lenses to correct the effects of astigmatism: toric lenses, rigid gas permeable lenses or hybrid lenses.
- Toric lenses are designed with a special shape that focuses the light using different refractive powers on the vertical and horizontal planes. While regular contacts have a spherical surface, toric lenses are shaped like a slice of the side of a donut. If you choose toric lenses, take note that fit is extremely important. Toric lenses have a middle axis to ensure that your line of vision stays clear. Otherwise, you won’t achieve the visual clarity you need.
- Rigid gas permeable (RGP) lenses can correct astigmatism even without the toric shape. When it comes to this type of lens, they retain their shape when placed on the eye, assuming the place of the misshapen cornea to focus light properly on the retina. Your eye doctor may recommend RGP lenses if you have a higher level of astigmatism. Like torics, the fit of RGP lenses is also critical. They also require time to get used to as the contacts are rigid and smaller in diameter than soft contact lenses.
- Hybrid lenses combine the benefits of toric and RGP lenses. At the center, the rigid gas permeable material is surrounded by a “skirt” that consists of either silicone hydrogel material or soft hydrogel. Like RGP lenses, they provide sharp visual acuity, but also provide comfort like soft toric lenses. They also have thinner edges than RGP lenses, which means they are less likely to pop out.
For more inquiries regarding eye health, look no further than Insight Vision Center Optometry. We provide top-quality services, including vision therapy, to ensure your eyes are in the best condition. Give us a call at (714) 486-3315, or fill out our online contact form to book an appointment. We proudly serve Costa Mesa and Newport Beach, CA.