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Years ago, if you had astigmatism you would never be able to wear contact lenses. Now, our optometrists at The Plano Eye Care Center prescribe contacts for astigmatism for patients of all ages and prescription strengths. The most common version are toric lenses, which solve the contact lens problem for a large percentage of our astigmatism patients.
If you have astigmatism you may be surprised at the diagnosis, because the symptoms are almost the same as those for nearsightedness or farsightedness. The difference is that with astigmatism your cornea has become misshapen.
The result of this is that you have a different prescription to see clearly out of the top half of your eye, for example, than out of the bottom half. Light rays refract differently through different curves, causing a need for multiple prescriptions in each eye. This was traditionally the job of eyeglasses, because contact lenses tend to slip around and rotate in the eye as they're worn. This problem was solved by the development of toric lenses.
Unlike traditional lenses, toric contact lenses are specialized soft lenses designed to correct the vision of patients who have astigmatism. Almost all of them are soft contact lenses, but there are rigid gas permeable versions of toric lenses for those who fit that profile better.
Toric lenses differ from traditional lenses in two ways. First, toric lenses have different prescription powers in different portions of the lens surface. Each part is dedicated to correcting the amount of nearsightedness the corresponding part of the eye requires.
Second, the problem of slipping and rotating has been solved by the addition of a weight at the bottom of the lens. This weight is so small that it can't be felt by your eye, but it's significant enough to keep your contacts for astigmatism right side up on your eye. Every time you blink, your contact may try to rotate on the surface of your eye, but it will reorient itself in just a second to give you perfectly clear vision.
All contact lenses should be prescribed and fitted by an optometrist or eye doctor, but it's even more crucial that toric lenses be fitted using professional care. Astigmatism contacts only work if they're perfectly fitted on your eyeballs.
Our doctors take multiple measurements using a kerotometer, which determines the exact curvature of your cornea, to determine the right size and shape for your toric lenses. Because the fit is so important with these lenses, it can take two or more fittings to find the exact right pair for comfort, visual acuity and fit. Our expert team will give you lessons on inserting, wearing and removing toric lenses, as well as how to clean and store them.
Toric lenses have kept up with contact lens technology, and now we can make them in just about every style that's offered for traditional lenses. We can offer you disposable toric contact lenses, which are worn and thrown away daily instead of being cleaned and reused. We even offer colored toric lenses, which can enhance or change the natural color of your eyes.
Astigmatism is more complicated to correct than simple nearsightedness or farsightedness, but you're no longer stuck with wearing eyeglasses if you have it. The eye doctors at The Plano Eye Care Center can prescribe almost any type of toric contact lenses you choose.
Call our office at 972-964-3937 to schedule an appointment today. We'll be happy to discuss the various types of toric lenses we prescribe, and to answer any questions you may have about astigmatism and contact lenses in general.
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