A common vision disorder experienced by many, alongside myopia and hyperopia (near- and farsightedness), is astigmatism.
Astigmatism affects over 40 million Americans and is caused by an irregularly shaped cornea. When the cornea, which acts as a window, is a spherical shape it focuses light correctly upon the retina at the back of the eye; this produces sharp images at all distances. Conversely, in instances where the cornea takes on a more oval shape, the light is focused at two retinal locations rather than one and blurry vision is the result. Corneal irregularities can occur at birth or be the result of injury or trauma. It often happens in conjunction with the above-mentioned myopia or hyperopia.
Eyeglasses or LASIK surgery are options for treating astigmatism, but a more popular choice, especially in recent years, is contact lenses. It wasn’t so very long ago that patients were told they could not wear contacts because of astigmatism, but that is no longer the case. Advances in technology have allowed contacts to become very effective in dealing with the condition and have also made them more convenient than ever to wear.
Torics are contact lenses designed to correct for astigmatism. They contain two powers to address both the blurriness incurred by the condition and related near- or farsightedness. This dual purpose requires that the lens stays stable upon the eye without rotating. Over the past 10 years manufacturers have solved this by developing stabilizing techniques that keeps the contacts in place, and therefore delivering the proper corrective powers at all times. Torics now come in many modalities, from 30-day extended wear on down to daily disposables. You even have the choice of colored toric contacts that will enhance or change your natural eye color.
Your eye doctor can determine the degree of astigmatism during your eye exam. From that point you can be prescribed and fitted with the toric lenses that best suit your vision needs. The eye doctor will also answer any questions or concerns you have. From the point you are satisfactorily fitted with your contacts, you may obtain a copy of your prescription in order to shop for replacement lenses at any reputable venue of your choosing. Online sellers have become very popular and provide a convenient way to shop, compare, and buy your lenses from the comfort of home or office.
Astigmatism as a barrier to wearing contact lenses is now a thing of the past. A call to your eye doctor is the simple first step to get you on your way to taking advantage of the convenience and fashion offered by contacts.
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