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Can I Wear Normal Contact Lenses With Astigmatism?

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Can I Wear Normal Contact Lenses With Astigmatism?

Close-up of a woman's right eye as she puts a contact lens in using her right hand

Contact lenses have revolutionized how millions of people correct their vision, offering convenience, comfort, and freedom from glasses

However, finding the right contact lenses can be a bit more challenging for those with astigmatism, a common refractive error caused by an irregularly shaped cornea. 

Many people wonder if they can wear normal contact lenses if they have astigmatism. You can wear contact lenses for astigmatism, known as toric lenses. They are specially designed to correct the irregular curvature of the eye associated with astigmatism, providing clearer vision than regular lenses. 

It’s essential to consult with your eye care professional at Annik Eye Care to determine the best type of contact lenses for your specific needs.

Understanding Astigmatism

Astigmatism is a prevalent eye condition that distorts or blurs vision, affecting individuals’ ability to see clearly at both near and far distances. This condition arises from an irregular shape of the cornea or lens within the eye, which prevents light from focusing correctly on the retina. Unlike a perfectly round cornea, which directs light to a single focal point on the retina, an unevenly shaped cornea causes light to scatter or focus at multiple points, leading to visual distortion.

Causes of Astigmatism 

The primary cause of astigmatism is generally attributed to genetic factors or the natural development of the eye. However, it can also result from external influences such as eye surgery, injuries, or other health conditions affecting the eye’s structure. Astigmatism is often present from birth, but its impact on vision can change over time.

Occasionally, an uncommon eye disorder known as keratoconus can develop. This condition is characterized by progressive thinning and conical cornea deformation.

Symptoms of Astigmatism

Symptoms associated with astigmatism include blurred or distorted vision, eye strain, headaches, and difficulty driving at night. These symptoms can significantly impact daily activities, necessitating proper diagnosis and management.

Diagnosis for Astigmatism 

Diagnosis involves an eye exam, during which eye care professionals use specific tests to measure how the eyes focus light and determine the presence of astigmatism. Once diagnosed, several treatment options are available, including prescription eyeglasses, contact lenses, and, in some cases, orthokeratology or refractive surgery. Prescription lenses correct vision by compensating for the irregular curvature of the cornea or lens, thus allowing light to focus properly on the retina.

Understanding and managing astigmatism is important for maintaining clear vision and overall eye health. Regular eye exams are essential for early detection and effective treatment of astigmatism and other vision-related issues.

The Need for Specialized Contact Lenses

Regular spherical contact lenses may not provide adequate vision correction for individuals with astigmatism. This is because standard lenses do not account for the irregular shape of the cornea or lens. As a result, wearing regular contact lenses can lead to blurred vision, discomfort, and eye strain.

Introducing Toric Contact Lenses

Fortunately, there is a solution for individuals with astigmatism: toric contact lenses. Unlike traditional spherical lenses, toric lenses are specially designed to correct the irregular curvature associated with astigmatism. They have different powers in different meridians of the lens, allowing them to compensate for the asymmetry of the cornea or lens.

Benefits of Toric Contact Lenses

Wearers of toric contact lenses can benefit from the following:

  • Precise correction: Toric lenses are tailored to each individual’s specific prescription, providing precise correction for astigmatism.
  • Clearer vision: Toric lenses offer clearer and sharper vision compared to regular contact lenses by correcting the irregular curvature of the eye.
  • Comfort: Modern toric lenses are made from breathable materials that allow ample oxygen to reach the eye, providing comfort even during extended wear.
  • Stability: Toric lenses can offer a more stable vision correction than eyeglasses because they maintain their position on the cornea, effectively counteracting the irregular curvature. 

Consultation with an Eye Care Professional

If you have astigmatism and are considering contact lenses, it’s essential to consult with an eye care professional. They will conduct an eye exam to determine the severity of your astigmatism and prescribe the most suitable type of contact lenses for your needs.

Discuss your lifestyle, preferences, and concerns about wearing contact lenses during your consultation. Your eye care provider can recommend the best toric lenses based on your prescription, eye shape, and tear film quality.

An optometrist performing a slit-lamp exam on his patient

Embrace Clearer Vision With Toric Contact Lenses

While individuals with astigmatism may not be able to wear regular contact lenses, they can certainly benefit from toric lenses. These specialized lenses offer clearer vision, comfort, and stability, allowing people with astigmatism to enjoy the freedom and convenience of contact lens wear. 

With guidance from our team of eye care professionals at Annik Eye Care, you can find the perfect toric lenses to suit your lifestyle and visual needs. Book your next eye exam with us and say goodbye to blurred vision and hello to a clearer, brighter world with toric contact lenses!

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