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How To Wear Contact Lens With Astigmatism

Astigmatism is a common vision issue that affects many people. It’s caused by the eye’s lens being improperly shaped, causing light to bend unevenly as it enters the eye. The result is blurry vision at any distance.

But what does this have to do with contact lenses? Well, wearing contacts will actually help correct your astigmatism when you wear them! They’re designed to be thin enough for light to pass through them more easily than if you just had your natural lens in place. So if you’ve been looking for a way to correct your vision without having laser surgery or glasses, contact lenses may be the answer!

You may find it hard to access the right information on the internet, so we are here to help you in the following article, providing contact lenses for astigmatism and can i wear normal contact lenses with astigmatism

How To Wear Contact Lens With Astigmatism

Wearing Contacts With Astigmatism: What You Should Know

Being told you have an astigmatism in one or both of your eyes is nothing to fear. After all, most people have some degree of astigmatism, and many are actually born with the condition.

An astigmatism usually means the cornea of your eye has an irregular shape that causes your vision to be blurry at any distance. A minor astigmatism may not cause any vision problems at all, but a significant astigmatism needs to be corrected.

Having an astigmatism may complicate your prescription just a bit, but it won’t prevent you from getting the type of corrective lens that fits your lifestyle.

At Smart Eye Care in Brooklyn, New York City, we’ve helped countless patients with a moderate amount of astigmatism find the right corrective lenses — including custom-fit contact lenses specifically designed to correct astigmatism.

What is an astigmatism?

Your cornea is a clear, round dome that covers the iris and pupil of your eye. A normal, healthy cornea is smooth and curves equally in all directions, allowing light to focus properly onto the retina at the back of your eye. This is what allows you to see clearly.

When your cornea isn’t evenly curved, its irregular shape causes light to refract incorrectly, leading to blurry vision. A misshapen cornea is called a corneal astigmatism.

An astigmatism can also occur in the lens of your eye, which sits just behind your cornea. If you’re diagnosed with a lenticular astigmatism, it means you have a misshapen lens.

No matter what type of astigmatism you have — corneal or lenticular — objects both near and far may appear blurry and distorted. A moderate or severe astigmatism may also cause eye strain, squinting, chronic headaches, and poor night vision.  

Because astigmatism is often inherited, most people who have the problem were born with it. It can also occur following an eye injury, eye disease, or surgery.

How is an astigmatism corrected?

Most forms of astigmatism are easily treatable. Many people opt for eyeglasses, which are made with a special cylindrical lens prescription that offsets the astigmatism.

Most people who choose glasses to correct an astigmatism only need a single-vision lens that provides clear vision at all distances. People who are past the age of 40 are more likely to require a bifocal or progressive vision lens.

Contact lenses are another excellent option for many people with a moderate amount of astigmatism. In fact, some people with an astigmatism do better with contact lenses than with eyeglasses, because the contacts may provide clear vision and an unobstructed, wider range of view than glasses.

Standard soft contact lenses aren’t effective for correcting an astigmatism, but rigid gas-permeable contact lenses can be a viable option for people with a mild astigmatism.

Rigid gas-permeable contact lenses maintain their regular shape when they’re over your cornea, allowing them to make up for the cornea’s irregular shape and make your vision sharper.

What are the benefits of toric contact lenses?

Toric contact lenses are often the best choice for contact lens wearers with an astigmatism, because they’re specifically designed to address the problem. The special shape of a toric lens creates different refractive, or focusing, powers that can help correct either a corneal or a lenticular astigmatism.

Toric contacts have a thicker zone that keeps them from rotating when they’re in your eyes. It also helps you orient the lenses the same way every time, so you can count on consistent visual acuity.

Because toric contact lenses must be placed on your eye in a specific way, achieving an exact fit is extremely important. Toric lenses have a middle axis, much like the equator that circles the middle of the earth, to keep your line of vision clear. If your lenses don’t fit well, they’ll do little to improve your vision.

If you need contact lenses to help correct an astigmatism, we can help. Smart Eye Care offers toric fittings and can help you choose the right type of toric lens for your lifestyle. Toric lenses are available as soft or hard lenses, and come in every wear schedule, ranging from dailies to disposables and beyond.

Tricks to putting in contacts

Wearing contacts gives you great freedom over glasses, but for many, the struggle and frustration of learning how to insert and remove contact lenses is too much. Here’s your expert guide to worry-free contact wear, complete with troubleshooting for common contact-wearing problems.

1. How to remove a contact lens that “disappeared”

If a contact disappears, it may have fallen onto the floor to be lost forever, but, in some cases, it could still be stuck under your eye. You may feel a prick under your eyelid after a contact has disappeared because the contact has likely folded or otherwise moved out of place on the eyeball.

If you can’t see it, don’t try to lift your lid up enough to grab it because you’ll hurt yourself. Instead, close your eye and look down as far as you can, and then, while still looking down, gently pull the lid up slowly. This dislodges the lens so that you can easily remove it. If this doesn’t work, please contact Dr. Stein for an appointment and he will assist you.

2. How to remove a contact lens first thing in the morning

It’s not advisable to sleep in your contacts, but some contacts are designed for 24-hour wear, making sleeping in them less risky. When you first wake up, your eye may be dry, and the contact may have temporarily adhered to the cornea. Trying to remove it in this state may damage your cornea, so make sure your eye is sufficiently lubricated with eyedrops before removing the contact.

3. What to do if the contact keeps falling out during insertion

The trick is to gently hold the contact on the eye for about 1 second and then very slowly move the eyeball back and forth slightly. This helps the fluids on your cornea pick up the contact from your finger.

Without blinking, move the eyeball slowly down and then around to secure the lens in the eye. Now you can blink, and the lens should stay in place. With practice, this takes fewer than 2 seconds to do.

4. What to do if your contact falls out at an inconvenient time

As a contact wearer, you should always be prepared. Carry a travel-size bottle of saline in your backpack, satchel or purse. Keep a contact case with you at all times. If the contact falls out, don’t attempt to re-insert it immediately. Instead, put some fresh saline into your case, place the contact in there, and then get to the nearest restroom to thoroughly wash your hands and the contact before reinserting.

Never rinse contacts with tap water even in an emergency! Well water and even some city water may have microbes and parasites you do not want in your eyes.

5. How to properly insert a contact lens (step-by-step)

To insert:

  1. Wash and dry your hands on a clean towel.
  2. Remove the contact from its case with your thumb and index finger and place it on the index finger.
  3. If the contact is not a bowl shape, turn it the other way.
  4. Use your other hand to slowly lift your eyelid.
  5. Look up and slowly place the lens on the eye, giving it 1 second to suction to your eye fluids.
  6. Once you feel it attached, blink slowly to strengthen its bond in the right position.
  7. Dump any solution left in your case into the sink and allow the case to dry completely. A CDC study found that as many as 55 percent of contact wearers don’t use new solution every time, which is scary given the number of dangerous eye infections you can contract with poor contact hygiene.

To remove:

  1. Wash your hands.
  2. Prepare your case with new solution.
  3. Pull your eyelid up with one hand.
  4. Look up.
  5. Gently slide the contact onto the white of your eye.
  6. Grab the contact with a thumb and index finger.
  7. Place the contact carefully in the case and close the case.

6. How to stop dropping the contact during insertion or removal

Be patient with yourself. The main reason people struggle is they see how quickly others can insert and remove contacts, but the people who do it quickly have been wearing contacts for at least a couple of weeks. Give yourself a little extra time in the morning to get the hang of it, and soon, you’ll be as fast and flawless as they are.

Contact Lenses For Astigmatism

Contact Lenses with a Toric Curvature

Toric contacts are a viable option because of their unique shape, which focuses light with varying refractive (or focusing) powers in the vertical and horizontal axes.

Similar to a sliced beach ball, the surface of a regular contact is smooth and spherical. The shape of toric lenses is analogous to a wedge cut from the edge of a donut. The word “torus” refers to a donut-shaped geometric figure, the inspiration for the name.

Issues to think about:

Toric lenses require an exceptional level of precision in their fit. Because of their shape, they must be inserted into the eye in a particular manner (both horizontally and vertically). Toric lenses are designed with a clear central axis, like the equator, to prevent distortion of the eye’s natural focal point. Lenses that don’t fit properly will not provide the necessary clarity of vision.

Your doctor can help you decide between soft contact lenses and rigid gas permeable lenses if you need to wear them daily, and you can also get toric lenses in a daily version or other disposable options. It’s true that soft torics may be more pleasant to wear, but some people find that they don’t stay in place as well as RGP lenses. It may take longer to get used to RGP lenses because they are often drier and more fragile.

A CONTACT LENS THAT IS RIGID AND GAS-PERMEABLE (RGP)

It is not uncommon for these lenses to be effective in correcting astigmatism without the toric shape. That’s because, unlike soft contact lenses, rigid gas permeable lenses retain their original shape once implanted in the eye, effectively substituting for the irregular cornea in directing light to the retina where it belongs. This is in contrast to soft lenses, which settle into the shape of the cornea.

While RGP lenses with a toric design may be recommended by your eye doctor if you have a significant amount of astigmatism, many people with astigmatism find that their vision is significantly improved with regular RGP lenses.

Issues to think about:

It may take some time to adjust to these contacts because they are rigid and their diameter is smaller than that of soft contacts. People who have never worn rigid contacts before often report that they hate the feeling of them on their eyes.

RGP require a precise fitting process similar to that of torics. However, some wearers have reported that these lenses have popped out of their eyes, making them more expensive than soft contact lenses (such as when participating in sports).

LENSES WITH HYBRID CONTACT POINTS

Hybrid contacts are another choice that merges the advantages of toric and RGP lenses. A silicone hydrogel or soft hydrogel “skirt” encloses a rigid gas-permeable core.

Issues to think about:

These lenses provide excellent clarity of vision, just like RGP contacts, but with the convenience of soft toric lenses. In addition, their edges are less likely to break than those of RGP lenses, making them a more practical option for some sports.

These lenses, like RGP lenses, can be more expensive and require precise fitting.

Discovering the correct contact lenses is essential to maintaining healthy eyes, but how do you know which ones will work best for you? Set up a time for an eye exam. Our eye doctors are experts at explaining the various contact lens options and helping you find the best fit possible.

Can I Wear Normal Contact Lenses With Astigmatism

Contact your eye doctor to discuss the best lens options for your eyes.

The good news is that patients with astigmatism no longer need to rely solely on eyeglasses or rigid contact lenses for vision correction.

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