Here in West Hollywood, Positive Eye Ons Optometry offers contact lenses for patients with many eye conditions, including astigmatism. While you may have been under the impression that people with astigmatism cannot wear contacts, this is not true. Modern technological breakthroughs mean that there are multiple options for people who have astigmatism and still want to wear contacts.
A perfect human eye has a round shape, which makes the front of the eye curve like a baseball or soccer ball. However, in some cases, the eye is elongated in one direction, creating a shape that is more like the side of a football. This bends the light that is coming into the eye unevenly, leading to multiple focal points on the retina instead of just one, and results in blurred vision.
Due to the irregular shape, contacts and glasses for correcting astigmatism are more complex than those for nearsightedness or farsightedness. The lenses are required to have a different prescription in some parts than others. One issue this creates with soft contact lenses is that the correction does not stay lined up with the proper part of the eye when the lens rotates. Soft toric lenses attempt to address this by using technology such as tiny weights to ensure that the lenses stay in position.
Other types of contact lenses include rigid gas permeable (RGP) and hybrid lenses. The surface of RGP lenses replaces the surface of the eye for the purposes of focusing light, so the lens can rotate in the eye without causes problems. Toric RGP lenses are available for people with extremely high levels of astigmatism, but they are rarely needed.
Hybrid lenses are used by some people who find RGP lenses too uncomfortable. These lenses have a hard center and soft edges to provide the sensation of a soft lens with the visual clarity of a hard lens. In some cases, eye doctors use a technique referred to as 'piggybacking', instead. This is where a pair of soft lenses are worn under a pair of hard lenses to improve comfort.
If you have astigmatism, chances are very good that you can still wear contact lenses. Here in West Hollywood, Positive Eye Ons Optometry can help you find the right solution for your contact lens needs, whether you have astigmatism or not. To make an appointment for a contact lens fitting or a comprehensive eye exam, call us at (323) 676-0880 today!