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Which Contact Lens Is Best for Astigmatism

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Which Contact Lens Is Best for Astigmatism Powered By Docstoc
					This is an interesting question from my perspective to another eye
doctor's perspective. I'll explain that in a minute. But I'm writing this
more for those that might need to wear a contact lens to correct their
astigmatism than for those that choose a lens for astigmatism such as an
eye doctor.When I find that a person has some astigmatism I need to know
how much they have. If they have about 0.75 diopters then that's about
the lowest amount that a soft contact lens for astigmatism is designed to
correct. Now I said soft contact lens and not a gas permeable lens. I'll
also get to the gas permeable contact lens issue in a minute too.So let's
say you have 0.75 diopters of astigmatism. The doctor is generally going
to try to correct that with a toric contact lens. That word toric means
the surface of the contact lens is not only correcting any spherical
power like nearsightedness or farsightedness, but also correcting the
cylinder (astigmatism). So it really has multiple powers on the lens that
will correct the multiple powers of your eye!The question to wear a toric
lens for someone has to be determined. If there is 0.75 diopters of
astigmatism that might benefit the patient to wear one. The benefit
should be better vision but sometimes a regular spherical contact lens
will sorta help the astigmatism anyway. It's a judgment call sometimes.
Usually contact lenses that correct astigmatism cost more and they might
feel different. In my opinion if you haven't tried wearing a toric
contact lens for your astigmatism even though you have 0.75 you might as
well see if it helps. But there's no law that you have to.If you have
1.00 diopters or more of astigmatism then I would say a toric contact
lens probably would help your vision. When there is a lot of astigmatism
then you certainly would see better wearing one.Which toric soft contact
lens then should you wear? The doctor is probably going to have his/her
"go to" brand and since most of the newer designs work well it's not
really going to matter that much brand-wise. But I have seen some lenses
just not fit well on a patient's eye and so that's where the doctor
evaluation is important. These soft lenses usually have some markings,
very faint ones, that help determine the orientation of the lens when
it's on the eye. Some calculations can be made from a lens that isn't
fitting well and incorporated into what lens to try next. This is trial
and error more for some patients than others. There are a lot of dynamics
in getting a contact lens to fit well and stay stable so a patient can
see clearly throughout the day.Now what was I going to tell you about the
doctor's perspective on a toric soft contact lens? Well, I haven't
interviewed any doctor about this to be honest but I've read plenty of
comments on forums that are exclusive for eye doctors. Here are a couple
of important things a doctor might take into consideration of which toric
lens to try.If there isn't much astigmatism then the doctor may not see a
need if the patient sees well in their current lenses. If the patient
complains of ghosting or second images then you might find yourself
trying one. If the patient wants to sleep in their lenses there are some
toric contact lens brands approved for that and some not approved for
that. If the patient wants a daily disposable vs 2 week vs monthly vs
quarterly. The more often you replace a lens the better it should be for
your eye. How much astigmatism might dictate what brand you get. When
there is a lot of astigmatism there are fewer choices but still plenty of
good choices. Cost and insurance. Those should be figured out to help
make the decision whether to wear toric lenses and what brand. Now I'll
briefly mention the dreaded gas permeable lens. It really isn't that bad
because lately there are better ways to have these designed and fitted.
There are patients wearing standard designed gas perm lenses and are
happy as can be. But it's hard lens basically. It can correct the
teeniest amount of astigmatism to a very high amount. And these lenses
can give you very sharp vision if designed well. The number of doctors
that are very active in fitting these lenses is dwindling due to the
popularity of toric soft contact lenses but if your doctor recommends a
gas permeable lens then you should try it. You never know!One other issue
with gas permeable lenses and astigmatism. Because the eye has basically
4 refracting surfaces (the front and back of the cornea and the front and
back of the crystalline lens) the location of the astigmatism should
generally be on the cornea for that lens to work the best. The doctor
will be able to determine that with his/her instruments.If you have
astigmatism you have options. Do a little research but your doctor knows
what to do even if you think you need to tell them what you read on the
internet!

				
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posted:7/10/2011
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