Correcting astigmatism effectively
First things first: do you suffer from astigmatism?
If you have no idea what astigmatism is, don't be alarmed. It's really a fancy word for a very common eye condition. In fact, nearly every other person on earth has some amount of astigmatism, though it may be so slight for most that it causes them no vision problems. But for those are significantly affected, headaches, eye strain and seriously blurred vision are common symptoms.
"Nearly every other person on earth has
some amount of astigmatism."
What is astigmatism?
Medically speaking, astigmatism is a form of visual impairment wherein the part of an image is blurred due to the irregular curvature of the front surface of the eye, the cornea. Instead of being spherical like a basketball, the cornea is shaped more like an American football. So light rays entering the eye are not uniformly focused on the retina. The resulting blurry vision occurs because only a part of the viewed image is seen in focus at any one time.
One major issue that those with astigmatism constantly express is the difficulty of differentiating between similar looking letters and numbers, e.g., Q from 0, 8 from 6, and B from 8. Also, the difficulty in focusing leads to poor night vision.
Still sounds Greek to you?
Worry not. What's more important to remember is that astigmatism can be easily corrected with glasses, rigid gas permeable contact lenses or conventional “toric” soft contact lenses. (“Toric” refers to the cylindrical shapeof the lens surface which is responsible for correcting the astigmatism.) While all are effective, the three aforementioned options do possess certain disadvantages; glasses can be too bulky, rigid contacts can be uncomfortable to wear, and conventional toric lenses can be expensive and hard to duplicate.
However, recent advances in technology and manufacturing have done wonders to help sufferers. Some designs use the natural force of the lids to orient and center the lens during and between blinks!
In many cases, modern disposable and frequent replacement soft toric contact lenses are prescribed for people with astigmatism. These lenses are affordable, consistent and therefore, can be disposed on a frequent basis. Another benefit: the shorter replacement schedule promotes better overall eye health.
Are you certain you don't have astigmatism? A quick check to your nearby eye care professional should ascertain your condition. And if you do have it, simply ask him or her to prescribe the best contact lens solution for you.