Astigmatism is one of several refractive errors that can impact vision and create frustration. Fortunately, there are ways to treat astigmatism, so you can see. Learn more about this condition and how contact lenses can help in this guide from our team at Crystal Clear Optometry in McAllen, TX.
What Is Astigmatism?
You’ve likely played with a prism at some point. If so, you know that when the light hits the prism, it is refracted in a specific direction. Likewise, if you move the prism, it changes the way the light is refracted.
If you’ve never played with a prism, you’ve looked in a mirror a few times. When that mirror is properly designed, your reflection is accurate. Sometimes, though, there’s a defect in the mirror, which can create a sort of wavy reflection.
Both the prism and the mirror can help understand astigmatism. In a person without astigmatism, the cornea is rounded. This shape allows light to enter the eye and fall on the retina, which helps provide a clear image of an object.
The cornea is irregularly shaped with astigmatism and changes how light enters the eye. As a result, it falls in front of or behind it, causing distorted vision. However, unlike other refractive errors, astigmatism causes blurry vision up close and far away.
Treatment for Astigmatism
Eyeglasses have been the go-to for treating astigmatism for a long time, but they are not the only choice. Contact lenses are available. However, regular contacts are not designed for astigmatism, as they do not compensate for the cornea's irregular shape.
If you prefer contacts to eyeglasses, you must get contact lenses specifically designed for the curvature of your cornea. Additionally, astigmatism can be present with other refractive errors, so you’ll need the best prescription. This is why comprehensive eye and contact lens exams are so critical.
Once you have the proper measurement and prescription, our optometrist will discuss the available contact lens options. These include rigid gas permeable, soft toric, and hybrid lenses.
You might also consider Ortho-K. These lenses are typically worn overnight to help reshape your cornea. Many people with astigmatism find this option preferable, as they can normally go through the day without eyewear.
Schedule an Eye Exam with Our Optometrist
If you’re living with astigmatism, let our team at Crystal Clear Optometry in McAllen, TX, help determine the best course of treatment for your needs. Call (956) 687-6567 to schedule an appointment today.