An astigmatism is a common vision problem that can occur in children and adults. It does not matter whether the patient is nearsighted or farsighted, or wears glasses or contact lenses, because astigmatism can affect anyone. Fortunately, astigmatism is easily corrected. A simple prescription for glasses or contact lenses for astigmatism will solve the problem.
An astigmatism is caused due to an uneven or oddly shaped cornea. The cornea is supposed to be spherical, however it appears more oblong or oval when an astigmatism is present. The most traditional cause of astigmatism is due to DNA – in other words, it is hereditary. Other causes include an eye injury that results in scarring on the cornea, certain eye surgeries, and thinning of the cornea. An astigmatism produces slightly blurred vision, and when left uncorrected, can cause headaches and eye strain.
Annual eye exams are an important part of general eye health, but especially so for those with an astigmatism. Astigmatisms can become worse over time, so keeping a close watch is necessary. The earlier a change is detected, the faster the prescription can be adjusted to relieve the symptoms. Both glasses and contacts can be worn except in rare cases, where glasses are the only solution because the astigmatism is so severe.
In the past, contact lens wearers with an astigmatism had few options. One option was to go back to wearing glasses. Another option was to wear less comfortable hard or rigid gas permeable lenses. The other choice was to simply live with it, risking the adverse effects of headaches and strain on the eye.
Acuvue produces two fantastic types of lenses for contact wearers with an astigmatism. The type of lenses available for astigmatism are called toric lenses. These are lenses that are made from the same materials as other soft contact lenses, but the design is different. They are made to sit in one place on the eye without moving, providing clearer, more precise vision.
One of the contact lenses for astigmatism that sufferers can purchase are Acuvue Advance for Astigmatism. These lenses are made with Hydraclear technology which makes the lenses feel more comfortable and keeps the eye from drying out as easily. They also have a special element called Accelerated Stabilization Design, which is a design characteristic featuring the edges of the lens. The lens is consistently thin around the edge, which allows less movement of the lens when the wearer blinks.
The newest lens offered by Acuvue is the Oasys for Astigmatism lens. They are very similar to the Advance lenses, as they also have the Accelerated Stabilization Design and Hydraclear Technology. One difference is the amount of time that they can be worn continuously. Advance lenses need to be taken out each evening, but Oasys lenses can be worn for six consecutive nights before needed to be removed from the eye. This is because more oxygen is able to move through the lenses and reach the eye.
The costs associated with having an exam for astigmatism and needing contact lenses for astigmatism are greater than those for regular lens wearers. The eye exam is more costly because it takes the practitioner longer and requires additional precise measurements to be taken. The lenses themselves are also more expensive because they are more complex, however the convenience and correction they provide is worth it to many consumers.