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Astigmatism: Can Toric Contact Lenses Work For You?

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If you suffer from a severe form of astigmatism, a family doctor may recommend you see an optometrist for eye care soon. An eye doctor may be able to correct or improve your vision with toric contact lenses. Toric contact lenses are uniquely-shaped lenses that correct and improve the symptoms of astigmatism. Learn more about astigmatism and how toric contact lenses can help your vision below. 

How Does Astigmatism Affect You?

Astigmatism occurs when something changes or distorts the natural shapes of your eyes' corneas and lenses. Your corneas should appear rounded or shaped like tennis balls. Your lenses should also be gently curved and flexible. Astigmatism elongates your corneas so that they look like small footballs in your eyes. The condition also causes your lenses to curve too much in the eye or not at all. 

Astigmatism can occur alone or with another eye condition, such as nearsightedness. When astigmatism accompanies another eye condition, it affects your eyes' ability to process and refract light. Light enables the tissues in your eyes to create images and see colors. 

Astigmatism can be mild enough to treat with prescription eyeglasses. However, eyeglasses may be enough to treat severe astigmatism. People who suffer from severe astigmatism may need toric contact lenses to correct their vision. 

What Are Toric Contact Lenses?

Optometrists design toric contact lenses to fit the irregular shapes of your corneas or lenses. Toric contact lenses look like small donuts or rounded muffin tops. The lenses correct your vision by bringing everything you see into focus. 

Before an eye doctor prescribes toric contact lenses to you, they must measure and examine each eye separately. Astigmatism can affect each eye in different ways. For example, the lens in your right eye may be flatter or curvier than the lens in your left eye. The cornea in your left eye may be longer than the cornea in your right eye. An optometrist must ensure your contact lenses corrects the problems in your eyes properly.

After an eye doctor examines your eyes, they'll make contact lenses for you. You may need to try out different contact lenses before you find the lenses that work best for you. An eye doctor may also decrease or increase the strength of each lens until it works better for you. If you need additional information about the fitting of your contact lenses, ask an optometrist immediately.

Learn more about toric contact lenses by scheduling an exam with an optometrist today. For more information on eye care, contact a professional near you.