A common misconception we hear in our clinic is that patients believe they can’t wear contact lenses because of astigmatism. This is simply not true with technology that has been incorporated into today’s contact lenses.
Astigmatism is usually caused by the cornea, the front surface of the eye, being slightly out of round. Uncorrected astigmatism causes blurry vision and eye strain and can affect near as well as distance vision. During the refraction process (the part of the vision exam when we ask all those questions about what looks better) we can determine the exact amount and orientation of your astigmatism. After your refraction, glasses lenses can be ground to your specifications and those lenses are mounted in a frame. Set with your new specs, you’re on your way.
Contact lenses require a diagnostic lens fitting. Our doctors have ten different brands of contact lenses (toric lenses) especially designed for astigmatism. Armed with your refraction and a topography of your cornea we choose the lens that we feel will provide the best vision and eye health. The lenses are placed on the eye and allowed to stabilize for a few minutes and then evaluated for clarity, comfort and fit. If the first lens does not perform as we would like we try different lenses until we achieve the perfect fit. In most cases we can send you out the door the first day with either your exact prescription or something very close.
If you are a new contact lens wearer we will train you how to insert and remove the lenses. You will receive a case, some cleaning and storage solution and we’ll set up a one week follow up visit. At the follow up we evaluate the success of our initial fit and adjust or change lenses if necessary. In most cases one or two visits is enough to finalize the prescription.
If you happen to be a patient with very high astigmatism there are custom made soft and rigid contact lenses that are highly successful. So don’t let astigmatism keep you out of contact lenses. The doctors at Hillsboro Vision Clinic are experts in fitting patients with astigmatism. Call us at 503-648-5522 and set up an appointment for a fit today. Learn more about our clinic at http://www.hillsborovisionclinic.com.