I want to wear Contact Lenses but my doctor says I have an astigmatism. What is that anyway?

Astigmatism is a very common vision condition that causes blurred vision mainly due to the way your cornea is shaped. It prevents light from focusing on your retina, causing the images you see to be blurred.

Many people with astigmatism feel that they cannot wear contact lenses because of this and nothing could be farther from the truth. Contact Lens manufacturers make “toric” lenses, which are especially made for people with astigmatism. These soft, disposable lenses have tiny weights in the lens that are shaped to help you focus and see better.

There are many lenses to choose from, depending on your lifestyle. Acuvue has a weekly disposable lens called Acuvue Oasys for Astigmatism that you use daily for 2 weeks and start a new pair when you throw the old ones out.

If you’re not interested in cleaning and disinfecting your lenses daily, you can opt for Focus Dailies Toric. They come in either a 30 day box or a 90 day box for each eye. There is no maintenance with these lenses, you simply throw them out at the end of the day and start a fresh pair every morning.

Speak to your eye care professional on which lenses will work best for your prescription and lifestyle. Most locations will give you a trial pair with your eye exam so you can test the comfort and vision before making a purchase.

Are your lenses as clean as they should be?

A recent study in the December 2011 Journal of Optometry and Vision Science has shown that while 85% of contact lens wearers believe they do a good job taking care of their contact lenses, in actuality, less than 2% of them properly care for their lenses. .

Results show that some of the biggest non-compliance issues are:

  • Replacing lenses infrequently and wearing them longer than the recommended time frame
  • Sleeping in their lenses
  • Exposing their lenses to water when showering, swimming or rinsing lenses in tap water
  • Not emptying out their lens case/topping off with solution
  • Changing their lens case infrequently
  • Not properly washing their hands before handling their lenses

Non-compliance can cause issues beyond simple lens discomfort, including conjunctivitis, also known as “pink eye,” getting a sty on the eyelid or more serious compilations such as E-Coli due to the bacteria growing in their lenses and cases.

The study also shows that while most wearers are aware of proper lens care practices, very few actually follow through resulting in 72% of patients experiencing complications with comfort and 19% experiencing some type of infection. .

What can you do to prevent issues?

  • Make sure to wash your hands with warm water and soap before handling your lenses and touching your eye.
  • Wear a fresh pair of lenses at the recommended time, i.e. daily, every two weeks or monthly as suggested by your eye doctor.
  • Remove your lenses before showering or going swimming, or wear proper fitting eye goggles that prevent water from entering the eye.
  • Do not sleep or nap in your lenses.
  • Clean your lenses every night with contact lens solution and use fresh solution in your lens case every night. Don’t use water or top off the solution in your case, mixing old solution with new.
  • Rinse your lenses in solution before inserting them.
  • Rinse your lens case with solution daily and allow it to air dry while not in use.
  • Replace your lens case every few months. Many lens solutions come with a case in the box, so replacing your lens solution is a good time to throw out the old case and start fres

Daily Disposable Contact Lenses – a Growing Trend in the U.S.

Daily disposable lenses have been the best-selling lens in Europe and Asia over the past few years and here in the United States, the trend is just catching on.

A few years ago there were very few options available for daily disposables in the country. If you had astigmatism or needed multifocal lenses, your only options were extended wear contacts or glasses.

Lately, contact lens manufactures have begun to take notice and now there are options for just about anyone. Acuvue, for example, offers standard daily disposables in both 30 and 90 day supplies and there’s a new daily disposable lens for astigmatism as well that comes in a 30 day pack. Do you need multifocal lenses? CooperVision will soon have their Proclear brand available in a new daily disposable multifocal lens in a 30 day pack. Do you like colored contacts? Freshlook offers a 10 pack of colored daily disposables as well.

Have you considered making the switch to daily disposables? Here are a few things to consider

-Comfort is a big plus. Imagine wearing a fresh pair of lenses every day!
-No cleaning required! You throw them out every night, so there’s no need to clean and disinfect your lenses at night. In the morning, simply put in a fresh pair.
-Don’t wear lenses often? Great! You can wear a new pair every time you wear contact lenses. You don’t have to keep your lenses soaking in solution for days or weeks in between wears.
-Price. While the daily disposable lenses are a little more expensive than traditional extended wear lenses, they’re much easier to maintain and save money by not requiring lens solution and cases.

If you’re interested in a disposable daily lens, please consult your eye doctor for more information and to get a prescription.

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