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Posted on 04-01-2016
Normal eyeballs are naturally round, like a sphere, which means the strength at which the eye sees is the same all the way around. Patients with astigmatism have somewhat flattened shaped eyeballs. They look more like a football or the back of a spoon. With astigmatism, the light that enters the eye has a different distance to travel from one direction to the other.
This means you can have two or more prescriptions for correcting the same eye. This can be done relatively easily with eyeglasses, as they stay in place, but what about contact lenses? As lens wearers blink, the lens rotates on the surface of the eye. How can you compensate for this when it comes to contact lenses?
In most toric lenses a different prescription is built into the lower meridian, or section, of the lens. Each meridian corrects the eyesight for a different part of the eye. This means that toric lenses have to be kept right side up and in the same relative position in your eye at all times. The solution is a tiny weight built into the bottom of the lens. A very small piece of heavier material is inserted into the bottom of the lens. It looks like a tiny thread at the 6 o'clock mark on the face of the lens, but it's completely undetectable when the lens is on your eye.
Getting used to toric contact lenses can be disconcerting, at first. Every time you blink your eye the lens will want to move and turn, like other lenses. The weight at the bottom of the lens will fight this tendency, and will swing the lens back to the correct position. You may find yourself blinking over and over again to get your lens back into the correct position. This is also common if you have dry eyes, so it is important to keep a wetting solution handy for relief.
For any other questions about astigmatism and toric contact lenses, contact VAL-Uvision at 904-567-7707. We'll be happy to make an appointment at one of our Jacksonville area offices.
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