Astigmatism is a common eye condition that occurs when the cornea or lens of your eye isn’t spherical. This makes it difficult for your eye to alter the light that reaches it into a clear picture, resulting in blurry or distorted vision.
There are actually three different types of astigmatism; myopic, hyperopic and mixed astigmatism. The differences between them basically describe the shape of the eye using meridians, imaginary lines which run along the surface of the eye through the pupil. The steepest and flattest meridians of an eye with astigmatism are known as the principle meridians.
• Myopic astigmatism occurs when both or one or both principal meridians of the eye are short sighted.
• Hyperopic astigmatism occurs when one or both principle meridians are long sighted.
• Mixed astigmatism occurs when one principle meridian is short sighted while the other is long sighted
Normally, a cornea is roughly the same shape as a ping pong ball, but if you have astigmatism your cornea takes on a similar shape to a rugby ball or an American football.
Because this makes objects more difficult to focus on, it’s common for those with untreated astigmatism to suffer from eye strain and headaches. This is especially true while reading, driving or staring at a computer screen for a long time.
Many retailers, including VisionDirect.co.uk, offer a range of Toric contact lenses. These are specifically designed to help correct the vision of those with astigmatism, offering you clearer vision with less strain on your eyes.
If you believe you may have astigmatism in one or both of your eyes, it’s worth getting them checked out by an optician who will be able to give you an accurate contact lens prescription. As well as the usual numbers, your prescription will also have an “axis” figure. This helps your pick out the perfect lens to fit the altered shape of your cornea.
We’ve put together a few simple guides for anyone who is trying out contact lenses for the first time. However, if you do need any help at all with your new lenses at all, just give us a call on 020 7768 5000.